Pudacuo National Park, located in Shangri-La County, is one of China’s most renowned national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring natural beauty and ecological diversity of the area. Spanning an area of approximately 1,300 square kilometers, the park encompasses stunning landscapes, including the breathtaking Bita Lake and Shudu Lake, as well as the majestic peaks of the surrounding mountains. It is a sanctuary for rare and endangered species, making it a vital ecological treasure. Let’s embark on a journey through Pudacuo National Park and explore its wonders.
Fast Facts of Pudacuo National Park
- Location: Situated in Shangri-La County, approximately 22 kilometers east of the county seat.
- The time needed: 1 Day
- Highlights: Bita Lake and Shudu Lake with crystal-clear waters reflect the surrounding mountains and forests; the diverse flora and fauna
- Suited to: Nature enthusiasts, photographers
What to See and Do in Pudacuo National Park
1. Bita Lake
Start your exploration of Pudacuo National Park with a visit to Bita Lake. Marvel at the emerald waters shimmering under the sunlight, surrounded by lush vegetation and snow-capped peaks. Take a leisurely walk along the wooden boardwalk that skirts the lake’s edge, or rent a boat to glide across the serene waters. Keep an eye out for the colorful Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the breeze, adding a touch of spirituality to the tranquil setting.
2. Shudu Lake
Another must-visit destination within Pudacuo National Park is Shudu Lake. Encircled by verdant forests and snow-capped mountains, this alpine lake is a photographer’s dream. Take a stroll along the lakeside trails, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and capture the reflection of the surrounding landscape mirrored in the calm waters. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings, as the park is home to numerous bird species and the elusive Yunnan snub-nosed monkey.
3. Exploring the Forests
Pudacuo National Park boasts rich and diverse forests teeming with wildlife and unique plant species. Embark on a hiking adventure along the park’s well-maintained trails, immersing yourself in the tranquil ambiance of the ancient woods. Listen to the melodious songs of birds, spot vibrant butterflies fluttering by, and admire the vibrant hues of wildflowers that dot the forest floor. The park offers a variety of hiking routes suitable for different fitness levels, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Best Time to Visit Pudacuo National Park
The best time to visit Pudacuo National Park is from April to October, which is the park’s peak season. During this time, the weather is mild and there is less rainfall, making it easier to explore the park’s scenic trails and lakes.
Attractions Nearby Pudacuo National Park
Songzanlin Monastery: Just a short distance from Pudacuo National Park lies the magnificent Songzanlin Monastery. Immerse yourself in the spiritual ambiance of Tibetan Buddhism as you explore the grand halls adorned with colorful murals and intricate statues.
Dukezong Ancient Town: Venture into the nearby Dukezong Ancient Town, a charming Tibetan town filled with winding alleys, traditional architecture, and vibrant local culture. Explore the ancient Tibetan-Mongolian-style buildings, browse through local handicrafts and artifacts, and indulge in the flavors of Tibetan cuisine in the town’s cozy eateries.
Getting to Pudacuo National Park
To get to Pudacuo National Park, you can fly to the nearest airport, which is Diqing Shangri-La Airport (DIG), and then take a taxi or bus to the park. The park is located about 22 kilometers east of Shangri-La City in Yunnan Province, China. Alternatively, you can also take a bus from Kunming, which is about 600 kilometers away from the park, or from other nearby cities like Lijiang or Dali.
Once you arrive at the park, there are shuttle buses available to take you around the park’s scenic spots.