The Pudacuo National Park is an amazing highland nature reserve located just outside of Shangri-La. As the first 'national park' of mainland China, it is one of Yunnan's highlights worth visiting. In Tibetan language, the area is called Potatso and means 'reaching the opposite side of the lake by boat under the help of deity'. Bitahai Lake and Shuduhu Lake form the two major parts of the park. Besides these two lakes, forest, marsh, valley and alpine meadows can be seen in the park. All major spots are connected by walkable planks which offers a close distance for travelers to experience the natural environment.
As the highest lake in Yunnan, Bitahai Lake is 3,500m above the sea level. Covering an area of about 159 hectares with an average depth of 20m, Bitaihai Lake is famous for its limpid water and its beautiful scenery which is set against the mountains and with forests surrounding it. In ancient Tibetan language, Bita means the area highly covered by trees. Century-old pines can be found and cypresses grow around the lake, in which the water is crystal clear. The lake has a small islet covered by cedars and azaleas. In spring, when the withered azalea flowers fall into the lake and are eaten by fish, the fish seem to be unconscious and almost drunk. They float on the surface with their belly facing the sky. Around the lake are virgin forests - ideal habitat for rare animals including the red-footed pheasant, the silver pheasant, bulls, leopards and lynxes.
Clear water, lovely fish, herds of cows and sheep at the shores, and surrounded by lots of primitive forests is the best description for Shudu Lake. The crystal clear lake water lets people see the so called Shudu Cracked-Stomach Fish (whose color is golden and with a 'crack line' along its stomach). 'Shu' means cheese in Tibetan and 'Du' has the meaning of stone. It has a legend that in ancient times, an eminent monk roamed from place to place, one day, he arrived here at this lake. The herdsmen supported and treated him with cheese. The eminent monk was glad to see that the cheese of the pastureland of Shudu is as strong as stone, so he prayed 'wish the cheese here is as strong as stone forever'. From then on the name of Shudu came into being.
- Admission fee: 258 RMB / per ticket
- How to get there: long distance bus is available at Western Bus Terminal: 210 RMB / per bus ticket
If you should need private transportation for this site, please don't hesitate contacting us directly.