People who loves adventure and nature beauty will never miss the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas. Consisting of eight geographical clusters of protected areas within the boundaries of the Three Parallel Rivers National Park, in the mountainous north-west of Yunnan Province, the 1.7 million hectare site features sections of the upper reaches of three of the great rivers of Asia: the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong and Salween run roughly parallel, north to south, through steep gorges which, in places, are 3,000 m deep and are bordered by glaciated peaks more than 6,000meters high.
The Three Parallel Rivers site covers land of some 1.7 million hectares. With it come nine nature reserves and 10 scenic spots variously belonging to Lijiang City, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture. Located where the three geological regions of East Asia, South Asia and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau meet, it is representative of rare alpine landforms and their evolution, and one of the richest biodiversity areas in the world.
Located in the mountainous north-west of Yunnan Province in China, the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas is a natural serial property consisting of 15 protected areas, grouped into eight clusters. The Property contains an outstanding diversity of landscapes, such as deep-incised river gorges, luxuriant forests, towering snow-clad mountains, glaciers, and alpine karst, reddish sandstone landforms (Danxia）, lakes and meadows over vast vistas.
The 1.7 million hectare site features sections of the upper reaches of three of the great rivers of Asia: the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong and Salween which run approximately parallel, north to south, through steep gorges which, in places, are 3,000 m deep and are bordered by glaciated peaks more than 6,000 m high. Every kind of landscape to be found in the northern Hemisphere other than desert and ocean can be found here including magnificent snow-capped mountains and glaciers, precipitous Danxia cliffs and wonderful Karst formations. The property spans a large portion of the Hengduan Mountains, which is the major arc curving into Indochina from the eastern end of the Himalayas.
Being located in the convergent regions of the three world's major biogeographic realms, the property is in an epicentre of Chinese biodiversity. It may also harbour the richest biodiversity among the temperate areas of the world. Selected nature reserves and places of scenic beauty in this unique region were collectively awarded World Heritage Site status in 2003 for their very rich biodiversity and outstanding topographical diversity.
Every year when spring comes again, the region becomes a sea of flowers. There are 200 kinds of azaleas, nearly 100 kinds of gentian (Gentiana scabra), and primroses, Scrophylariaceae, Cypripedium and lilies.
Although this region has been acknowledged as a natural World Heritage Site, its demographic make-up also is highly interesting as it contains many of the twenty-five minorities found in Yunnan province including the Derung, the smallest of all of China's minority groups.
Owing to the surprising diversities, the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas have never failed people’s expectation for something new.