|Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake |
in the Morning Sunshine
The snow on the mountain is the best of the Four Famous Scenes (wind, flowers, snow and moon) in Dali. The snow is dazzling and resplendent when the sun rises, especially in March. On a moonlit night, the snow reflecting off the mountain makes one feel as if they are in a crystal world.
Cangshan Mountain Snow
About 5km (3 miles) from Dali ancient city, at the southern foot of Shengying Peak, lies Gantong Temple. Gantong Tea is a must-try if you are visiting the temple. It’s also one of the most famous teas of Dali city.
Zhonghe Temple on Zhonghe Peak, built during the Nanzhao Kingdom period (738-902), is one of the most famous Taoist temples in the city. The Songhuo Temple Fair held on the 9th day of the first lunar month is the biggest fair of the temple and can last many days. During this period, pilgrims from all over visit the temple.
Water Scenery of Cangshan Mountain
The eighteen streams flowing down and around the nineteen peaks here are also famous. Qingbi Stream between Malong Peak and Shengying Peak is the most enjoyable of them all.
Besides the eighteen streams, there are many lakes over the altitude of 3,800 meters (12,467 feet). The shores of the lakes are densely covered with forests, which contain valuable medical herbs, rare species of trees and many kinds of flowers. Two of the most famous lakes are Xima Pool and Qilongnv Pool.
Located at the junction of Yuju Peak and Longquan Peak, Xima Pool is about 3,920m (12,860 feet) above sea level, only around 20m (66ft) from the top of Cangshan Mountain. It’s actually an artificial lake built in the Nanzhao Kingdom period. Xima means “cleaning horse” in Chinese, and the name of the pool derives from a story that troops once cleaned their horses here while climbing Cangshan Mountain.
|Mt. Cangshan |
on the West Bank of Erhai Lake
As an important scenic spot along Jade Belt Road, Qilongnv Pool is made up of seven ponds. The pool is in the middle section of Heilong Stream, about 4.5km (2.8 miles) from Qingbi Stream.
Hiking is a popular way to enjoy the mountain scenery. Near Tianlong Babu Studio City at the foot of Cangshan Mountain is a hiking route, and many locals take their morning exercise along this route. Visitors can hike this route, too. It takes about one hour to reach Yudai Rd (Jade Belt Rd), a 18km (11 miles) walking trail on the mountainside. Walking along Jade Belt Rd, you can not only get a bird’s eye view of Erhai Lake but also enjoy many attractions like Longyan Cave, Zhonghe Temple and Qilongnv Pool. Nearly all the attractions along Jade Belt Rd have stores selling water and food, so there is no need to take much along with you. Also, the vegetarian food offered by Zhonghe Temple is worth a try.
Hiking Cangshan Mountain
Instead of hiking, visitors can take a cable car to enjoy Cangshan Mountain. There are three cableways in the Cangshan Mountain Scenic Area: Xima Pool Cableway, Gantong Cableway, and Zhonghe Cableway.
Cangshan Mountain Cable Car
Xima Pool Cableway takes visitors from Tianlong Babu Studio City to Xima Pool on Cangshan Mountain. The route is about 5,580 meters (6,100 yards) long. From the cable car you can see Dali Ancient City and enjoy the natural scenery on Cangshan Mountain. The whole journey takes about 40 minutes.
Gantong Cableway is about 2,630m (2,876 yards) long and takes you to Gantong Temple.
Zhonghe Cableway is about 1,668m (1,824 yards) long, and ends at Zhonghe Temple near Jade Belt Rd.
Cangshan Mountain Cable Car Fare
|Apr. - Oct.||Nov. - Mar.|
|Gantong Cableway||CNY 80 round-trip; CNY 50 one way.|
|Zhonghe Cableway||CNY 60 round-trip; CNY 30 one way.|
|Xima Pool Cableway (round-trip)||Upper - Lower Station||CNY 300||CNY 240|
|Middle - Lower Station||CNY 160||CNY 128|
|Upper - Middle Station||CNY 140|
| Note: Half-price ticket for children between 1.2 and 1.4m (3.9 - 4.6 feet); |
Free for children under 1.2m.
1. Take a local car from the West Gate or South Gate of Dali Ancient City. Many visitors like to share the fare, which is about CNY 10 for each.
How to get to Cangshan Mountain
2. Take a taxi and the fare is around CNY 15.
|Entrance Fee||CNY 40; |
Free for children under 1.2m.
|Opening Hours||Apr. - Oct.: 8:30 - 16:10 |
Nov. - Mar.:8:30 - 15:40
|Recommended Time for a Visit||2h|