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Liangshan Travel Guide
Publication time:2010-07-24  | Author:admin

Chinese Name: 凉山彝族自治州 (liáng shān yí zú zì zhì zhōu)

Population: 4,286,000  

Area: 60,423 square kilometers (23,329 square miles) 

Nationalities: Yi, Han 

Administrative Division: 15 counties (Yanyuan, Dechang, Huili, Huidong, Ningnan, Puge, Butuo, Jinyang, Zhaojue, Xide, Mianning, Yuexi, Ganluo, Meigu, Leibo); 1 autonomous county (Muli Tibetan); 1 county-level city (Xichang)  

Seat of the Prefecture Government: 55, Sanchakou Nan Lu, Dongcheng Jiedao, Xichang City

Useful Telephone Numbers: Tourist Complaints: 0817-96927, 3343593  

Weather Forecast: 121

Zip Code Inquiry: 184

Bank of China Liangshan Branch: 2, Sanchakou Xi Lu, Dongcheng Jiedao, Xichang City


China Post Liangshan Branch: 33, Chang'an Dong Lu, Xichang City.

Location: Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture is situated in southwest Sichuan Province between the northern Hengduan Mountains on the east edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the Sichuan Basin. It borders Leshan, Yibin, Yaan and the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the north within the province, and is bounded on the east, west and south by Yunnan Province.       

History: Before the central government of the Qin and Han dynasties set up administrative organizations in the region two thousand years ago, Liangshan was inhabited by Qiongdu tribes. The Liangshan Yi Autonomous Region was established in 1952 and later became an autonomous prefecture.        


Physical Features: The northwest part of the prefecture is high in elevation with mountains and highland making up over ninety percent of the land. Most of the mountain peaks are more than 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) above the sea level. The distance between the lofty peaks and deep valleys reaches 5,633 meters (18,481 feet), constituting a unique topographic landscape of plateau and savanna in the dry-hot river valley of Liangshan.                

Climate: Situated in the subtropical monsoon climatic zone, Liangshan has distinct dry and wet seasons during the year. Weather in the winter-half of the year is dry and temperate, and it seldom rains.  In the summer it is usually rainy and cloudy. The annual average temperature is around 16-17℃ (60.8-62.6℉). The temperature can vary greatly during the day but only slightly over the course of the year. Because of the geography, fast and frequent weather changes can be encountered during a single journey. The prefecture is rich in sunlight. The sunshine in winter attracts tourists from all over.


When to Go: Winter and spring are the best times to appreciate Liangshan's sunny weather and clear sky. It is rainy in summer and autumn, and about ninety percent of the year's rain falls in summer. Actually, the summer is cool and it usually rains at night, therefore, visitors can also choose to come in summer.

 For those who are interested in the traditional Torch Festival of the Yi ethnic minority, plan to visit Liangshan in early or mid-August. Every year around the twenty-fourth day of the sixth lunar month, this grand carnival is held, accompanied by dancing flames all night long.

Local Highlights:

Dongba Culture is an old ethnic cultural form descended from the Naxi people through the Dongba Religion (the ancient religion of the Naxi ethnic minority) and recorded by Naxi Dongba scriptures. Dongba Culture includes hieroglyphics, scripture, painting, music, dance, religious instruments and ritual. Eya Naxi Ethnic Township is the heart of the Dongba Culture.  

Liangshan is the largest compact community of Yi in China with more than 1.7 million people. 

In isolated areas in the depths of the mountains, the open marriage of the matriarchal society is still adopted by some tribes, such as the Mosuo tribe in the Naxi villages of Lugu Lake region.

Xichang is spoken of as the 'moon city' of the county, because the moon in the city is the best for admiring.  The moon appears to stay in the sky longer in Xichang than in any other place in China.

Special Local Products: 

Snacks: Tuo Tuo Rou (Big Pieces of Meat), Guo Tie Ru Bing (fried dairy cake pieces) 

Fruit: apple, megranate, orange

Herbs: Liangshan bitter buckwheat 

Handicrafts: lacquer wares of Yi ethnic minority


Qionghai Lushan Scenic Area: Located in the south of Xichang city proper, Lushan Mountain was once a religious site where Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism co-existed in harmony. The age-old cypress forest and the Earthquake Stele Forest at Guangfu Temple are both wonders of this resort. The tranquil Qionghai Lake at the northeast foot of Lushan Mountain is the second largest freshwater lake in Sichuan province. The scenery around the lake is different in each season and each is special. 

Lugu Lake: Situated at the border between Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, two thirds of the lake is located in the Yanyuan County in Sichuan. Over eight thousand 'Mosuo' people (a part of the Naxi ethnic minority) live there, keeping the customs of the primitive matriarchal clan. It is said they are the only matriarchal clan in the world.  

Other Scenic Spots: Luoji Mountain, Xichang Satellite Launch Center

Travel Tips:

Transportation from Chengdu to Liangshan is very convenient. Take the government seat of the prefecture, Xichang for example. If you fly, it will take about 50 minutes; if you take the train, it will take about 10 hours. Regular buses are another choice. From Xichang, visitors can get buses to other counties in the prefecture.

Text from:TravelChinaGuide.com editor:  |  announcer: beley studio