Kunming is the capital city of Yunnan Province. It is nestled in the central Yunnan and north of the Dianchi Basin and circled on three sides by mountains, with one side opening onto the Dianchi Lake. The city is very often called "City of Spring" due to the fact that it is filled with all with the rich verdure of trees and plants the year round. With a pleasant climate, the city"s 15,000 square kilometres of land has more than 400 kinds of flowers.
The Stone Forest is located in the Lunan Yu Autonomous County 126 kilometers southeast of Kunming. It is a typical karst formation with an area of over 300 square kilometres. The research shows that it was a huge expanse of water with a vast spread of limestone formed over the years on the seafloor 270 million years ago. Due to the crustal movement, the seabed came up slowly and so a large piece of land thus came up. Numerous stone peaks, pillars, and stalagmites came up abruptly from the land and towered into the sky,, looking like a vast forest of stone, hence the name "the Stone Forest".
Dianchi Lake is one of the largest fresh water lake in China with and an area of 340 sq km. This so called "pearl of the high land" is about 40km in length and extendes from the southwest of Kunming into the Yunnan countryside. In good weather, you will find many fishing boats and small cargo vessels are sailing across the lakes between villages. If you want ot have the best views of Dianchi, you are suggested to climb the Western Hills along its northwest shore.
The Western Hills is located 15 km from Kunming city along the western shore of Dianchi Lake. It extendes from north to south for over 40 km. The Hills looks like a sleeping maiden lying on the banks of Dianchi Lake with her long hair coming down into the lake, hence the nickname of the "A Sleeping Beauty Hills". In fact, the Western Hills is a grpark which is green park suitable for hiking. You can fins some of the important sited like: Huating Temple,an ancient Buddhist temple; Taihua Temple which has a lively orchard courtyard; Sanqing Pavilion a Daoist temple; and Dragon Gate, with some Daoist caves and sculptures. We suggest you use a half day to climb the Hills and enjoy the sites along the way.
Black Dragon Pool:
The Black Dragon Pool is located about 10 kilometers northeast of the Kunming city. It turned into a hot tourist attraction over 700 years ago in the Ming Dynasty. Actually, the place has many attractions. Ihe Black Dragon Pool is the only one of them. The Black Dragon Pool was named after an interesting story. It was learnt that in the past there was a black dragon lonce iving in this pool.
Lijiang is located in Yunnan Province of south China. It is the only Chinese city listed on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage list. It has the history of over 1,300 years, often regarded as the Old Town of Lijiang with the ancient Dongba culture and a major scenic area in China. Lijiang is inhabitaed by people of Naxi nationality. It is under the administration of the Naxi Autonomous County. It lieson a plateau at an elevation of about 2,600m. It is very famous for its natural scenery and green vegetation. it has the Jade Dragon Mountain as its backdrop. The old town is mixed naturally with the natural scenery. Thel local people of Naxi has developed a culture called "Dong Ba ulture".Classical Naxi music is regarded as the "living musical fossil" because of its long history.
Ancient Town Lijiang:
Also called Dayan Town, it is located in the middle of the Lijiang Basin. At an altitude of 2400 meters, it has an area of about 1.4 square kilometers, at the foot of Yulong Snow Mountain in northwestern Yunnan Province. In the ancient time, it was already populated by the tribal people. In the year of 1253, Kublai Khan, the Mongol chief, employed his troops here on his southward march to control the State of Dali. For the next 500 years, to the early days of the Qing Dynasty, this area was governed by a hereditary succession of chieftains from the Mu clan of the Naxi people, under the administration of the imperial court.
Yulong Snow Mountain:
Yulong Snow Mountain lies about 15 kilometers north of Lijiang. Yulong Mountain is part of the southern section of the Hengduan Mountains. It has totally 13 peaks, extending 35 kilometers from north to south. Among them, the Shanzidou Peak is the main peak with about 5,596 meters above sea level. It is actually a snow-capped mountain with snow capped all year round in the Northern Part. Yulong Snow Mountain has rich vegetation coverage with rich ecosystem from subtropical zone to frigid zone. On its eastern slope there are two cableways: the Yulong Snow Mountain Tourist Cableway, and the Yunshanping Tourist Cableway. You also find a ski site newly built.
Tiger Leaping Gorge:
The Tiger Leaping Gorge ( utiaoxia Gorge) is situated between the Yulong Snow Mountain of Lijiang and the Haba Snow Mountain of Zhongdian.
