“A wonderful place to hike and explore
both nature and Tibetan culture. ”
A UNESCO Site. Meili Snow Mountains
(Meili) rise between the Salween River (called Nu Jiang in
China) and the Mekong River (called Lancang Jiang in China) in
the extreme edge of Northwest Yunnan Province. The region,
still largely wilderness, is part of Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected
Areas, inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 2003.
A report by WCMC (World Conservation
Monitoring Center) on this wonderful nature park concluded
that “This is an area of unparalleled biological diversity,
unusually explicit geological and landscape variety and great
Pilgrimage routes. The holy Kawa Karpo (6740M),
the highest peak of Meili, is one of the most sacred mountains
of Tibetan Buddhism. It is recommended to fulfill the circuit
of Kawa Karpo during the Year of Sheep. Local pilgrims
circumambulate Kawa Karpo every year. In 2003, the Year of
Sheep (once every 12 years), pilgrims came from all over Tibet
as well as Tibetan regions in Yunnan and Sichuan to worship
this holy mountain. There are two pilgrimage routes: the
inner route including Yubeng Shenpu (sacred waterfalls)
and Mingyong Glacier, and the outside full
pilgrimage circuit of Kawa Karpo. The second route takes 8
to 12 days to fulfill in a pristine area without access to any
vehicular road. Nowadays, these pilgrimage routes attract more
and more hikers.
When you catch the first breathtaking view of Meili's thirteen
6000-meter-high peaks as well as the spectacular glaciers on
the bus to Deqin, you start to believe the legend of
Shangri-La. Their foothills are adorned harmoniously by
beautiful terrace fields, meadows as well as traditional
Tibetan houses. Not yet disturbed by too many tourists, the
region is a paradise for explorers and hikers to admire
soaring peaks, alpine lakes, waterfalls and glaciers, and is
no doubt worth the best rating.
government is working with Nature Conservancy, an organasition based in
the United States, for the eco-tourism development in order to
improve local Tibetan's living conditions and preserve the
environment. One day the circuit of Kawa Karpo might become as
popular as the circuit of Annapurnas in Nepal.
Best time to visit: In May
and June the region is alive with enchanting wild flowers.
From Mid-October to Mid-November the region is covered with
marvelous autumn colors. July and August is a high season for
tourism as well as rainfalls. Winter is cold and dry.
Sometimes heavy snowfalls may block roads and isolate this
region for weeks and months.
Meili is located in the west of Deqin.
For b uses from
Zhongdian to Deqin, see Zhongdian.
Getting away by bus: Bus station:
There are several interesting sites between
Zhongdian and Deqin: Napa Lake, The bend of Lancang Jiang,
Dhondrupling Gompa (Songzhanlin Si, see left photo 5), Baimang
Snow Mountains (see left photo 4).
||7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 12:00
km, 6 hours. Y35. Lunch at Benzilan. |
bus to Zhongdian early in the morning, you will find
easily a bus to Lijiang or Kunming upon arriving at
Zhongdian in the late afternoon.
|Mangkang in Tibet.
If the passengers are not enough, the service can be
cancelled even at the moment when the bus is due to
||Y21.00, 81km |
||Y14.00. To go to Yubeng. |
To visit Mingyong Glacier. |
second bus might leave early if there are enough
Meilishui 梅里水 : The finish point of big Kora.
In this remote Tibetan town, only the bus service
between Deqin and Zhongdian can be guaranteed. Other links are
dependent on the weather and road conditions and the number of
passengers. To know the number of passengers, the bus station
sells the tickets first. If the passengers are not enough, the
service can be cancelled even at the moment when the bus is
due to depart.
to a traveler's report in Oct 2005, the bus to Xidang and
Mingyong is dispatched from Qiaotou (near the bridge) rather
than the bus station. Tell the driver in advance so that he
can drop you off at Qiaotou before entering into the town.
