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Travel in Yunnan

Located in the northeast of Yunnan Province (yún nán shěng 云南省), historically one of an important cities in the south-western Silk Road , Zhaotong City (zhāo tōng shì 昭通市) is the communication centre and the north gate of Yunnan Province leading to Sichuan (sì chuān 四川) and areas in middle- and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. It is also an inland port to Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Zhaotong covers an area of 23,021 square kilometers and has a population of more than 2,07million. Here we have 23 minorities, among which 11 have lived here for generations, and they include Yi (yí 彝), Wa (wǎ 佤), Dai (dǎi 傣), Lahu (lā hù 拉祜), Bulang (bù lǎng 布朗), Miao (miáo 苗), Hui (huí 回), and Deang (dé áng 德昂). The population of Yi, Miao, Hui reaches 180,000.

zhaotong2Under its administration there are 1 district, namely Zhaoyang District (zhāo yáng qū 昭阳区), and 10 counties, namely Daguan County (dà guān xiàn 大关县), Ludian County (lǔ diàn xiàn 鲁甸县), Qiaojia County (qiǎo jiā xiàn 巧家县), Shuifu County (shuǐ fù xiàn 水富县), Suijiang County (suí jiāng xiàn 绥江县), Weixin County (wēi xìn xiàn 威信县), Yanjin County (yán jīn xiàn 盐津县), Yiliang County (yí liáng xiàn 彝良县), Yongshan County (yǒng shàn xiàn 永善县), and Zhenxiong County (zhèn xióng xiàn 镇雄县).
Zhaotong’s long history, wonderful ancient Zhuti Culture (zhū tí wén huà 朱提文化), numerous places of historic interest and scenic beauty, and special topography make the city a unique place for tourism. Humanistic sights include: the Five-ruler Path of China’s South Silk Road; the Rub-Rock inscribed by Yuanzi (yuán zī 袁滋), envoy of Tang Dynasty under orders to confer King of Nanzhao (nán zhào 南诏) in Yunnan; the Suspended Human Coffins on the cliffs along the swift currents; the large-scale unearthed historical relics of the New Stone Age; the Pavilion of Honest and Upright Officials, interveining with water and with the style of Suzhou (sū zhōu 苏州) Gardens. There are also many natural resorts: the many waterfalls falling from the cliffs; the limestone cavern, Black Dragon Cavern (hēi lóng dòng 黑龙洞), to compare beauty with Swallow Cavern (yàn zǐ dòng 燕子洞) and Alu Ancient Cavern (ā lú gǔ dòng 阿庐古洞); Great Biaoshuiyan Waterfall (biāo shuǐ yán pù bù 彪水岩瀑布) with a fall of 65 meters and a width of more than 20 meters which is as grand as Huangguoshu Waterfall (huáng guǒ shù pù bù 黄果树瀑布) in Guizhou Province (guì zhōu 贵州); and finally, the Huanglianhe Natural Beauty Spot (huáng lián hé zì rán fēng jǐng qū 黄连河自然风景区) which contains waterfall groups, splendid caverns, and Water shade Long Corridor as a whole.


Tongluoba National Forest Park

zhaotong3Tongluoba National Forest Park (tóng luó bà guó jiā sēn lín gōng yuán 铜锣坝国家森林公园), located in Shuifu County of Zhaotong City, is the well-preserved subtropical evergreen broad-leaf forest area in the northeast of Yunnan Province, with a total area of 50 square kilometers. Tongluoba is regarded as a heavenly place because of its unique topography, pleasant climate and an unparalleled scene of natural beauty. In this park, there are 5 streams, 7 lakes, 18 small basins, 108 mountains and dozens of waterfalls. Besides, it has more than 100 ornamental trees and rare plants, such as golden monkeys, Chinese leopards, pythons and the other 11 first class national protected animals. Besides, there are also rare and precious trees that are under first class national protection, such as Chinese dove trees and metasequoia. In May, 1992, Tongluoba forest park was approved as Provincial Forest Park by Yunnan provincial Forestry Department. In May, 1999, the park was approved as National Forest Park by the national Forestry Department.

