Home > culture, Photos > Exploring China’s peripheries: Southwest 西南 Day 3: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, Lijiang, Yunnan province

Exploring China’s peripheries: Southwest 西南 Day 3: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, Lijiang, Yunnan province

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
by WanderingChina

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.


#1 Entering and enjoying the China National Tourism Association AAAAA-rated attraction is not cheap even by international standards. To keep it simple, expect to spend about 500RMB per person for transport, ropeway access, tram charges, oxygen supply, et al if you wish to get all the way to the peak. Now that does not mean service standards of the highest order. Expect to be squeezed about like cattle class when queueing for access. This is a common gripe amongst the Chinese I spoke to – they pay top dollar for AAAAA-rated spots, however top-dollar service has simply not arrived, yet across the country.


#2 At ‘base camp’


#3 The European designed ropeway takes up to 8-per-cabin. The ride up was smooth and quiet for the elevation it covered.


#4 Lookout View from the cable car station at the start of the Glacier Park


#5 Snaking all the way up to peak


#6 Local Naxi tribe Men at work


#7 A national flag awaits all intrepid travellers at significant lookout points. There was no lack if domestic travellers eager to unfurl the flag for a photo opp.


#8 One of the subtle reminders that we are still indeed in a Communist country.


#9 Blue Moon Valley featuring Yak herders from the Yi minority


#10 Anyone travelling around China would have noticed the rapidly growing photography culture here. Here’s a shot of a Chinese traveller with telescopic lens in action.

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  1. January 6th, 2013 at 16:44 | #1

    I guess Yunnan is aptly named as it literally translates as “South of the Cloud”. The view are breath taking.

  2. January 7th, 2013 at 21:57 | #2

    Great shots. Before reading the caption on picture #10, I’d already noticed the camera. WanderingChina – check out this post – where I took the shots in Guilin. You’ll see a billboard of Canon advertising their EOS-1 line.

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