Zhaotong is located in northeast Yunnan on the middle and upper reaches of Yangtse River (Jinshajiang), Zhaotong Prefecture occupies an area of 2.3 million hectares and home to 4.7 million people.
Three great rivers-the Jinshajiang, the Niulanjiang and the Baishuijiang- and other 390 smaller rivers and branches have cut deep valleys in the Wumeng Range and at Wulianfeng. Just four percent of the land is flat. Zhaotong Prefecture's diverse geography ranges from Shuifu County at 267 meters in elevation to the tallest Yaoshan Mountain in Qiaojia County at 4041 meters. Trees found there include virgin dove trees (Davidia involucrata) in Xiaocaoba in Yiliang County and also the lacebark pine in Xindian, Qiaojia County.
Zhaotong is used to be the venue of an important conference held in February of 1935 during Chinese Red Army's Long March and it used to be an important gateway to Sichuan and Guizhou provinces, and one of the major economic and cultural centers on the "Silk Road" in south China.
Tourist attractions in Zhaotong are marked Huanglian River scenic area in the higher visibility and the Dashanbao Black-Necked Crane National Nature Reserve. National Customs is the liveliest and Miao flower Festival.
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