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  1. Bala Gezong Shangri-la Grand Canyon,Diqing

About Balagezong Scenic Spots

Balagezong Scenic Spots take gorge landscape as a main. It is located in the area of alpine vegetation and mountain gorge in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Its natural ecological tourism resources are higher taste, more comprehensive, more mysterious, richer landscape and vegetation. Balagezong scenic spots are divided into natural ecological tourism resources and human tourism resource. Which the natural ecological resources are higher level, more centralized distribution,and portfolio orderly.  

At the foot of the mountain, there have the impetuous Gangqu River and the special gorge and cliffs. There also have the landscape that is exactly like the tropical African Sabana dry hot valley. At the middle of the mountain, there have lush primary forest, various rare birds and animals, exotic flowers and unusual trees. At the head of the mountain, there have glaciers and glacial erosive lake, flowers and rare Chinese medicinal herds covered the mountain, alpine talus and the shrub meadow.  In the scenic spots, the Shangri-La Blue Moon Gorge in the Hilton’s works brings flesh-and-blood soul to the scenic spots through its Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan folk customer.


Before the development of the Balagezong Eco-tourism landscape, there is no road or electricity. The only way entering to the only village in the Balagezong is a plant road built along the cliff. Because of this, the Bala village is seemed forgotten by the people out of the world. Almost nobody entered the inside, so the inside unusual scenery and beautiful landscape is unknown. Sinadingzhu grows up from here, yesterday he was the same as other farmers living in this isolated, beautiful and laggard Bala village. He loves this saint mountain and valleys. From very young there is boundless strength to spur his effort to reach the aspiration of all the people in the village. Over 10-year-old, he went out and broke through the world. Today he returns here to start fulfilling his dreams that make village rich, strive to construct the Shangri-La Grand Canyon Balagezong Landscape as 5A-classes standard, make the landscape become the world-famous and the world-class ecotourism attraction welcomed by all the people.


By the end of 1999, Sinadingzhu formed the Bagelazong Ecotourism Development Limited Liability Company and started the hardly course to develop and construct the 170 square kilometers Balagezong Landscape.


Development Characteristic of Bala Gezong Shangri-La Grand Canyon
A:Balagezong Landscape is Blessed with Advantage Tourism Resource 
Balagezong landscape possesses high, deep, extraordinary, completely and other features. Here has the first peak in the Shangri-La County, Balagezong Snow Mountain, Natural Stupa, Palm Gorge, and Tongtian Gorge, virgin forest, meadow, Plateau Lake and other natural sights.  Here also have agelong historical legends, coexistence of various religious cultures, and attractive exploration of ancient histories relics. All of these are formed the “Shangri-La” mood with the harmony between human and nature.


B:“Tourism Demonstration” Effect in The Western Development
The northwest of Yunnan Province as one of China’s Tibetan areas is one of the state’s key support and development areas. Currently the province is implementing the Northwestern Yunnan Protection and Development Plan. The province is actively taking the “three rivers and streams” as the world nature heritage declaration. The Balagezong landscape is located in the core area of the northwest of Yunnan province. Actively developing the tourism resources to improve the local people’s living standards. Through tourism industry to drive the local economic development and upgrade the industrial structure. Through the development and construction of the landscape to coordinate the relationship between development and protection, to standard tourist’s action, to advocate the green ecotourism concept, to achieve the harmony development between human and nature, to become the “pro-poor tourism”, “eco-tourism” typical region and provide typical case for the development of the similar area in the west of China.


Travel Tips of Bala Gezong Shangri-La Grand Canyon
6 Days to Shangri-la Valley of Shangri-la - Sanjia Village - Shuizhuang Village - Bala Village - Naidang Village - Bala Village - Shuizhuang Village - Shangqiaotou Village - Shangri-la


Trekking Tour Feature:
This is the most dramatic and challenging trail we plan to walk in 2010. It's so challenging, indeed, that in two attempts we have not yet completed the kora trail, or pilgrimage circuit of Mt Gezong, which is Yunnan Province's third-highest peak and a sacred object to the Tibetan villagers who inhabit its slopes. On this occasion, we plan to allow time to explore more of the beautiful lakes that nestle in basins high on the range: one, at least, is more than 5,000 meters above sea level. With the spring blossoms in full bloom and Tibetan herders beginning to move their yaks up the mountain, May is the ideal time to experience this area's wonderful blend of towering, snow-capped peaks, pristine pastures and pine and rhododendron forests.


