Pictures of Cizhong
Presentation of the village of Cizhong
Cizhong is a small village in northern Yunnan, on the right bank of the Mekong River not far from Tibet. Located in the region of “Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan”, this region offers a multitude of ethnic groups and a variety of flora and fauna. This site was inscribed in 2003 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Cizhong can be your stop in the Mekong Valley, on the road to the high peaks of Meili on the border of Tibet.
Village of Tibetan Catholics
Cizhong is populated by several different ethnic groups: Lisu, Yi and Tibetan. 80% of the inhabitants of the village are Catholic. All Catholics speak Tibetan but no one knows how to read or write it. The rest of the inhabitants are Buddhists. It is in a peaceful and jovial atmosphere where these two religions coexist. Indeed, Buddhists join Catholics during their Christmas celebration and vice versa with the Tibetan New Year.
The church of Cizhong
This village is well known thanks to its famous catholic church. It was first built by French missionaries from the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris in 1867 in the village of Cigu (or Tsekou) near Cizhong. It was destroyed and burnt during the Tibetan Revolt of 1905. It was rebuilt in the center of Cizhong village. During the reconstruction, a Chinese pavilion was added to the top of the bell tower. The church of Cizhong then became the Catholic center of Yunnan. All around it are vines that the French missionaries had planted 150 years ago to make the wine of mass. Despite the expulsion of the missionaries in 1950, the village did not abandon this tradition and continues to cultivate the vines for the wine of mass but also to sell the grapes in the surrounding villages. In 1987, the church was listed as a protected cultural site.
360 ° photo in front of the church
Click on the photo above and use the controls at the bottom of the photo to rotate the image 360 °.
360 ° photo inside the church
Hiking around Cizhong
The area is also conducive to beautiful hikes. Nature has not been affected by the industrialization of the country and thus offers travelers a natural beauty still intact. You will be able to follow the route that the tea merchants borrowed until 1957, your luggage on the back of a mountain horse. Cizhong is accessible from Lijiang via Tacheng, if not from Shangri La or Diqing (Montagne Meili), only 2 hours away via a new road.
A Christmas in Cizhong?
How about spending a surprising Christmas with the Tibetan Catholics from Cizhong Village, or other great Catholic celebrations, then following in the footsteps of ancient tea merchants by stopping in beautiful quaint villages in Northern Yunnan?
For any stay in Cizhong, we recommend the beautiful Songtsam Cizhong Lodge. Otherwise there are hostels and accommodation in families, in more modest conditions.
A beautifully decorated Tibetan restaurant, adjoining the simple but functional guesthouse Kawakajiu, will offer you some very good culinary surprises. Enjoy it to taste the house wine, fruity and generously served! The staff is very helpful and will not hesitate to pick you some bunches of grapes from a species that has disappeared from French vineyards.