The Yangtze River flows for 16 kilometres between the Yulong Mountain in Lijiang and the Haba Mountain in Zhongdian. It is siad to be the longest, deepest, and narrowest gorges in the world. An ancient legend goes that a tiger made us of a rock in the gorge as its stepping stone so it could leap across from one side of the gorge to the other, hence the its name.Yangtze River curves in a distinctive hook marking the great First Bend of China's longest river. As Yangtze River turns sharply northwards at the First Bend, its waters sails peacefully a further 30 kilometers until met by a narrow gorge, Tiger Leaping Gorge.How to get to Tiger Leaping Gorge ? Catch a bus leaving Lijiang or Zhongdian at 7:00 in the morning, arrive at Qiaotou between 9:00 and 10:00. Then walking 4 hours get to Walnut Grove Village. Stayed one night at the village. Then then walk for another 4 hours to get to Daju. Finally take a mini-bus from Daju to Lijiang. The whole of Tiger Leaping Gorge could be accomplished, a memorable two days of personal achievement.But unfortunately there is a highway being built to from Qiaotou to Daju, hence no more feeling of hiking.
Dali is a famous city of China, well renowned for its historical interest. In the ancient time Dali was the capital of Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms, the political, economic and cultural centre of Yunnan. It was once the an important gateway of cultural exchange and trading with southeastern Asian countries. It was also the important passage of the ancient "Silk Route of the South". Dali lies in the southwest of Yunnan and at the intersection of the Yunnan-Burma Highway and Yunnan-Tibetan Highway. Dali has an area of 1,457 square km. and is populated by over 400 thousand people, most of them are the Bai, Han, Hui, Yi, Lisu and other nationalities, among whom the Bai nationality makes up most part of the total population.
Dali Ancient Town:
The Ancient Town of Dali lies in the enormous Cangshan Mountain circled by a wall 8 meters high and 3.5 kilometers in circumference. It has a history of over the 600 years. It was first built in 1683 in the Ming Dynasty. Unique stone walls, grey-tiled roofs, featuring doors and windows carved with dragon and phoenix styles, and gardens of various sizes, the living palces of Dali have the feeling of classic elegance.. The whole city is covered by a maze of streams, of fered by samll streams from the Cangshan Mountain.
Three Pagodas (santa):
The Three Pagodas of Chongshen Monastery is located at the foot of the Zhonghe Peak,a part of Cangshan Mountain. It is just one kilometre to the northwest of the ancient city of Dali. Here you can find three pretty pagodas. they are a symbol of the city's long history. The tallest of the three is about 69 meters tall. it was first set up in 836 AD. And the two smaller ones were established during a later period. People often say no travel to Dali is perfect without a trip to see the three pagodas.
Erhai Lake is in the shape of an "er" which means ear in Chinese. It is located in the east of Dali with 250 square kilometres at an elevation of 1,980 meters. This beautiful lake shines under the sun with the backdrop of the snowy peaks of the Cangshan Mountain. These views are put together to form a amazing sight known as "Silver Cangshan and Jade-like Erhar".
Xishuangbanna is located in the Dai Nationality Prefecture, Yunnan Province. The beautiful Lan Cang River extends from its north to its south. It is one of the important attractions in China. Xishuangbanna is about 800 kilometers from Kunming. It has rich plants and animals since it has the northernmost tropical rain forest in the world. This well-known national tourism area, populated by the Dai people. It has over 120 attracions with 1,100 square kilometers.The must-to -see attractions are Ganlanba village, the tropical botanical garden at Menglun, the Octagonal Pavilion in Jingzhen, Manbang reservoir and the site of the King of Tea Trees. The Water Splashing Festival is held in mid-April as a famous celebration of the Dai people. Jinhong is capital of the prefecture seat of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture. It is actually a small town on the Lancang(Mekong) River circled by subtropical scenery. The city is populated mainly by the Dai people and other ethnic groups who mainly believe in Hinayana. Jinghong is also a key research and development center for Yunnan’s plant and animal life. The famous Yunnan National Laboratory Primate Center of China are situaated in the city center.
