Zhaotong Overview

Zhaotong Overview introduces the basic information for you to have a better Zhaotong Tour. Historically, Zhaotong is an important gateway to Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces. It is an important channel for Central Plains culture to enter Yunnan. It is one of the three major cradles of Yunnan culture and is the key hub to China’s famous Ancient Tea Horse Road, also known as “Southern Silk Road”. 

Basic information

Geography

Zhaotong's terrain is high in the southwest and low in the northeast. It is a typical mountainous tectonic terrain with high mountains and deep valleys. The city's average elevation is 1,685 meters, of which Zhaoyang District  is 1,920 meters above sea level. The highest altitude is 4,040 meters, namely, Yaoshan Mountain in Qiaojia County; the lowest elevation is 267 meters, namely Gunkanba in Shuifu City.

Climate

There are many mountains that are densely distributed in Zhaotong. Zhaotong has a three-dimensional climate characteristic of the plateau monsoon due to more significant altitude differences. There are small differences in the four seasons in Zhaotong, but there are big differences in climate at different altitudes. There are plateau climate, temperate climate and subtropical climate according to the altitudes from high to low. At the same altitude, the temperature in south Zhaotong is higher than that of the north. Lower than the north. The annual average temperature of Zhaotong is between 11°C and 21°C. The coldest temperature is in January and the monthly average temperature is between 1°C and 12°C; the hottest temperature is in July, and the monthly average temperature is between 20°C and 27°C. Zhaotong is rich in precipitation, but it is unevenly distributed in the north and south. Rainfall in south Zhaotong is more and less in north Zhaotong. Sometimes disasters and droughts occur.

Best Time to Visit Zhaotong

Zhaotong City belongs to the zone of the continental monsoon climate. The temperature of winter is quite low, but comfortable in summer. The annual average temperature is 11.6℃, the average precipitation is 735 mm and the annual sunshine reaches 1902 hours. Zhaotong is a place that can be visited all year around and the best time to visit Zhaotong is spring.

Administrative Divisions

As of 2017, Zhaotong City has jurisdiction over 1 district, 9 counties, and 1 county-level cities; 3 subdistricts, 54 towns, 69 townships, and 17 ethnic townships; 70 residents’ committees and 1,201 village committees. The municipal government is located in Zhaoyang District.

History

Zhaotong City has a long history. As early as the Neolithic primitive people here are home. In the Western Han Dynasty, it created the splendid Chinese culture, especially the Ba-Shu culture and Yelang Culture. Zhaotong has a distinct personality characteristics and regional characteristics influenced by the Central Plains Culture.

More about History of Zhaotong

Culture

Zhaotong Ethnic Culture is diverse and colorful. It is a place where multi-ethnic groups inhabit. Different nationalities create different culture. As one of the important destinations in the classical Yunnan Travel and a multi-ethnic place, Zhaotong has 23 ethnic minorities in Zhaotong including Miao, Yi, Hui,etc. Among the 520 thousand minority people, Yi and Miao ethnic minorities dominate. Each ethnic minority there has its own unique customs, traditions and architectural styles, making Zhaotong picturesque place. You will have the chance to experience the life of minorities people, learn about their lifestyle, religion and cuisine. The unique scenery, coupled with fascinating Zhaotong Culture makes it attractive and charming. Come to Zhaotong and take a Zhaotong Cultural Tour. 

Transportation

Located in the northeast of Yunnan Province, historically one of an important cities in the south-western Silk Road, Zhaotong City is the communication center and the north gate of Yunnan Province leading to Sichuan and areas in middle- and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. It is also an inland port to Southeast Asia and South Asia. Zhaotong has a convenient transportation system. People can get to Zhaotong by air, train, long-distance bus and ship. State Highway 213 runs through the prefecture-level city and extends to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province and Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province. People can get to Zhaotong by air, train, long-distance bus and ship.

More about Zhaotong Transportation

Things to Do in Zhaotong

When you come to Zhaotong, do not worry what to do in Zhaotong. Zhaotong Attractions are abundant and are full of all kinds, including natural sceneries, human sceneries and villages where you can experience the rich ethnic culture. Zhaotong is well-known for Zhaotong Apple and boasts its abundant tourist resources. Zhaotong is a great city to visit. If you are a first time visitor, solo traveler or travelling with family, it is always good to know popular attractions to visit. As a multi-ethnic place, its attractions are definitely related to the ethnic minority culture except the natural landscapes and historical sites. What's more, Zhaotong is a place suitable for traveling and in-depth exploration. Under the background of long history, numerous ethnic groups and unique natural conditions, Zhaotong is the best place to experience the rich ethnic culture. There are a number of places of historical interest and natural scenic spots in Zhaotong for your exploration. Come to Zhaotong and take a unique Zhaotong Tour for your Yunnan Travel.

