Shiping County, belonging to Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, isÂ in the southern part of the YunnanÂ province of China. It is located about 240Â km from the provincial capital-Kunming. The county has a population of approximately 280,000 and covers an area of 3,037Â kmÂČ.
Shiping features wonderful gardens, temples and colorful murals.Â For example, Yilong Lake, a large fresh water lake with a surface area of 32 square km, is particularly notable for its scenery, including the colorful lotusÂ flowers that bloom on its surface. It is located about 2Â km east of the county. The Xiushan Temple, located southwest of the county, was constructed during the Tang DynastyÂ and renamed Xiushan Temple during the Ming Dynasty.
The county is known for its profound contribution on Chinese education and literacy. For example, the Qing DynastyÂ scholar and civil servant Yuan Jiagu (1872-1937) formerly lived in Shiping, and his home was named on November 16, 1993, as a âprovincial level cultural relicâ for preservation.
The county is also known throughout China for its traditional songs and dances. The Yi peopleÂ of Shiping who live near Yilong LakeÂ perform a form of traditional music called sea grass melody (as known asÂ hai cai qiang). Yi women dragon dances represented original ecological culture began to appear in the national theatrical performances from late 1990âs. The 2004 Chinese film called “Huayao Bride” has presented the women dragon dance folklore of Shiping.