Bala Gezong Grand Canyon in Shangrila, Diqing
As one of the core scenic area of "three parallel rivers", Balagezong Scenic Spot located about 31 miles northwest of Shangri-la County, is appointed as one of the national parks in the greater Shangri-La area. Vertical perspective view of the topography and the climate is very prominent, which almost inclusive all the modern natural vertical type with three-dimensional ecological and landscape resources of Northwest Yunnan "Three Parallel Rivers" World Natural Heritage.
Attraction Type: Canyon & Snow Mountain
Chinese Name: 巴拉格宗风景区(Pinyin: Bala Gezong Fengjingqu)
Best Time to Visit: Summer and Autumn
Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 Days
Open Hours: 08:00 - 19:00
Admission Fee: CNY 170(including shuttle bus)
Altitude: 2000 m - 5545 m
Location: Bala commune, Xingfu Village (Happiness Village), Nixi Township, northwest of Shangri-la County, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province
Why is Bala Gezong Grand Canyon So Special?
Balagezong Scenic Spots take gorge landscape as a main. With total area about 176 square kilometers, scenic Balagezong set scenic snow-capped mountains, valleys, forests, lakes, meadows, pastures, rivers, villages as a whole, form a unique view with a set of various landscape and an overall experience. Vertical perspective view of the topography and the climate is very prominent, which almost inclusive all the modern natural vertical type with three-dimensional ecological and landscape resources of Northwest Yunnan “Three Parallel Rivers” World Natural Heritage.
Where is Bala Gezong Grand Canyon – Location
Shangri-La Grand Canyon Balagezong, a national scenic area, lies at the junction of Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet provinces, also, at the core area centrally of Hongshan in “Three Parallel Rivers” World Natural Heritage Area, located in northwestern Shangri-La city Nissi country. It is about 50 km(45 minutes) from Shangri-La city center (after the 214 State line Road, two road expansion), 55 kilometers away from the Shangri-la airport, 700 kilometers from the provincial capital of Kunming.
Legend about Bala Gezong
1,300 years ago, Sri Lanka that Dorje Batang toast, heroic. Won widespread awe, wife Jen said Ram has felt tired, just want to find a pure land through peaceful life. Dorje home one day to find his wife missing, the old housekeeper told him that the tribe came in the old lama, he said his magical dreams, “where high mountains and green trees, clear water, there are shining Yoshimitsu snow, as well as wide ranch “, Ram hear go with him.
Ram left Dorje agony, he decided to lead the Department continues to find that magical dream, looking Ram. Hell and high water, have gone through hardships, and finally in the guidance of God down to the foot of the mountain Balaguer cases, the old lama magical dream, then the real show in front of them stayed. So a tribal hero is gone, and in the south-east Tibet foot of the mountain, a mysterious village began to rise serenely pickup date moonset.
How to Get There?
By Scheduled Bus: From Dukezong Ancient Town, the bus leaves for Bala Gezong in the mornings at 9:15 and back to the ancient town again between 16:00 – 18:00. The trip takes about 2 hours.
By car-rental: Depending on the season and type of vehicle, prices vary between 800 and 1200 RMB. It’s recommended to make an appointment of pick up time with the taxi driver and leave the driver telephone number, in order to avoid that you could not hit the car when you going back.
Shangrila Grand Canyon: Grand Canyon Balaguer were a stunning masterpiece of nature, from an altitude of 5545 meters of the peak to valley 2,000 meters above sea level, Ridge Valley drop of up to 3,545 meters. The U-shaped Shangri-la Grand Canyon, formerly called Birang Grand Canyon, is the main gorge with distinctive vertical climate. Various terrain veins and foldings form a natural cliff painting.
Bodhi Tree: At the entrance of the scenic spot, there is a three-thousand years old bodhi tree. Through thousand years time, in this miraculous land, it alongside leans on cliffs in the wind and rain but still lush and full of vitality. Tibetan Buddhism believe bodhi tree condensed with a variety of virtues, it has the ability to make people realize the aspirations and liberation guilt protective beings of light through the ages.
