Diqing Travel Guide

Yunnan Diqing Map
Diqing Map (Click to enlarge it)

Diqing Facts


Chinese Name: 迪庆 (dí qìng)
Location:
Situated in the northwest of Yunnan Province, the heart of the Hengduan Mountains, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture lies at the juncture of Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet, and is the hinterland of the Three Parallel Rivers of the Yunnan Protected Area. It provides the only pass from Yunnan to Tibet.

Population: 354,000
Area: 23,870 square kilometers (9,216 square miles)Nationalities: Han, Tibetan
Administrative Division: 2 counties (Shangri-La, Deqin); 1 autonomous county (Weixi Lisu Autonomous County)

Useful Telephone Numbers:
Tourist Complaints: 0887-96927
Travel Bureau: 0887-222364
Weather Forecast: 121
Zip Code Inquiry: 184

Attractions - Things to Do

 Shangri-La: It is depicted as the Eden in dreams, a fascinating land out of this world. Lofty and continuous snow-covered mountains, endless grasslands, majestic canyons, azure lakes and very quaint villages promote the reputation of an eternally pure and tranquil land to this ideal home of dream.

 Meili Snow Mountain: Reputed to be the sacred mountain by the Tibetans, it is the most spectacular snow-covered mountain of Yunnan Province. The Mingyong Glacier flowing from Kawagebo Peak is also a grand attraction of the mountain.

 Mingyong Glacier: It is located at Deqin County of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It flows from the top of Kawagebo Peak, the highest peak of the Meili Snow Mountain which is considered a sacred mountain by Tibetans. The 5-kilometer (about 3 miles) long glacier is one of the lowest latitude glaciers in the world. In winter, the ice tongue creeps down the snow-covered mountaintop from an elevation of 5,500 meters (18,045 feet) and stretches to the bank of the Lancang River. The glacier, when seen at the Langcang River, is a tremendous spectacle, as if a silvered dragon is descending from heaven. It is very difficult for tourists to climb the mountain because of its steep slopes. It is better to ride a mule to admire the glacier. However, Tibetans say that pilgrims must climb the snow mountain on foot with heart and soul. A Prince Temple stands on the mountainside where people can get a good view of the glacier. To the left of the temple, a plank road winds high up into the cliff, leading visitors to a panoramic view the beautiful scenery of the Mingyong Glacier. Many trees overhang the glacier, and the valley is covered with evergreens.

 Notes for Mingyong Glacier:
1. A professional tour guide is required for the glacier climbing in case of any danger;
2. Horse ride can be only rented at the entrance of the scenic area and Prince Temple.

Admission Fee

CNY230: Combo ticket for Meili Snow Mountain covering Jinsha River Grand Bay, Misty Summit, Temple Flying Afar, Mingyong Glacier and Yubeng Village.
Tip:No separate ticket for the glacier is available!

Horse Ride Fee for Reference CNY150 for single journey to Lotus Temple and CNY180 for round trip
CNY130 for single journey to Prince Temple and CNY150 for round trip
(If the owners of the horses charge high, bargaining is necessary!)
Opening Hours The whole day
Recommended Traveling Time 5-6 hours
Accommodation 1. Stay at local Tibetan farmers’ houses or hostels in Mingyong Village;
2. Mingyong Villa next to Mingyong Glacier is a good choice for accommodation.
Transportation 1. Take a bus in Deqin Coach Station around 15:00-15:30 to Mingyong Village in around an hour and the bus fare is CNY13. At 08:00 every morning, there is a bus leaving from Yongming Village back to Deqin.
2. Rent a car at Deqin to head for the destination.

How to Get to Diqing

Road transportation is the most important mode of transport to Diqing. Shangri-La, the seat of the Diqing government, is about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Lijiang and 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Dali. Diqing Shangri-La Airport is 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) from Shangri-La county, operating flights to/from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, ShanghaiKunming and Lhasa.  Flights from other main cities usually transit through Kunming. 

Weather

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Enjoying a typical plateau climate, it may snow in August. The prefecture is encompassed by the Hengduan Mountains, and the terrain varies greatly, so the temperature difference of a day is great, too. Sometimes visitors can even experience all the four seasons in one day. July to September is the rainy season. Visitors usually choose to visit Diqing in summer or autumn for the moderate temperature. 

Diqing Travel Tips:

 History: Six or seven thousand years ago, there were humans living in this remote land. The ancestors of Tubo (ancient name for Tibetans) created a colorful aboriginal culture here. In Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), the orbit of the central government began to extend here.

 Physical Features: Diqing stands on the southward expansion of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau with an average altitude of 3,380 meters (11,089 feet). Nushan Mountains, Yunling Mountains and Gongga Mountain (Minya Konka) zigzag paralleling to each other. The Jinsha River and Lancang River flow through the prefecture from north to south. Meadows are also the main landforms of this area.

 Local Highlights: Tibetans make up almost thirty-four percent of the city's population. Traditional Tibetan celebrations and festivals, such as the horse racing festival and the Gedong (Lattice Winter) Festival, are certain to be the highlights.

 Special Local Products:herbal medicine: cordyceps, snow lotus, Tibetan saffron; pine mushroom; Tibetan ornaments

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