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The First Bend of the Yangtze River

The First Bend of the Yangtze River is located on the north side of the highway leading from Dali to Lijiang, about 70 km. from lijiang Town. The upper reaches of the Yangtze River is named the Jinsha River, which originates from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The Jinsha River flowed southward along the Hengduan Mountain ranges and was forced to the turn to north because of the Alpine movements which caused changes in the earth’s physiognomy. When the river reaches Shigu Township, it makes an abrupt turn and flows further northward, forming the rare V-shape bend.

The First Bend of the Yangtze River

On the hill as the river bends stands the small Shigu (stone drum) Township. It is so called because of the existence of a drum-like stone tablet. It is 1.5 m. in diameter, 70 mm. in thickness, being the memorial tablet marking the victory of territorial expansion of Lijiang’s local ruler Baichuan, surnamed Mu, in the 27th to 40th year of the Jiaqing era of the Ming Dynasty (1548-1561). It is one of the earliest stone tablets hitherto found at Lijiang.

The river is broadened at the bend and flows slowly. The famous historical event, such as “Zhuge Liang’s Crossing the Lushni River in the Fifth Month”, Kublai Khan’s “Crossing the River on Leather Rafts” all chose this place as a ferry. In May 1936, the Red Army to leaders He Long, Ren Bishi and Guan Xianying led the Second Route Red Army to march north, crossing the river also at this place. At present, a splendid memorial tablet marking the victorious crossing is erected here.



The First Bend of the Yangtze River is a scenic area located about 60 kilometers northwest of Lijiang city in Yunnan Province, China. It is a unique geographical feature where the Yangtze River abruptly changes its course by 180 degrees, creating a picturesque bend in the river.

The main attraction at the First Bend of the Yangtze River is, of course, the bend itself. Visitors can take in the stunning views of the river from several lookout points, including the Shigu Town Observation Deck and the Shi Gu Ferry Observation Deck. Additionally, there are several other attractions in the area, such as the Stone Drum Village, which is home to a historic stone drum tower that dates back to the Ming Dynasty.

The best time to visit the First Bend of the Yangtze River is during the spring and autumn seasons, from March to May and September to November. During these months, the weather is mild and comfortable, and the scenery is at its most beautiful. However, visitors should be aware that the park can be crowded during peak tourist season, so it is best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds.

The First Bend of the Yangtze River is located about 60 kilometers northwest of Lijiang city, and it can be reached by public transportation or taxi. The most convenient way to get there is by taxi or private car, but visitors can also take a public bus from the Lijiang bus station to Shigu Town, which takes about 1.5 hours. Once in the area, visitors can explore on foot and take in the sights and sounds of this unique and beautiful natural wonder.