|Tiger Leaping Gorge|
Tiger Leaping Gorge (Chinese :虎跳峡; pinyin :Hǔtiào xiá) is a scenic canyon on the Jinsha River,a primary tributary of the upper Yangtze River. It is located 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Lijiang City,Yunnan in southwestern China. It is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas World Heritage Site.
Legend says the name comes from a hunted tiger escaping by jumping across the river at the narrowest point (still 25 metres (82 ft) wide),using the rock in the middle. [ better source needed ]
At a maximum depth of approximately 3,790 meters (12,434 feet) from river to mountain peak,Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world.The inhabitants of the gorge are primarily the indigenous Nakhi people,who live in a handful of small hamlets. Their primary subsistence comes from grain production and nowadays hiking tourism.
Around 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) in length,the gorge is located where the river passes between the 5,596 metres (18,360 ft) Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the 5,396 metres (17,703 ft) Haba Snow Mountain in a series of rapids under steep 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) cliffs.
Administratively,the river in this area forms the border between Yulong Naxi Autonomous County of Lijiang City (right bank) and Shangri-La County of Dêqên Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (left bank).
The gorge is not considered navigable. In the early 1980s,four rafters attempted to go down the gorge and were never seen again. In 1986,the first known successful attempt to sail through the gorge was made by the first expedition to float down the entire length of the Yangtze,starting at the river's high source at the Gelandandong glacier lake.
The area was officially opened to foreign tourists in 1993,but had already attracted adventurous backpackers in the 1980s. Officials plan to improve the existing trails and roads,bringing tour buses and more development. These plans arouse highly varied reactions among the local population,from strong opposition to strong support.
Natural crystals are mined from areas in and surrounding the Tiger Leaping Gorge.
|Climate data for Tiger Leaping Gorge|
|Average high °C (°F)||16.2|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||9.2|
|Average low °C (°F)||2.2|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||8|
Tiger Leaping Gorge weather is generally mild,with abundant rainfall and plenty of sunshine. It has an average annual temperature between 13 °C (55 F) and 20 °C (68 F),without too much change from spring to winter. In summer,the temperature just falls between 10–26 °C (50–79 F) low because of the continuous rain. Coming to winter,the high mountains block the cold air from northern China,so it is still as warm as spring for most of the days.
Hiking the length of the gorge is possible. The hiking path ("the high road") is well-maintained and marked,although sometimes narrow,and at times impassable due to heavy rains,and is used by the Naxi as part of everyday life. This trail is longer than the lower road,approximately 22 kilometres (14 mi),but is more varied. It features a variety of micro-ecosystems,waterfalls,and a fair number of guesthouses for trekkers. These guesthouses are not well heated,which combined with the unpredictable nature of high mountain weather makes this trek inadvisable during the rainy season.
The lower road,stretching about 195 km (121 mi) from Qiaotou through the Gorge,is a stretch of pavement (until recently a simple mule track) crossed by several waterfalls,and frequently beset by rockslides. Some portions of the road have been known to disappear into the river below. The road follows the Yangtze,so there are more views of the river,and a stronger sense of being in a gorge than on the upper trail. Where the high road descends to meet the lower road,one can climb down to the river near the Tiger Leaping Stone,the point at which the tiger is said to have leaped. In July 2010,the Chinese government closed the gorge to visitors because a new lower road was being built. Consequently,there were no government officials to charge the 50 yuan fee to enter the trail. Locals requested a 10 yuan fee to enter the trail. Many trekkers still hiked the high road in spite of its closure. Some buses continued to travel the low road,although landslides frequently caused travel delays.
Although Tiger Leaping Gorge is an essential part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan,a World Heritage Site since 2003,the Chinese government floated proposals for a hydroelectric dam on the Jinsha River in 2004. The Yunnan provincial government scrapped the project in 2007.
