Yangtze River First Bend

Admission Fee: All day for free
Opening Hours: All day

The Yangtze River Bend, aptly named for the sudden northward turn of the south-running river, is shaped by the surrounding mountain ranges that converge to form a colossal V-shaped formation at this particular location.As sediment gradually accumulated in this area, giving rise to fertile soil, a village emerged over time, now known as Shigu Town, which translates to “stone drum” in Chinese. This town has played a significant role since ancient times, serving as a vital link between Tibet and the outside world. Tibetan traders traditionally bring high-quality fur, hides, and herbal medicine, exchanging them for tea, salt, cloth, and other essential goods. Market days in Shigu Town are bustling affairs, filled with crowds and lively activity.

Shigu Town is also renowned for being the site of the First Bend of the Yangtze River, where the river’s course dramatically changes direction. Here, the gold-laden sands from the first gulf in the Yangtze River, located in western Lijiang City, make a striking 180-degree turn, carving through layers of mountain terrain before continuing its northward flow and eventually veering eastward. This spectacular sight has earned its fame as the First Bend of the Yangtze River.

At this bend, the river widens and meanders leisurely. Throughout history, notable events such as “Zhuge Liang’s Crossing the Lushni River in the Fifth Month” and Kublai Khan’s “Crossing the River on Leather Rafts” have taken place at this ferry crossing. In May 1936, during the Long March, leaders of the Red Army, including He Long, Ren Bishi, and Guan Xianying, led the Second Route Red Army to march north, crossing the river at this strategic location. Today, a splendid memorial tablet commemorates this victorious crossing.

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