Travel to Wa lands


Where to go?

The best places to know the Wa are their two autonomous counties: Cangyuan and Ximeng, both in the southwest part of Yunnan Province.

These two counties lie near the Myanmar border. Issues of national security can make travel to Wa lands difficult if the traveler intend to go deep in the Wa lands.

When to go?

In Cangyuan the Wa changed the time and importance of their main festivals in order to make them coincide with the Chinese National Holiday on May 1st. Now they celebrate this day the Wa Carnival of the Sigangli (Sigangli is their myth of the origin); this will be the best time to enjoy performances of Wa traditional dancing. Usually there are performances in the counties capitals. This is the time also, when more Chinese tourists travel to Wa lands. The traveler who wants to explore Wa lands is advised to remain in the area after the festival, that will be a nice time to know Wa friends.

How to travel to Wa lands?

1. Travel to Cangyuan County.

From Kunming the traveler must go first to Cangyuan City.

There are daily buses from Kunming (Jinwan changdu geyun zhan) to Cangyuan. Departure time can be between 4 to 6 pm, arriving to Cangyuan 24 hours later.

By Plane

From Kunming there are daily flights to Lincang. From Lincang there are several daily buses to Cangyuan, that arrive after 6 hours of mountainous roads.

In Cangyuan there are several hotels with simple services open to foreigners.

- Wa shan Dynasty (wangchao). Maybe is the biggest and the best, with near 100 rooms. Tel: (0883) 712 4888.

- Kangle Hotel: (0883) 712 4388

- Loyalty (Zhongdan) hotel: Mengdong Township, South City Road South. Tel : 7121619

- Jinshan Hotel. Mengdong Township. South City Road South.

Out of Cangyuan accommodation is scarce, but usually is possible to find very basic accommodation in every township, sometimes local people houses will be the only accommodation available.

From Cangyuan the traveler can make one or two days trips to explore the places around, as Mengjiao, Mengtong, Menglai Gorge, and the famous 3000 years old Cangyuan Cliff Painting.

2. Travel to Ximeng County

From Kunming there are daily sleeping buses to Ximeng. The route is Kunming - Simao - Lancang - Ximeng.
From Kunming there are also flights to Simao. From Simao to Ximeng there are several zhongba (middle size buses) every day.

In Ximeng City there are some hotels with basic services

As Cangyuan, Ximeng can be the place to explore the surrounding country in daily or two day excursions, or the starting point to travel deep in Wa country. Out of Ximeng will be difficult to find basic accommodation.


Even speaking Chinese language is not easy to travel to Wa lands.

The traveler who wants to know a little more about Wa nationality culture is recommended to hire a guide familiar with Wa environment who can lead him/her to the Wa villages. Some times taxi drivers and motorbike drivers can act as guides, but usually they can speak only Chinese local dialect.

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