Hi guys, a friend and I are planning a trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge and Yading Nature Reserve this late December. I have a couple of questions:
1. Is it okay to trek TLG in late December? We really want to go there as we don't get our hopes up high about Yading.
2. Will there be online announcement if TLG and Yading are close due to heavy snow? Is there any website that I can find updates about the road conditions?
3. Is it possible and safe to buy bus ticket online as a foreigner? Heard that I have to buy it once I'm in China cause they will need to see passports. Also I found a website which sells bus ticket but it requires me e-mailing them so thought it's a bit shady.
4. If I can't do both Yading and TLG, any places you recommend going? I've seen Yunnanyi on KunmingGo and think it's quite interesting.
Any recommendations are very welcome. Thanks!
Travelling in Northern Yunnan in winter is always a bit tricky and nobody can tell you now how the road conditions will be, roads might be open or closed due to snow and landslides. Right at this moment the TLG is closed off and so are large parts of the Jingsha Valley due to flooding.
A couple of years ago they tried to turn Yunnanyi into a tourist attraction. This completely failed.
They widened the old main street and build two museums. The Tea horse museum and the Flying Tiger museum. Both are closed now. Recently they upgraded the parking lot and the toilet facilities but last few times I passed through there they were still locked and not in service.
Still there are some nice old houses with interesting gates and the temple behind the village is, on busy days, one of the more interesting ones. The military have taken over the old airstrip again and build brand new facilities on it so that is gone as well. If you are lucky you bump into the old man who has a small museum about the village in his house (Next to the kindergarten) and you can visit that. There is no accommodation in Yunnanyi. In short: If you are not a Flying Tiger freak there is no reason really to go to Yunnanyi.
Thank you very much, lemon lover. Maybe I should consider going more south to avoid heavy snow.
The Xishuangbanna area is indeed warmer and even mild in winter. You can find a replica of some Yunnanyi houses and even a small replica Flying Tiger/Burma Road museum at the Teatea resort in Menghai.
A person doesnt need to go all the way south of yunnan to enjoy warm weather.
Anywhere in the Nu Jiang Valley 700m elevation or the Mekong Valley 1500m elevation is considerably warmer.
I can guide/drive you at that time.
Mike is right in that but what he doesn’t tell you that the Nujiang valley up north is basically a gorge and that therefore only a small part is at low elevation. The Mekong Valley in the north is very narrow as well and has its best climate in the south near Xishangbanna.
Tengchong in winter has a rather mild climate as well also it can be rather cold there but if it gets to cold you can retreat to one of the many hot springs ;-)
Wow the temple in Xishangbanna looks very much like ones in Thailand (I'm from Thailand). Do you guys think Cangshan Mountain in Dali is okay to go in December? Maybe a short route should be
Well Dai culture might then indeed be a bit too much as home for you. On the other hand scaling mountains in winter is not something to take lightly. Chill factors on these mountains can be great and without proper understanding this and a lack of experience and equipment this can be fatal (I don’t know if you have these).
In the more temperate zone in the middle you can find Shaxi and Nuodeng. Both offer possibilities to make day-tour hikes into the surrounding mountains.
Thank you for your answers.
I wonder how severe is the flooding in the TLG and
the Jingsha Valley at the moment? If so, this means we cannot even trek on the upper route?
A few more questions. Is it possible to travel from Dali to Shangri la (I suppose by bus)? If yes, where is the station?
I also saw many people mentioned 'Dali' and saw some
mentioned 'Xiaguan', are they in the same area? And which one is the city centre?
Thank you in advance for your help.
Xiaguan is the center of the modern city; 'Dali' refers to Dali Old Town, which you will want to see and where you'll want to stay; the two are about a half-hour's busride from each other. Possible to travel by bus from Dali to Shangri-la by bus; not sure where the right bus station is (probably Xiaguan) - but honestly, Dali is a tourist town, just ask somebody.
How long do you plan for your trip?