Dian-Zang Line | Key Points on the Southern Silk Road (Part Four)

Translated into English: Entering Tibet along the 214 National Highway from Kunming is the famous "Southern Silk Road" Tea Horse Ancient Road. Compared to Bancha, the Dianzang Line has a long history, well-developed infrastructure, and lower difficulty for self-driving. Along the way, there are not only beautiful scenery but also various ancient trail relics. If you want to experience the disappeared caravan culture, this route is not to be missed!

Salt well scenic area

Located in Naxi Ethnic Township, Mangkang County, it is about 107 kilometers away from the county seat. It is situated on both sides of the 214 national highway of the Lancang River, at an altitude of about 2300 meters. "Yanjing" is named after salt production. There is a salt well called "Cakalo" in the Yanjing area, where salt is produced. According to historical records, there has been a history of salt drying in the salt well as early as the Tang Dynasty, which has a history of more than 1200 years. Here, you can experience the simple folk customs. When you see the stalactite crystal salt in the house, it will definitely take you into the world of the crystal palace, presenting a natural and beautiful spectacle in front of you.

Red La Mountain Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey National Nature Reserve

Hongla Mountain Nature Reserve, later renamed as the Mangkang Yunnan Golden Monkey National Nature Reserve, is located 60 kilometers from Mangkang County, with a width of 30 kilometers and a length of 80 kilometers. The reserve has a high latitude and varied topography, with a prominent three-dimensional natural landscape. It ranges from an altitude of 2300 meters to 4448 meters, with different vegetation at different altitudes. It is a kingdom of plants and a gene bank for the study of flora and fauna. In addition to the Yunnan golden monkey, the reserve is also home to many rare national first and second-level protected animals and valuable medicinal herbs. It is the hometown of Mangkang red pine and the kingdom of forests.


Lau Mountain is located in Mangkang County, Tibet Autonomous Region. It is a gentle mountain pass within the Mongkang area of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, also known as National Highway 318. Despite its gentle slopes, Lau Mountain boasts magnificent scenery that is filled with natural beauty, attracting many tourists for sightseeing every year. Unlike other mountains that are densely green, a notable feature of Lau Mountain is its sparse and rare greenery. When viewed from afar, the intermittent green patches on Lau Mountain stand out as a distinctive characteristic.

Jueba Mountain

Jueba Mountain (also known as Jiaoba Mountain) - located in the watershed of the Three Rivers (Jinsha River, Lancang River, and Nu River) in western Sichuan to eastern Mangkang County and Zogang County in Tibet, surrounded by mountains such as Anjula Mountain, Boshula Ridge, and Lahu Mountain. The Jueba Mountain section of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, about 30 kilometers long, has an elevation difference of nearly 2000 meters between Zhuka Village and Dengba Village in Mangkang County, Tibet, making it the most difficult and time-consuming mountain to climb on the Sichuan-Tibet Line. The mountain is not high, but it has many ups and downs: the pass has an elevation of 3940 meters, and the Lancang River cuts deep, with steep cliffs on the river banks. Many warning signs are placed at the entrance to remind people of flying rocks, landslides, and debris flows along the way. The mountain experiences all four seasons, with sudden changes in weather.

East Dasha Mountain

The Dongda Mountain is the second highest mountain pass in the Sichuan-Tibet Southern Line, located in Zogang County, Tibet. It is situated at an altitude of 5008 meters and features lush green meadows and herds of yaks, offering breathtaking scenery. Take precautions against altitude sickness and bring products to alleviate its symptoms. The road leading to Dongda Mountain is no longer winding and twists but a straight path towards the front, both gentle and long, seemingly endless. This is the longest and most winding section of the Sichuan-Tibet Highway, marked by a blue road sign erected by the People's Armed Police, which reads "Dongda Mountain".

Ye La mountain pass

Yela Mountain is a high mountain between Banda and Basu in Tibet, with an altitude of over 4600 meters. Although this altitude is not high in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the mountain has large undulations and relatively high relative height. From east to west, starting from Banda, the undulation of Yela Mountain is only over 600 meters. From west to east, starting from Basu, the undulation reaches 1500 meters. The mountain scenery of Yela Mountain is famous on the Sichuan-Tibet Highway for its changes in elevation.

Nujiang 72 Turns

After crossing the Ailao Mountains, we arrived at the legendary "Nujiang 72 Turns", which is one of the most dangerous sections of the Yunnan-Tibet Highway. There are actually over 130 bends, hence it is also known as the "99 Turns". Clearly, the road is very treacherous.

Nujiang Grand Canyon

Nujiang Gorge is located in the Hengduan Mountains Transverse Valley Region. Nujiang, Lancang River, and Dulong River converge here. The deepest part of the gorge reaches 3500 meters, hence it is also known as the "Grand Canyon of the East".