Saturday 14 May Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Show, Lijiang

Today our itinerary was changed because Vivian discovered that there were lots of Chinese tour groups going up to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain show this morning, so she changed our visit to this afternoon.
After a leisurely breakfast, we boarded our coach and our driver, Mr Han, drove us to the village of Baisha to see the ancient frescoes, which are Ancient Wall Paintings. Baisha Old Town is one of the oldest towns in Lijiang and it is the earliest settlement of the Naxi people. There is white sand on the ground, which is why the town was named “Baisha”, which means “white sand”. In the town there are many ancient buildings built during the Ming Dynasty, including Dabaoji Palace, Liuli Temple, and Wenchang Palace. The Baisha Frescoes were located in Dabaoji Palace. The 45 pieces of Baisha frescos were drawn in the early Ming Dynasty, dating back to the 13th century. Most of the paintings are about religious stories of Taoism, Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism. (Among them the paintings about Kwan-yin and Sakyamuni are the most famous ones.)

We enjoyed strolling around the streets of Baisha before having an early lunch at a Chinese Restaurant. After lunch, several members of our group quickly visited an amazing Baisha Naxi Embroidery Institute that some of our group had found earlier – there were the most awesome pictures done by Grand Masters. We bought some smaller pieces done by the students, which were also amazing.

We boarded our coach for a short drive out of town to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and by this time it was raining lightly, so when we got to the entrance to the arena, we were able to collect really good quality ponchos each to borrow, and then Cindy, our local guide had organised for us to sit in a VIP section of the arena for the absolutely stunning “Impression Lijiang Show”. With 500 hundred singers and dancers, and 150 horses, this magnificent outdoor performance demonstrated the lifestyles of the local minority groups, all set to the backdrop of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which was shrouded in misty clouds. The one-hour show was staged at 3,100 meters above sea level and had two parts, “Impression of Snow Mountain” and “Impression of the Ancient City”, which were both spectacular. The local ethnic Naxi, Bai and Yi people were selected from nearby towns and villages to participate in the performance. They dressed up in their colourful ethnic costumes and accessories to perform the singing and dancing, horse riding and drumming, which gave a real ethnic atmosphere to the show. Words cannot describe how absolutely spectacular it was!!!

After the show finished, we boarded a local bus, which took us up to the base of the cable car station for a short ride part of the way up the mountain. From there, we boarded small electric buses that looked like oversized golf carts that took us to the Yunshan Ping Platform, which should have given us great view of the Snow Peak, but unfortunately it was shrouded in swirling mist. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is 5,596 metres high and is famous for its beautiful natural scenery as well as a popular hiking spot – the mountain is considered a sacred mountain among the local Naxi ethnic people. We went for a wander along the wooden path overlooking the meadow and the part of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain that we could see before boarding the electric vehicles and back down in the gondolas and boarded another public bus. We stopped at Blue Moon Valley for a photo opportunity of the lovely lakes with amazing Jade green colour. There were several brides and grooms having their professional photos taken before their weddings.

We then boarded another public bus, which took us back down to the carpark where our driver was waiting to take us back to the Grand Hyatt for warm showers before dinner.

We all enjoyed a buffet style dinner, with western dishes and lovely desserts – we sat with Anna and Chris and had a wonderful evening.

We were so impressed with the Show this afternoon that the small amount of rain did not dampen our enthusiasm and overall impression of how spectacular it was!! What a wonderful day in Lijiang!!

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