Nu Jiang

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Nu Jiang Prefecture is located in the northwest corner of Yunnan province, on the Chinese-Myanmar border. The prefecture is divided into 4 counties, 3 of which encompass the Gaoligongshan and ? mountain ranges which flank the Nu Jiang (Angry River).

Overview

Orientation: In the Nu Jiang valley, there is essentially one road running north-south, which connects to the rest of Yunnan through it's southern extremity. Paved near towns and in the south, there are stretches where the road is gravel or dirt. North of Fugong, there are 3 places where water runs across the road and sections which have suffered recent avalanche damage. For this reason, travel on a tight schedule is inadvisable during the rainy season.The prefecture has 3 main towns along the main road: Liuku, Fugong, and Gongshan. Liuku is the most southerly, and seat of the prefecture. At Liuku, south of Fugong, and at Gongshan road bridges cross the Nu Jiang. Pedestrian bridges cross the river every 3 to 10 kilometers, although there are a few longer stretches without. From the main north-south, a second road branches west at Gongshan, towards Dulong Valley. This road ascends for 54m to a pass at 3400m, and then descends for a further 45m to the valley, which is devoid of internal roads. Road access to Dulong is only open during brief periods when it is not blocked by snow or avalanches. Green Gong has some cultural info about the Nu Jiang; a little hard to read, obviously not written by a native english speaker.

Climate: In mid-November, Nu Jiang prefecture was sunny and pleasantly cool. Water levels in the Nu Jiang appeared to be several meters below the flood line. Hiking in the valley, it was comfortable to wear short sleeves, although it got significantly colder when the sun went down. The leaves were just starting to turn, and I expect the last week of November would be a particularly good time to appreciate the natural scenery. In the summer months the valley receives a lot of precipitation, which can cause problems with transportation. Over the winter snow cover reaches down to 2300m. Nu Jiang River Project, which organizes rafting tours down the Nujiang (now defunct?) has interesting info about water levels and climate.

Expeditions

Speleotourism

? Dong

Derelict showcave in Liuku.

? Dong

Small showcave open to the public just north of Liuku.

?

Large eyehole in a mountain visible between Fugong and Gongshan.

Surveys

Maps

Facilities

Available:
Maps
Not available:

Maps

Asia Horizons Guidebooks: You thought you were going somewhere new? Asia Horizons has written a detailed and accurate guide to Yunnan which covers some remarkably obscure areas.

Transportation

Local

Bus
There are good daily links between the main towns on minibuses and it's easy to catch a passing minibus by simply standing in the road. Buses tend to run every hour or half hour in the morning and early afternoon.
Breadvan
More obscure desinations are serviced by smaller breadvans which leave the towns intermittenly. Breadvans have their destinations written on white plastic plaques displayed in the front window. Their schedules are irregular, and I didn't try the breadvans because I wasn't confident of being able to return to my origin the same day.