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The First Bend of the Yangtze River and the Lijiang Stone Drum

The First Bend of the Yangtze River

The Yangtze River is China’s main river which flows through the country west to east. It’s one of the longest rivers in the world.
Starting from the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, the Yangtze heads towards the south-east. Once it reaches Hailou Mountain at the village of Shigu, the river bends at approximately a 160 degree angle and takes a turn north-east, making for a unique scenic area on the river. The bend is located about 70 kilometers from the city of Lijiang and is becoming a popular scenic spot in Yunnan province. It is possible to hike up to the scenic spot in the village where the U-shaped turn can be best viewed for travellers and photographers alike.

Also known as “Stone Drum” town, the village of Shigu was once an important stop on the ancient Tea Horse Trail. There is a drum-shaped, white marble tombstone in the village located right next to the first bend. It was built during the period of the Three Kingdoms. In-scripted on the stone drum is the story of Mu Gao, a Naxi native and chieftain. It is said that he once walked across the river to the point where the stone drum now stands. A marble monument was built in honor of his crossing.