China travel tips
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What to see
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You will find interesting places and activities in beyond Lijiang Ancient Town. The top five are:
Tiger Leaping Gorge
The upper reaches of the Yangtze River forcibly and deafeningly squeeze through a narrow rocky gorge flanked on both sides by high, precipitous mountains. Visitors from Lijiang usually view this attraction on a platform (see photo) along the east bank while those from Zhongdian do it on the opposite bank. Click link below for my web page on this Hillman Wonder Bronze Medal winner.
Jade Dragon Cable Car
The majestic Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain protectively looks over Lijiang. The peak is 5596 meters (18,340 feet) above sea level. A cableway takes you about 5,000 meters (14,000 feet) up the steep mountain side for spectacular views and an unforgettable high-altitude experience that usually only mountain climbers can enjoy.
Black Dragon Pool
This park offers an excellent photo opportunity (weather permitting). Your lens captures in a single frame the Black Dragon Pool and a five-eaved pavilion backdropped by the skyscraping Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The park's local name is Yuquan.
First Bend (Shigu Town)
This spot has immense geographical significance. Here the upper reaches of the south-flowing Yangtze River encounters a geological barrier, which forces it to make an abrupt U-turn. This change in direction allows the Yangtze to cut across vast China and empty into the East China Sea just north of Shanghai. Were it not for the first-bend obstruction, the Yangtze River (locally named the Chang Jingsha) would keep heading south. In that case, it would likely eventually merge with the Mekong River, which passes through Vietnam on its way to the South China Sea.
Dozens of precious murals dating back over six centuries reside in Baisha, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) north of Jijiang. Nearby is the former home of the late, renowned explorer and botanist Joseph Rock who studied the region's natural and cultural phenomena.
Because this wonder is slightly closer to Shangri-La than Lijiang, I list list in the Top 5 Shangri-La Attractions page.