Three Parellel Rivers

Last updated by chinatravel at 2013-11-5

The three parallel rivers are the upper reaches of the well known Yangtze, Mekong, and Salween rivers. They flow 170 kilometers from north to south through the high mountains and ranges of Yunnan Province-the Dandanglika, the Gaoligong, the Nushan, and the Yunling-side by side by side. The shortest distance between the Lancang and Jinsha rivers is 66 kilometers; and that between Lancang and Nujiang rivers is about 19 kilometers. There are 118 snow mountains with an elevation of more than 5,000 meters, surrounded by glaciers and hundreds of ice eroded lakes. The biggest elevation difference in the scenic spot reaches 4,000 meters. The main peak of Meili Snow Mountain is 6,740 meters high, while the low altitude glacier, Yongqiagao, is only 2,700 meters high.

There are three scenic spots and more than 60 tourist attractions that totals 3,500 sq km in the Three Parallel River region. The major sceneries include the Three Parallel Rivers, high mountains, snow capped peaks, gorges, forests and snowfield and ice-eroded lakes. The rare animals and plants and the unique folk customs in the region add to the charms of the spot.

Some highlights in the Three Parallel River Scenic Spot:

Meili Snow Mountain: the highest peak in the snow mountain, also the highest peak in Yunnan, is Kawagebo (Tibetan, literally white snow peak) is 6,740 meters high. Kawaboge, one of the eight sacred mountains in Tibetan Buddhism, is as famous as the sacred mountain Gang Rimpoche, the highest peak in Gangdise Mountain.

Note: the detailed introduction and the transport of Meili Snow Mountain are in the Shangri-La part.

Bita Lake: it is located 25 km east of the county town of Zhongdian. The lake is called a pearl on the plateau. The lake is 3 km from east to west and 700 meter from north to south. The lake is at an elevation of 3,539 meters and the average depth is 20 meters. The water is crystal clear. It is very interesting that fish usually eat the fallen azalea flowers in the water and got a little poisoned by the flower and can only float on the surface of water as if they are drunken.

Note: the detailed introduction and the transport are in the Lijiang part.

Baishui (literally white water) Terrace:
located in Baidi Village in Zhongdian County, the place is 101 km from the county town. The terrace is at an elevation of 2,600 meters. The spring water bubbles between the stones at the top of the hill, forming a series of terrace that are about three sq km wide. Because the water contains much calcium carbonate, the water looks milk white and the place got the name of white water terrace.

Note: the detailed introduction and the transport are in the Lijiang part.

Hutiao (tiger leaping) Gorge: the gorge lies between the 5,596-meter-high Yulong Snow Mountain and the 5,396-meter-high Haba Snow Mountain. The gorge is 16 km long and has a drop of 213 meters. It is composed of the upper, the middle and the lower gorges and 18 shallows.

Note: the detailed introduction and the transport are in the Lijiang part.

Solo Adventure Tips:

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1.The temperature changes greatly between day and night and between different regions. Tourists should take some sweaters along. They should also take down garments if they go to places of high elevation.

2. It is important to know about the road conditions before going. Do not start when it is windy, it snows or there is flood. It is also important to seek advice from the professionals and hire a guide if the tourists want to climb the mountain or do some adventurous exploration. They should also hire cross-country vehicles and prepare special outdoor outfit.

3. Do not buy unnecessary or restrained goods (forbidden by law).

4.Those in short pant or skirts cannot enter the mosque. Women can't enter a mosque without permission. They are usually not allowed to enter the hall for chanting the Buddhist scriptures in the Tibetan Buddhist temples. 5.Do not discard any garbage or used batteries everywhere. Keep the place clean.


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