Nujiang is one of the rivers
within the Three Rivers Natural Reserve, a world heritage
site listed by UNESCO. It is located throughout southwest
China's Yunnan Province and flows into Myanmar, where it joins
the Salween River and ends its journey at the India Ocean.
The Nujiang Gorge running from northwest
Yunnan to Tibet lies in a narrow strip of land bordering Myanmar,
sandwiched to the west by Gaoligong Mountain range and the
Biluo Mountain range on the east. It runs through one of China's
remotest areas, with carved canyons running through it. However,
due to its inaccessibility, the Nujiang River has never been
a popular tourism destination.
Clinging to impossible places on the slopes
hundreds of meters up from both sides of the river, farms
belonging to the Lisu and Nu people dot the landscape. 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. The scenery between Fugong
and Gongshan is awe-inspiring with many cliffs, clear green
river-water and water falls. The first hairpin bend came into
sight near Bingzhongluo.
Catholicism, Tibetan Buddhism and local
religions are very popular and co-exist peacefully in the
region. Members in one family may have different religions.
Best times to visit: October ~ April of
the next year, but Feb. is the idealest, when the gorge is
dotted with rape seeds and ceiba flowers.