Yunnan · Diqing · Deqin
Xiaruo Lisu Township 霞若傈僳族乡

An unspoilt Tibetan area along the Zhibaluo River.
Picture: Scenery in Xiaruo.
Xiaruo Mountains: Scenery in Xiaruo.

The road from Tuoding follows the right hand side of the Zhibaluo River all the way to Xiaruo Township, a small trading town. Dramatic mountains rise to either side of the river that feeds mainly off the waters of Baima Snow Mountain.

After the township the road continues to Cikatong 次卡通, a supply village at the confluence of two rivers. The stream coming from the west comes down from Baima Snow Mountain, while the eastern river flows down from the watershed towards Benzilan.

From Cikatong a three day hike goes up to Baima Snow Mountain, but entering the protected area is not something that the park guards like to see. Following the eastern stream up, a trail continues to Benzilan, which can be reached in a single day hike.

While the area is designated a Lisu township, culturally the area is Tibetan. Apart from the usual spring festival, the mid-autumn festival is the most important event.

Travel Notes

Xiaruo has hotels, but accommodation in Cikatong is extremely basic. In summer and early autumn it might also be possible to hitch with the mushroom sellers who come up to Cikatong in the early afternoon and leave the same day.