Zhaotong Overview

Basic information

Chineses name: 昭通

Location: In the northeast of Yunnan and southwest of China

Population: 5.475 million

Nationalities: Han, Yi, Miao, Hui

Language: Southwestern Mandarin - Yunnan Dialect

Area: 23000 square kilometers

Zip code: 657200

Area code: 0870

Geographical Location

Zhaotong is located in the northeast of Yunnan Province, historically one of an important cities in the south-western Silk Road, Zhaotong City is the communication centre and the north gate of Yunnan Province leading to Sichuan and areas in middle- and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. It is also an inland port to Southeast Asia and South Asia.


Located in the northeast of Yunnan, 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 center on the “Silk Road” in south China.


Zhaotong’s long history, wonderful ancient Zhuti Culture, numerous places of historic interest and scenic beauty, and special topography make the city a unique place for tourism. Humanistic sights include: the Five-ruler Path of China’s South Silkroad; the Rub-Rock inscribed by Yuanzi , envoy of Tang Dynasty under orders to confer King of Nanzhao in Yunnan; the Suspended Human Coffins on the cliffs along the swift currents; the large-scale unearthed historical relics of the New Stone Age; the Pavilion of Honest and Upright Officials, interveining with water and with the style of Suzhou Gardens; former residences of patriotic generals Long Yun and Lu Han, and the memorial for General Luo Binghui. There are also many natural resorts: the many waterfalls falling from the cliffs; the limestone cavern, Black Dragon Cavern, to compare beauty with Swallow Cavern and Alugu Cavern; Great Biaoshuiyan Waterfall with a fall of 65 meters and a width of more than 20 meters which is as grand as Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou Province; and finally, the Huanglianhe Natural Beauty Spot which contains waterfall groups, splendid Baichuan Hanging Rock, and Watershade Long Corridor as a whole.

Administrative Division

There are 1 district (Zhaoyang); 10 counties (Ludian, Qiaojia, Yanjin, Daguan, Yongshan, Suijiang, Zhenxiong, Yiliang, Weixin, Shuifu)

Ethnic Groups

Here we have 23 minorities, among which 11 have lived here for generations, and they include Yi, Wa, Dai, Laku, Bulang, and Deang.Climate


Best Time to Visit

Zhaotong city belongs to the zone of the continental monsoon climate. The temperature of winter is quite low, but comfortable in summer. The annual average temperature is 11.6℃, the average precipitation is 735 mm and the annual sunshine reaches 1902 hours.


There are long-distance bus stations, and there is an airport and a passenger port. People can take them to different places, and there are also short-distance buses, taxi, and minibus in Zhenxiong county.


Zhaotong food is effected by Sichuan cuisine and Guizhou Cuisine. It has Sichuan cuisine's spicy and pungent flavor and Guizhou cuisine's intence, and they are good at using ingredients and pickling. Thay emphasize that the spicy and pungent flovor can defeat the damp.

Top Attractions

Zhaotong is a great city to visit. If you are a first time visitor, solo traveller or travelling with family, it is always good to know popular attractions to visit. As a multinational place, its attractions are definitely related to the ethnic minority culture except the natural landscapes and historical sites. Shuitianwanzi is a Miao ethnic village in Weixin where you can observe the ancestor's house and daily utensils such as grinding mills, looms, spinning wheels, mills for making Ciba cake and farming tools. Zhaotong played an important role in economy communication of Yunnan and Sichuan province in the past, so you couldn’t miss the historical sites like Zhaotong Old Town. Zhaotong reserves a ecological landscape for Black-necked Cranes.