Bala Village: Bala is a Tibetan translation, meaning Tibetan village from Batang. It is composed of nine families surrounded by lush vegetation and beautiful mountains and rivers. Early in the morning, the hill is filled with smoke from cooking; Children play, birds chirp and flowers bloom. It is really a paradise.
Gezong Snow Mountain: As the holy mountain of Shangri-La, Balagezong Holy Mountain has long been known as the “the peak of Shangri-La” and it presents a visually and spiritually stunning scenery to visitors. Three snow-clad peaks, which are believed to be the incarnations of three daughters of a mountain God, tower into the clouds against the sunshine.
Shambhala Stupa: Shambhala Stupa is located in the northeast of Balagezong Holy Mountain, it is one of the main landscape of the scenic area. Natural formed pyramid peak wears snow towering standing in the sky, like sitting lama chanting and the opening scripture. This stupa, scripture and old lama three mountains are known as triratna “the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha” visually.
Plateau Lakes: There are around 18 sacred plateau lakes in different size around Balagezong Holy Mountain, like Luozucuo (Sheep Lake), Cuona Zanwangka (Olla Lake) and Cirencuo (Longevity Lake). The beautiful lake and the blue just like a bright mirror stay still between the blue sky and white clouds. It is clear and it has ripples, its blue is both transparent and clear, which is as the painting fell on the plateau given by the heaven.
Recommended Visiting Route
Because the Scenic Spot is located on the roadside from Shangri-la to Deqin, many tourists will stop for a visit when they go to Deqin and Meili Snow Mountain. The scenic area is divided into two parts: the canyon area and Bala Ancient village connecting by shuttle bus(the bus fare included in the entrance ticket). The recommended visiting routes: entrance – Bala Village(take 40 – minutes shuttle bus) – canyon area(including Shangrila crayon and Tongtian crayon) – back to entrance. The whole journey takes about 4-6 hours. If time is not enough, you can choose only one part to visit. In addition, there are several hiking routes deep in the scenic spot, which will take about 3-5 days.
Best Time to Go
Summer and autumn are the best seasons to visit Bala Gezong Scenic Spot.
Accommodate at Bala Gezong Scenic Spot
There are different levels of hotels in the scenic area, which you can choose at will. Inside the scenic area there are Tibetan singing and dancing performances.
Dukezhong Ancient Town
As one of the largest and best-preserved Tibetan residence groups in China, the 1300-year-old Dukezong Ancient Town, situated at Shangri-la County, Deqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, not only plays an important role in the Old Tea – Horse Road, but also serves as a corridor connecting Chinese and Tibetan language, people, religion and cultures. Until the fire disaster damaged the most of Tibetan dwellings in 2014, it still remains the traditional Tibetan architectural style.
Nixi Pottery Village
As a small village standing by green grassland on which flocks of yaks, sheep and horses graze, it gives a sense of timeless tranquility. However, it is best known for its traditional black pottery, a miracle among Tibetan handicrafts, which can date back 4,000-5,000 years ago. Nowadays many visitors would always make a stopover here, perhaps buying some wares or just watching how the locals deal with their ancient art.
Built in 1667 and located in Benzilan Town of Deqin, Dongzhulin Monastery is the largest one of the three Gelu Sect monasteries in Deqin County and one of the religious cultural activity centers in Kangnan District. With orderly-distributing architecture complex, the lofty monastery can be mistakenly deemed a town when looked from the distance.
Useful Travel Tips
► The Bodhi Tree at the entrance of the scenic spot and the natural Stupa deep in the Jiala pasture are two attractions that cannot be missed during the trip.
► Balagazone is high in altitude and has strong ultraviolet rays, so it’s best to take some warm clothes and sun protection stuff.