The Potatso National Park, also called or Pudacuo National Park, is the first national park in China to meet International Union for Conservation of Nature standards. It aims at protecting the natural and cultural heritage in the region. The Park preserves many classic features of China’s southwestern region together with traditional life style of Tibetan settlements.
The Potatso National Park is located in Shangri-La, northwest of Yunnan Province, 22 kilometers away from the Shangri-La county. It consists of the Bita Lake Nature Reserve and the Shudu Lake.
The Bita Lake is lying in the heart of the Potatso Park. Being 3 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide, it exhibits an altitude of 3,530 meters and a maximum depth of 40 meters. On both sides of the shore, growing are multitudes of centuries-old oak trees, spruces and firs.
Bita Lake is the highlight of Potatso Park. Among the local Tibetans, Bita Lake is said to be incarnated from a piece of mirror of a fairy lady who broke her mirror when combing her hair. “Bita” in Tibetan also refers to a place where lots of oak trees are growing. In the center of the lake, stands a small wooded island which is the shelter for many rare species of birds. If you are lucky enough to be in the non-windy day, the rosy clouds, the snow-capped mountains and the nearby forests are all mirrored in the lake.
Shudu Lake is 3705 meters above the sea level, which is one of the biggest lakes in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The lake is a famous pasture in every spring and summer, herds of yak and goat grazing beside the lake the shepherd’s shelters dots on the grassland. People can hear the sound of flute comes from afar. Staying beside the lake, you can deeply feel the quiet and leisurely life of high-land people.
The lake water is so limpid that people could see the cracked-stomach fish produced in the lake whose color is golden and there is a crack line along its stomach. Around the lake, there are dense forest of fir spruce and birch. There are different wild animals such as musk deer, bear, leopard, golden cat, deer, pheasant etc.
Militang Pasture is between Shudu Lake and Bita Lake. It is the vastest pastureland in the Potatso Park. It’s dotted with yaks and cabbage-like grass (locally called Yak-butter Grass because the local Tibetans use the leaves to wrap yak butter). “Militang” in Tibetan means “the Buddha’s eye” because it presents an eye outline when overlooked.