Suspension and Rope Bridges in Nujiang Grand Canyon

Why is Suspension and Rope Bridges So Special?

It is a typical and primitive transportation vehicle in the Nujiang area which is still in common use today. In the past, it is a major transportation tool for the ethnic minorities living in Nujiang Grand Canyon which shows their courage and tenacity. Today there are more and more bridges across the Nu river, but the Liusuo is still there and some have become tools for local people to exercise and play.

Origin of Suspension and Rope Bridges

Legend has it that a pair of cross-strait Lisu lovers in the distress of not being able to meet, were inspired by the rainbow, and pulled up the first line on the Nu river. Since then, such a convenient means of transport has been extensively used by people on both sides of Nu River. 

Types of Suspension and Rope Bridges

Suspension and Rope Bridges in Nujiang Grand Canyon

There are two types of  Liusuo(Suspension and Rope Bridges): flat slip and steep slip. The zipline of flat slip is the same height at both ends, horizontally across the river surface and one can slip forth and back. But after slipping over the midline, you have to use your arms to climb to the opposite bank. The zipline of steep slip has a certain degree of inclination, one high, one low, briskly slide to the opposite bank.

Steep slip usually has two lines tilting in the opposite direction which is very labor-saving at back and forth. For safety, there is a slip board made of hardwood or bamboo and a rope tied at the waist in addition to the slip line itself. It takes courage to cross the river by a line. When tie your life to a line that is not too thick, cross a valley that is faint at the sight of it, hear the deafening roar of the river beneath it, you’ll be a little bit scared. 

Rattan lines wear out easily, so they need to be replaced over time (a couple of months, up to a year). Today the rattan lines have become steel cables, and the slip boards have been replaced by pulleys, which are getting safer.

Useful Travel Tips

Suspension and Rope Bridges in Nujiang Grand Canyon

► The Spring Festival period is the best season to travel.
► Choose the liusuo(溜索) carefully. There are all kinds of Liusuo and we need to choose a right angle to go. Don’ t forget that we need a two-way liusuo so that we can get back.
► Tools we need: pulley and rope (there is no company provided liusuo services), or visitors can choose to slide with the local people, the price is negotiable.
►This is a dangerous activity, we need the assistance of the professionals.
►Before the activity, we need to fasten our shoelaces, don’t carry the superfluous things, it may drop out along the way, in addition, girls with no skirt.