Panzhihua is situated in the southwest of Sichuan, where the Yalung River merges with the Jinsha River. It is 749km from Chengdu in the north, 351km from Kunming in the south, 213km from Lugu Lake in the west and 302km from Lijiang. It borders Huili County of Liangshan Prefecture in the west; Yongren County of Yunnan Province in the south; Huaping County and Linlang Yi Autonomous County in the west; the counties of Dechang and Yanyuan in the north. Supported with traffic infrastructures such as the ChengduKunming Railway, Panzhihua Airport and Chengdu-Panzhihua Expressway, the city serves as a communication hub on the Southern Silk Road, a shortcut linking Sichuan to the coastal cities and ports in South China and Southeast Asia, and a doorway to the tourist attractions in the southwest of Sichuan and Northwest of Yunnan.
On February 5th, 1965, a written ‘Reply regarding the Establishment of the People’s Committee of Panzhihua Special Region’ was issued jointly by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. On March 20th, the People’s Committee of Panzhihua Special Region was officially inaugurated.
In April, the State Council replied to the Sichuan provincial People’s Committee, approving the request to change Panzhihua Special Region to Dukou Municipality, which covered a total area of 1,411.96km2 including both banks of the Jinsha River.
In October 1974, approved by the State Council, the towns of Pingdi and Dalongtan of the Yongren County in Yunnan Province were allocated to the jurisdiction of Dukou Municipality.
In July 1978, by decision of the Sichuan provincial government, the towns of Hongge, Xingjiu, Mengxing and four production brigades of Heai Town of Huili County became part of Dukou.
In October of the same year, approved by the State Council and decided by the Sichuan provincial government, the counties of Miyi and Yanbian of Xichang Prefecture came under the jurisdiction of Dukou. By then, the area covered by the Municipality had increased to 7,434.4km2.
In January 1987, with approval of the State Council, the Municipality was renamed Panzhihua.
There are Four Major Touring Routes in the city.
–Demystification of Industrial History in West China
Industrial tourism is widely talked about today. The New York Mint and Haier Production base in Qingdao receive tens of thousands of visitors every day. The Ertan Hydro-power project, which ‘makes high gorges into a lake’, boasts a dam ranking highest in Asia and third highest in the world, and an underground powerhouse, the largest one in Asia. Panganga steel works elaborately arranged in the same fashion like an ‘ivory miniature’ is the largest supplier of vanadium, titanium products and heavy rails, where tourists are offered the opportunity to witness power of high technology and demystify the story behind sparkling iron droplets. The 503 powerhouse, a colossal underground structure erected in 1960’s -1970’s is all arranged inside a mountain, which is peculiarly appealing to tourists. The Lianjian mine is the largest open pit of V-bearing titaniferous magnetite, which will be dressed into a highlighted scenic spot. According to the ‘National Standards for Agricultural Tourism Demonstration and Industrial Tourism Demonstration’, infrastructures for the Ertan project–a ‘World Class Dam’, Pangang–a steel works elaborately arranged in the same fashion like an ‘ivory miniature’ and 503 Powerhouse–a gigantic underground complex, will be optimized to offer tourists an opportunity to experience spectacular modern civilization.
— Sunshine Hot Spring for Holiday Spending
The Hongge Hot Spring Scenic Zone intended for holiday spending covers an area of 4.3km2. Listed among the ‘Major Three Landscapes’ by the municipal government, this project has been designed and planned according to high standards by the Japanese hot spring experts. Additionally there is a vast land for fruit production in the vicinity of the spring area, where eco-agriculture is booming. This route offers you the opportunity to enjoy hot spring bath room, outdoor swimming pool, health care villa as well as guest rooms, tasteful dishes and folk recreations. The third expansion project with an estimated total investment of 1.936 billion yuan consists of Panzhihua Mingji Sunshine Hot Spring International Club(First phase), Panzhihua National Shooting and Archery Training Center(first phase), a tourist street, a hotel, a health care center, a park, a holiday villa, three golf courses and national small ball games training base. Hongge will soon develop into a national hot spring landscape specially designated for holiday spending.
— Fascinating Landscape of the Great Rift Valley
The Ertan National Woodland Park covers a planned area of 732km2, of which 101 km2 is occupied by water. It boasts a forest coverage of 70% with many species of plants and animals. The Asia first dam, symbol of industrial civilization, stands against the background of natural scenic combination of mountains, lakes, springs, woods and caverns. The park has been filed under the 2002-2010 Woodland Park Development Program proposed by the State Forest Administration. To develop sight-seeing, holiday-spending and special tourist resorts and boost eco-travel, a total of 2 billion yuan will be invested into this project.
The Changjiang Rafting Festival as the image speaker of the city has been successfully held in Panzhihua for consecutive three years. During the Labor Day period 2005, the festival entitled ‘First Rafting Station on the Changjiang Rivera Leisure Seeking Destination’ was launched which attracted hundreds of participators within 7 days.
–Folk Customs in the Borderland
Panzhihua is an emerging city of immigrants with 42 ethnic minority groups, including the Yi, Lisu and Hui, which contribute to various folk customs such as the ‘Torch Festival’, the ‘Skirt-exchange Ceremony’ and ‘Dongjing Ceremonial Music of the Yi people; the ‘Water-splashing Festival’ and ‘Having a Date with Girls’ of the Dai; ‘Paperless Love Letters’ of the Lisu; ‘Zouhun (Moving Marriage)’ and the ‘Chengding (Coming of Age) Festival of the Mosuo. Colorful cultures as well as diversified folk songs, dances and costumes, regional special tastes are all appealing to visitors.
Listed among the key attractions on the China Great Shangrila Touring Route and proposed under the Sichuan Shangrila Travel Industry Program, Gesala Eco-tourism Project was officially appraised in March 2005. With a total investment estimated at 448 million yuan, the proposed project covers an area of 100 km2 including a central scenic area of 20km2. Scenic spots include the Yi Village Tourist Reception Center, the Horse-racing Field , the ‘Natural Ported Landscape’, the Suomageze Wetland, the Ridunixi Highland Pasture for Horse-riding and Shepherding, the Jiudaozulin Virgin Forest and the Lishihuopu Camping Area. In response to the state Great Shangrila tourism development program, a Management Committee has been established to intensify investment promotion for this project. By 2006 this project is scheduled to come into initial operation. Additional projects proposed are: the Ashuda Agricultural New Village for suburb holiday spending; the Yishala Yi Village in Renhe District to be the first Lipu Yi demonstration village in China and the Xinshan Lisu Folk Custom Town. By promoting regional eco-resources, folk customs and cultures, a 50-km-long tourism corridor extending over Hongge-Ertan-Gesala will soon be formed. In combination with other well-known tourism resorts in the borderland, such as Chuxiong, Lijiang, Dali, etc, an eco-culture oriented touring route covering both Sichuan and Yunnan will come with a promising future.