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Diqing Travel Guide

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  • Shangri-la Ancient Town
    Shangri-la Ancient Town
  • Potatso National Park
    Potatso National Park
  • Songzanlin Temple
    Songzanlin Temple
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Phone Code: 0887
Postal Code: 674400
Area: 23,870 square kilometers (9,216 square miles)
Population: 368,700 (2006 status)
Nationalities: Tibetan, Lisu, Naxi, Bai, Yi, Hui, Miao, Nu, Pumi

Location: Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is located in the border region of Yunnan, Tibet and Sichuan. It neighbours Lijiang City in the southeast, the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture in the west and Qamdo Prefecture in the northwest. The capital of the prefecture, Shangri-la County, is about 608 km (377.8 miles) from Kunming City. Its longitude is between 90°35’ E and 100°19’ E, while the latitude is between 26°52’ N and 29°16’ N.

 Physical Features: Diqing lies at the southeast of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the hinterland of the Hengduan Mountain. Three big rivers, Jinsha, Lancang and Nujiang Rivers flow through the area. Various landforms including snow mountains, glaciers, alpine lakes and meadows are found in Diqing. As the highest region in Yunnan Province, Diqing has an average elevation of 3,380 meters (11,089 feet). The highest point is at the main peak, Kawakarpo of Meri Snow Mountain, with an elevation of 6,740 meters (22,112.9 feet), while the lowest point is at 1,480 meters (4,855.6 feet), in the valley of Lancang River.

 History: Diqing is named Shangri-La in the Tibetan language, which means “sun and moon in the heart”. The fossils excavated in Diqing show that human beings lived in the region over 6,000 to 7,000 years ago. It was ruled by the Qiang people about 2,300 years ago. In the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), the Tubo (old name for Tibet) people governed the region.

 Attractions:  Diqing attracts visitors from all over the world with its breath-taking landscape, long history and unique culture of ethnic groups. Features include the fairyland Shangri-La, the grand Meri Snow Mountain, the No. 1 Turning of Yangtze River, Tiger Jump Gorge, Haba Snow Mountain, Songzanlin Monastery, Dongzhulin Monastery, Moon Bay Valley and Little Zhongdian Meadow.

 Air: The only airport in Diqing is the Shangri-La Airport located in the Shangri-La County. Regular flights are available to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Kunming and Xishuangbanna. Visitors from other cities can fly to Kunming and then fly to Shangri-La. The airport is only 5 km from the center of the county, so visitors can take taxies to/from the airport.
 Bus: The Yunnan-Tibet and Sichuan-Tibet highway pass Diqing, so visitors can take buses to nearby cities and towns. For visitors from other cities, you can take a bus to Kunming and then the bus to Diqing. Three long-distance bus stations are often used: Diqing Prefecture Long-Distance Bus Station, Shangri-La Long-Distance Bus Station and Deqin Long-Distance Bus Station.

 Weather: Diqing has a temperate and cold temperate monsoon climate with a mean annual temperature of 4.7 – 16.5°C (40.5 – 61.7°F). The average temperature in the hottest month is 11.7 – 24.1°C (53.1 – 75.4°F) while that for the coldest month is 3.3 – 7.7 °C (37.9 – 45.9°F). The temperature changes a lot between day and night, so visitors are advised to take warm clothes even in hot summer. The rainy season is between July and September, so an umbrella is a must-have. The best time to visit Diqing is between late May and early November.

 Dining and Shopping 
Tibetans form the majority of residents in Diqjng, so most Diqing food follows Tibetan flavors. You can enjoy the authentic Tibetan food such as tsampa, yak meat, butter tea and barley wine. The Genben Minzu Restaurant located at Tuanjie Street is one of the most Tibetan restaurants.

Tibetan crafts such as wooden bowls, wooden boxes, Tibetan clothes and Tibetan incense are most popular items in Diqing. Moreover, Tibetan herbal medicine, Matsutake and Tibetan knives are the local specialties in Diqing. Please note that the Tibetan knives cannot be carried onto an airplane and must therefore be delivered by post.

 Recommended Diqing Tour Itinerary: 
Kunming Extension Tour: 9 Days of Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Shangri-La - Kunming

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