Sunday, December 11, 2016

Adventure in the Blue Moon Valley

After exploring the ancient and UNESCO-listed town of Lijiang, I had time to explore the mountains. Snow Mountain was the nearest destination, and I heard good things about it. Renting a car on my own was expensive, so I decided to go to an area where vans shuttled people to the park.


Exploring the Blue Moon Valley

The park surrounding Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is huge and is also very time consuming. Instead of going to all the places in the map, I decided to just go to Blue Moon Valley. The park is tourist-friendly because there are buses shuttling people to their destinations. Honestly, I was surprised at the commercialization, other than the buses, there are restaurants, souvenir shops and others. I queued for the shuttle that goes to the Blue Moon Valley.

The ride to the stop was uneventful, as soon as I stepped out of the bus, the spectacular view of the mountains and lake below greeted me. It had been raining for the past few days and I was fortunate the skies cleared on this day.





The Blue Moon Valley got its name from the the bluish river that courses through the valley of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and its crescent moon-like shape when someone views it from a distance. The waters turn white because of the mud and limestone rubble when it rains.


I tried touching the waters, it was freezing, then I accidentally fell in, wetting my foot, sock and shoe. I didn't let that bother me as I enjoyed the views and took several photos. The fan-like (looked like plates as well) were catch basins for the water that flowed down.



It wasn't raining but the clouds covered the mountain peaks.







The area has four lakes separated by rocks and waterfalls along the river, these are Jade-Like Wine Lake, Mirror Pond, Blue Moon Lake, and Wave-Listening Lake. These bodies of water form a mirror that reflects the surrounding plants, cliffs and mountain.

I also noticed that the Blue Moon Valley is a popular destination for couples who are having their engagement photo shoot.





How to Get to Blue Moon Valley

From Kunming, I went to a parking lot that has vans that travel to Yulong Snow Mountain, I paid RMB 50 one way, you could get it at a lower price (at around RMB 25) based on the number of passengers in the van. There is also a RMB 130 as the entrance fee for the park. I also paid RMB 20 for the return tickets to the Blue Moon Valley and back to the station. I paid another RMB 25 to return to Lijiang from the parking lot of the park.



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