Where Mengzi is southeastern Yunnan’s hub of administration, culture and commerce, Gejiu is its grimy mining heartland. Tin mines pockmark the county, with most smelters around the basin of Gejiu City, the only place in Yunnan to decline in population in the last decades. It is a dying town.
For the enthusiast remain parts of Yunnan’s foreign-built narrow-gauge railway system: the Gebishi Line once connected Gejiu-Bisezhai(for Mengzi) and Shiping.
In the south Gejiu stretches to the Yunnan’s first international port, Manhao, on the banks of the Red River.