Diqing Overview

Diqing overview can help you have a more comprehensive understanding of Diqing prefecture from the basic information, geographical location, climate and so on.

Basic Information

Geography

Diqing prefecture is located at the junction of Yunnan, Tibet and Sichuan provinces in the northwest of Yunnan province, with a total area of 23,870 square kilometers. It is bordered by Tibet autonomous region in the northwest, Sichuan province in the east, Lijiang city in the southeast and Nujiang Lisu autonomous prefecture in the west. The highest elevation within the territory is 6,740 meters of Kawa Karpo Peak, the main peak of Meili snow mountain, which is also the highest in Yunnan province. The lowest elevation is 1,486 meters above sea level in the Lancang river valley, with an absolute height difference of 5,254 meters. The huge height difference within a small range makes the territory appear vertical climate and three-dimensional ecological environment characteristics. Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture is the highest and the only Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Yunnan province. Jiantang town of Shangri-la city, the seat of prefectural capital, is 608 kilometers away from the provincial capital kunming.

Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture is located in the southeastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and the hinterland of the Hengduan mountains, which is a transition zone from the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. It has a unique landform, including plateau, mountains, great rivers and grand canyons, and is the core area of world famous landscape three parallel rivers. Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture has Meili snow mountain, Baimang snow mountain, Haba snow mountain, Bala Gezong and other snow mountain groups with the lowest latitude in the northern hemisphere, and has rare low altitude (altitude of 2700 meters) modern glaciers such as Mingyong glacier. Plateau lakes such as Shennu Qianhu mountain, Bita lake, Shuodu lake, Napa lake and Swan lake are the purest fresh water lakes group in the Asian continent. 

Climate

The climate in Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture is temperate-cold temperate climate. The annual average temperature is 4.7-16.5℃, the annual extreme maximum temperature is 25.1℃, and the minimum temperature is -27.4℃. With obvious three-dimensional climate, there is a saying of "A mountain has four seasons" in Diqing.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Diqing is May to July and September to October. There are many festivals and activities at this time, the weather is also ideal for travel. Flowers are in full bloom, and there are green grass and trees everywhere, with the most beautiful scenery.

Administrative Divisions

Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture has jurisdiction over 3 county-level administrative regions, including 1 county-level city, 1 county and 1 autonomous county, namely, Shangri-la cityDeqin county and Weixi Lisu autonomous county. The people's government of Diqing prefecture is stationed in Changzheng Avenue of Shangri-la city. 

Diqing Culture

Diqing Prefecture has a long history of ethnic culture. There are 25 ethnic groups in Diqing prefecture, among which, ethnic groups with a population of more than 1000 include TibetanLisuNaxi, Han, BaiHuiYiMiao and Pumi. The inherent relationship between ethnic culture, folk belief and religious belief, as well as the difference of multi-ethnic life and settlement style, left many cultural relics and monuments, ancient villages and towns, etc., these humanistic resources are often the most direct spatial carrier carrying ethnic culture and intangible cultural heritage. 

Transportation

Road is the main mode of transportation into Ddiqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture. Diqing connects Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet, forming a traffic network with Yunnan-Tibet highway and Sichuan-Tibet highway as main roads. Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture has Shangri-la airport, so taking a airplane is also a good choice. Besides, the Lixiang railway started construction in 2014, and the Shangri-la railway station and Tiger Leaping Gorge railway stations are also under construction, which are expected to be put into use in 2020, together with Lixiang railway.

Things to Do in Diqing

With magnificent snow-capped mountains, clear lakes, vast grassland, beautiful ethnic villages, sacred temples and monasteries, there are many activities to choose from. Diqing is a paradise for hiker and climber, a great place to relax or challenge yourself. 

