Pudacuo National Park in China's Southwest Yunnan Province is located in one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world. While the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China's land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species, and almost 100 endangered species. Pudacuo qualifies as a natural wonderland according to any standard. It contains endemic species of fish found nowhere else in the world, rare and beautiful orchids, black-necked cranes, and taxus yunnanensis, a yew whose extracts are indispensable to the creation of many cancer-treating drugs. Nestled in the mountains of Southwest China, the park is an integral part of the Three Parallel Rivers Scenic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Chinas most popular tourist destinations.
Baishutai is the spectacular home to wild limestone white water terraces and is reached on a fabulous day trip driving through beautiful scenery passing through Tibetan, Yi and Naxi minority villages en route. During the day we normally plan stops at a couple of villages and also spend some time exploring the Naxi family fields in Baishutai. This truly remote unexplored area of China is area is a photographer's dream.
Tanwei Village relies on pottery making and agriculture and life goes relatively unchanged from decades ago. The families are all Tibetan and they live in traditional houses and have to be some of the most hospitable people. The pottery is generally for local use such as cooking pots. Whilst here you can get to try the local yak butter tea and tsampa (the staple diet of most of Tibet).
Shugo Lake - at 3,700 metres is a serene oasis of calm and en route you will see an array of wild life and plant life in what is otherwise quite barren countryside. Yaks are commonly seen here grazing by the road and there is a pleasant walk you can take around the lake.
For the adventurous it is possible to head overland to Chengdu in Sichuan Province. It is a spectacular, but extremely arduous journey – not for the fainthearted, and will take you over mountain passes reaching more the 4500 meters across the Tibetan steppe to Litang and Mount Gonga.