Yunnan - China's most beautiful province

A Republic Era Map of Dali

A Republic Era map shows the development of the Dali region over the last hundred years.

Jim Goodman: Living in Shangrila

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When Diqing Prefecture, opened its doors to foreign visitors in 1992, tourist agencies and government officials promoted Zhongdian County as the Shangrila of James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon. In 2001 the city officially changed its name to Shangrila. On a high plateau of over 3200 meters, surrounded by snow covered mountain peaks, inhabited mainly by relatively prosperous, friendly and contented Tibetans, with beautiful monasteries, lakes, forests and summer flowers, the county’s scenery and lifestyle certainly bore a strong resemblance to that in the novel. Living in Shangrila describes the life and environment of the Tibetan people throughout Diqing Prefecture. It also examines their neighbors the Mosuo, a branch of the Naxi nationality, who adopted Tibetan Buddhism as their religion, but are still mainly a matrilineal society, unique to Yunnan, living around Lugu Lake, the most picturesque body of water in the province. The book includes over 200 photographs.

Yunnan Tours

We can put you in contact with personally vetted, experienced tour guides, speaking Chinese, English, Dutch and German, for southwestern China. They can help you plan a trip matching your personal interests and requirements and accompany you on your trip. We just provide the introduction, we do not charge any commission or fees.
For enquiries email

On the eastern side of Erhai, in Zhangyu village 长育, is one of the most beautiful Wenchang temples, with work by painter-sculptor Li Yunyi 李云义.

The Danxia, or red sandstore, cliffs around Liming are a hikers' and climbers' paradise that is just now being discovered.

C. Patterson Giersch: Asian Borderlands

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Yunnan was not always China: indeed not so long ago large parts of Yunnan were only nominally part of the empire. To make Yunnan, outside the main Han cities, a Chinese province required significant effort. Here Giersch's study on Yunnan's hinterland makes an interesting if academic read.

A history trading post on the upper reaches of the Yangzi.

Markets this Wednesday

Kunming 昆明
Shilin 石林彝族自治县
Jiulong 九龙乡
Longtou 龙头街

Dali 大理
Huangping 黄平镇
Shunbi 順濞
Longjie 龙街
Haidong 海东
Songgui 松桂
Zhongying 种英
Xintun 辛屯
Zhouguanying 周官营
Longjie 龙街
Shaba 沙坝
Yinqiao 银桥
Shanglan 上兰

Lijiang 丽江
Shigu 石鼓镇
Banqiao 板桥
Yongsheng 永胜县

Dehong 德宏
Nangsong 曩宋阿昌族乡
Husa 户撒乡

Honghe 红河
Zhicun 芷村镇
Niujie 牛街镇
Niujiaozhai 牛角寨
Tutai 土台
Dixibei 地西北
Hongtian 红田
Sankeshu 三棵树
Shaochong 哨冲镇
Baiyun 白云乡
Yongning 永宁乡

Wenshan 文山
Badaoshao 八道哨乡
Heizhiguo 黑支果乡
Banlun 板仑乡
Xinzhai 新寨乡
Boai 剥隘镇
Dongma 董马乡

Chuxiong 楚雄
Maojie 猫街镇
Yaoan 姚安县

Baoshan 保山市
Manglong 芒龙

Lincang 临沧
Cangyuan 沧源佤族自治县
Zhenkang 镇康县
Yalian 亚练乡
Junsai 军赛乡
Shuangjiang 双江拉祜族佤族布朗族傣族自治县
Quannei 圈内

Zhaotong 昭通
Shikan 石坎
Weixin 威信
Jiucheng 旧城
Changan 长安

Yuxi 玉溪
Yangjie 羊街乡
Dianzhong 甸中

Nujiang 怒江
Lazan 腊咱
Lumadeng 鹿马登乡

Puer 普洱
Fuyan 富岩

Diqing 迪庆
Kaifaqu 开发区
Jiagetu 价格土