Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan

Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas is one of the most exotic and enchanting areas in China. The charms of the Three Parallel Rivers Protected Areas are composed of torrential rivers, soaring mountains, splendid ethnic cultures, rare plants, and animals, highlighted by the world-famous Lijiang Old Town and Shangri-la, a lost paradise for tourists.

Extraordinary Geographical Scenes

Geographical scenes of the region are characterized by tall mountains, deep gorges, numerous freshwater lakes, and vast plateau wetlands. The 1.7-million-hectare site features sections of the upper reaches of three great Asian rivers: the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong, and Salween (Nu River) run roughly parallel through steep gorges. At their closest stand, Mekong flows just 18.6 km from the Salween and 66 km from the Jinsha River, which could not be found elsewhere in the world. Having a bird’s eye view over the area, you will be surely amazed by the impressive scene.

Bordering the great rivers stands gigantic mountains, towering high into the sky. Renowned scenic spots are Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Golden Hill, and Mingyong Glacier which is at the lowest latitude and elevation of any glacier in China. You could also amazingly experience four seasons in one day if you could take a climbing from the bottom. But you must watch out because even if a stone weighing one ton would be carried away by the bellow onrush in a second. Nevertheless, it is really a holy land for pathfinders.

Jade Dragon Snow MountainJade Dragon Snow Mountain

Rich Ethnic Cultures

Ethnic cultures in the Parallel Rivers area are exotic and admirable. Some 16 ethnic groups live in harmony among the huge mountains and beside the rivers. This area is initially represented to the world in the book "Lost Horizon", and is well-known as the Shangri-La. Their cultures to date are still well-preserved in authentic forms, and the local folklore and costumes are intact and attractive, making the area a spiritual dreamland for many people around the world.

There are so much to see, and so many things to do as you travel here. Follow the ancient Tea-Horse Road, an old-time tea trading path connecting Tibet and inland China, it is going to be an exotic journey back in time and you will be collecting many interesting and memorable stories. It is going to be a journey once in a lifetime, as you stroll among the ancient architecture of ancient towns of Lijiang and Dali, enjoy delicious Yunnan local food, try on gorgeous ethnic costumes, and appreciate the 7 centuries old Ancient Music of the Naxi people. There are so many hidden treasures and wonderful places waiting for you to explore.

Cross-Bridge Rice NoodlesCross-Bridge Rice Noodles

Wildlife & Flowers in Seasons

Wildlife and flowers in the Three Parallel Rivers area are unique too. The protected regions are truly a paradise of animals and plants. It is said that in these tinny areas mass up to 25 percent of all the animals inhabiting China. So you could see various kinds of rare animals like yaks, golden monkeys, and snow leopards.

Flowers in colors will come into sight as soon as you get there. Seas of flowers scattered among the meadow, at the lakeside, and in the quiet forests. Seasonal flowers of sorts take turns flourishing, azaleas in the spring and stellera chamaejasmes in the autumn. No wonder it is famed as the "Natural Mountainous Garden".

Because of its great scientific and esthetic values as well as the colorful minority cultures here, the protected areas of Three Parallel Rivers were listed as World Heritage in 2003.

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