Dimaluo Village in Bingzhongluo, Nujiang

Brief Introduction

Dimaluo is a village in Gongshan County located in a side valley of the Nu Jiang Valley in the north-eastern part of Yunnan, China.The Dimaluo River flows through the village and is a tributary of the nearby Nujiang River. Although “Dimaluo” is a Lisu word meaning “plains”, the village is a small enclave of Tibetan culture in a county that also contains people of Lisu, Nu, and Dulong descent. Tibetans do not actually form a majority of the village’s population, but the dominant language and the public displays of culture (music, dance, and traditional dress) are all Tibetan. As the original population of the valley was predominantly Nu, many of the families here are now mixed Nu-Tibetan descent.

Geography and Climate

Dimaluo is located at an altitude of approximately 2,000 meters above sea level. It is bisected by the Dimaluo River which flows directly into the Nujiang River roughly 10 km downstream from Dimaluo village. The village sits in the Dimaluo River Valley and is surrounded by the steep valley walls. The valley walls reach a height of nearly 4,300 meters.

Dimaluo is located in a subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb), and, due to its high altitude, never gets very hot in summer. The rainy season is typically from June through September and receives its first snowfall in early November.


The Catholic Tibetans, whose culture is now representative of the village, first came over the mountain passes from Deqin with Jesuit friars who were trying to make their way to Tibet. Missionaries from the Missions É trang è res de Paris first arrived in the Nujiang valley in the 1850s and 60’s. They had been successful in making a number of Nu converts in the Dimaluo area. Because there was no written Nu language, instructions took place in Tibetan, giving rise to Tibetan as a language of high status among converted communities.


The majority of households in Dimaluo are Catholic. They go to church on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings. Unlike most Tibetan villages, you will see no prayer flags and stupas here. Instead, there are pictures of Jesus and the Virgin Mary hanging in most households. The low benches in the church are no more than a few inches off the floor, but double as kneeling benches for praying. During Sunday morning services, readings by young boys in Mandarin and Tibetan alternate with singing and chanting as people filter in and out, crossing themselves and ducking their heads at each entrance and exit. The inside of the church is clean, stark, with a greenish hue cast from the walls. Over the exterior of the door, words in Chinese and Tibetan are interspersed with fine paintings of angels and birds. Out of around 3,200 people in all of Dimaluo (including all 12 villages), about 80% are Catholics.


Many of the people in Dimaluo speak Tibetan, Nu, and Lisu. Some can speak Dulong. Most of the younger people also speak Mandarin, with just a tinge of the Gongshan accent. Most of the people in the village have at least three names: a Tibetan one, an English (Catholic) one given to them at birth, and a Chinese one they were given when they started school – as well as whatever nicknames they have acquired along the way.

Recommended Hiking Route

Dimaluo Village(迪麻洛村) – Baihanluo Village(白汉洛村) – Balagong Pass – Qinggong Summer Pasture – Shelalaka Pass(蛇拉腊卡垭口) – Diwazhaduo Pasture(迪瓦扎多牧场) – Gongduola Pass – Cizhong Village

Tours including Dimaluo Village

5 Days Amazing Nujiang Valley and Biluo Moutain Trekking

20 Days Yunnan Three Parallel Rivers Adventure Trekking Tour

39 Days Yunnan 25 Ethnic Minorities Discovery and Photography Tour