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Appreciate the update.

It's entirely possible the starting point of the new light rail would be located near Yuquan Road (玉泉路) in the proximity north of Yunnan Tourism and Culture College (云南文化旅游学院).

The open track of the light rail visibly runs parallel to Yuquan Rd. This road is renamed "旅游环线" further up north, though still labelled as Route S223 if navigating on maps. A swathe of land is available to the east of S223, compared to areas south of tourism college. Details of the stations should be announced in the months to come.

As for public transport connections to the light rail. Bus 11 may approach the potential station starting point, while bus 101 should reach even closer to the designated location your Lijiang friend described.

Both bus routes start at Lijiang Old Town. Bus 11, often packed with locals, terminates at tourism college along S223. Bus 101, which caters to tourists, travels all the way to the main entrance visitor's center of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain with fixed rate of 15 yuan per pax, notwithstanding the alighting point.

A heads up for commuters going up the mountain:

The bus 101 driver will ask to see negative test result (within 48-hour period) upon boarding. More strictly enforced if boarding 101 at the preliminary 忠义市场 Lijiang Old Town bus station.

En route to the national park gate, all passengers' temperatures will be scanned, movement tracking and health codes will be inspected at a security check-point prior to reaching the Dongba area.

At this time, entering the east portal access through the main gate on S223 would encounter stringent measures compared to the south portal access across from Yuhu Village.

Downloading offline map apps for hiking/tubu is recommended as network signals are weak or nonexistent deep into the mountain trails.

I've been trying to locate the start of the new light rail line from Lijiang to the national park. A friend in Lijiang informs it begins off of Route S223, known locally as Yu Quan Lu (玉泉路), 7 km north of Old Town, between Shuhe and Baisha. I don't know if this is one of the five stations mentioned in the China Daily piece or the actual southern terminus, in which case no rail link from Lijiang train station.

Something else that will affect visitation to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain park. On a recent visit to Daju I noticed a new bridge under construction across the Jinsha River. For years a ferry has shuttled cars (except during periods of low water) and passengers across, but that will change with completion of the bridge. No doubt new popularity for auto tours/buses making the loop through Tiger Leaping Gorge with return to Lijiang through the park.

Yesterday (on May 5, 2022), the 14.7km railway tunnel of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain was finally penetrated after eight years of toil by a thousand workers.

This is not the same panoramic light rail in Lijiang discussed previously.

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Tunnel, which exits the Jinsha River Tiger Leaping Gorge, is considered one the most arduous and important tunnel sections of the 139km Lijiang Shangri-la Railway. Also dubbed Lixiang Railway, aka 丽香铁路.

Slated for completion this year, the Lixiang Railway consists of 13 stations, crossing 34 bridges, and cutting through 20 tunnels.

The travel time will take about half an hour from Lijiang to Shangri-la, passing through Lashihai, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and Haba Snow Mountain.

So far, 19 of 20 tunnels of Lixiang Railway have been completed. The remaining one being the 9,523-meter Haba Snow Mountain Tunnel, currently under construction.

Hopefully by the end of this year, it will only take five hours by high speed rail to travel to Shangri-la from Kunming.

Total cost of this endeavor is estimated ~10.5 billion yuan, but a vital link for the planned Yunnan-Tibet Railway.

For more details of the geological challenges and photos:

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pretty good article. Always make sure you have adequate level of cover in China, in my so many years I literally met 10+ expats who ve been financially screwed by this. Insurance isnt expensive, you can get a cheap plan you can get a very expensive one, all depends how much you want to spend. At my new company HR has no ideas how to handle it as I am the only expat here now so we outsourced it to brokers who are also in Kunming, here is their website chinaaccesshealth.com/ and they helped my HR to organize everything. hope it helps you too!

A new light rail is being built in Lijiang that will reach Yulong Snow Mountain foothills in 20 minutes, traveling a distance of 20.45 km from the city's South.

Rail workers donning orange are visible along the incomplete track doing work, even during Labour Day holiday..

Slated for completion in December, this project is touted as "the world's first tourist train with a panoramic view of the mountain."

The illustration of this train is pretty cool:

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Update on bus #17 station, which is located at above photo of Yuhu Village Central Plaza (玉湖村广场), the terminal station. Final bus leaving the Yuhu Village foothill to 象山市场 (SE of Shuhe Old Town) is at 19:00pm. First bus 7am, to and fro.

Near the Yuhu reservoir, excavation of additional artificial lakes are being constructed by the boulder paved roads. The Lijiang government is doubling down on Jade Dragon tourism recovery in the post-pandemic.

Gold standard article by Jim worth an update.

No longer is the travel time to Weishan "an hour and a half" but just 22 minutes via high speed rail from Dali Rail Station. 19 - 22 rmb. The train tunnels through mountains for seemingly one third the journey.

As per Destination China feature video.The famous one strand noodle (yi gu mian) restaurant, located at 后所街 back alley, only opens from 7am to 12pm. The other famous er si noodle shop in old town closes early at 15pm.

I've taken this path, well worth checking out if you go to Lijiang. It's a long walk to the trailhead, or use a 4 wheel drive to get there. But do it if you have the chance, everybody likes the spiritual quality of the mountains.

Informative piece, Pieter!

Look. Who is that sitting in the shade under a lone milk tree in Milk Lake?

It's "dog for a day"... your furry protector companion!

Limestone is often the oasis mirage of snow on Jade Dragon.

Quite a few hikers would get lost in mountains of Yunnan over the years. Notable search & rescues hit recent news which didn't end well. Understandable park officials would frown at those who stray off beaten path.

Below are pictures and updates on the upcoming renovation of Green Lake (North Gate area) where the original Jingzheng Academy once stood. Currently a massive empty lot devoid of life walled off from pedestrians.

For those wondering about the fate of those lush greens that once grew there (45 trees such as ginkgo biloba, sweet-scented osmanthus, and pseudo-particulate magnolia):

"According to the seedling transplant plan and the new landscape design plan reviewed and approved by experts, 30 seedlings (20 ginkgo and 10 osmanthus) are tentatively scheduled to be moved back to the original site of Cuihu, and the seedlings will first be transplanted to the Daxing seedling plant in Yiliang County, Kunming City for management., after the terrain of the Cuihu project is completed, it will be transported and transplanted at the corresponding location of the site according to the project landscape plan.

The 15 seedlings (4 ginkgo, 1 sweet-scented osmanthus, 3 fishtail sunflowers, and 5 pseudo-singular magnolias) that are not used in the landscape design plan will be permanently transplanted to the greening area of Wuhua District. Sirloin Nursery."

Planning photos:

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Source: m.sohu.com/a/526176943_121123812/?pvid=000115_3w_a