region of the People's Republic of China
Asia > East Asia > China > Southwest China > Yunnan > Northwestern Yunnan

Northwestern Yunnan is in China. It consists of Diqing Prefecture (Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture), and Lijiang Prefecture.


Map of Northwestern Yunnan
  • 1 Lijiang — capital of Lijiang Prefecture, a traditional city and UNESCO world heritage site.
  • 2 Benzilan — halfway between Shangrila and Deqin, stopping point for "first bend" in Jinsha River
  • 3 Deqin
  • 4 Haba
  • 5 Shangrila — aka Zhongdian, traditional Tibetan city on the Tea Horse Trail and the capital of Diqing Prefecture
  • 6 Weixi   — Rustic town downstream of Yubeng on the Mekong valley
  • 7 Xidang — Starting point for trekking into Yubeng
  • 8 Yubeng — mythical village deep inside the mountains
  • 9 Yulong

Other destinations




Northwestern Yunnan is where the subtropical meets the alpine. Three rivers — the Nujiang (Salween), Lancang (Mekong) and Jinshan (Yangtze) — flow in parallel, separated by snow capped mountains. Culturally the region is a transition zone between the Sinic civilization to the east, Tibetan to the west and numerous minorities to the south. Historically, here lies the Tea Horse Road, a trans-Himalayan trade network between the tea planters of Puer and the horse herders of Tibet. Narrow paths carved into the cliff faces hanging precariously above the raging river are all that the horse caravans had to go on. Winding through villages across vistas, these ancient footpaths provide endless trekking opportunities.

Get in


Diqing Shangri-La Airport (DIG IATA), Lijiang Sanyi International Airport (LJG IATA).

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This region travel guide to Northwestern Yunnan is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!