The Ganlan Basin:
The Ganlan basin, well-known as “the plume of the peakcock”lies about 34 kilometers southeast of Jinghong City. People say if Xishuangbannan is a green peacock, then the Ganlan basin is the tail of the peacock. With green treees whole year and bamboo houses found everywhere, the area is very beautiful. The main attractions cover the Lancang River Dock, the Manting Temple and Mangfeilong. Local Dai people call the Ganlan Basin the " peacock's tail ", meaning the most beautiful part of Xishuangbanna. " No trip to Xishuangbanna is perfect without a trip to Ganlan Basin " as the popular saying goes. The Dai Ethnic Garden also lies in Ganlan basin 30km away from Jinghong city. In the garden there is a natural Dai village. The villagers are kind and friendly. Visitors can stay overnight in a Dai famil to feel the host and hostess’hospitality and to take part in their routine farm work.
The Menglun tropical Botanical Garden:
The Tropical Botanical Garden lies on Hulu Island in Menglun County, about 90 kilometers from Jinghong. The garden was built in 1959 under the botanist Cai Xitao. In the garen, huge number of tropical and subtropical plants from home and abroad are planted here. Visitors can find many rare exotic and plant species here; the dragon tree, the maytenwood, and the poisonous upas tree etc.No wonder when people regard on Xishuangbanna as a green gem, they will compare the Tropicla Botanical Garden as the heart of the gem.
Xishuangbanna tropical floral garden:
It is in Jinghong Xishuangbanna research institute for tropical crops. It opens daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It also sells flowers there. You may choose some flowers there you like.There are over 1000 species of tropical flowers and various rare flowers, and cash and rare plants. Walking around in the garden, you may find many featuring, mystery plants. Here you can not only enjoy the amazing tropical scenery, but view what a coffee tree looks like, hear stories about the golden mango and secrets of its fruit juice.
Shangri-La - (Diqing, Zhongdian)
Shangri-la Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture lies in a delta where northwest Yunnan borders on Sichuan and Tibet. It has three counties -Zhongdian, Deqin, and Weixi under its administration. Shangri-La is a good place for mountaineers. There are more than 100 snow-capped peaks challenging for mountain climbers. The Kagebo Peak, regarded as "Chief of the Eight Sacred Peaks," is as high as about 6,740 meters. Mankind has conquered Everest many times but has failed to set its foot on the Kagebo Peak. Shangri-La has a simple but peaceful life. Local people are kind,friendly and simple. It offer tourists with an opportunity to enjoy amazing moments without any stress and confusion while surrounded in a natural environment.
Meili Snow Mountain or "Prince Snow Mountain":
Meili Snow Mountain or "Prince Snow Mountain", lies about 10km west of Deqing city in Diqing prefecture, at the confluence of the Jinsha, Lancang and Nu rivers. Meili Snow Mountain is known as a Sacred Mountain by local Tibetans. Although there are great number of snow-covered mountains between Yunnan and Tibet, including Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Meili Snow Mountain is the highest sacred Tibetan mountain. Every year in each autumn, the local people come here for the visit to the Prince Snow Mountain. Kagebo Peak is the main peak on Meili Mountain like something of Mecca for Tibetans.
Baimang Snow Mountain:
It is situated in Deqin County of Yunnan Province between the Jinsha River and Lancang River. The snow mountain has a total area of about 187,900 hectares. Most of the peaks are over 5,000 meters high, with the highest MT. Zhalaqueni-towering up at about 5,640 meters above sea level. It is the largest and highest natural reserve place in Yunnan Province.
Bitahai Lake is located about 30 km away from Zhongdian County. It is well known as a "Sacred Lake" by local Tibetans .It is a well preserved natural site with various species of flora and fauna and beautiful landscapes. High as 3,539 meters above the sea level, the lake is the highest in Yunnan Province. Bitahai Lake is circled by green mountains which are full of azaleas. Each year in late spring and early summer with the flowers in full bloom, the mountain slopes turn red. When azalea blooms coat the mountains, the wind blows the petals into the lake, making many fish to fight for them.
Haba Snow Mountain:
The Haba Mountain with its main peak 5,396 meters above sea-level stands about 120 kilometres to the southeast of Shangri-la. It has rich resources of wildlife and plant resources.The nature reserve stretches about 2o kilometers from south to north and 20 kilometers from east to west. About most of the 13,000 kinds of plants in Yunnan can be found in this area. The primeval forest is used as the valuable scientific research area. What's more there are over 900 varieties of rare medicinal materials, over 25 species of protect animals at the national level and about 60 kinds of azalea. The glacier on the Haba Snow Mountain is the southmost glacier in China.
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