According to UNESCO, the region:
may be the most biologically diverse temperate region on earth
For decades, this spectacular biosphere has been a hot spot for plant endemism in Asia and was the botanical backdrop for many intrepid plant hunters of the past, including George Forrest and Frank Kingdon Ward. The protected area is home to around 6,000 species of plants, over 300 of which are believed to be found nowhere else on earth. More than 200 varieties of rhododendron and more than 100 species of gentians and primulas also grow here.
The fauna to found in the area includes the endemic black snub-nosed monkey, the recently discovered 'skywalker' gibbon, the elusive takin, the even more elusive snow leopard, the Asian black bear and the red panda. There are also numerous rare bird species.
Culturally, the region is also a veritable melting pot with many of the twenty-five minorities to be found throughout Yunnan represented here, including the Drung tribe, the smallest of all of China's minority groups, whose oldest women still have full facial tattoos. Some of the other minorities include the Tibetans, Nu, Yi, Lisu, Pumi and Naxi.