Chinese Name: 怒江大峡谷
Keywords: Grand Canyon, Geographic Wonder
Location: located in Nujiang Autonomous Prefecture of Lisu Nationality, northwest of Yunnan Province
Best Time to Visit: October to next April
Length: more than 600 kilometers
Depth: 2000~3000 meters
General Introduction of Nujiang Grand Canyon:
The Nujiang River surges forward between Gaoligong Mountain and Biluo Mountain. The altitudes of all the mountains beside the two banks are over 3,000 meters. As the drop height of the river is high, the river water is rapidly rushing and the wave is high, forming a very spectacular sight. There are many steep cliffs at both banks. Flowing toward the south with an annual water amount of 1.6 times that of the Yellow River, the river is impinging against the banks and thus forms the steep Nujiang Grand Canyon.
Nujiang Grand Canyon is the longest and most mysterious, precipitous and unsophisticated canyon in the world, which goes southeast from Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in south-north trend. The part in Yunnan reaches a length of more than 300 kilometers and a average depth of 2000 meters. The deepest part is located in Bingzhongluo, known as 'Grand Canyon of the East'. The spectacular Nujiang Grand Canyon and the roaring Nujiang River thrill and shock the travelers.
Along the Nujiang Grand Canyon, there are a few minorities live in Hushui County, Gongshan County and Fugong County, such as Lisu nationality, Nu nationality, Dulong Nationality and Zang nationality. One cannot imagine people living on such steep inclines. Most mountain inhabitants live in wooden sheds and huts built on the side or even the top of the mountain.Villages on the other bank of the river are accessed either by narrow hanging bridges constructed with small wooden planks strung together with rattan tied to trees; or by sliding on overhead cables that span the river. The cables are tied to trees on either side of the river and to cross, one is suspended from a rope loop attached to a harness worn around the waist.
Nujiang Grand Canyon
As affected by the southwestern monsoon climate of the Indian Ocean, Nujiang Grand Canyon forms a special climate that there are four seasons in a same mountain and the weathers are different within five kilometers. It is a common phenomenon that the trees are verdant and green in the river valley that is sweltering as in summer, the flowers are in full bloom and the grasses become yellow on the sidehill, and the mountaintop is the world of ice and snow as in winter.
The principal towns in the Nujiang Grand Ganyon include Liuku, Fugong, and Gongshan. The most beautiful part of the Canyon starts from Bingzhongluo.
‣‣‣ Liuku ‣‣‣ Fugong ‣‣‣ Gongshan ‣‣‣ Bingzhongluo
An unpleasant town with ugly concrete buildings can definitely be ignored.
Fugong is mainly populated by the Lisu tribe. There are rice terraces just outside the town centre on the slopes all along the river. They are easily accessible by walking and the walk up the rice terraces is easy. All along the trek up the slopes, we watched the local Lisu farmers busying themselves on the terraces and the view extended to the Gaoligong Mountains with snow crowned peaks soaring over 4000 meters.
Another major town in this region, even though it is just a one-street-town. It is an important town because it is the closest supply depot for hardware and other requirements to all the towns and villages north and east (to Drung territory) of here.
The scenery between Fugong and Gongshan is fabulous with lots of steep slopes and waterfalls. The road hugs the Nujiang and there are lots of landslides along the way. Be prepared to be delayed. One also needs to have a strong heart as vehicles frequently miss the cliff by inches. It is especially spectacular after rain; which also means higher potential of delays and landslide dangers. There are Lisu and Nu farms clinging to impossible places on the steep slopes hundreds of meters up from both sides of the river. Their fields are often partially or completely destroyed by landslides. They can do nothing but re-cultivate again and again.
The most beautiful part of Nujiang Gorge starts from Binzhongluo. Bingzhongluo is another one-street town. It has a strong Tibetan flavor as most of the inhabitants around it are Tibetans and Nus and it is very close to Tibet itself. Immediately outside the main street to the east, small plots of farms spread out in terraces towards the river. There are more farms (mainly wheat) across the river on a beautiful peninsula jutting into the river- the Plum “Island”. The west of Bingzhongluo is backed by a few snow peaks.
A few kms outside of town, the river widens and cuts very deep and dramatic gorges. Villages on the other bank of the river are accessed either by narrow bridges constructed of small wooden planks/bamboo stringed together with rattan tied to trees; or by sliding on overhead cables that span the river. The cables are tied to trees on either side of the river and to cross, one is suspended and slide from a rope loop attached to a harness wear around the waist.
There are a few alternatives to get to Nujiang Gorge. From Kunming, one can catch a bus to various places in the Gorge. at least one sleeper bus winding all the way to Fugong in the middle of the gorge. The trip is about 14 hours(710km) and costs around CNY 155.
• Kuming to Liuku:580km, express and sleeper buses leaving from Kunming daily from 8::00 am to 6:00 pm, fare ranging from CNY 110-160, 13hrs ride. There are also buses from Dali(8hrs) and Baoshan(4hrs) to Liuku.
• Kuming to Fugong: at least one sleeper bus winding all the way to Fugong in the middle of the gorge. The trip is about 710 km,14 hours and costs around CNY 153.
• Kunming to Gongshan: a sleeper bus departing from Xiyuan Bus Station at 18:00 daily, 830km/ 18hrs/ CNY 145-160.
Transportation Tips: Take the Liuku, Fugong or Gongshan bus either at West Bus Station or Xiyuan Bus Station in Kunming.
There are numerous hostels in Liuku with good conditions. The price ranges CNY 40 to 60. In Fugong and Gongshan County, the price for standard room is around CNY 30 to 50. There is no hostels in Qiunatong Village so that travelers can only live in local houses.
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