Details of the scrapped project follow:Construction had begun on the other 12 dams of the same project which lie just outside the boundaries of the heritage area,even though it had not been approved by the State Council. Media reports suggested that the Lijiang city government waived standard procedures in order to facilitate the project.
The project would displace up to 100,000 people to the north,mainly the Naxi minority,to a Tibetan area with harsh climate and unfamiliar crops as barley and potatoes as staples,virtually stop the flow of the upper Yangtze River,and irreparably alter the landscape of the Tiger Leaping Gorge.The project was abandoned in December 2007. This project was also related to the Three Gorges Dam and the South-North Water Transfer Project,which would cause massive environmental damage and the destruction of thousands of cultural sites.
The Yangtze or Yangzi is the longest river in Eurasia,the third-longest in the world,and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the Tanggula Mountains of the Tibetan Plateau and flows 6,300 km (3,915 mi) in a generally easterly direction to the East China Sea. It is the fifth-largest primary river by discharge volume in the world. Its drainage basin comprises one-fifth of the land area of China,and is home to nearly one-third of the country's population.
Yunnan is a landlocked province in southwestern China. The province spans approximately 394,000 km2 (152,000 sq mi) and has a population of 48.3 million. The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders the Chinese provinces of Guizhou,Sichuan,autonomous regions of Guangxi,and Tibet as well as Southeast Asian countries:Vietnam,Laos,and Myanmar. Yunnan is China's fourth least developed province based on disposable income per capita in 2014.
The Salween is a Southeast Asian river,about 3,289 kilometres (2,044 mi) long,flowing from the Tibetan Plateau south into the Andaman Sea. The Salween flows primarily within southwest China and eastern Myanmar (Burma),with a short section forming the border of Burma and Thailand. Throughout most of its course,it runs swiftly through rugged mountain canyons. Despite the river's great length,only the last 90 km (56 mi) are navigable,where it forms a modest estuary and delta at Mawlamyine. The river is known by various names along its course,including Thanlwin in Burma and Nu Jiang in China. The commonly used spelling "Salween" is an anglicisation of the Burmese name dating from 19th-century British maps.
Lijiang,also known as Likiang,is a prefecture-level city in the northwest of Yunnan Province,China. It has an area of 21,219 square kilometres (8,193 sq mi) and had a population of 1,253,878 at the 2020 census whom 288,787 lived in the built-up area (metro) made of Gucheng District. Lijiang is famous for its UNESCO Heritage Site,the Old Town of Lijiang,which contains a mixture of different historical architecture styles and a complex,ancient water-supply system.
Hutiaoxia Town,formerly Qiaotou,is a small town located on the Yangtze River in Shangri-La County adjacent to Lijiang City,Yunnan Province,China. Hutiaoxia is the south end of the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking route,the other end of which is Daju in Lijiang. There are several buses to Shangri-La County which pass through Hutiaoxia.
The Sichuan Basin,formerly transliterated as the Szechwan Basin,sometimes called the Red Basin,is a lowland region in southwestern China. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides and is drained by the upper Yangtze River and its tributaries. The basin is anchored by Chengdu,the capital of Sichuan province,in the west,and the direct-administered municipality of Chongqing in the east. Due to its relative flatness and fertile soils,it is able to support a population of more than 100 million. In addition to being a dominant geographical feature of the region,the Sichuan Basin also constitutes a cultural sphere that is distinguished by its own unique customs,cuisine and dialects. It is famous for its rice cultivation and is often considered the breadbasket of China. In the 21st century its industrial base is expanding with growth in the high-tech,aerospace,and petroleum industries.
Shangri-La is a county-level city in northwestern Yunnan,China. It is the capital and largest city of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It is bordered by the city of Lijiang to the south and the province of Sichuan to the northwest,north,and east.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a mountain massif or small mountain range in Yulong Naxi Autonomous County,Lijiang,in Yunnan province,China. Its highest peak is named Shanzidou or Shan-Tzu-tou (扇子陡) and it is 5,596 m (18,360 ft) above sea level.
