Home>>>City Guide>>>>Attraction>>>>Yunnan

Meili Snow Mountain

Meili Snow Mountain, towering like a pyramid is located about 10km west of Deqing City in Diqing Prefecture. As the sun rises in the east, the snow-mountain looks splendid, draped in gold. This holy scene is described in a book named The Lost Horizon.

Known for the grandest view in Yunnan Province, Meili Snow Mountain boasts numerous snow-clad ridges and peaks, thirteen of which exceed 6,000 meters (19.685 feet) above the sea level. The most splendid view is of the Kawagebo Peak, the highest in Yunnan Province rising about 6,740 meters (22,112.86 feet). It is still a 'virgin peak' for no one has ever reached the top. Thus, Meili Snow Mountain is a challenge for all mountain explorers from home and abroad

Low altitude modern glaciers, can be found in this area, of particular interest to those engaged in geological research. Under Kawageber Peak, Mingyuchia Glacier and Sichia Glacier stretch down to the forest at an elevation of 2,700 meters; this area is accessible. However, the highest peak, Kawageber Peak some 6,740 meters above sea level, is still a "virgin peak", untouched till now. Mountaineers from China, Great Britain, the US, and Japan have failed to conquer the peak over the years. In 1991, 17 mountaineers from China and Japan trying to conquer the peak lost their lives on the snow-mountain.

Owing to its high altitude, the mountain owns several climatic zones with a diversity of plants, vast expanse of grassland and rich fungi species that are vertically distributed. The types of vegetation here range from the Torrid Zone to Frigid Zone vertically. From the altitude of 2,000 meters (6562 feet) to 4,000 (13123 feet) meters, forests flourish with varieties of spruce. The depth of the forest is an exotic world of rare birds and animals. The meadows surrounding the forests are embellished by countless flowers which add more vitality and charm to the mountain.

There are numerous snow mountains between Yunnan and Tibet, including Everest, the highest mountain in the world and Qiaogeli Peak, the second highest in the world. Nevertheless, Meili Snow Mountain is the highest holy Tibetan Mountain in the world, shrouded in mist, cloud

Towering like a pyramid, Meili Snow Mountain is regarded as a Holy Mountain by local Tibetans. Although there are numerous snow-covered mountains between Yunnan and Tibet, including Mt. Qomolangma, the highest mountain in the world, and Qiaogeli Peak, the second highest in the world, Meili Snow Mountain is the highest holy Tibetan mountain - one shrouded in mist, cloud and mystery.

It is a holy land for worshiping. Pilgrims from Tibet, Qinghai Province, Sichuan Province, and Gansu Province travel to the mountain at the beginning of each winter to worship. Thousands of devout pilgrims worship together and encircle the holy mountain, adding even more mystery and loftiness to the mountain.

The first team to try, in 1902, was British. This was followed, equally unsuccessfully, by American, Japanese, and Chinese Tea ms, all of whom also failed. A combined Chinese and Japanese team tried to reach the summit of Kagebo in 1991, but the expedition ended in tragedy: the entire team perished in an accident, their remains not discovered until years later, in 1998. The many failed attempts to climb Kagebo have – quite understandably – only reinforced the religious beliefs that the local Tibetans attach to their sacred mountain.

Each year in late autumn and early winter, Tibetan-Buddhist pilgrims flock to Meili Snow Mountain from neighboring Sichuan Province, Tibet Autonomous Region, and even Qinghai and Gansu Provinces, some travelling hundreds of kilometers to pay homage to the sacred mountain. They spend one to two weeks in a pilgrimmage around the mountain (a process termed "circumambulation" by the adherents who participate), ritualistically prostrating themselves in reverence at certain key localities. On each Goat Year of the Tibetan Calendar, the number of "circumambulators" increases a hundredfold.

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.

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.

Getting there and away
Getting there: Meili is located in the west of Deqin. For b uses from Zhongdian to Deqin, see Zhongdian.
There are several interesting sites between Zhongdian and Deqin: Napa Lake, The bend of Lancang Jiang, Dhondrupling Gompa, Baimang Snow Mountains

Rating: 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.

Yunnan 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.


Getting away by bus:
Bus station: 0887-8413322 Departure  Destinations Departure time Remarks
Deqin
  Zhongdian, Shangri-La  7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 12:00 180 km, 6 hours. Y35. Lunch at Benzilan. 
Lijiang, Kunming  11:00 (sleeper) Take a 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. 
Yanjing  8:30 Y35
Mangkang in Tibet.
  8:00 Y73. If the passengers are not enough, the service can be cancelled even at the moment when the bus is due to depart. 
Cizhong  7:30 14:00 Y21.00, 81km 
Weixi  7:00  Y50, 227km
Xidang   8:00, 15:00  Y14.00. To go to Yubeng. 
Mingyong   8:00, 15:00  Y14. To visit Mingyong Glacier. 
Xidang Deqin 8:00, 16:00  The second bus might leave early if there are enough passengers.
Mingyong Deqin 8:00, 16:00   
Meilishui Deqin 15:00 Y13. Meilishui  : 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.

Accommodations
Deqin Town: 德钦
Dexin Lou 德新楼: Tel:0887-8412031. E-mail: qmdj@hotmail.com
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 Y150.
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 this hotel.
Location: Getting out of the bus station, turn left and walk 50m, the hotel is on your right.
Rainbow Hotel 彩虹大酒店: 2 stars, double standard room Y200, double room without bathroom: Y50. Tel:0887-8414248.

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.
Meili 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 children.
News: Some middle ranged hotels was built in Feilaisi in 2005 and 2006, such as Mingzhu Hotel 明珠酒店, Nanka Hotel 南卡酒店.

Xidang: 西当 One or two lodges.

Wenquan (Hot Springs): 温泉
Wenguan Lodge: Y20 per bed, clean, no electricity, wonderful hot springs for shower. Restaurant available.
This is the only lodge in Wenquan for tourists. There are several tents with poor conditions for Tibetan pilgrims.

Yubeng: 雨崩
Aqinbu's 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.
News:
- 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.

 

Popular Attractions In  Shangri-La                       More

 
Baimang Snow Mountain


Haba Snow Mountain

 
Feilai Temple


Yubeng Village