Mountaineering in Yunnan Province
Called "Yun" of "Dian" for short, Yunnan Province is situated in the joint of Eurasia Continent, southeast Asia and South Asia, and entrenched by the Hengduan Shan Range and other mountain Ranges in the northwest. Belonging to meridional structural system, it is mainly made up of folds and pressed fracture. From its west to the east stand Gaoligong Shan, Biluo Xueshan (another name for Nu Shan), Yun Ling Mountain Range and Yulong Xueshan which give birth to the Nu River, the Lancang River, the Jinsha River and many other deep-cut river valleys. As a result of the geological structure, the high-altitude mountains are precipitous in landform while the rivers are extremely lower in position, resulting in a relative height difference of over 3000 meters and the tops wrapped in ice and snow all the year round, the high mountains in Yunnan Province offer a chief distribution region for oceanic glaciers in the low latitude zone of South China.
As the Hengduan Shan Range extends southward, it becomes gradually lower in altitude and the mountains come to be rather gentle in the form of plateaus at an average altitude of about 2000 meters above sea level. As a result of the climatic conditions here, dense forests in this area remain persistently green in all the four seasons, Xishuang Banna in the south, for example, has an area of 2‰ of the nation territory but 20% of the species of the wild lives all over the country, more than 100 of which are listed as rare and precious faunas and floras in our country.
Generally called the East Dian Plateau, East Yunnan Province is one of the centers for the distribution of the Karst topography in China. The Lunan Stone Forests, which is about 100 kilometers to the east of Kunming, enjoys its distinct landscapes and unveils the best out of the wonders of the Karst topography.
Yunnan proves to be among the places of human origin in the world. The historical remains of Yuanmou Man (whose fossil remains to be about 1,700,000 years old and were found in Yunnan Province in 1965), the relics of Wazhai Shan and Jianchuan, etc. hold the attention of a multitude of palaeo-anthropologists at home and abroad. Besides, many precious and historic sites are left over from each historical period of China. The most extensive and rich are the cultural remains of Nanzhao Guo and Dali in Tang and Song Dynasties.
Since such religions in China as the Hinayana, the Mahayana and Lamaism have their centers scatter simultaneously here and there in Yunnan, the Province enjoys large numbers of famous Buddhist mountains, hills and sculpture groups, etc.
The long history and unique geographical environment provide Yunnan Province with above 30 minority nationalities, who, together and their rich and various national characteristics. Sanyujie of the Bai Nationality, the Torch Festival of the Yi Nationality, the Water-Sprinkling Festival of the Dai and the other traditional programmes of every nationality, all coming to enrich our Chinese culture. As for as transportation is concerned, the railway lines of Chengdu - Kunming are the most important transportation lines, with another narrow-track line to Viet Nam. The east Sichuan - Yunnan Highway, the Middle Sichuan - Yunnan Highway, the West Sichuan - Yunnan Highway, the Yunnan - Guizhou Highway, the Yunnan - Guangxi (Gui for short) Highway and Yunnan - Tibet Highway - all lead to the neighboring Provinces and Regions, while Yunnan - Viet Nam Highway and Yunnan - Burma Highway extend to Indo-China and the South Asian Subcontinent. With highways available in every county of the province, 85% of the villages and small towns are open to cars and trucks. The mileage of water transportation exceeding 700 kilometers and the civil aviation system will bring you from Kunming to such cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Chengdu, Nanning, Guangzhou and Hongkong, and to the places within the province like Banshan, Simao and Zhaotong. The international scheduled flight from Beijing to Rangoon has its stop in Kunming, the capital of the province.