Deqin Town: 德钦
Dexin Lou 德新楼: Tel:0887-8412031. E-mail:
Dormitory rooms: Y20 per bed. Double
rooms: Y50. WC and hot shower are on the same floor.
Standard rooms with bathroom: Single for Y100. Double for
Clean rooms are decorated with Tibetan paintings. In
the big sitting room downstairs, local maps and travel
information are available. However, there is no restaurant in
Location: Getting out of the bus station, turn
left and walk 50m, the hotel is on your right.
Hotel 彩虹大酒店: 2 stars, double
standard room Y200, double room without bathroom: Y50.
Feilaisi Viewpoint: 飞来寺
(see left photo2).
Excellent place to enjoy the spectacular
view of Meili's 13 peaks and glaciers. More and more travelers
stay overnight here instead of Deqin in order to admire the
magnificent Meili at sunrise and sunset. It costs Y20-Y30 for
a taxi to go to Feilaisi from Deqin. You can catch a Xidang or
Minyong bus that pass through Feilaisi Viewpoint.
Shanzhuang 梅里山庄: Standard
double rooms: Y140. Dormitory rooms: Y20 per bed, with hot
shower outside the room. Tel: 13988717636 / 13988740590.
Jihouniao Cafe 季候鸟咖啡:
Good atmosphere, nice meals, a lot of travel magazines and
books to read. A nice place to chat with other travelers. The
cafe's profit goes to a local school for disabled Tibetan
middle ranged hotels was built in Feilaisi in 2005 and 2006,
such as Mingzhu Hotel 明珠酒店， Nanka Hotel
Xidang: 西当 One
or two lodges.
Wenquan (Hot Springs):
Wenguan Lodge: Y20 per
bed, clean, no electricity, wonderful hot springs for shower.
This is the only lodge in Wenquan for
tourists. There are several tents with poor conditions for
Shenpu Lodge 神瀑客栈(Mystic Waterfall
Hotel) is no doubt one of the best choices. Tel:0887-8411082.
It is located at the end of the Lower Yubeng, on the way to
Yubeng Sacred Fall. Y20 per bed. Their restaurant offers
potatoes, eggs and noodles. No vegetables and meat. Aqinbu and
his brothers provide excellent guide services and horses.
According to a traveler's report in July 2005, "Aqinbu's Lodge
has 5-6 different kinds of vegetables, so its no longer just
meat and potatoes. I stayed there for three nights."
According to a traveler's report in 2006, Yubeng has a dozen
of family run guesthouses for Y25/per night. The clean Hiker's
Home 徒步者之家 is located between the upper
and lower Yubeng village. Tel: 08878411173，13988705799. Hot
water is available.
Mingyong Glacier: 明永
Comfortable hotels can be easily found in Mingyong Village. No
recommendation from our site. Some newly renovated Tibetan
style hotels look good. Prices range from Y20-Y30 per bed to
Y80-Y200 per double room.
UNESCO'S World Heritage Sites: Three Parallel
Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas
Don't miss the article on Yubeng A Holy Place in China Fights for Its Life, Body
and Soul on the Tibet Environmental Watch. From the
same site, you can find a profile of Deqin County made in 1997.
The Nature Conservancy's Meili project in
cooperation with Yunnan government.
Several treks around the Base Camp of Kawa Karpo are
proposed by CNCOOL.
good description of the full pilgrimage circuit on Globaladrenaline.
Before Meili : Zhongdian.
After Meili : The route to Tibet.
The national road 214
passing Deqin goes further north to Yanjing and then enters
Tibet. The bus can reach the next important Tibetan town
Markham(Mangkang) in one day. However the bus services from
Deqin to Markham are not regular, mostly depending on the road
conditions and the number of passengers. However it takes less
time to reach Markham from Kunming than from Chengdu by the
Nujiang Valley: See from Dimalou to Deqin
Back Road to
Tibet: Click here.