Mingyong Glacier, one of the major glaciers in China, is located in the northwest of Deqin county, Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture, YunnanProvince. At an elevation of 2,700 meters (8,858 ft), the glacier is the lowest latitude and elevation of any glacier in China. The glacier is fed by snows which fall on 6,740 m Mount Meili, also known as the Meili Snow Mountain. The glacier is sacred to the local peoples.
Mingyong glacier is on the mountainside of Kawagebo, the major and highest peak of Meili Snow Mountain in Deqin County of Diqing Prefecture in Northwest Yunnan, and there are cirque and glaciers everywhere. The glacier winds it way down the mountain and stretches as long as the place of 11.7 kilometers with an altitude of 2,660 meters above the sea level, the average width is 500 meters and melting at 0.232 billion cubic meters annually. Under Kawagebo, the distance between Mingyong glacier and Lancang River is only 800 meters, which is the monsoon oceanic modern glacier in a lower latitude and elevation in the world. When you enjoy the beautiful scenery of Meili Snow Mountain in Feilai Temple, you can also enjoy Mingyong glacier next to Kawagebo, the major peak of Meili Snow Mountain.
Around the glacier area, there are dense and well preserved coniferous and latifoilate forests, that is so enchanted that you cannot take eyes off it. It starts from an elevation of 6000 meters In Kawagebo, disappears at an elevation of 2600 meters dense forests, this whole glacier band stretches for 8 kilometers long. All of this we can attribute to the result of protection by Tibetan people besides natural formation.
There are two ways to go up the mountain, one is a footpath and another is walkway for horse riding (The horses are only available in the entrance and in the Taizi Temple, there are no horses for you to ride even you are tired on the half way). Two ways are easy to go because they are neat cinder path. On the way up the mountain, footpath is on the left side of mountain and walkway for horse is on the right side. Walking for about an hour and a half, you will arrive at the first place where you can see glacier and Meili Snow Mountain---Taizi Temple. It is a small temple but many Tibetans go to this temple to pilgrimage and burn incense for pray. The road on the left side of Taizi Temple will lead to observation deck; the road on the right side will lead to Lotus Temple. Walking for a small distance you will see a plank road built along the face of a cliff. There is a observation deck in the middle of the road, you can watch Kawagebo there. If you take the right side road to Lotus Temple, it will take you one hour around. Lotus Temple is bigger than Taizi Temple; less people come here compared with Taizi Temple. However, in a sunny day, Lotus Temple is the best place to watch Kawagebo.
• Don’t climb alone: after you arrive at glacier, you should walk carefully in the bottom of glacier, but don’t climb up alone.
• Follow a tour guide: the ice crevasses and the fall are the greatest dangers, so you need to be accompanied by a professional tour guide.
• Don’t scream loudly: walking through the Meili Snow Mountain, you can not scream loudly, of which is forbidden because it will destroy the peace and mystery of mountain.
Every Tibetan Year of Goat, Tibetans nearby will walk to a pilgrimage around Meili Snow Mountain for a month, and ordinary tourists will not take this way. From Taizi Temple to the edge of glacier, and then walk alone the left side of the foot of hill, climb up along valley, and you will see a perpetual snows of the mountaintops.
1. There are two ways to go up the mountain, one is a footpath and another is walkway for horse riding. Two ways are easy to go because they are neat cinder path. The whole route will take you about 2 hours.
2. The first place where you can see glacier and Meili Snow Mountain is Taizi Temple. It is a small temple and if you have enough time and energy, you can walk though aa plank road built along the face of a cliff and walk to Lotus Temple, it will take you one hour around. In a sunny day, Lotus Temple is the best place to watch Kawagebo.
3. It is best to bring fast food, because you can have meal after you return to Mingyong village.
Best travel time
December to February are the best time to visit, you can see the snow. Migyong glacier in winter is more beautiful for sightseeing and photograph.
There is a bus to Mingyong village every afternoon at 3 o’clock from Deqin Bus Station. It takes you about one hour to drive there and cost you 13 Yuan per person. The return bus from Mingyong village to Deqin is 13 yuan per person at 8 o’clock every morning.
You can choose to charter a bus; round trip will cost you 120 yuan per charter bus. The major types of vehicle are minivan and minicar.