In the park, lofty trees tower into the clouds, bright mountain flowers are in full bloom, a murmuring brook runs through the valley, spectacular waterfall splash over the rock, huge cliffs stand there without compare. Besides, the origin of Tongluoba, the legend of the ancient temple and the specialized folk customs around the park are all unique cultural landscape.

zhaotong4Refreshed by the cool breeze of autumn, Tongluoba becomes quiet and serene in autumn. Bright red maple leaves all over the mountains, glow red in the sunlight, which is the most charming autumn scenery in the park. A clear and boundless sky, the flowing river, a gently curving stream and the sunshine dancing on blue lakes will all gladden the heart and please the eyes. The water of Tongluoba is so clear that you can even see pebbles, weeds and tiny aquatic animals at the bottom of the lake. At the time of bitter winter, Tongluoba is a marvelous place for people to enjoy the sight of snow. It will bring people to the world of fairyland, a snow-white and crystal clear world.

Tongluoba boasts abundant natural resources of animals and plants, verdant and lush forests, stretches of serene lakes, exceptional variety of landscape in four seasons, majestic geographic sceneries and traditional culture with affluent contents, which makes Tongluoba mysterious and attractive.

Location: located in Shuifu County of Zhaotong City
Transportation: take tourist car in Zhaotong City
Opening Hours: 8:00-18:30
Admission Fee: CNY 20 for adults, CNY 10 for children

Huanglian River

zhaotong5Huanglian River is a famous tourist destination in Zhaotong. Two Waterfalls Welcoming Visitors is also named Suona (suǒ nà 唢呐) Waterfalls (suona: a kind of Chinese music instrument with loud and clear sound) because visitors always hear its noisy sound first before they can see it. Reunion Waterfalls (tuán yuán pù 团圆瀑) gets its name because three waterfalls pass through woods and dykes, and then, like a family reunion, join under the cliff. Pearl-curtain Waterfall (zhū lián pù 珠帘瀑) is just like a curtain interspersed with shining pearls. Stage On Water is in fact a flat slate slanting westward. Underground spring overflows out of the crannies, runs across the slate and finally falls into the swag. Over the slate covers projecting cliffs and around it circles the spring. All these would remind you of a stage on the water. Waterfalls of Matchmaker and Mandarin Duck is, of course, divided into the upper part, Matchmaker, and the lower part, Mandarin Duck. Water shade Long Corridor (shuǐ lián zhǎng láng 水帘长廊) derives the name for the rocks under the waterfall have been air slaked and washed for a long time and thus become now a long arc-shaped corridor hiding in the water shade. Great Slide board is like the water slide board of the pleasure ground in big cities. Most visitors are willing to have a try on the “slide board” because it is exciting and safe. Virgin Waterfall lies among vines, grass and trees, which make the waterfall even more elegant and graceful. Beau Waterfall, right opposite Virgin Waterfall, is situated among high cliffs so that the water seems to effuse from clouds. Then the Waterfall folds into three steps. First two steps go in the same direction with a fall of nearly one hundred meters. The third step turns towards Virgin Waterfall with a fall of more than forty meters, playing the role of a beau. The groups of waterfalls of Huanglian River have more than 40 various beautiful waterfalls distributing in the beauty spot which covers an area of 25 square kilometers. Here are also thousands of peaks and gullies competing with each other, and even limestone caverns like White Elephant Cave. The mountains, waters, forests, and caves make one integrated mass; ruggedness, elegance, strangeness and remoteness make this place a real wonder.

Location: Daguan County
Transportation: take regular bus in Daguan County
Admission Fee: CNY 88 for adults and CNY 45 for children

The Great Gorge Hot Spring

zhaotong6The Great Gorge Hot Spring (dà xiá gǔ wēn quán 大峡谷温泉), alongside Jinsha River (jīn shā jiāng 金沙江) of Shuifu County, is 32 kilometers away from Yibin (yí bīn shì 宜宾市). It takes only 1hour from Yibin to the great gorge hot spring. The Great Hot Spring boasts steep cliffs, green mountains and swift currents. It has been celebrated as a bright pearl in the tourist route of Sichuan, Yunnan and the southwest of China.

In 1978, the exploring team of Yunnan found a stream of fantastic spring water under the picturesque grand gorge at the depth of 2,380 meters. According to some international experts, the temperature of the hot spring is 85℃ with the daily water inflow of over 8,000 cubic meters, which ranks among the top of that of China. The hot spring with high quality is rich in a large number of minerals which are very beneficial to human health.

