CHINARIVERS.COM: The NuJiang River Preservation Project
NuJiang in the News!
Dam Building Threatens China’s ’Grand Canyon’
By Jim Yardley, NY Times, March 10, 2004

Drung Nationality Residents Drive Unauthorized Film Crew & Kayakers from Upper Dulong River Valley
By White Pearl, November 12. 2004

More News Articles

Sponsors | China Links | Riverrat First Descent | Nu Flowers

Welcome to the only web site dedicated to Preservation of the NuJiang (Salween) River of China, its peoples and species. The NuJiang River Preservation Project of China provides economic incentives through ecotourism to achieve effective conservation at the ground level.

NuJiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture Travel Service Company is the controlling agency over all tourism in NuJiang. For information about travel, including contact info, see the NuJiang Travel Bureau brochure.

Reports from China

Flat Busted in Fugong

Dennis Schultz's white-knuckle tale of the first descent of the NuJiang in 1996. The three chapters link in a new window.

An Appeal for the Nu from Dennis Schultz:

I am totally opposed to the building of dams on the Nu Jiang between Bingzhongluo and Liuku. This would be the equivalent of building dams in the Grand Canyon in the U.S. I have run the Grand Canyon several times as well as run much of this beautiful stretch of pristine exciting whitewater on the Nu. In many ways, they are comparable. The potential for tourism and river running in this valley also compares favorably to that of the Grand Canyon. To lose this would be devastating. Realizing the need for hydroelectric power in China just as power was needed in the southwest United States, I suggest that dams be built above Bingzhongluo or well below Liuku, just as they were built above and below the Grand Canyon. However, this region should remain open to river running and tourism just as the Grand Canyon has in the U.S. .

The Doctors' Tour

Marc and Jennifer travel through Yunnan on a trip set up for them by White Pearl Associates. Read their report for an inside view of ethical ecotourism in action.

This report opens in a new window. Close it when you're done. features a variety of maps of the NuJiang region, including a map of the proposed dams, maps illustrating their effects on the people of the region, and hand-drawn local maps of some of the towns in the area. We are constantly adding to this collection.

To view the collection, click on the image to the left.

NuJiang River Ecotourism Opportunities
  • Outdoor Sports: Whitewater Paddling, Cycling, Climbing, Trekking;
  • Natural History: Travel/study Tours in Ethnology of Minority Nationalities of China, History of Burma Road, World War II Flying Tigers and Old Southern Silk Road; Search for the Shangri La of Lost Horizons
  • Nature Reserve tours and Species Studies: Spring and Fall Flower Photography, Birding, Trekking and Sightseeing.

Email for details: chinariverscom at
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New reports from China:

White Pearl's First Bike Tour of Nujiang
and Search for Flying Tigers

Tiger Tour       Ox Tour       RiverRat Tour       Photo Gallery

Schedule of Events

  • January - Bicycle for Fun and Preservation
  • February - Dulong Flower Festival
  • March, April, May - Spring Flower Photography; Natural History Tour
  • October - Fall Bird, Flower, and Hot Springs Tour
  • November - Natural History Tour; Search for Shangri La Tour
  • December to January - Celebrate 3 New Years (Minority, Western and Chinese) with the Merry Nationalities of NuJiang! Also Holiday Whitewater Tour; Mountain Bike & Road Bike Tours.

WHITEWATER SEASON - November, December and January combine lower water with dry sunny weather; other months depend on weather & water. Nujiang features road accessible Class III-V clean whitewater.

NuJiang Travel Company is the controlling agency over ALL tourism in Nujiang including whitewater, mountaineering and bicycling permits. Response to inquiries and processing of both commercial and private permits is prompt and courteous.

Contact information:

Nujiang Tour Company
Nujiangzhou Hotel
Liuku, China 673100
Attn: Ms. Ya Sha, Vice Manager

Tel: (0886) 3624247
Fax: (0886) 3623300

English-speaking email contact for Ya Sha:

Nujiang hires Minority Nationality and follows a Code of Ecotour Ethics and all pertinent laws and regulations of the People's Republic of China.

How does Nujiang ecotourism for preservation work?

Each Event or Tour allocates a 15% donation to one of our Donation Programs.

© Dave Pizzuti

Past and Current Donation Goals:

  • GLOBE Computer program;
  • Endangered Languages Program;
  • Cultural Song and Dance Preservation Program;
  • Gaoligong Mt. Nature Reserve's Village Training Seminars;
  • Gaoligong Mt. Online Orchid Market Catalogue;
  • Whitewater Training Base;
  • Reforestation and Tree Planting Program.

And most importantly, 60% of tour travel fees goes directly into the hands of the Minority Nationality agencies and citizens of NuJiang to fund their own Preservation efforts.

The River

© White Pearl

Stone Moon over the Nu Jiang.

Looking downriver with Stone Moon Mountain in the background, subject of a romantic legend.

After a successful 1996 NuJiang First Descent, government discussions for the first time included NuJiang in plans for a new National Park in NW Yunnan - now to be called the Three Rivers National Park. In May at the inauguration of the new joint venture (White Pearl & NuJiang's new Chinese River Team Training Park in Liuku), White Pearl was officially appointed NuJiang Advisory Expert to develop an ecotourism which includes a winter whitewater season for international boaters.

