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Home >> Yunnan >> Shangri-La >> Potatso National Park travel information and tour

Potatso National Park

Potatso National Park in Yunnan Zhongdian Shangri-La
Potatso National Park
Bitahai Lake in Zhongdian Shangri-La
Potatso National Park

In 1872 America set up the Yellow Stone National Park, the first national park in the world. Potatso National Park is the first national park in mainland China, inaugurated on June 21, 2007. In Sanscrit, "Pota" means the same as "Putuo" in Buddhism, while "Cuo" means "lake" in Tibetan language. "Potatso" therefore means ¡°a lake which releases living beings from suffering". The park, with a total area of l,000 square kilometers, is 22 kilometers away from Shangri-La County. It is located in the central part of the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Zone. At present, the touring area consists mainly of three parts: Shudu Lake, Militang Meadow and Bitahai Lake. They are linked by a 69-kilometer circle road. The shuttle buses in the park can drive tourists around in the park, with several stops on the way.

Shudu Lake is located in the north part of the park and is a typical alpine lake. A 2.7-kilometer-long plank road runs alongside the lake and it takes about 45 minutes to walk around it. While walking along this plank road, the tourist can enjoy the beautiful scenery provided by the lake, flowing streams, trees, flowers, grass, and majestic mountain backdrop.

A few minutes' ride on the shuttle bus will take you to Militang, which means ¡°Buddha's-eye grassland¡± in Tibetan dialect. It is a famous highland pasture in Shangri-La. Looking afar from the sight-viewing platform gives you a feeling of relaxation and happiness.

The last stop of the travel route is Bitahai Lake, which is located in the south part of the park. It is the key scenic spot of this park. The altitude of the lake surface is 3, 539 meters above sea level. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery the enchanting "Fish drunk on azalea petals", which is Bitahai Lake's best known and most notable scenic feature. Bitahai Lake is fringed with various azaleas, which adds to the beauty of the lake. Mid-May on the Chinese lunar calendar (June and July) is a time when azaleas bloom. When this happens, special " thick lip fish" often swim to this lake and swallow azaleas petals that have fallen on the lake's surface. When passing fish eat these petals (which are slightly poisonous) they can be seen floating on their backs with their white bellies exposed amongst the petals as if they are drunk.

You have two options when touring around the lake. One is to walk on the 4.2-kilometer plank road, which takes more than one hour. This option gives you a chance to visit the Pilgrim Platform, Miaoyin Pond, Sea-watching Pavilion, and Lotus Spring. Another route is to take cruise from the lake pier and take a circle ride in the lake, which gives you a chance to closely observe the islet in the middle of the lake.

Shangri-La Travel Attractions
Baimang Snow Mountain
Baishui Terraces
Birang Canyan
Bitahai Lake
Dongzhulin Monastery
Haba Snow Mountain
Kagebo Peak
Meili Snow Mountain
Napahai Lake
Shuoduhai Lake
Songzanlin Monastery
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