Driving along Provincial Road S226 we passed these Subsistence farms that were cultivating crops on the steep hillsides in the mountainous region of Shiguzhen about 56km from Lijiang in Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China.
These beautiful eco-friendly terraces fed by the Jinsha River, are able to conserve both water & soil, allowing more intensive cropping than would otherwise be possible. The farmers here grow food crops for survival & local requirements, with little or no surplus for trade.
Travelling just a little further southeast at Shigu, Jinsha River (Upper reach of Yangtze) suddenly turns 180° northeast sharply, creating a mammoth V-shaped bend, hence the moniker “First Bend of the Yangtze River”.

The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia; the 3rd longest in the world & the longest river in the world that flows entirely within one country. This amazing river has its origins in Qinghai the Tibetan Plateau & travels easterly some 6,300km through various provinces of China to reach the East China Sea at Shanghai.

Millions of people live in the plains of the Yangtze Valley where floods are commonplace especially during the summer months but the ones that occurred during 1931, 1954, 1998 & most recently in 2016 were catastrophic. Countless lives perished, homes destroyed or damaged; some succumbed to disease upon aftermath of the floods & great economic losses were incurred.

Yangtze River has for thousands of years, played a vital part in the history, culture & economy of China. Today, it is still an important waterway providing water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, industry, boundary marking & this prosperous Yangtze River Delta contributes to about 20% of China’s GDP.

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