Northwest Yunnan attractions

Mountain in Lijiang

Yùlóng Xuěshān

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 g…
Glacier in Deqin & Kawa Karpo

Míngyǒng Glacier

Tumbling off the side of Kawa Karpo peak is the 12km-long Míngyǒng Glacier. At over 13 sq km, it is not only the lowest glacier in China (around 2200m) but also an oddity – a monsoon marine glacier, which basically …
Lake in Shangri-la

Emerald Pagoda Lake

Also known as Pǔdácuò (普达错), a Mandarinised-version of its Tibetan name, Emerald Pagoda lake is 25km east of Shangri-la. The bus to Sānbà can drop you along the highway. From there, it's 8km down a trail (a half-hou…
Historic Site in Lijiang

Lìjiāng Old Town

The old town is centred on the busy and touristy Old Market Square. The surrounding lanes are dissected by a web of artery-like canals that once brought the city’s drinking water from Yuquan Spring, on the far outsk…
Area in Northwest Yunnan


Báishuǐtái is a limestone deposit plateau 108km southeast of Shangri-la, with some breathtaking scenery and Tibetan villages en route. For good reason it has become probably the most popular back-door route between …
Monastery in Shangri-la

Ganden Sumtseling Gompa

About an hour’s walk north of town is this 300-year-old Tibetan monastery complex with around 600 monks. Extensive rebuilding has robbed the monastery of some of its charm, but it remains the most important in south…
National Park in Deqin & Kawa Karpo

Meǐlǐ Snow Mountain National Park

National park that covers much of the area surrounding Déqīn. You'll need to buy the entrance ticket to reach the sights within it.
Historic Site in Shangri-la

Zhùangjīn Tǒng

This huge prayer wheel stands at 21m high and contains 100,000 small prayer wheels. At least six people are needed to make it spin.
Market in Lijiang

Zhōngyì Market

Market selling produce, copper items and livestock. If you are craving a slice of old Lìjiāng this is where you’ll find it.
Architecture in Baisha

Dàbǎojī Palace

Good collection of frescoes. Note that you'll have to show the ¥80 Lìjiāng town entrance ticket to get in.