Welcome back to this week’s edition of ‘Bajan,’ Chinese style! By now I hope each and every one of you-my beloved readers-know how I so enjoy our mutual ‘sharing’ experience and so pleasantries aside, let’s continue our expedition of the Yu Long Snowy Mountain by looking at the diverse and vastly beautiful scenic spots which make up the entire National Park.
Last week, we had established that one of the most convenient and reliable ways to visit Yu Long Snowy Mountain was by pre-booking an online travel package. I recommend using reputable shopping sites such as Tmall Travel, as the customer service even offers simple insurance, (if you are willing to pay).
Various packages are usually offered at different prices and it goes without saying that different packages include different attractions. The basic package, which was that I booked, was inclusive of transportation to and from the Mountain park, the ticket fee, in-park shuttles to the major scenic spots, express queuing, cable car fee, winter jackets and one bottle of water.
More extravagant ones included lunch as well as entrance fee to the highly acclaimed Zhang Yi Mo Operetta, “Impressions of Lijiang,” which is set against the natural backdrop of the Yu Long Mountain.
Having established the packages available, we are finally ready to step foot on this magnificent geographical feature. Yu Long ( Jade Dragon) Snowy Mountain is a 4A National Park which occupies a total area of 455 square kilometres and dominates the landscape with a total height of 5596 metres. This is a truly quite incredible height-especially for some like me who hails from a seaside home-However be forewarned that at this height, oxygen sickness is a real threat and it is paramount that you take all the necessary precautions (Re: Survival in Shangri-La).
Yu Long Snowy Mountain consists of several major scenic areas which house a plethora of unique geographical traits for which the Mountain is famed.
These scenic spots are: Gan Hai Zi 甘海子, Yun Shan Ping 云杉坪 , Bing Ta Lin 冰塔林 and Lan yue Gu 蓝月谷. These spots in turn are made of natural features such as glaciers, highland grasslands, open air ice stalagmites, pure azure melt water lakes, frozen waterfalls, and of course, snow covered mountain peaks.
For my trip, I was able to explore Gan Hai Zi, Bing Ta Lin and Lan Yue Gu.
Gan Hai Zi is a large highland grassland (Re: Yunnan Province, Lu Gu Lake) which is located in the eastern reaches of the National park. In fact, in order to reach the mountain proper, traversing this grassland( Re: It’s just Grass!) is unavoidable. During late summer and early to mid-autumn( Re: Autumn Edition, Guan Men Mountain) , the grassland explodes into large swaths of multi-coloured flowers, which lend an other worldly feel to the already exquisite natural backdrop of the Yu long Mountain. It must also be noted that this time period is also the best time to visit Yu Long, as the heavy showers and inclement weather of early summer should have already passed.
Bing Ta Lin, which can be roughly translated as “Forests of frozen towers,” is located on the peaks Yu Long Mountain. After taking what is lauded as being the most modern cable car in all of China from the base of the Mountain, you will alight into a veritable world of white and crystal, which regardless of season, will make you want to curl up with a cup or hot tea while being regaled by Nat King Cole’s ‘Baby, it’s cold outside.” Visages of powerful frozen rivers and rivulets-the glaciers- as well as the famed open air frozen stalagmites, dot the landscape, creating a scene so unashamedly unique as to be quite literally, impossible to forget.
Lan Yue Gu, which when translated becomes “Blue Moon Valley,” is exactly that. As you descend from the Mountain and enter the valley, the first thing which catches your attention is the strikingly azure waters of the moon shaped lake/river which snakes through the V-shaped valley. The waters of this lake are fed by the pure melt water of the mountain snow and this gives rise to the pure crystal blue colour for which the area is famed.
Yu Long Snowy Mountain is a remarkable expression of serene beauty and natural strength which goes exceptional lengths to highlight the tenacity and ingenuity of the people who call it home. Join as next week, as we take a look at the people of Yu Long!
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