Yading Nature Reserve

Honored as the “Last pure land on our blue planet”, the magnificent Yading Nature Reserve is located on the Tibetan plateau west of Sichuan, and 250 km from Shangri-La City in Yunnan. It was first introduced to the world in the 1930s by Joseph Rock, a famous American botanist, and explorer. In his report published in National Geographic, he described the sublime landscapes of Yading, “Where in all the world is to be found scenery comparable to that which awaits the explorer and photographer!”

The most important spots in the scenic area are the three sacred snow-clad mountains: Chenrezig (6,032 meters), Jambeyang (5,958 meters), and Chanadorje (5,958 meters). For local Tibetans, each of the three peaks, whose names mean in their language, wisdom, strength, and compassion, represents a bodhisattva.

Apart from the great holy snow mountains, Yading houses lots of various-sized clear lakes fed with the melting snow. Normally you will visit Milk Lake (4,500 meters), Five-Color Lake (4,600 meters), and Pearl Lake (4,100 meters). You shall never miss the top fabulous lake for its clear charm and elegant reflection of the three mountains.

This reserve is also home to many valuable species: white-lipped deer, roe deer, golden monkeys, antelopes, etc. When you visit the beautiful place, you will see a large number of deer enjoying freely in this vast territory.

Useful Information

Name in Chinese: 亚丁
Area: 560 km²
Best Seasons: Late April to Late October
Altitude: 2,900m (Shangri-La or Riwa Town), 3,900m (Yading Village), 3,900m (Chonggu Monastery), 4,100m (Luorong Farm), 4,500m (Five-Color Lake), 4,800m (Milk Lake).
Recommended Visiting Time: 2 days
Opening Hours: 07h00-18h30
Ticket: Low season (1st December-31st March): 120 RMB/person; Peak Season (1st April-30th November): 146 RMB/person; Shuttle: 120 RMB/person
Address: Shangri-La Town, Daocheng County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province

How to Visit Yading?

Yading is a huge scenic spot, two days visit is necessary. In order to have a better tour, you are suggested to overnight inside. On the first day, you take an eco-car to Zhaguanbeng Station. From the station, you will walk to the Chonggu Temple Shuttle Station, where the shuttle takes you to Luorong Farm. Then, you will follow the plank road to Milk Lake and Five-color Lake, the most beautiful attractions of the reserve. On the second day, you will take the same bus to Zhaguanbeng Station, walk to Chonggu Temple and visit this beautiful temple, then walk to Pearl Lake at the foot of Mt Chenrezig (6,032 meters).

It has no luxury hotels inside, but small inns or hotels. If you have high requirements for hotels, you will be recommended to live in the Shangri-La town outside the reserve, where there are many 5-star luxury hotels.

Some information for the visit

Yading is a remote area located more than 800 km from Chengdu. It takes about two days to get there. On the way, you can visit Tagong Grassland of Litang County. Or, you can also combine Lijiang and Shangri-La Cities with the discovery of Yading Reserve.

If you don’t want to drive there, you can fly from Chengdu to Daocheng airport at 4,411 meters above sea level, which is ranked as the highest airport in the world. Then, drive about 3 hours to Yading Nature Reserve.

As the region is affected by the Continental monsoon plateau climate, it is recommended to wear warm clothes. The best time to visit Yading Reserve is from late April to late October, but there can be many rainy days from July to August. From late October, it begins to snow, sometimes very heavily. So the path to the Milk Lake and Five-Color Lake is closed to the tourists until late April, you can visit only the Chonggu temple and Pearl Lake.

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