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Dehong Overview

Since its founding in 1953, the Dehong Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture has been a great concern of the leaders of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. The older generation of party and state leaders such as Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai had repeatedly met with representatives or delegations of Dehong. Zhou Enlai, He Long, Hu Yaobang, Qiao shi, Tian Jiyun, Wan Li, Zhang Zhen, Hu Jintao, Zhu Rongji, Liu Huaqing, Li Tieying, Li Ruihuan, Li Changchun, Wu Bangguo, Zeng Qinghong, Hui Liangyu, and other leaders visited Dehong for inspections. They paid their condolences to the troops stationed in border areas, cadres and the people of all nationalities. Their speech, behavior and character will always inspire soldiers and the people of Dehong.

  Today, when building a well-off and harmonious society, people of all nationalities in Dehong through joint efforts will maintain the unity and undertake the common cause of prospering, defending the border areas, and forging ahead, to build a prosperous, democratic, civilized and exemplary Minority Autonomous Prefecture of Dehong.(.(Translated by Zhu Qisai)

 Dehong was called “Ancient Mengmao Kingdom” in the recording of The Pattra Sutra; it was named as the “Dianyue Elephant Riding Kingdom” under the pen of Simaqian; it was the Jinchi Kingdom in the book of “Marcopolo and His Travels”. Dehong is not only the outlet of the ancient “The Southwest Silk Road of China”, but also the outlet of the Yunnan-Myanmar Road. At present,it is still the golden port leading to South Asia and Southeast Asia.

  “Dehong” in Dai language means the lower reaches of Nujiang River, and its total area is 11526 m2. The national-level scenic zone of Ruilijiang River and Dayingjiang River sweeps into almost the whole prefectural land area; in its subordinated three counties and two cities, there are two excellent tourism cities, Ruili City and Yingjiang County. Dehong is a piece of precious geomantic land; it is located in the tropical zone of South Asia. The weather all year round is much like spring and favorable for crops; it has fertile land and abundant products. In 2005, there was a total population of 1,070,000 people in the prefecture, among which the minority population accounts for 51.74 %. The peoples of Dai, Jingpo, Achang, De’ang, Lisu, Han and other peoples are living here together. Dehong borders on Myanmar in the east, south and west, and the bordering line is 503.8 kilometers long; it has two national-level ports of first grade, Ruili and Wanding, and two national-level ports of second grade, Yingjiang and Zhangfeng. Its unique geographical location creates favorable port advantages for Dehong Prefecture. In 1985, Dehong Prefecture was approved to be opened up as the frontier trade region, which was the earliest inland developing port. In the middle of the 1990s, the total amount of bordering imports and exports was on the top rank in Yunnan Province. In the new century, being a rising border commercial and trade city, Ruili has become the largest inland port in southwest China. In spite of its beautiful attraction of landscape, Dehong was a widely known place in the world before liberation for its name of “the miasma and plague area”; all the nationalities in the border area were under the oppression of the feudal lords and the economic exploitation of the Shanguans(local chieftain); the chaos caused by wars were without intermission; the scenes of desolation and underdevelopment could be seen everywhere; the fertile land could not make peoples here dress warmly and eat their fill; and the laborious peoples could not earn their enough food and clothes; the ethnic oppression and discrimination brought about the profoundly ethnic misunderstanding which stirred up the chaos occasionally.

  In the spring of 1950, Chinese People's Liberation Army garrisoned Dehong Prefecture. Under the shinning lights of the C.P.C ethnic policy, all the nationalities in Dehong Prefecture acquired a new life. On July 23 of 1953, Dehong Dai and Jingpo People's Autonomous Prefecture was established, realizing the regional autonomy for the local minority nationalities. In 1955, by the way of "peaceful consultation", the land reform was carried out and the Tusi system that had lasted for more than 600 years was thoroughly abolished; all the peoples became the masters of the country; under the lead of the Chinese Communist Party, the nationalities who led a life in different historical stage then strode into the socialist society, realizing the leap of crossing centuries. Therefrom, a tremendous change had taken place in Dehong Prefecture: the hesternal place which grew weeds here and there turn into fertile land; the former waste hills grow dense forestry; in the place where“even a needle needed to be imported from abroad” , now the modern industries are set up; Jingkan Sugar Mill in Longchuan now has become the largest sugar mill in the southwest of China and ascended the second grade enterprise of the country's rank; in former days, people transported goods by carrying through men and horses’ backs, at present, by automobiles that come and go in all directions and by planes that fly high into the fogs and clouds in the sky; the peoples who lagged behind in culture in old days now have trained a host of superior intellectuals of their own; the hesternal "area prevailed for miasma and plague" now has become a paradise where people live a long life and enjoy bumper harvests. Comparing the year of 2005 with 1952, the gross domestic product has increased 38 times, the fiscal revenue has increased 4923 times; and the investment of fixed assets has increased 250,000 times; the living expenditure income per capita for town dwellers has increased 60 times; the net income per capita for farmers has increased 16 times.

  Dehong Prefecture is the original living land for the Green Peacock and the peacock is the totem for Dehong people. People lived harmoniously with the peacock, humans and birds usually live in the same homestead in Dehong Prefecture; consequently, the Peacock Dance was initially created here. Owing to its beautiful natural environments, brilliant minority cultures, unique ethnic custom and the prosperous frontier trade, now Dehong is praised for the names of "Land for Minorities", "Land for Ethnic Singing and Dancing", "Land for Mythology", "Land for Jade" and "Homeland for Peacocks". The 21th century is an epoch for human social development, Dehong peoples shall take effort to fulfill the important thought of "Three Representation" and unshakably walk the road of "Prospering the Prefecture by Border Trade, Activating the Prefectural Development by Tourism, Strengthening the Prefecture by Farming and Enriching the Prefecture by Industry", carry into execution of the four grand strategies: "Boosting the Development of the Prefecture by Sci-tech and Education, the Grand Path, the Green Brand and Building Up the Beautiful Homestead", and forge the five brand names: "the Subtropics Prefecture for Ecological Flowers and Fruits", "the Prosperous Prefecture for Green Economy", "the Bridgehead Prefecture Connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia", "the Mystical Prefecture for Abundant Treasures" and "Prefecture for Ethnic Cultures". All the nationalities shall hold together, be pioneers and enterprising to build Dehong Prefecture into a wealthy, democratic, civilized and model minority autonomous prefecture. We all assure that Dehong Prefecture, a bright pearl port, will become more and more resplendent; the place as the well-known saying goes, "there is a beautiful piece of land", will become more beautiful; and the attractive peacock will become much prettier; the beauteous golden peacock will fly high into the blue sky and realize its great ambition. 

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