Many say the Old Town of Lijiang in the northwest of Yunnan Province is a perfect place to lose yourself in the past. In this mountainous historic town, sunshine is most treasured, and time is of the least concern.
Walk along the stony alleys of Lijiang around daybreak, and you can hear the sound of horses clip-clopping in the distance while seeing cats and dogs relaxing in the morning sun.
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Scenes of elderly Nashi town folk talking on a sun-lit stone bridge, a small yard by the water, an old courtyard, and crystal clear blue skies above welcome visitors to the fascinating world of Lijiang.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is near Lijiang
Nearby Lijiang is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a sacred mountain to the Nashi people. Visitors can climb to the mountain’s foothills using a ropeway, where they are treated to breathtaking views of a clear blue sky above and a boundless sea of snow below.
Thirteen magnificent peaks lie north to south along the Yulong range. Yulong Snow Mountain was climbed only once by an American expedition in 1987. The team climbed snow gullies and limestone headwalls. Unfortunately, they encountered high avalanche danger with sparse opportunities for protection. The climb proved so difficult that it was never attempted again by any other mountaineering team.
On the way to Yulong is a gentle creek in a hidden valley. Its water is a crystal clear blue, and the view of the mountain from its banks gives a fresh look to the valley below. The snow mountain becomes feminine and graceful when seen on a canvas of clear water.
The creek is like a sapphire in a crescent shape. It reminds James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon and his description of the mystical Shangri-La in the Valley of the Blue Moon. Like the Valley of the Blue Moon, this creek is hidden from the rest of the world in a haven of peace and tranquility.
Written by Wen Ting-Xie and edited by Kathy McWilliams.