Commercial river companies and kayak clubs are invited to apply under the new permit system to receive group trip permits. No screening requirements. Two kayakers and two rafts make a "group". Great chance to add a winter season international trip to your domestic itineraries. Experience the best clean whitewater in Asia, completely road accessible, while staying in hotels nightly, and contribute to development of China's first new Whitewater Training Park. No user/day limitation.

E-mail for most current information and new low prices. White Pearl at

One of two Class 5 rapids
on the Nu Jiang.

Looking down on Leaping Tiger (Shuan Na Wadi) at 10,000 c.f.s. level, first run by Dave Pizzuti and Scott Young of Colorado at 30,000 c.f.s.

Read about it in Expedition Report No. 4.

© Gaoligong Mt. Nature Reserve
Environmental perspective on the NuJiang Preservation Project.

© White Pearl
The Nu Jiang Canyon.

Known as the Salween or Thanlwin River in Burma. This scenic river flows unimpeded with a consistent clarity of 98% six months a year during the fall, winter and early spring, a rare commodity in China. The NuJiang road (and bike route) follows close beside the river linking the Lisu, Nu, and Tibetan communities along the Nu River for 300 miles of gorgeous scenery.

Natural Attributes of the Nu Jiang Region

Tours of Gaoligong Mt. Nature Reserve

People of the Region

Woman of the Nu Minority Nationality of China.

With only 25,000 members the Nu Nationality is one of China's smallest and only lives in the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture. The Preservation Project takes place mainly in their homeland on the Nu River, named after this ancient people.

© Yunnan People's Pub., Kunming

© Yang Fashun
Girls of the Li Zu (Lisu) Minority Nationality of China.

Their people have legal dominion over the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Perfecture of Yunnan Province, over 300 miles along the Burmese border and the Upper Nu River canyons.

The People of the Nu Jiang (Upper Salween) Region, Yunnan, China

History, Legends and Laws of the Region

Ox Tours

© Shen Che

Is THIS the real Shangri La of the Lost Horizons book by James Hilton, first paperback ever published (1933)?

Archeology Search for the Lost Shangri La - will trace the locations of the clues in NuJiang and Deqen. A history component will cover the Burma Road of World War II Flying Tigers, and the Old Southern Silk Road of Marco Polo's time.

Contact NuJiang Travel Bureau to receive the Itinerary.

Maps of NuJiang (Salween) River

showing the expedition/tour area in Yunnan Province.

The NuJiang River Project is located on the Burmese (Myranmar) border of China and of Tibet. The Nu (Salween) River follows the China-Burma border, passing through the homeland of the Dulong, Nu, and Lisu minority nationalities. Details can be seen in the regional area map and the area of the three autonomous prefectures where the future Three Rivers National Park will be located.

Regional map (jpg 106k)


The NuJiang River Project's official sponsors and hosts show a firm commitment of China's government to conserve natural and cultural environments.

China Environmental Protection Foundation, our national level sponsor, was founded in April 1993 - the first non-profit NGO foundation dedicated to environmental protection in China. CEPF is active in sponsoring individuals and organizations who are making outstanding contributions to the field. We are proud to introduce CEPF to other NGO organizations of the world wishing to make contact with this distinguished Foundation:

Mr. Xu Qinghua, Secretary-General, CEPF,
Address: No 1 Yuhuinanlu, Beisihuan, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029 P.R. China.
Fax: 0086-10-6493-1438;

Yunnan Physical Culture and Sports Committee, our host agency for the Outdoor Sports Program and the Project's whitewater, climbing and cycling permit procedure, also manages the world class Olympic training programs and Training Center of Kunming.

Yunnan Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve, Baoshan and NuJiang Administrative Divisions' manage this world famous Protected Area located in NuJiang Lisu and Baoshan Prefectures. They host all tours and species studies within the Gaoligong Nature Reserve and the adjacent Tenchong Hot Springs area.

NuJiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture Travel Service Company and its subsidiaries, as the controlling agency over all tourism including paddling in NuJiang, runs support for all Project tours, expeditions, and events within NuJiang. Led by distinguished minority scholars, NuJiang Travel is also the host agency for all Ethnology related tours and the Archeology Search Tour for The Lost Horizons' Shangri La. See the NuJiang Travel Bureau brochure.

1996 Expedition Team Reports

by White Pearl, White Pearl Associates.

These were the FIRST in web history ever to come out of China and give detailed information on the River, the People, and the Project at work. River Permits (below) gives specific information on the "pay and go" whitewater package.

Email chinariverscom at for description of the new NuJiang River Permit System, and to sign up for paddling during the winter season under the new convenient "Draw System".

River Permits

Other River, Environmental and China URLs

For details about current and future projects and tours contact:    

A big "Thank You" to Yiren Advertising for providing printing
for the USA-China Nujiang River Expedition team.

Authorized Travel Agent for Tours:
Travelease of Boulder,;
2321 30th St, Boulder, CO 80301.

WebNag 2002, WebSlither 2001, WebDragon 2000, WebWabbit 1999, WebCat 1998:
Jeremy McCaleb of



Webpage written and maintained by White Pearl Associates, Inc.
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