Yùlóng Xuěshān

Mountain in Lijiang

Also known as Mt Satseto, Yùlóng Xuěshān soars to some 5500m. Its peak was first climbed in 1963 by a research team from Běijīng and now, at some 35km from Lìjiāng, it is regularly mobbed by hordes of Chinese tour groups and travellers, especially in the summer.

Buses from Lìjiāng arrive at a parking area where you can purchase tickets for the various cable cars and chairlifts that ascend the mountain. This is also where the Impression Lijiang show is held, a mega song-and-dance performance. Note that if you are going to the performance you will also have to pay the park admission fees. Close to the parking area is Dry Sea Meadow (干海子; Gànhǎizi), a good spot for photographing the mountain.

A cable car (¥180) ascends the mountain to an elevation of 4506m; from here you can walk up another 200m to a viewing point to see the glacier near the peak. It can often get chilly near the top so bring warm clothes. You will also have to pay ¥20 for the bus ticket to the base of the cable car.

Back down at the parking lot you can switch to a bus that goes to Blue Moon Lake (蓝月湖; Lányuè Hǔ) and White Water River (白水河; Báishuǐ Hé), where a walking trail leads along the river up to the lake (the round-trip walk takes about 90 minutes). The cable-car bus ticket is also good for the bus to the lake.

A 10-minute drive past Blue Moon Lake is Yak Meadow (牦牛坪; Máoniú Píng), where a chairlift (¥85, plus ¥20 bus ticket) pulls visitors up to an altitude of 3500m.

In summer, when crowds for the cable car are long (up to two hours' wait), most travellers just do the trip to the lake and Yak Meadow.

Minibuses (¥30) leave from opposite Lìjiāng's Mao Sq. Returning to Lìjiāng, buses leave fairly regularly but check with your driver to find out what time the last bus will depart.