Nuodeng is a small village perched on a hillside in Yunnan, amidst a pleasant and relaxing landscape of red land, pine forests, and agricultural villages.
The ancient Bai settlement village is one of the most well-preserved spots in all of Yunnan.
Its isolation, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, has helped to maintain its customary way of life.
The village is almost completely free from modern architecture, so it is often described as forgotten in time.
Nuodeng, a 1000-year-old settlement, used to be a very important stop along the salt route.
Those busy days have long gone, but these days you can still catch a unique, spectacular sight of ancient Ming and Qing dynasty houses and flagstone streets.
Nuodeng’s residents, members of the Bai ethnic group, earn their livelihoods tending the
fields on the steep slopes of the surrounding hills.
They often chat and smoke pipes in small groups on the steps of the two main village squares.
The village is built on a slope and houses appear like they have been built on top of each other along the steep mountain sides.
The streets are large, boasting cut stones, and only accessible on foot.
Among the crumbling houses, which range from humble cottages to previously grand
mansions, remnants of classic gates, beautiful courtyards, stunning roofs, and vibrantly
decorated pavilions vie for the attention of visitors.
The five-roofed courtyards, that create an almost cubist effect, are a unique style used in Bai courtyard houses.
If you’re not in a hurry to head to the next stop, these courtyards are a perfect place to explore and take in the scenery.
Thanks to the province’s position on China’s plateau, the region benefits from a moderate climate, with plenty of sunshine.
As Nuodeng was once an important stopover on the salt route, you can still see a few salt wells at the entrance of the village.
Back in the days, these were crucial and expensive resources, not only used for flavouring food but also to preserve it.
Throughout time, people from all over the region came here to buy Nuodeng salt.
An important source of income, it was known as white gold and carried to faraway destinations as India.
However, these days Nuodeng is better known for another product. Also salty, a special type of cured ham is the star nowadays.
You can enjoy a slice or try one of the different recipes that feature it.
Nuodeng Village, Yunlong Coungy, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China
Bus: Visitors can take buses directly from Dali to Yunlong Town and then change to a taxi or
a minivan to reach Nuodeng.
2. Travellers with heavy luggage will find it challenging to get up and down steps. It’s recommended to travel in rural areas with a backpack. Or, if you prefer, call the home stay to help you carry the luggage with a horse.
2. Best times to visit: All-year-round.
3. Experience: hiking and exploring the village and salt wells. Taste locally produced ham.