Top Attractions in Zhaotong

Zhaotong, a place with long history, is always a heaven for many people all over the world. Zhaotong is also a perfect destination for people who want to seek for antiquity, explore the fascinating natural sceneries. When you come to Zhaotong, the top attractions in Zhaotong are must-visit. Zhaotong, known as a land of wonders, both natural and man-made, will make you forget to leave.

Economy

In 2017, Zhaotong's gross domestic product (GDP) reached 83.245 billion yuan, which was 9% higher than that in 2016 in terms of comparable prices. Among them, the added value of the primary industry was 15.638 billion yuan; the added value of the secondary industry was 35.694 billion yuan; the added value of the service sector was 31.813 billion yuan. According to the resident population, the per capita GDP was 15,119 yuan, with an increase of 8%. The proportion of the three industrial structure is 18.79:43:38.22. The contribution rates to economic growth were 12.7%, 49.1%, and 38.2%, respectively.

Natural Resources

Mineral Resources

As of 2010, the known mineral resources in Zhaotong reach up to 33 kinds and the proven reserves reach up to 22 kinds. Coal and sulfur reserves rank first in Yunnan Province, including coal reserves of 16.582 billion tons, proven reserves of 10.227 billion tons, and Zhaotong Basin's lignite reserves of 8.198 billion tons, making it the second largest lignite field in southern China. Lead and zinc mines have proven reserves of 1,669,200 tons. Pyrite is one of the five major mining areas in China. Non-ferrous metals are one of the three major bases in Yunnan.

Land Resources

As of 2017, Zhaotong's forestry land area was 18.136 million mu, accounting for 53.84% of the city's total land area; non-forestry land area was 1554.7 square kilometers, accounting for 46.16% of the city's total land area. The forest coverage rate is 34.98%. According to related statistics, the forest coverage rate is the highest in the Sanjiangkou state-owned forest farm, which is 89.26%; the lowest is in Zhenxiong County, which is 21.7%; and the forest greening rate in Zhaotong City is 51.16%. The city's forestry land area is 18.136 million mu, mainly composed of forest land, sparse forest land, shrubbery land, young afforested land, nursery land, etc.

Water Resources

There are rivers such as Jinsha River, Niulanjiang River and Hengjiang River that flow through Zhaotong City. The theoretical reserves of hydropower resources are 20.004 million kilowatts. 242 small and medium-sized power stations were built, and 45 small and medium-sized power stations were under construction, and 75 small and medium-sized power stations were planned. By the end of 2012, the city's total installed capacity of hydropower reached 4.01 million kilowatts (including 3 units of Xiangjiaba), and the installed capacity of Baihetan Hydropower Station under construction in Zhaotong, Jinsha River Basin exceeded 16 million kilowatts. It is the second largest hydropower station under construction in the world. The installed capacity of hydropower stations is 13.86 million kilowatts, and the installed capacity of Xiluodu Hydropower Station is 6.4 million kilowatts.

Biological Resources

Zhaotong City is rich in plant resources due to topography, landform, climate, soil and other factors. There are 151 families, 457 genera, 1025 species (excluding bryophytes), and 174 families and 1604 species of grassland vegetation resources. It is distributed from the southern subtropical zone to the north temperate zone, including 2 national first-class protected plants, 24 secondary protected plants, and 32 tertiary protected plants.
The national first-class protected animals in Zhaotong City include leopard, black-necked crane, red-crowned crane, and white-crowned long-tailed pheasant; secondary protected animals include macaque, pangolins, wolves, black bears, otters, big civet cats, zibets, chaus, etc.
There are many kinds of fish in Zhaotong City. There are 113 species of 19 families and 19 species of fish in Zhaotong City. The national second-class protected fish include Chinese sturgeon, paddlefish, and longsnout catfish. As of 2017, Zhaotong has 12 nature reserves, including 3 at the national level, 8 at the municipal level, and 1 at the county level, with an area of ​​108,200 hectares.
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