The Hengduan Mountains are a group of mountain ranges in southwest China that connect the southeast portions of the Tibetan Plateau with the Yunnan–Guizhou Plateau. The Hengduan Mountains are primarily large north-south mountain ranges that effectively separate lowlands in northern Myanmar from the lowlands of the Sichuan Basin. These ranges are characterized by significant vertical relief originating from the Indian subcontinent's collision with the Eurasian Plate,and further carved out by the major rivers draining the eastern Tibetan Plateau. These rivers,the Yangtze,Mekong,and Salween,are recognized today as the Three Parallel Rivers UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Haba Snow Mountain is a mountain rising above the northwest side of Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan,China. It rises opposite the higher Yulong Xueshan,and towers 3,500 metres above the upper reaches of the Yangtze River,also known as the Jinsha River. The summit of the mountain is a popular destination for amateur mountaineers and its lowest slopes are crossed by the popular Tiger Leaping Gorge trail.
Lugu Lake is located in the northwest of the Yunnan plateau,with the middle of the lake forming the border between the Ninglang County of Yunnan Province and the Yanyuan County of Sichuan Province. The formation of the lake is thought to have occurred in a geological fault belonging to the geological age of the Late Cenozoic. It is an alpine lake at an elevation of 2,685 metres (8,809 ft) and is the highest lake in the Yunnan Province. The lake is surrounded by mountains and has five islands,four peninsulas,fourteen bays and seventeen beaches.
The Jinsha River or Lu river,is the Chinese name for the upper stretches of the Yangtze River. It flows through the provinces of Qinghai,Sichuan,and Yunnan in western China. The river passes through Tiger Leaping Gorge.
The Xiluodu Dam is an arch dam on the Jinsha River,i.e. the upper course of the Yangtze in China. It is located near the town of Xiluodu in Yongshan County of Yunnan Province but the dam straddles into Leibo County of Sichuan Province on the opposite side of the river. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power generation and its power station has an installed capacity of 13,860 MW. Additionally,the dam provides for flood control,silt control and its regulated water releases are intended to improve navigation downstream. Construction on the dam and power station began in 2005 and the first generator was commissioned in 2013,the last in 2014. It is operated by China Yangtze Power and is currently the fourth-largest power station in the world,as well as the fifth tallest dam world-wide.
The Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Yunnan province,China. It lies within the drainage basins of the upper reaches of the Jinsha (Yangtze),Lancang (Mekong) and Nujiang (Salween) rivers,in the Yunnan section of the Hengduan Mountains.
The Wudongde Dam is a large hydroelectric dam on the Jinsha River,an upper stretch of Yangtze River in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in southwest China.
The Ahai Dam (阿海水电站) is a gravity dam on the Jinsha River in Yulong County,Lijiang Prefecture,Yunnan and in the river reach at about 5 km in the lower reaches of Cuiyu River mouth. Preliminary construction began in 2008 and construction on the dam superstructure and power station began in 2010. The dams first generator was operational in December 2012,the third by May 2013. The fifth and final generator was commissioned on 9 June 2014.
The bridges and tunnels across the Yangtze River carry rail and road traffic across China's longest and largest river and form a vital part of the country's transportation infrastructure. The river bisects China proper from west to east,and every major north–south bound highway and railway must cross the Yangtze. Large urban centers along the river such as Chongqing,Wuhan,and Nanjing also have urban mass transit rail lines crossing the Yangtze.
Daju is a township in Yulong Naxi Autonomous County,Lijiang Prefecture,Yunnan province,China.
Baishuitai is located in Baidi (白地村),a village between Lijiang and Shangri-La County in Sanba Township (三坝乡),Shangri-La County,Dêqên Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,northwestern Yunnan province,China. Slightly north of Haba near the upper Yangtze river valley,it is noted for its natural mineral terraces.