Many say the the Old Town of Lijiang in the northwest of Yunnan Province is a perfect place to lose yourself in the past. In this mountainous historic town, sunshine is most treasured and time is of least concern.
Walk along the stony alleys around daybreak and you can hear the sound of horses clip-cloping in the distance while seeing cats and dogs relaxing in the morning sun.
Scenes of elderly Nashi town folk talking on a sun-lit stone bridge, a small yard by the water, an old courtyard, and chrystal clear blue skies above welcome visitors to this charming world.
Nearby Yulong Snow Mountain is a sacred mountain to the Nashi people. Visitors can climb to the mountain’s foothills by means of a ropeway where they are treated to breathtaking views of a clear blue sky above and a boundless sea of snow below.
Thirteen magnificent peaks lie north to south along the Yulong range. Yulong Snow Mountain itself has been climbed only once by an American expedition in 1987. The team climbed snow gullies and limestone headwalls, and encountered high avalanche danger and sparse opportunities for protection. The climb proved so difficult that it was never attempted again by any other mountaineering team.
On the way to Yulong is a gentle creek in a hidden valley. Its water is a crsytal clear blue, and the view of the mountain from its banks gives a fresh look to the valley below. The snow mountain becomes feminine and graceful when seen on a canvas of clear water.
The creek is like a sapphire in a crescent shape. It is a reminder of James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon, and his description of the mystical Shangri-La, which was located in the Valley of the Blue Moon. Like the Valley of the Blue Moon, this creek is hidden from the rest of the world in a haven of peace and tranquility.
Written by Wen Ting-Xie, with translation edited by Kathy McWilliams.
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