  • Visiting Songzanlin Monastery: Songzanlin monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan, with grand scale and exquisite workmanship. It is reputed as the Little Potala Palace, integrates Tibetan plastic art and is also known as "Tibetan art museum".
  • Tibetan Family Visiting: Tibetan home visiting in Shangri-La is a good way to learn about the culture and way of life of today's Tibetan families. It's an interactive activity of experiencing the original, unique and colorful Tibetan customs.
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking: Tiger Leaping Gorge is spectacular and crown as one of the deepest gorge in the world. Foreign backpackers started hiking in the area in the 1980s and now Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour has been one of the most famous hiking tour all around the world.
  • Cycling Around Napa Lake: When cycling around the Napahai Lake, you can visit some Tibetan Villages as well, to discover the Tibetan culture. During the trip, Songzanlin Monastery is not to be missed.
  • Meili Snow Mountain Pilgrimage: As one of the most sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism, Meili Snow Mountain has always been the holy mountain in Tibetan people's hearts and minds. Every year, countless people travelling a far distance come to worship.
  • Tacheng Black Snub-nosed Monkey Park: Black snub-nosed monkey, is an endangered species of primate endemic to China. Tacheng Black Snub-Nosed Monkey National Park in Weixi County covers an area of 334.16 square kilometers and it is a paradise on earth where people and nature, also people and people live in harmony. If you are curious the Yunnan golden monkey, don't miss it. 
  • Feilaisi: Feilaisi is regarded by the public as the best spot to catch the fascinating sight of Meili Snow Mountain, is a vital place to get to Yubeng Village and Mingyong Glacier. You can enjoy the breathtaking sunrise or sunset as well. 

History of Diqing

Around 6000-7000 years ago, humans lived in this remote land. The ancestors of Tubo (ancient name for Tibetans) created a rich and colorful indigenous culture in this place. During the Qin dynasty, the central government's sphere of influence began to expand here.

Economy

In 2018, the total regional GDP of Diqing prefecture reached 21.7536 billion yuan, up 9.5% year-on-year. The added value of the primary industry reached 125.02 million yuan, up 6.2% year-on-year; The added value of the secondary industry reached 9.01662 billion yuan, up 15.3% year-on-year; The added value of the tertiary industry reached 11.47972 billion yuan, up 5.9% year-on-year. The added value of the non-public economy reached 9.91367 billion yuan, accounting for 45.6% of the GDP. The per capita GDP was 52,669 yuan, an increase of 4,335 yuan or 8.9% year-on-year. The proportion of primary, secondary and tertiary industries in GDP was adjusted from 6:38.7:55.3 last year to 5.8:41.4:52.8. The proportion of the primary industry was 0.2% lower than that of the previous year, the proportion of the secondary industry was 2.7% higher than that of the previous year, and the proportion of the tertiary industry was 2.5% lower than that of the previous year.

Natural Resources

Water Resource

Diqing prefecture is located in the southeast of the "water tower of Asia", with an average altitude of 3,380 meters. The upper reaches of the three great rivers of the Jinsha river, the Lancang river and the Nu river run through Diqing prefecture. There are 221 large and small rivers in Diqing, water energy reserves amount of 16.5 million kilowatts, accounting for 15% of the province. 

Biological Resource

Diqing is known as the "animal and plant kingdom" and the "natural high mountain garden". It is the distribution center of the world's famous flowers like azalea, herald spring, gentian, Meconopsis, etc., and there are 136 wild edible fungi, such as matsutake, Morchella and Auricularia, 867 species of wild medicinal plants, such as Cordyceps, Rhizoma Gastrodiae, Caladium, Eucommia Ulmoides, and Angelicae Sinensis. More than 5000 species of 187 families of higher plants are distributed in Diqing, among which more than 30 species such as ginkgo and taxus yunnanensis are the first and second class protected species in China.

The forest land area of Diqing Prefecture is 1.615 million hectares, with forest coverage rate of 73.9%, which is higher than the average level of the whole province. The main tree species are spruce, redwood, cold spruce, alpine pine, Yunnan pine, etc. There are three provincial-level natural reserves, namely Haba snow mountain, Bita lake and Napa lake, as well as a national nature resrve called Baimang Snow Mountain National Nature Reserve, with a total area of 320,129 hectares.

Mineral Resource

Diqing is one of the top 10 mineral resources rich areas in China. Up to 2014, more than 30 kinds of ores like copper, tungsten, molybdenum, lead and zinc have been discovered, and more than 300 ore deposits have been found. Yangla Copper Mine, Pulang Copper Mine, Hongshan Copper Mine, Chugezan Iron Mine, Jiangpo Iron Mine, Anle lead-Zinc Mine and so on, have reached the scale of large and medium-sized deposits.

Husbandry Resource

As of May 2014, the total area of grassland in the Diqing was 9.13 million mu, accounting for 18.8% of the total land area of Diqing prefecture. Among which, 6.29 million mu of grassland can be used, which is the largest natural pasture in Yunnan. The main livestock are yak, dzo, pig, and sheep.

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