First Bend of the Yangtze River

Chinese name: 长江第一湾 (Changjian Diyi Wan)
Location: The first bend of the Yangtze River is located in the famous Shigu Village (northeast of Lijiang city). It is 50 kilometers from Lijiang, 130 kilometers from Shangri-la (Diqing).
Best time to visit: Spring, summer and early autumn.
Attraction suitable for: Shutterbugs, photographers and everybody.

How to get there:

- By shuttle bus: Take the shuttle bus at the center bus station of Lijiang to Shigu Village, it is about 2 hours. Guest can take the common tourism bus (RMB15 yuan) at Lijiang or rent a coach after bargaining with the drivers.    

Introduction of the First Bend of the Yangtze River:

The attraction is the Jinshajiang section of the Yangtze, with an elevation of over 1800 meters. The sight is one of the top attractions of Lijiang and the important hub linking the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Laojunshan and Meli Snow Mountain.   

The great Yangtze flows down from the world's roof –Tibet Plateau and enter into the Yunnan province from Batang (one Tibet County), the river mixes two other great rivers, Lancang River (Lantsang) and Nu River (the Angry River) here, and then the Three Parallel Rivers landscape is formed. The river suddenly topped by Hailou Mountain Cliff and takes a sudden turn to the northeast in the Shangri-la County, therefore the peculiar 'V' shape valley appears, and the world famous Tiger Leaping Gorge was created.

The water of the First Bend of Yangtze and the Tiger Leaping Gorge is treacherous, fast and deep. Only few ferries can be used to cross the river, it is called the wondrous spectacle. Due to its geographic importance and precipitous, ancient militaries and strategists fought a lot for this place.

The name of the First Bend of the Yangtze River in Naxi language (Naxi minority is one of the main minorities here) is pronounced 'Ciba', with a meaning of the place where tigers roaring or the flower of the tiger minority.

Legend of the First Bend:

Legend goes that the Nu River, Lancang River and Jinsha River are sisters and once travelled here, they had point of disagreement where to go next, therefore the older two sisters (Nu River and Lancang River) went south while the Jinsha River swore to find her love and own luminosity on the east, so they departed at Shigu Village and the persistent little girl of Jinsha River transformed into the First Bend of the Yangtze.  

The best place to see the attraction:

'Where to see the First Bend of the Yangtze River?', Almost every tourist to Lijiang ask the same question. Be sure to keep in mind the follow travel tips and to understand your tour to see the First Bend before booking.

1. There are two places to see the First Bend of the Yangtze, one is in Shigu Village and another is on the way from Lijiang to Shigu Village (about 34 kilometers after leaving Lijiang for the village), the awesome landscapes can be seen along the No.308 provincial road, and a special viewing deck is built there and helps guest to enjoy the grand scene of the Yangtze River.

2. Usually the tour group will only see the First Bend in Shigu Village, it will be only a glance from far away and with poor direction. People need to climb the hill at the entrance of Shigu Village to see the panorama of the sight with the help of local people (maybe at an extra fee of RMB5 or 10 yuan to pass their home to the hill’s peak)

3. Don’t forget taking your wide-angle lens with you because the common cameras can not keep the whole scenery down.

Quick Questions

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