This park’s total area is 1313 square kilometers, of which, 300 square kilometers has been opened out for sight-seeing. This park is in possession of well-conserved landscape resources such as geology and geomorphology, lake and wetland, forest meadow, valley and rivulet, as well as rare wildlife animals and plants. You can walk usin wooden plank trails or sit comfortably one of park's bus as a private or tour buses are not allowed inside the park.
Every visitor must visit this temple complex. Songzanlin is the largest lama monastery in Yunnan province. Walking in the complex is very relaxing. You can visit each temple and got blessed by the lama on duty.
The whole complex comprises of eight small monesteries and living quarters of the lamas. The lamas are friendly and the young lamas like to speak to travelers.
On our way back to Dali, on the road we noticed this small tibetan market.
Well actually I am still not sure if it was a market or if they were some kind of nomads with hanging dresses just to dry them.
We went there to give a look and take some photos and those people didn't mind about us at all, they did not offer anything.I asked my chinese guide if she had an idea about what those people were doing and she had no answer; so, once again, something able to surprise me, something able to let me wonder where I am and what is happening around me, this is probably my opinion of the thing to do while in Zhongdian, wander without wondering too much.
The really best thing you can do in Zhongdian, is just really taking a walk in the old town.
The Lijiang old town is worldwide famout as it's unesco heritage, but I enjoyed much more this small one.
It's full of small streets not yet full of shops and anyway noone tries to sell you anything so you can stop and give a look without even being noticed.
One of the few historical centres where you really feel away from home, easy to say, but more and more difficult now a days.
Don't miss te chance to try the tibetan butter tea. It is thick and almost more like soup than tea. It is very creamy (duh!) and strong buttery smell. It is made from yak's milk. It is not my cup of tea. But at least I have tried.
Hire a jeep, or hop on a bus (prepare winter clothing!) and get closer to Meili.
If you hire a jeep, it should cost no more than RMB400 per day.
This was the driver I hired: a young tibetan chap and a sharp businessman by the name of Wang4Dui1: 139 887 68217
On the way you get to see:
1) Jin1 Sha1 River (the tributary of Yangzi River) big bend
2) Dong1 Zhu2 Lin2 lama temple/monastery (Yellow sect)
3) Benzilan town overseeing the Jin Sha River valley, and eat the river fish there
4) Cold snowy mountains
also called Guihua Monastery, is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan province, built along the mountains with a magnificent facade, the present monastery is a faithful imitation of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
this monastery has many treasures. the most famous are the eight gold-covered sculptures of Sakyamuni, fashioned between the time of the Fifth and Seventh Dalai Lamas. in the early Qing Dynasty, the rulers of Lijiang, the Mu Family, presented the monastery with dozens of bronze sculptures, the "Ganzur" scriptures hand-written in liquid gold, scriptures written on pattra leaves, gold lamps, and many exquisite gilded silver incense burners. every morning, noon and evening, the solemn tolling of the bells and the sound of the drums from the bell and drum towers can be heard several kilometers away.
The road trip is a must see activity.. because It's really a must.. you can't avoid it..
It takes about 4-5 hours to go from LiJiang to ZhongDian, and even longer from ZhongDian to Deqin, about 8 hours. But the scenary along the road is great! It's great that we hired our own car cuz we could stop the car whenever we want and take pictures!
It is the "incised meander of Jinsha River" as described on the sign. I guess its not a famous tourist spot cuz it was not in any of the travel books I read. But it has a magnificent view! As far as I'm concern, it has a better view comparing tothe "First Bend of Yangzi River".
There's some more pictures in my travelogue, go and check them out~!
Song Zan Lin Monastery is the largest and the most famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan. Built along the mountains with a magnificent facade, the present monastery is a faithful imitation of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
Every morning, noon and evening, during the praying time, the solemn tolling of the bells and the sound of the drums from the bell and drum towers can be heard several kilometers away.
There are several halls in the Song Zan Lin Monastery. You have to walk up quite a few steps to reach the main hall the the top. We 2 clumpsy old gals, in this wet and cold weather, took forever to walk up there.. and almost fall down a couple of times....
Some more pictures can be found in my travelogue
Dong Ju Lin Monastery, one of the 13 largest lamaseries in the Kangzang region, is located in the Baimang Snow Mountain area, 105km away from ZhongDian County with elevation of 3,000 meters.
Although its not as grant and large as the Song Zan Lin Monastery, I actually like this one better: (besides the fact that I don't have to climb no stairs)* A little monastery, standing right next to a cliff, surrounded by mountains, no disturbing noice but just the sound of chanting and bells echoing through the woods and mountains~~ It really makes you feel like you are away from the chaotic world, with peace in your heart.
Again.. some good looking lamas...
Some more pictures can be found in my travelogue
"Hey.. u 2 lazy pigs, wake up! snow war time!" * -- woke up by our driver, we 2 was thrown out of the warm car, to the cold battlefield, and then immediately hit by snow balls. It was never a fair battle right from the beginning --> 2 sleepy weak girls vs 1 hyper-active man who was bored from the long hour driving, we lost of cuz. But we did get our reverage by putting some ice on his driver seat.. hohoooo
Snow war is must do when you drive pass BaiMang Snow Mountain. There's a spot where all cars passing by will stop and let the passengers out for some quality snow war time. If I remember it correctly, I think it should be called "ShueLaLaKa" Junction, like you see in the picture.
Between the Golden Sand River and the Lencang River is the Baimang Snow Mountain with perennial snow - capped peaks. An area of 180,000 ha around it is designated as the nature reserve, with a perfectly preserved primeval forest vertical landscape and valuable animals and plants. The Yunnan Snub - nosed Monkey, the first class protected animal in China, lives in this area.
There are 16 pictures hanging high in the hall, which are said to have been painted by renowned lamas with golden liquid given by the Fifth Dalai Lama. The dim hall was brightened with numerous butter-oil lamps, and we immediately felt warmed up. We heard that the hall can hold 1,600 lamas sitting in meditation or chanting the Buddhist scriptures. Too bad we didn't came at the right time cuz I think the sound of their chanting together with the tolling of bells, is very calming and simply nice to hear.
We met 2 very nice lamas in the lamaseries, although they don't know much Putonhua, they still tried to explain things to us and kept smiling all the way, and handed each of us a red string while we left. I think it should be something that'll keep us safe. And we wore that through our entire Yunnan trip since.
And (forgive me buddha), they are really 2 very good looking guy...~~