Trekking Tour Program:
Shangri-la Valley locates in the northwest of Shangri-la County. It is 76 klilometers (42 miles) away from the county, 81 kilometers (50 miles) away from Shangri-la airport. With the total area of 176 square kilometers, it connects the Birang Valley in the east, the Shangqiaotou Village in the south, the Derong County in Sichuang Province in the west and the Dongwang Village in the north. The highest peak in the Shangri-la Valley is the Balagengzong Snow Mountain with the altitude of 5,545 meters (18,192 feet), and the lowest point is the Shuizhuang Village with the altitude of 2,000 meters (6,561 feet). The main sight in this scenic area is the valley with its abundant topographic features and plants. And the Tibetan custom and culture based on the Tibetan Buddhism and Holy Mountains infuse the spirit to the scenic area.


On the first day, hire a car to drive to the Sanjia Village in Nixi Township. Upon arrival in the Sanjia Village, hike for 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) to the Shuizhuang Village. On the way, visit the Napa Lake, the wooden bowl factory in Sanjia Village, the Shuoqu River, the Red Army Bridge, the Shangri-la Valley and the earthy blockhouse of local Tibetan. Napa Lake is a seasonal lake. In the end of the summer and the beginning of the autumn, there is abundant water in the lake. In addition, the Dinglong Pool, the Naqu River and the Quwang River pour into the lake, so a large lake forms. In the winter and the spring, the lake dwindles, so it turns to a large area of marsh and meadow. "Napa” means “the lake behind the forest" in Tibetan. Stay overnight in the Shuizhuang Village.


On the second day, trek 26 kilometers (16 miles) from the Shuizhuang Village to the Bala Village. En route, you will pass the virgin forest and the Shangri-la Valley. Along the way in the Valley, you will hear the thunder of water and vapor will surround you in the air. Beetling cliffs and steep bluffs are standing at the two sides, with slopes of 70-90 degrees. Go on to cross the Shuoqu River to reach the Bala Village. In the village, you will experience the primitive custom of local Tibetan. You can visit local Tibetan and have dinner with them. Stay overnig ht in the village.


On the third day, trek 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) from the Bala Village to the Naidang Village. You can enjoy the landscape of the valley, see the local houses and villages, the alp pasture, the plants and flowers, and overlook the main peak of Balagengzong. It will be a hard trip to climb the mountain today.


In the morning of the fourth day, walk to visit the ancient glacier of the Balagengzong and the pure lakes on the mountain, overlook the Badagengzong Snow Mountain. In the afternoon, you will hike back to the Bala Village.


On the fifth day, trek 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) back to Shuizhuang Village.

On the last day, trek 20km from Shuizhuang Village to Shangqiaotou Village. And then drive 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) back to Shangri-la.

A Successful Businessman named Sinadingzhu: to Revitalize My Hometown in Shangri-la
Ten years ago, a successful businessman named Sinadingzhu sold all of his property to invest in the revitalization of his hometown in southwestern China's Shangri-la County. Now, a national park will soon open there as the fruit of Sinadingzhu and his fellow villagers' efforts. Our reporter Yunfeng has the story.


Travelers to Yunnan's Shangri-la County are often eager to debate the whereabouts of the fabled Shambhala Kingdom, the land of milk and honey James Hilton chronicled in his novel, "The Lost Horizon." Many believe Bala Village is the very heart of Shangri-la. Its scenery, such as that of the Blue Moon Valley, matches Hilton's description almost perfectly.


The second national park in China will soon open at the foot of Bala Village, thanks to the long-term efforts of a man called Sinadingzhu.

