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Bingzhongluo Culture

920km from Kunming, something of a melting pot, Bingzhongluo represents the southernmost extent of the Tibetan culture, and the northernmost extent of Han Chinese influence in the valley. The local population includes Nu and Lisu people, as well as some Dulong. Even a Christian community exists, boasting a sizeable church down the hill from the town proper - but to get there you first have to pass by a Tibetan stupa.

A Harmony of Shared Cultures and Religions

To this day, the old trade caravans are easily seen in Bingzhongluo, often referred to as the "land of peach blossom" the symbolism of this name conveys much more than the words, and speaks of a place which is beautiful, peaceful and unsullied by the outside world.

On the way to the "Tea-Horse Caravan Route", one can see the 100-year-old Zhongding Catholic Church built and founded by a French missionary. Shimen Pass is another fantastic section of the gorge along with Wengli (also called Wuli), another stunning landscape lying on a beautiful slope along the river bank. Very near to the Wengli, a carved path is seen on the other bank cliff, the so-called "Tea-Horse Caravan Route", a path used by traders ferrying their goods between Yunnan and Tibet.  At the end of the trekking road, an old hanging bridge and a new one-year-old bridge swing side-by-side.

To those wanderlusts, some trekking routes are worthy of spending days or even weeks longer between Gongshan and Bingzhongluo. Getting 90km further west to the Drung River from Gongshan reveal beautiful virgin forests as well as the kind-hearted Drung ethnic people living their old way of life.

Covering an area of some 800 square kilometers, Bingzhongluo is a township of the Gongshan Dulong and Nu Autonomous County. Here, in harmony, dwell the ethnic groups of the Nu, Dulong, Lisu, Tibetan, Naxi, Bai and Han, while Tibetan Buddhism, Catholicism, other Christian denominations and primitive religions have long co-existed.

Bingzhongluo was originally named Bingzhong, which in Tibetan means "Tibetan village beside the bamboo grove." In the past Tibetans ruled the area, but it is the Nu people who have lived there the longest and make up the largest population. The Lisu, Tibetan and Dulong people all migrated to the area after the Nu.

Because of the special geological structures and landforms, the Nujiang River is obstructed a number of times in the area, resulting in it making two successive great turns.

Although it is on the periphery of Yunnan Province, Bingzhongluo is the best-known place in Nujiang Canyon. Historically, it was an important caravan route between Yunnan and Tibet. And even today, a continuous flow of caravans trek between Gongshan and Zayu in Tibet, albeit a trickle of those which passed in bygone days.

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