The First Bend of Nujiang River in Gongshan, Nujiang

Why is First Bend of Nujiang River So Special?

When flowing near Ridan village of Bingzhongluo in Gongshan County, the river encircles a small area of land while turning 180 degrees in only a few hundred meters, with beautiful high cliffs providing a vantage point for sightseers. The river surface has an elevation of 1710 meters above sea level, having a relative fall over 1000 meters comparing with the mountains along the banks of the river, looking from above, the N0 1 turn of the Nu River presents a U-shaped arc with steep terrain and extraordinarily magnificent scene, the whole scenario has a thunderbolt momentum and is nominated as a national level grade 1 attraction. There is a village in the middle of the Bay called Kantong village.

How is the First Bend of Nujiang River formed?

Originally the Nu River winds down the mountains and valleys of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from north to south, whereas when the Nu River flows near the Ridan village of Bingzhongluo Township, due to the barrier of the cliffs, the course of the river shifts from north-south to east-west direction, after the outflow of more than 300 meters, the river path is blocked by Danla Mountain, the river has to make a sharp U-turn from west to east again, forming an arc-shaped semi-circular path from north to west and then to south. Thus, the Nu River has to change its course for three times, forming three interconnected abrupt turns, therefore it becomes the No.1 turn of the Nu River. 

How to Get there

By Bus

There are a few alternatives to get to Nujiang Grand Canyon. From Kunming, one can catch a bus to various places in the Gorge.

Kunming – Fugong:

At least one sleeper bus winding all the way to Fugong in the middle of the gorge. The trip is about 14 hours(710km).

Kuming to Liuku: 

It’s 580km. Express and sleeper buses leaving from Kunming daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, 13hrs ride. There are also buses from Dali(8hrs) and Baoshan(4hrs) to Liuku.

Kunming to Gongshan:

A sleeper bus departing from Xiyuan Bus Station at 18:00 daily, 830km/ 18hrs.

Gongshan to Bingzhongluo:

It is about 45km from Gongshan to Bingzhongluo and there are irregular shuttle bus providing the transfer service.

By Car-rental

Renting a car to visit Nujiang Grand Canyon is more convenient. Yunnan Exploration Travel can provide the service for our clients with the good vehicle and skilled driver.

Best Time to Visit

From October to April is the best seasons to visit Nujiang Grand Canyon, especially in the spring time when the mountain flowers are in bloom. During every slack season or on holiday, people here go boating, go overhead cables over the river or sing and dance. The creek, still and soundless, is closed in by trees, hidden from the eyes of men.

Attractions Nearby

Shimen Pass(石门关)
In the north of Bingzhongluo, two cliff straight up along the river bank and form a large stone pass in the height of 500 meters and in the width of 200 meters hence the name ‘Shimen Pass’. Shimen Pass is a stunning landscape lying on a beautiful slope along the river bank. The local people call it ‘Nayiqiang’. It is the essential way to get into Yunnan-Tibet.

Kantong Village(坎桶村)
Kantong village is located in the center of the First Gulf of Nujiang River. It is a little village of Nu people and Kantong means a place of long bamboo. The village is planted with peach trees. Every Spring, the peach blossoms pervade the village so that the local people call it ‘Peach Blossom Island’. There is the only suspension bridge that connects the village to the outside world.

Puhua Temple(普化寺)
Puhua Temple, a Tibetan Buddhist temple, plays an important role in this place. Inside the temple, there are 11 frescoes and 2000 ‘Songji’ in total.

Useful Travel Tips

► Climb to the top of Gongdang Holy Mountain before the shadow of the mountain covering the river water, which is the best time to watch the first bend of Nujiang river. Yangziyuchang(羊脂玉厂) is the best watching spot.

► Qiunatong is a small village surrounded by snow mountains, which cars can not enter into. Walking from Zhongding village to Qiunatong village will cost about 4 hours.