Sinadingzhu, a Bala Village native, is the president of the new Balagezong Grand Canyon National Park. For the past decade, Sinadingzhu has devoted himself to the revitalization of his hometown, a 1,300-year-old settlement which, according to legend, resulted from the exodus of a noble tribe from Batang.


"The leader, Sinaduojie, was a great hero, and led his tribe into many victorious conquests. By the time he reached his forties, he was tired of the endless pursuit of power and possessions, and decided to search for a peaceful land to live. He sent many of his brave soldiers to search the Kangba area, and finally chose this spot on which to establish his utopia free of wars."


Bala Village sits on a mesa surrounded by steep mountains. Although Sinaduojie found peace and tranquility, the solitude came at a price: The village is very isolated from the outside world. From the entrance to the Balagezong National Park, visitors must drive across a valley, then climb a near-vertical distance of nearly 1,000 meters via 42 hairpin turns, to reach Bala Village.


Sinadingzhu says the road was just carved out recently, through him and his coworkers' efforts. Before the road was constructed, people had to walk for two days to reach the outside world. And communication was greatly hampered by Bala Village's remote geographical location.

"If you wanted to buy a pair of shoes, there were only two occasions to do so in a whole year. The vendor would travel from the other side of the mountain, transporting such goods on a yak's back, and trade them for furs."


The extreme living conditions didn't just mean a scarcity of goods. Villagers sometimes died of minor ailments from lack of timely medical treatment. People were beginning to pack up and leave the village. The village once boasted dozens of households; now, there are only eight.

When Sinadingzhu was a boy, he made up his mind to reshape his hometown and bring a better life to his fellow villagers. In the 1990s, he finally got his chance. Back then, the whole of Yunnan Province was desperately trying to develop tourism. Sinadingzhu knew the time had come for him to do something.


"In 1998, the provincial government of Yunnan declared that Diqin Prefecture is the true Shangri-la, and renamed Zhongdian "Shangri-la County." I saw a great opportunity in this. Earth has only one Shangri-la, and it is a place that everyone in the world would love to visit. I should seize the chance to develop my hometown into a tourist destination, and put her on the track of development. "


At the time, Sinadingzhu was a successful businessman dealing in herbs. He had a house, a car and a restaurant, but he sold them all.

Constructing a road to connect Bala Village with the outside world was the logical first step, but building a road on the steep mountains was no easy job. Sometimes the entire face of a mountain had to be blasted off, and the road alone cost tens of millions of yuan. Sinadingzhu visited bank managers, and eventually persuaded them to issue a loan for his cause. He took out a loan of 100 million yuan, an astronomical figure for the Bala's native son, from the local agricultural bank.


Since then Sinadingzhu has been seen all over the mountain, busy constructing the paved road carved into mountainside and drawing up the blueprints of his national park. Now every morning when he wakes up, Sinadingzhu still faces a daily loan interest of about 2,300 U.S dollars. But he never regrets what he did for his hometown.


"When we were young, when our peers asked about our hometown, we felt embarrassed to tell them our hometown was the Bala Village deep in the mountains. But things have changed. Kids living in the village now can proudly say that their hometown is Bala Village, the Shangri-la village inside the national park."


Sinadingzhu's dedication to his hometown has won him respect and popularity among his fellow villagers. A frequently told story goes like this. Sinadingzhu once made an appointment with Yadong, a singing prince who enjoys immense popularity among the Tibetans. But Sinadingzhu failed to appear on time because his flight was delayed for two hours. Surprisingly, by the time he arrived, the superstar was still patiently waiting for him in the airport. Yadong told Sinadingzhu how much he respected him. As a singer he had a fortune and a big name, but he had not even built a single mile of road for his hometown. So he would wait any length of time for Sinadingzhu to show his gratitude.

The Balagezong Shangri-la Grand Canyon National Park will be open soon, and Sinadingzhu and the rest of the Bala residents are ready to welcome guests from around the world.

Admission Fee:¥0

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