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GaoliGongshan Culture

The Gaoligongshan region, at the border with Myanmar (Burma), is ecologically unique – forest, mountains and deep valleys allow a complete transition from temperate to tropical forests that is unparalleled in the world. The continuous belt of forest from east to west over the crest of the Gaoligong mountains provides pathways for an extraordinary mix of flora and fauna from the Himalayas, the Palearctic, and the tropical elements of the Oriental realm of southeastern Asia.

Gaoligongshan is an equally dynamic crossroads of culture and history. The valleys of the major north-south flowing rivers, the Nujiang and Longchuanjiang, have been farmed since ancient times. The Southern Silk Road, which crosses the southern portion of the mountain range, has connected India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan with central China since the 4th century B.C., serving as a conduit for commerce, trade, and culture. Today, approximately 450 families live in the eight hamlets that comprise Baihualing village, which is adjacent to the Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve. These villages reflect the remarkable cultural diversity of Yunnan, including the Han, Bai, Lisu, Yi, Hui, and Dai ethnic cultures.

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