I had dreamt of traveling to Yunnan Province which is located in South Western China and is neighbored by Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi and Tibet. This trip was my dream come true and during my travel preparations, I asked myself why not travel from Yunnan across to Sichuan as well?
Prayers Flags seen in every stunning vista in Yading
During the 10-day trip, my friend and I took every means of transportations possible including airplane, train, jeep and also walked a great deal! We flew from Shanghai to Kunming (a major city in Yunnan), took the night train from Kunming to Lijiang (an old town in Yunnan), trekked from Lijiang to Shangri-la (a plateau in Yunnan) by jeep, spent all day on the road in a jeep traveling from Shangri-la to Daocheng (a plateau city in Sichuan) and Daocheng to Yading (a plateau wonderland in Sichuan). Finally the plateau trip started from Yading.
Yading is a small village with an average elevation of around 3700 metres (12139 feet) which is surrounded by three snow-capped mountains, namely Xian Nairi, Chanodug and Yang Maiyong. Tibetan, believe the three mountains are Deity, so out of respect they do not allow mountaineering.
The Xian Nairi Mountain and Chanodug Mountain
The trip started at 5am from the village, in order to see the sunrise and the first light of the sun on the snow-capped mountain – Xian Nairi (6032 metres or 19790 feet) which is the highest mountain among the three and it presents as Guanyin Bodhisattva. Seeing the first light hit the mountain was a moving experience. We travelled with the sun as it rose from the east. Because the other two mountains are far away from Xian Nairi, we have to trek into the Luorong cattle ranch. But Luorong cattle ranch doesn’t have any cow or oxen! However, you can see plants everywhere and Yang Maiyong appears to be right in front of you although it is still far away. At Luorong cattle ranch, you can choose to move by riding a horse or foot. Without doubt, I chose to go ahead by foot. The trip was really challenging especially on the plateau, after several hours, we reached Yang Maiyong and Chanodug (the left side mountain of Yang Maiyong), and there are two lakes under the two mountains. I didn’t know the temperature but I still felt the cold even though I wore a cold weather jacket and fleece. But the landscape is splendid – we stood on a small hill if you can call it small at around 4600 metres or 15091 feet, facing Yang Maiyong (5958 metres or 19547 feet) which represents Manjusri Bodhisattva and Chanodug (5958 metres or 19547 feet) which represents Vajrapani.
It started raining so we decided to return. As soon as we reached a temple at the foot of the mountains, the sun came up again. We sat on a bench and enjoyed the sunshine! The feeling was incredibly amazing especially after the arduous trip to get here!
This the lake by the road called Lashi
You might feel that it is extremely difficult to get to Yading. I have heard that Daocheng (the city closest to Yading) will have an airport, so people could take a flight to it in 2013. However, for me, it is a bit sad to trade convenient transportation for the beautiful scenes that greet you on the road. Sometimes, we have to think if the fast paced convenience of today is taking something away from us? If I had another chance, I will go to Yading again from Chengdu by No. 318 national highway for its beauty cannot be missed!