China travel tips
you can trust
Learn how to pronounce
local geographical names -
and know what they mean.
Bai = "white" and "shui" = "water"
Translates as "place of pleasant songs and dances"
The upper Yangtze River goes by this name in the Lijiang and Shangri-La area. It means "golden sands", referring to the days when gold was actively panned along the river.
The largest ethnic minority in Lijiang
No one knows for sure its derivation, but a popular theory says that it was borrowed from a Tibetan word meaning "the moon and the sun in Tibetan's heart" or "land of sacredness".
Shi = "stone" and gu = "strong"
Songzan = "three gods are playing happily" and ling = "monastery"
"Clouds of the southern sky" or "south of the clouds"
Zhong = "middle" and "dian" = grassland