Exploring China’s peripheries: Southwest 西南
// Day 3: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain 玉龙雪山 (Yu Long Xue Shan)
Yulong Naxi Autonomous County 玉龙纳西族自治县, Lijiang, Yunnan province
This AAAAA-rated tourist destination found in a Naxi autonomous county would price even the most eager out of the game. But when I arrived, they were there by the busloads, 4WD-loads, the list went on – the snaking queues to take the shuttle buses up to the various peaks and attractions were intense. The mountain mastif is the southernmost glacier in the northern hemisphere and consists of thirteen peaks all higher than 4,000m. The highest point is Shanzhidou 扇子陡 that stands at 5,596m.
The only snow mountain golf course in the northern hemisphere can be found on the eastern foot at an elevation of 3,100m. Featuring one of the highest ropeway terminals in the world at 4,506m hauling 8 per cabin in French-designed Sigma cable cars, a supply of oxygen is probably necessary for most not conditioned for such altitude. And just how much did a can of oxygen cost? 160RMB – a standardized price of just about 30USD, not haggled, but printed clearly on each canister.
Like most tourist attractions I have been to in China in the past two years, foreigners were few and far between. I counted and spoke to ten in my two hours there – they largely ranged from Japan and Europe. The overwhelming majority were domestic tourists from all regions and dialect groups who make up the main income stream for this attraction. For a story for intrepid travellers on a shoestring budget who still wish to check out the sights, check this out.