Tag: Black Dragon Pool

China Travels: Dali & Lijiang

China Travels: Dali & Lijiang

And back to the October holiday travel recap …


Our next stop was Dali, a two hour high speed train ride from Kunming. It has a beautiful ancient town, is close to Erhai Lake and mountain ranges and home to the 3 Pagodas. We spent 2 days exploring and loved it.

Three Pagodas

After lunch on our first day, we headed to the Three Pagodas, which are within walking distance from the Ancient Town. We found out soon that the Pagodas are just a part of the attraction – they belong to the Chong Shen Monastery, which has several layers of temples, pavilions and Buddha statues. At the top, the view of the temples with Erhai Lake as a backdrop is breathtaking. Really worth the trip!  

Dali Ancient Town

The rest of our time in Dali was spent wandering around the streets and drinking tea while reading. It is a beautiful place and we especially enjoyed it because it was not so crowded yet, maybe due to us staying there before the official start of Golden Week. The bright blue skies didn’t hurt either 🙂

We also really enjoyed trying different local foods (and many more rose cakes) and listening to live music, which almost every place had in the evening.


Another 2.5 hour train ride later, we arrived in Lijiang, the most famous town in Yunnan. As I usually do on vacation, I got a cold, so while the rest of the crew explored nearby Shuhe Old Town, I stayed at the hotel on the first and most of our second day in town.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is one of the most famous attractions in Lijiang. It’s a mountain range with several peaks, the highest is at 5,596 m. There a many things to do, such as taking a cable car to different view points, watching a show by Yunnan’s ethnic minorities or seeing the Blue Moon Valley.

Yak Meadow

We opted for the least crowded cable car option and took one to Yak Meadow. Yak Meadow is at an altitude of around 3,700 meters and has a beautiful view of the mountain peak on a clear day. Unfortunately, we had a cloudy day, so the mountain stayed hidden in the clouds. We did a hike around the meadow, saw some Yaks and a small temple.

Blue Moon Valley

Also located in the scenic area is Blue Moon Valley. The White Water River flowing through the valley looks very blue and makes for great photo ops. We saw several brides and grooms getting their pictures taken. Despite the clouds and drizzle, it was still beautiful.

Lijiang Ancient Town

Lijiang Ancient Town, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is over 1000 years old and has lots of pretty buildings, alleys, waterways and bridges. It’s quite commercial with lots of not so traditional shops and crowded with tourists. Nonetheless, it is beautiful and we were able to get away from the crowds sometimes to enjoy the scenery, flowers and restored buildings.

Black Dragon Pool

On our last day, we went to Black Dragon Pool. You get a picture perfect view with a reflecting pond, pavilion, temple, white bridge and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the background. It was much more quiet than the Old Town, so a great spot to stroll around or just sit down and relax. Probably my favorite spot in Lijiang.