The End of Cizhong Village, NW Yunnan province, China

A Tibetan community once known for its cottage wine and tourism industry is taken over by dam resettlement on the Upper Mekong.

Part of the Mekong Policy Project
Southeast Asia

Cizhong Village was once an idyllic community along the Upper Mekong, home to the tallest Catholic Cathedral in NW Yunnan Province and also the region’s most beautiful collection of rice terraces. In late 2018, the filling of the 990 MW Wunonglong Dam flooded an upstream Tibetan Buddhist community of Yanmen, whose villagers were forced to resettle on Cizhong’s rice terraces. This time lapse comparison between November 2015 and February 2019 chronicles the end of Cizhong Village, now renamed Yanmen. In chapter 2 of my new book Last Days of the Mighty Mekong, I talk to Cizhong’s villagers about the end of their tightly knit community.