A cultural change that happened 800 years ago
Historically the town of Xingmeng is of great interest as it is the only “Mongolian Town” within the Yunnan Province. The Mongol People of Xingmeng migrated here around 1253 while Kublai Khans led troops to subdue and occupy the Dali Kingdom of Yunnan.
Xingmeng served as the most western military outpost for the Yuan Dynasty and many Mongolian soldiers where stationed here.
When the Yuan Dynasty was overpowered by the Ming Dynasty in the middle of the 14th century these Mongolian soldiers where cut off and unable to retreat to their Mongolian homeland.
For the past 750 years they transformed their lifestyle first from herding to fishing, then, when the waters of Qilu Lake receded, they turned to farming.
Nowadays, the Xingmeng Mongols practice their own, unique customs, have their own public holidays and speak a language related to Mongolian but only spoken and understood by the 5000 inhabitants of Xingmeng. Xingmeng is located 15km west of Tonghai at the foot of Fenghuang Mountain.