The Great Gorge Hot Spring Spa covers an area of more than 300 mu, which is the largest natural hypethral spa in China up till the present moment. It can hold over 3,000 people simultaneously. There are all kinds of hot springs with a variety of qualities, including petal hot spring, drug hot spring, milk hot spring, wine hot spring and vinegar hot spring. In the hot spring spa, there are 400 berths, a dining hall which can hold 600 persons simultaneously, a Convention Center which can hold 500 persons, over 140 luxuriously and tastefully decorated private rooms and a national square which can hold thousands of people. Besides, a variety of facilities are established, such as Tennis Court, Badminton Court and Beach Soccer Court. The green area of the spa accounts for over 50% of the total. The Great Gorge Hot Spring Spa can be ranked as a tourist and ecological spa with available facilities, considerable size and peculiar charm in the west.

Location: Shuifu County
Tel: 0870-8633333, 0870-8938023
Transportation: take regular bus in Shuifu County or Yibin City
Opening Hours: all day
Admission Fee: CNY 168 for adults, CNY 98 for children

Dashanbao Scenic Resort

zhaotong7Dashanbao (dà shān bāo 大山包), located in the west of Zhaotong City, about 79 kilometers away from the city, is known as the winter habitat of black-necked cranes which are first class national protected animals and endangered species in China. Dashanbao is about 3100 meters above sea level with the annual average temperature of 6.2°C. It covers an area of 19,200 hectares. Every winter, a large number of scientific workers, explorers, tourists and photographers from home and abroad go to Dashanbao, a magical and primitive world, to make exploration and scientific research there, exploring in Dashanbao,

In Dashanbao, there is a broad expanse of mountain wetlands that black-necked cranes inhabit in winter. The mountain wetlands, functioned as the “kidneys” of the earth, provide comprehensive eco-environmental and productive services in terms of flood mitigation, climate control, pollution prevention, soil-erosion reduction, environment beautification, biodiversity maintenance and bio-productivity protection. In early autumn every year, a large number of black-necked cranes migrate to Dashanbao from Tibetan Plateau for the winter. According to the related data, there used to be 32 kinds of cranes in the world. However, only 15 kinds remain at present. Black-necked cranes are the only kind of cranes that live in mountain wetlands. There are all together 5,554 black-necked cranes in the world now, among which 1,300 ones migrate to Dashanbao for the winter every year, accounting for a quarter of the total.

zhaotong8The best time to visit Dashanbao is in autumn and winter, from early August to early October when Dashanbao is heavenly place covered with beautiful flowers and grass. The wind comes with the continuous scent of the grass and wild flowers. At this time of the year, Dashanbao is the paradise of photographers. Near the Tiaodunhe Reservoir (tiào dūn hé shī dì 跳墩河湿地) and Dahaizi Reservoir (dà hǎi zǐ shī dì 大海子湿地), people can enjoy the sight of black-necked cranes in large groups in search of food.

Location: Dabaoshan Town, Zhaoyang District
Transportation: take regular bus in Zhaoyang
Admission Fee: CNY 78


Zhaotong Airport is a second-class national airport, and now there are three passenger liners from Kunming to Zhaotong each day which take off at 9:45, 13:50 and 21:05 respectively. The 336-kilometer travel will take you half an hour and cost you 90 yuan.

zhaotong9Zhaotong airport is located in the eastern suburb of Zhaotong City and on the southern bank of Jinsha River. It is about 10 kilometers away from the city. There is first-class arterial highway from the city to the airport. Tourists can take a bus or taxi from the city to the airport. The airport is less than 10 kilometers away from the city proper of Zhaotong, and it is a good choice to consult with the taxi-driver on the price before he starts the car. Ticket-booking Tel: 0870-3135777

After entering Yunnan, Neijiang- Kunming Railway will reach the first station here, Shuifu Railway Station in Zhaotong, and this section of railway is called Anshu Section. There are three passenger trains staring from Zhaotong Station which lead to Chongqing (zhòng qìng 重庆), Neijiang (nèi jiāng 内江) and Liupanshui (liù pán shuǐ 六盘水), and six other trains like Chengdu - Kunming Train going via Zhaotong. Enquiry Telephone of Shuifu Railway Station in Zhaotong: 0871-7800717

Urban buses are comparatively smaller and the condition is not too good. They run at five- to ten-minute intervals and will cost you one yuan. The urban taxi usually costs you three to five yuan, so there is no meters.

There are pedicabs in the city proper whose price depends on how long you will go, and be sure to ask about the price before you get on.

Tel Code: 0870
Zip: 65700