Potatso National Park
|Nearest city||Shangri-La County|
Potatso National Park or Pudacuo National Park (simplified Chinese: 普达措国家公园; traditional Chinese: 普達措國家公園; pinyin: Pǔdácuò Guójiāgōngyuán) is a 1,300-square-kilometre (500-square-mile) national park located in Shangri-La County, Yunnan Province in the People's Republic of China. The park was announced on June 25, 2007, and is notable as the first national park in China to meet International Union for Conservation of Nature standards. It incorporates the Bita Lake Nature Reserve and the Duhu Scenic Area in the Hongshan region. As such they are part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas World Heritage Site.
Fauna and flora
The region of this park 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, though it comprises only 0.7 percent of China's land area. It is notably home to vulnerable Black-necked cranes, many rare and beautiful orchids, and Himalayan Yew, a coniferous tree whose extracts are a source of the anticancer drug, paclitaxel.
The park is about a 50-minute drive from Zhongdian. It has two lakes, a visitor center, several interesting minority villages, lush forests and pasture views. From the visitor center a park bus takes visitors to the first stop, 13 km (8 mi) away from where there are several miles of raised wooden walkways around the 120-hectare (300-acre) Shudu Lake (属都湖).
The next bus destination is Bita Hai Lake (碧塔海), 3,500 metres (11,482 feet) above sea level. It is surrounded by dense deciduous forests. The bus stops a few feet from a wharf from where visitors can take a boat ride around the lake and to the island in the center. Price for the boat ride is 50 Yuan. It is just over 1.6 km (1.0 mi) from where the boat disembarks to the bus pick up point. Alternatively, one may walk down the 1.9 km (1.2 mi) path from the South entrance and hike to and exit the park from the West entrance. Getting to the West entrance requires both a boat and ferry ride. The entire hike can take 4–6 hours. Riding horses are also available.
Free admission to Xiagei Village is included in the park’s 190 Yuan admission fee.
- "China: Places we protect, China's first national Park". The Nature Conservancy in China. The Nature Conservancy. 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
- "China's first national park unveiled". People's Daily. June 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- "Pudacuo National Park". See Yunnan. Seeyunnan.net. 2007, Kunming. Retrieved 2009-03-28. Check date values in: