Yunnan takes pride in its rich natural and cultural resources. The most attractive of which is the folklore and culture of the area's 25 ethnic minority groups. It's rare to see so many different ethnic minority groups living harmoniously in one province. Majestic and colorful are the most frequently used words to describe people's life in Yunnan. With ancient villages, majestic snow-capped mountains, and amazing canyons, Yunnan is a treasure trove of discovery. The following is a description of just some of the fabulous destinations we present in our expeditions there.
Lijiang Old Town
The Old Town of Lijiang is a world-famous destination. It is a well preserved ancient city filled with ethnic minorities, culture, and art. The Lijiang Old Town was originally founded in the late Song (960-1279) and Early Yuan (1279-1368) Dynasties. The Lijiang Old Town occupies an area of over 8 square kilometers. The tree backs it covered Lion Mountain in the west, Elephant and Golden Row Mountains in the north, and fertile fields in the Southeast. The unique geographical location, history, and ethnic minority residents make Lijiang's Old Town a most special one. The Old Town of Lijiang was put in the list of World's Relics by the World Cultural Heritage Commission of UNESCO.
Tiger Leaping Gorge
Located near Lijiang City between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Mountain, the spectacular Tiger Leaping Gorge is the world's deepest river canyon. The 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) long gorge was formed by the Yangtze River crashing through the area, which has some of the roughest and most spectacular white water rapids in the world. Visitors looking into the gorge from the edge of the canyon can see the Yangtze River with its rapids over 299 meters (700 feet) below. The gorge got its name from a legend that says in Dynastic China, a tiger attempting to escape a hunter jumped across the gorge at the narrowest point, which is 25 meters wide. The stone, the tiger, used to leap across the gorge can still be seen.
Dali Ancient City
The ancient city of Dali is located 13 kilometers (about 8 miles) away from Dali City. The city's history can be traced back to the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Dali was traditionally settled by the Bai and Yi ethnic minority groups and is the capital of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. The city is a beautiful example of an ancient Chinese city and has remained relatively untouched. Beautifully located on a fertile plateau nestled between the Cangshan Mountains to the west and Erhai Lake to the east, the ancient city has been attracting visitors for centuries.
The Songzanlin Monastery often called Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, or Guihua Monastery, is located at the foot of Foping Mountain near Shangri-La County in western Yunnan. Initially built in 1679, construction took two years. The monastery has been rebuilt and remodeled many times in its long history but has always maintained its traditional Tibetan architecture style. The monastery is built on a hillside and looks like an ancient fort. There are two lamaseries in the Songzanlin Monastery, the Zhacang, and the Jikang Lamaseries.