White Water Terraces (Baishui Tableland)

The White Water Terraces (Baishui Tableland) is located in the foothills of the Haba Snow Mountains, 101 kilometers (about 62 miles) southeast of the Shangri-la County. It is known as one of the most attractive destinations in mysterious Shangri-La and is an ancient Chinese landform with a history of 200,000 to 300,000 years.

stream up the karst terraces
Emerald upper reaches of the stream

The variegated landform of the tableland is a continual deposition of calcium carbonate that is contained in the spring water. Every year, the surface of the land is covered by the deposition and finally transformed into the terraced structure you see today. Today, the White Water Terraces cover an area of three square kilometers (about 741 acres).

The spring water runs down along the slope of the mountain, leaving an impression of a large white jade carving among the green mountain. The tableland lies layer by layer giving the appearance of a terraced field, so the local people call it 'a field left by fairies'. To the left of the tableland, there is a pool and a moon-shaped platform that is said to be the dresser of the fairies. During the autumn, the mountains around the White Water Terraces will be covered by various bright-colored flowers and leaves. Amid the mountains, the White Water Terraces will form a spectacular white contrast.

Besides being a beautifully scenic spot, the White Water Terraces is also the birthplace of Dongba culture of the Naxi Minority Group. According to legend, the first saint of the Dongba Religion was attracted by the fascinating scenery of this place on his way back from Tibet. He then stopped to missionize here. Later, the White Water Terraces became known as the Holy Land of the Dongba Religion. When the second saint of the Dongba Religion came here, he created the Dongba pictograph. Each year, on the eighth day of the second lunar month, the Naxi people will gather here to celebrate their traditional festival by singing and dancing all day and night.

* How to get there: Shangri-La Bus Station has two buses a day to White Water Terraces, at 9:00 and 14:00. The fare is CNY 26 yuan per person.
Admission Fee: CNY 30
Opening Hours: 7:00 - 17:00
Time for a Visit:
3 hours
- Last updated on Jul. 19, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on White Water Terraces (Baishui Tableland)
Asked by Petra from CZECH | Jul. 22, 2019 07:07Reply
Accomodation near White Water Terrace and go back to Kunming
Hi, I want to stay overnight in White Water Terrace and enjoy the atmosphere. The next day I would like to go back to Kunming.It is close to White Water Terrace some cheap accommodation nearby and how best to return to Kunming. Thank you for your advice. Petra
Answers (1)
Answered by Thea from USA | Jul. 28, 2019 22:46

You can go to Shangri-la White Water Hotel, which is located at Baidi Village, Sanba County, 600m away from White Water Terrace. There is no direct bus to Kunming, so the best way might be hiring a car.
Asked by Jay | Jul. 07, 2019 09:26Reply
Hi, is it possible to travel from Tiger Leaping Gorge to Baishuitai
And then back to Lijiang via public transport in 1 day?
Answers (1)
Answered by Amy from NEW ZEALAND | Jul. 08, 2019 02:02

As I know, if is hard to find public transportation among these spots and it is feasible to take a private car. And the time is so tight.
Asked by Taka from JAPAN | Apr. 14, 2019 03:26Reply
Bus schedule TLG-Baishuitai-Shangri-la
I'm considering to travel Lijiang to Shangri-La via Tiger Leaping Gorge and Baishuitai if there is good bus connection at Baishuitai.
Kindly advise below bus schedule if anybody knows:-
1. Tina's GH to Baishuitai :What time bus leaving in front of Tina's GH?
As far as I know one bus pass there o/a 14:00 and it seems another bus in the morning (not confirmed).
2. Baishuitai to Shangri-La : What time bus leaving Baishuitai ? 
Understanding that one bus pass there o/a 14:30 and it seems another bus in the morning (not confirmed).

Your kind assistance would be highly appreciated.
YHA shuttle bus between Lijiang-TLG-Shangri-la as of 10th Apr 2019:-
丽江国际青年旅舍 (International YH Lijiang)
丽江市古城区民主路885号(明珍广场公交站斜对面) arranging shattle bus to Tina's Guest House in middle TLG every morning 07:40 (CNY55) . Bus from Tina's GH to Lijiang and Shangri-la both bus are leaving 15:30 dalily.
Answers (2)
Answered by Andy from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 18, 2019 20:27

1. I heard that there is only one bus departing at about 12:30 from Mr. Zhang's Guest House(Middle TLG) to Baishuitai, which is about 1 hour walk way from Tina's.
2. As I know, there is no bus back to Shangri-La and it is better to hire a private car.
Answered by SAKAKI | Apr. 22, 2019 01:14

Andy san,

Thanks for yours below.
I may take YH shuttle bus from Tina 15:30 to Shangri-la if unable to find public bus in good connection.
I confirmed following public buses are operated daily:-
*Between Lijiang and Baishuitai via TLG
-Depart Lijiang in the morning and pass middle TLG o/a 14:00 due to stop at upper TLG 1.5-2hours
-Depart Baishuitai o/a 08:30
-Still not sure if there is bus which is pass "Middle TLG" for "Baishuitai" in the morning.
*Between Shangri-La and Baishuitai
-Depart Shangri-La 09:10 for Baishuitai
-Passing Baishuitai o/a 14:30 to Shangri-La
-Still not sure if there is bus which is pass"Baishuitai" for Shangri-La in the morning.
Asked by Vananh from VIETNAM | Dec. 28, 2018 10:17Reply
How long does it take to go by bus from Shangrila to Baishuitai?
Now does the bus from Baishuitai to Lijiang still run?
Answers (1)
Answered by Sebastian from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 28, 2018 18:17

1. In general, the duration is around 4 hours.
2. As I know, the buses from Baishuitai to Lijiang still operate. But I didn't find the exact bus schedule on the internet.
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