Mijing Village of Misha Town in Jianchuan County, Dali

Chinese Name: 剑川县弥沙乡弥井村
English Name: Mijing Village of Misha Town in Jianchuan County, Dali
Mijing Village is located in Misha Town of Jianchuan County in Dali.

Plan your Dali Ethnic Villages Tour to Dali? Visit Mijing Village of Misha Town in Jianchuan County, Dali which is one of the most fascinating ethnic villages in Dali. Explore the local folk ethnic culture including History, Food and Dining, Clothing, Customs and Traditions, Architecture, Festivals, Crafts, Religion, Language of local ethnic people in Mijing Village of Misha Town in Jianchuan County, Dali.

Chinese Name: 剑川县弥沙乡弥井村
English Name: Mijing Village of Misha Town in Jianchuan County, Dali
Mijing Village is located in Misha Town of Jianchuan County in Dali.

Salt Horse Ancient Road and Mother Well Cultural Relics

Introduction: Misha Well is known for its abundant salt mines and was once a major salt town in western Yunnan. It is also one of the origins of the “Salt Horse Ancient Road.” During the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, embassies, inspection offices, and salt tax offices were established. Misha Salt Well was listed as the “Mother Well,” overseeing surrounding “daughter wells” such as Qiaohou Well and Yunlongla Well. Misha Salt Well includes old wells, dripping wells under rock walls, submerged wells under the west bridge pier, and Shalu wells, Dajing, Xiaojing, and mining wells under the east bridge pier.

Mijin Village: Mijin Village is located in the southeast of Mishaxiang, Jianchuan County, Dali Prefecture, Yunnan Province, more than 80 kilometers away from Jianchuan County Town, on both sides of the Mishaxiang River, bordered by Qiaohou Town, Er Yuanxiang, Shaxi Town, and connected to Dayi, Xizhuang, and Dongzhuang villages.

Mijin Village is picturesque, nestled among mountains and rivers. The western part of the village features deep valleys, waterfalls, ancient trees, and streams. The southern part, where Kuisi Pavilion and Sansheng Palace are located, resonates with mountain peaks. The entire village is scattered along the banks of the Mishaxiang River, with adobe houses, secluded lanes, and ancient stone walls, reflecting a strong ethnic character. The sound of mule bells and the smooth bluestone roads record the long history and culture of Mijin, one of the second batch of traditional villages in China.

Mijin Village has a long history and profound cultural heritage. It was once a major salt production town in northwest Yunnan during the era of the Salt Horse Ancient Road. The prosperity of the salt industry made Mijin a bustling place, with markets held every three days and nights. Currently, the village still retains relics from the Salt Horse Ancient Road era, such as the Salt Goddess Mother, Sansheng Palace, Zhao Ying Temple, and ancient theaters.

Legend of the Ancient Well: Historical records state that “Misha” was the combined name of “near Miquan” and “Shazhuijing” during the Tang Dynasty in Nanzhao. Since the Tang Dynasty, salt wells have been established in Misha, known as near Miquan. Misha Well was one of the four major salt wells in western Yunnan at that time.

According to legend, initially, there were no inhabitants near Misha Well. People lived on the flat ground halfway up the mountain. A woman’s cow often secretly ran down to the salt spring to drink salt water. To understand why the cow liked to run downhill, the woman followed her cow and discovered Misha Well. In commemoration of the cow’s discovery of the salt well, every Spring Festival or the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, villagers in Mijin hold a “Dae Gou” (bull dance) activity, simulating primitive agricultural production and sacrificial activities, hoping for a good harvest.

Misha Well is separated from the famous Salt Horse Ancient Road town, Shaxi, by only one mountain. Due to its narrow geographical location, salt from Misha Well had to be transported by mule to Shaxi for distribution. From Shaxi, travelers passed through Mapingguan, then crossed a vast primitive forest to reach Misha Well. The journey from Shaxi to Misha Well required traversing a steep five-li slope, a section of ancient road manually carved on a steep slope. This section of the ancient road is also called “Three Stone Markers” by the people of Misha Well. Legend has it that in ancient times, the steep slope of the five-li slope was often blocked by stones trampled by mule caravans, making it difficult to pass. Passersby developed a habit of picking up three stones each to pile them on both sides of the ancient road. Over time, two stone walls were formed on both sides of the ancient road.

Salt Goddess Mother: Mijin is famous for salt production, and the legend of the “Salt Goddess Mother,” the founder of the Misha salt industry, has been passed down in the village. Every year on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, villagers go to Baihua Tan on the western mountaintop of the village to welcome the “Salt Goddess Mother” and hold rich and colorful folk cultural activities, including bull dancing, dragon dancing, lion dancing, fishing, chopping wood, duets of sanxian love songs, and operas. The cultural traditions of fishing, woodcutting, farming, and reading continue to this day.

Zhao Ying Temple: Along the ancient stone steps, perhaps only the remaining Zhao Ying Temple on the opposite hillside can vaguely explain the past of Misha Well. According to the “Inscription of the Newly Built Zhao Ying Temple,” by Wanli Jiwei (1573), the temple decayed and collapsed… until the second year of Tianqi (1622), when it was completed after forty-nine years of construction.

Sansheng Palace: Misha Well is historically known as a place of “people’s happiness and industry.” It also attracted various foreign religious cultures due to the prosperity of the salt industry. Zhao Ying Temple and Sansheng Palace have always been the center of religious activities in the Misha area. Sansheng Palace is still registered as the activity place of the Taoist Association of Jianchuan County. To this day, Taoist music in Mijin is well preserved and unique. Every July of the lunar calendar, Misha holds a mass festival, including the Yulan Festival, grand vegetarian feasts, water and land processions, to commemorate ancestors and mourn the deceased.

Travel Tips: Transportation: Take a bus from Xiaguan Passenger Transport North Station to Jianchuan, 45 yuan per person, from 7:00 to 18:00, with a bus departing every 30 minutes. Get off at Jianchuan and transfer to a minivan to Mijin Village.

Specialties: Walnut, soybean, Yuhu wine, wild mushrooms, and honey.

Mijin Village does not currently have hotels. Visitors with camping equipment can camp. Local restaurants in Misha provide food. Misha Well is only separated from Shaxi Ancient Town by one mountain, so it is recommended to visit Shaxi after visiting Mijin to taste authentic Bai cuisine (Tea Horse Inn is recommended) and explore the only surviving ancient market temple street on the Tea Horse Ancient Road.

Chinese Version: