Shangri-La Matsutake Food Festival

The “Chinese Cuisine Gathering: Delicious Yunnan – Shangri-La Matsutake Food Festival” launch ceremony was held in Dukezong Ancient Town, Shangri-La City. As the monsoon-influenced rains of Yunnan province intensify following the summer solstice, wild matsutake mushrooms begin to emerge in the high-altitude pine forests on the Himalayan foothills of Shangri-La County, located in the province’s northwest corner.

Peak Season and Pricing

July marks the peak season for matsutakes, known as “songrong” in Mandarin. These mushrooms are among the most prized of Yunnan’s wild foraged mushrooms, which rely on symbiotic relationships with tree root systems and are resistant to commercial cultivation. This year, matsutake prices are high, ranging from 600–1,000 Chinese yuan ($89–148) per kilogram at the Shangri-La wild mushroom trading center. The highest grade of premium matsutakes can fetch over 5,000 yuan ($740) per kilogram. Despite these prices, demand remains strong, with an electronic matsutake selling platform handling around 1,000 transactions per day. Most matsutake batches sell out within an hour of arriving at the market.

Transportation Challenges and Solutions

Matsutakes are highly perishable and fragile, making their transportation from remote areas to consumption markets a significant challenge. This has been addressed through cooperation between parcel company SF Express, the Shangri-La airport, and local officials. This collaboration ensures that matsutake shipments reach the 60 largest domestic consumption cities within 24 hours and an additional 200 cities within 48 hours.

Harvesting Process

Harvesting matsutakes is a labor-intensive task typically undertaken by ethnic Tibetan villagers in Shangri-La and surrounding counties of the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Collectors start early in the morning, hiking to known productive spots. They pick until around noon, then return to their villages by about 2 p.m. where middlemen purchase the day’s haul. The matsutakes are then transported to wild mushroom markets by 4 to 5 p.m., where they are consolidated by secondary and tertiary traders. By 9 p.m., traders are busy packing shipments, a process that can continue into the early morning hours. The mushrooms are dispatched to buyers domestically and internationally by express air shipment.

Shangri-La’s Matsutake Market

Shangri-La is renowned for its high-quality matsutakes and mature transaction system and supply chain. The county harvests 500–900 tons of matsutakes annually, accounting for approximately 30% of China’s total matsutake harvest and over 65% of Yunnan province’s yield.

Sustainability Concerns

Despite the thriving trade, overharvesting and unsustainable practices threaten matsutake habitats, affecting both output and quality. To combat this, local authorities in Shangri-La have implemented a ban on the collection and trade of young, unopened matsutakes this season, ensuring that the spores necessary for future matsutake growth are released.

Shangri-La’s commitment to maintaining a sustainable matsutake industry highlights the balance between economic gain and environmental conservation, ensuring that this valuable resource continues to thrive for future generations.


The ceremony was graced by notable attendees including:

  • Li Yanlan, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Diqing Prefecture Committee
  • Yang Shuqi, Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of the Diqing Prefecture People’s Congress
  • Lin Hao, Vice Governor of the Diqing Prefecture People’s Government
  • Shi Chunming, Vice Chairman of the CPPCC Diqing Prefecture Committee
  • Yang Liqiong, Deputy Director of the Publicity and Promotion Department of the Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism
  • Long Xiongliang, Director of the Diqing Prefecture Bureau of Commerce
  • He Wenhong, Director of the Diqing Prefecture Market Supervision Bureau
  • Ma Caihua, Deputy Director of the Diqing Prefecture Culture and Tourism Bureau
  • Tang Junlong, Vice Mayor of the Shangri-La City People’s Government
  • Guan Ming, Co-founder of the Provincial Catering and Food Industry Association
  • Ma Bo, Chinese Registered Culinary Master, Special-level Culinary Master of Yunnan Cuisine, Senior Technician in Chinese Cooking, and National-level Catering Industry Judge
  • Yue Yuan, Vice President of the Food Critics Branch of the Provincial Catering and Food Industry Association
  • Tai Limei, Secretary-General of the Provincial Edible Fungi Association

Gidi Matsutake Festival in Jiantang Town

The 2022 Gidi Matsutake Festival in Jiantang Town, Shangri-La City, Diqing Prefecture, Yunnan Province, kicked off in Gidi Village Grassland with the theme “Jiantang Town Deeply Practices the ‘Two Mountains’ Theory.” This event was hosted by the CPC Jiantang Town Committee and the Jiantang Town People’s Government and organized by the Gidi Village Committee.

Highlights of the Event

  • Immersive Cultural Experience: The festival offered a captivating Shangri-La experience, featuring ethnic unity and progress stories tied to matsutake mushrooms, presented through live broadcasts by Shangri-La Media Center. The event attracted 22,000 viewers on the Qicai Cloud platform and 11,800 viewers on Douyin.
  • Economic Impact: Matsutake harvesting brought smiles to villagers’ faces, with tourists and media from across the country participating. Traditional Tibetan blessings, folk songs, and dances showcased Shangri-La’s beauty and culture.
  • Inter-Regional Collaboration: Jiantang Town collaborated with neighboring towns and villages to strengthen regional cooperation, signing the “Joint Construction Agreement for Party Building and Stability” to boost regional economic development and infrastructure.

Matsutake Auction

One of the event’s highlights was the auction of the first batch of matsutake mushrooms for 2022, with different sizes fetching prices of 900 yuan, 1000 yuan, and 1300 yuan per kilogram.

New Tourism Routes

The festival also launched a new rural matsutake picking and experience tour route in Gidi Village, highlighting natural attractions like pastures, forests, rivers, and local homes, aiming to boost rural tourism and local incomes.

2023 Gidi Matsutake Festival

On July 15, the 2023 Gidi Matsutake Festival officially began in Gidi Village, Jiantang Town, with the theme “Thoroughly Implement the ‘Two Mountains’ Theory, Strive to Build a Beautiful and Safe Shangri-La.”

Cultural and Recreational Activities

The festival featured traditional Tibetan blessings, songs, dances, intangible cultural heritage experiences, horse equipment exhibitions, specialty product sales, and immersive food experiences, providing a unique Shangri-La feast for guests and locals.

Economic Development

Since the first Gidi Matsutake Festival in 2019, the village has developed a “matsutake +” economy, incorporating e-commerce, rural tourism, and live streaming. This approach has significantly benefited local villagers, as noted by villagers like Lharong Lamu, who shared her excitement about the festival’s economic impact.

Ecological and Sustainable Development

Gidi Village emphasizes the “ecology first, green development” strategy to sustainably utilize its matsutake resources. This includes forming the “Gidi Walker” volunteer service team for ecological protection and collaborating with local companies and research institutes to develop a sustainable matsutake industry.

Community Engagement

The event concluded with the “Summer Village Night” cultural activity, showcasing the villagers’ gratitude and commitment to following the Party’s guidance through diverse cultural performances.