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2006-02-21 11:23:29

The remnants of the Ancient Tea Horse Road in Xishuangbanna can be seen in the towns of Yiwu, Xiang and Mengwang.

The road used to be part of the major pathway that joined the six "tea hills" in southern Yunnan to the outside world.

This ancient flagstone road totalling 240 kilometers long begins in the city of Simao and ends in Yiwu.

The part of the Ancient Tea Horse Road within Xishuangbanna is a three to five-feet-wide flagstone path that winds serpentine through the rain forest.

The construction of the road was co-funded by the local government of Puer county and the tea plantations in the area.

A roadside stele from the Qing Dynasty claims that the path was built during the reign of Emperor Daoguang and cost over 10,000 gold ingots. This huge amount of money was invested to ensure that the tribute tea could be delivered to the Forbidden City in time.

The town of Yiwu is in the east of Xishuangbanna, 110 kilometers away from the county seat of the Mengla. On the ancient streets of Yiwu are the remains of the tea stores that used to be well-known throughout the Ancient Tea Horse Road.

The well-worn footprints in the flagstone street remind people of the prosperity the little town once enjoyed.

How to get there: There are mini-buses between Jinghong and the county seat of Mengla where visitors can board for town of Yiwu. Phone number of the bus station at the county seat of Mengla: +86 691 8120664.


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 Producer: Chu Daye & Peng Ran      Pagemaker: Wang Dandan      Designer: Avida