Yingjiang, locally referred to as Pingyuan, is a large modern town with little to recommend it half a dozen kilometres off the main road from Ruili to Tengchong.
Most interesting in town is the Yunyan Pagoda in a large park on the eastern outskirts. In the surrounding countryside the Daying river and many small streams form a pretty nature reserve known as the Thousand Island Lake.
In the 19th century Yingjiang was known as Zhanda and described by Anderson on the first Bristish expedition like this:
The town of Sanda [Yingjiang], marked on maps as Santa-fu, occupies the edge of a ridge in a northerly bend or bay of the valley, a mile and a half from the Tapeng. The remains of a thick loopholed wall enclose an irregular area about six hundred yards square, over which are scattered eight hundred to one thousand houses, with a population of four to five thousand. We saw neither towers, pagodas, nor public buildings, save in ruins, excepting the tsawbaw’s house.
The Panthays [Muslims] stormed the town in 1863, and the ruined defences and buildings had not yet been restored. [. . . ]
Four hundred yards from the north-east gate was the bazaar, a village in itself, inhabited solely by Chinese, consisting, like Karahokah [Taiping], of two lines of houses, the broadway between being closed at either end by a wall. A Chinese joss house, the ruins of which showed its former importance, stood near the entrance: In our wandering’s through the bazaar, we met two women from the hills to the north of Sanda, of an entirely different race from Shans, Chinese, or Kakhyens, who called themselves Leesaws [Lisu]. (Anderson 1876, pp. 168–169)
Ruled for centuries as an independent Shan state, by the beginning of the 20th century, the power of the local rulers began to weaken.
We were met at the ford by the Sawbwa of Chanta, a nice-looking young manwho had spent many years exile in Burma. Long ago his father, the Sawbwa of Chanta, revolted against the Chinese, and when he was crushed his young son managed to escape across the border. For years the state was governed by a Chinese official alone. Finally the young Sawbwa was permitted to return, but his power had been weakened, his haw was occupied by the Chinese magistrate, and most of the revenues of the state were retained by the Chinese. Gradually, however, his authority was returning, and the Shans were bringing their disputes to him to settle. He and his family and entourage lived mat huts, but there, on a virgin site, a new haw was being built, a new capital was springing up. Resentment at the occupation of the old haw by the Chinese deputy had died. (Metford 1935, p. 200)
For the earthquakes see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Yingjiang_earthquakes