Yunnan Travel Guide: Lijiang Natural Scenery
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Snow-capped Mountain), with an elevation of 5,596 meters, is located at Yulong County, Lijiang City and north of the Ancient Lijiang City. As it is shaped like a giant white jade dragon, hence the name. Legend says that it is the incarnation of “Sanduo”, the god believed by people of Naxi Ethnic Group. Naxi young men and women consider it the ideal kingdom for the God of Love. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is the focus of the National Yulong Snow-capped Mountain Scenic Area.
The village, located at Baisha Township, Yulong County of Lijiang City, faces the beautiful Lijiang highland and backs on the magnificent Yulong Snow-capped Mountain. It is the place of good geomantic omen for Naxi people, fully and vividly displaying the Naxi culture. The ancient city Suyuan is the cradle of Naxi culture. In the village the crystal clear and limpid spring water pours down along the mountain forming the Three-fold Deity Dragon Waterfalls of the “dragon coming”, “dragon playing” and “dragon leaving” waterfalls. The Three-fold Deity Dragon Waterfalls is of symbolic significance to the cultural system of Naxi people, so you can see its cultural symbolic implication everywhere in their life, such as the design of mouth of spring, the buildings, the banquet, clothes and personal adornments, and so on.
The Yangtze River runs down from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the roof of the world, and enters Yunnan from its northwest, known as Jinsha River which flows through the high mountains and deep valleys of the Hengduan Mountains together with the Lancang River and Nujiang River. It takes a sharp turn northeastward at Shigu Town, Yulong County of Lijiang, forming a V-shape bend, known as the first bend of the Yangtze River. A drum-shaped white marble stele was erected in a hillock at the corner of the Jinsha River, hence the name Shigu (Stone Drum) Town. The river in Shigu Ferry is wide and the water flows slowly, good for boats across the river. It was a palce of military strategic importance all through ages.
Danxia Landform, located at Liming Township, Yulong County of Lijiang, covers an area of about 250 square kilometers, accounting for 50 percent of the total area of the township. Now the local people have given names for more than 40 natural Danxia scenic spots, such as Qiangui (Thousand Tortoise) Mountain, Jiangjun (General) Pillar, Dafo (Big Buddha) Cliff, Motian (Sky Scraping) Mountain Range, Hump Mountain, Lovers Column and Qiren (Seven People) Rock, and so on. Through on spot investigation the specialists have confirmed that the Danxia Landform area in Liming Township is the largest of its kind in China and its comparative altitude difference, absolute height and its grandeur are also in the first place in China.
Laojun Mountain is the core of the scenic area of the three-river flowing abreast region and stretches several hundred li with its main peak of 4,240 meters in height. The area is composed of Ninety-nine Dragon Ponds on Laojun Mountain sub-area, Jinsi Factory Jinshan – Yuhu sub-area, Liming and Meile Danxia Landform sub-areas, Yunnan Golden Monkey Reserve, Baiya Temple sub-area, Apline Botanical Garden sub-area and Jinsha River tourist route. You can see the abundance of alpine vegetation, rare animals and plants, glacial lakes, grotesque Danxia Landform, and colorful and charming folk customs and lifestyles of Naxi, Bai, Pumi, Yi and other ethnic groups. The unique landscape of this area is of great value for appreciation and scientific research.
The park is located at the foot of Xiangshan Mountain, north of the Ancient Lijiang City. The water in the pool is as limpid as jade so it is also known as Yuquan (Jade Spring). By the pool is the Heishui Temple, also known as Heilong Palace, built in 1454 during the Ming Dynasty. There are plum of the Tang Dynasty and cypress of the Song Dynasty and camellia in the temple. In addition, there are some age-old buildings of Ming and Qing dynasties in the park, such as Wufeng Building, Deyue Building, Suocui Bridge and Jietuolin.
The lake, surrounded by high mountains and lofty ridges, is located between Ninglang County of Yunnan and Yanyuan County of Sichuan, 69 kilometers from the county town of Ninglang. Mosuo people, a branch of Naxi Ethnic Group, inhabited by the lake and they still live a life of the matriarchal society. Mosuo men and women never formally get marry and they remain in their mother’s homes so they are known as the “living fossil of the culture of matriarchal society”.
The village at Dayan Town of Lijiang has age-old building with a long history. The former site of Fuguo Lamasery, the biggest lamasery in Lijiang, is in the village. The other buildings are Dabao Jigong hall with delicate murals, Liuli Hall, majestic Wenchang Hall, Dading Pavilion, Jingang Hall which are the historical evidence for the once success of hereditary headmen system of Mu family of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). And it is also an excellent place for people to enjoy the art of drawings of minority people.