Yunnan is the most southwestern province in China, with borders to Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. It also borders the Chinese provinces Tibet, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Guangxi. Although it has no conection to the sea, the lowest point is only 76m asl, located in in the Honghe River Valley in Hekou County. The highest peak belongs to the Himalaya, Kawagebo Peak in Deqin County on the Diqing Plateau, about 6,740m asl. high. The province is drained by six major river systems, Yangtze to the north, Pearl River to the east, Mekong, Red River, Salween and Irrawaddy drain to the south.
The geology is really divers, with many influences of the Himalayan orogeny, there are abundant natural resources includng minerals, fuels and ores. In 2,700 places known deposits of 86 different mineral types are found, some of them are the largest of their kind in China. Most important are deposits of zinc, lead, tin, cadmium, indium, thallium, and crocidolite. There are many working mines but at the moment we do not know of any show mine.
Many areas are formed of limestone, marble and other soluble rocks. Because of the warm and humid climate along the Tropic of Cancer, they are heavily karstified. A mayor tourist site is the Stone Forest, a series of karst outcrops east of Kunming. All over the country show caves can be found, but generally they are rarely visited by foreign tourist and in a bad shape, at least to western standards. But the increasing amount of domestic and foreign tourists has also a fundamental effect on the development of existing and new tourist sights.
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