Daocheng-Yading Scenic Area is located in Yading Village, Shangri-la Town, Daocheng County, Ganzi, Sichuan Province. It consists of three sacred mountains, surrounding rivers, lakes and highland grasslands. With the natural beauty, it seems the paradise of photography enthusiasts. The altitude of Daocheng is about 3800-4600 meters.
Day 01 Shangri-la to Daocheng
Day02 Daocheng to Yading, visit Milky Lake(牛奶海)
Day03 Visit Pearl Lake in the morning, then back to Shangri-la after the visit.
Daocheng has airport, which was completed on August 29th, 2012. It is a highland airport with an altitude of 4411 meter. Daocheng-Yading Airport is the highest civil airport in the world. There are flights from Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Kunming, Lijiang, Xian, ect to Daocheng, but the flights are limited.
•Transportation from Shangri-la to Daocheng
There is a bus from Shangri-la to Daocheng at about 07:00 every morning. It takes about 12 hours with the bus fare of CNY110 per person per way. The bus runs across snow mountains to Daocheng via Xiangcheng. It may detour to Derong County due to the road condition in rainy season. In this case, it will take more time.
If you do not catch the bus for Daocheng, you could take the bus to Xiangcheng at 07:30. Then transit bus to Daocheng. It needs about 6 hours from Shangri-la to Xiangcheng.
Another way from Shangri-la to Daocheng is to rent a vehicle. The rental fee is about CNY500-800 per car per day. When you enquiry the price for the car rental, it is better to make sure the price includes the driver’s board and lodging or not. Besides, before you decide to rent the car, you’d better to make sure the route with the driver in advance. If you are lucky meeting a driver who transfer clients from Daocheng to Shangri-la, you may get a better price. The licence plate for the car from Daocheng starts with 川V.
•The Road Condition from Shangri-la to Daocheng
Most road between Shangri-la and Xiangcheng is in good condition, except the 70 km road before Xiangcheng when the bus runs across the great snow mountain. It takes about 3 hours for that 70 km road. The altitude of Xiangcheng is not very high. It is below 3000 meters. It will need 4-5 hours from Xiangcheng to Daocheng. It will need 2 hours from Daocheng to Shangri-la town and 1 hour from Shangri-la town to Yading Village. All the roads are in good condition, with good scenery and Tibetan villages along the road.
- If you can not bear long-distance ride, we do not suggest you take bus as the transportation.
- In rainy season, it often rains at night in Daocheng, but it will be a fine day next morning.
- There isn’s air-conditioning in most hotels in this area. Please do not take shower every day to avoid catching a cold.
Since Daocheng is a remote small county with only one road through it, there aren’t many restaurant. The most famous restaurant is Pang Da Jie Restuarant, offering authentic Sichuan Food. It is recommended by Lonely Planet. Many locals also go to have meals in this restaurant. It is located on Bo Wa Street, near to farmer’s market.
Walking is enough in this small county. Some inns offer bicycle rent. Tourists ride a bike around the county or go to the neary by Banghe Town and Sera Town.
There are many youth hostels and guesthouses in Daocheng. It is easy to find a place for accommodation. Almost all the hostels or guesthouses, inns have basic facilities, such as hot water and TV set. Air-conditioning is inavailable, but electric blanket can be offered.
•The scenery along the road from Shangri-la to Daocheng
Crossing the snow mountains, you will find the scenery along the road a bit taste of Switzerland, with very beautiful Tibetan villages. Compared to the view of Potatso, the scenery on the way looks more primitive and tourists do not need to pay any admission.
•Banghe, Sera and Red Grassland
Banghe and Sera are 2 towns nearby Daocheng. Banghe is also the name of a river. The highlights are the sunse at Banghe and the morning mist at Sera. The poplar forest looks golden in autumn. It is really beautiful, like an oil painting with the red grassland and Tibetan villages. Autumn is the best season to visit Daocheng as there are only few highlights in other season.
•Shangri-la Town (2900 meters)
Shangri-la Town is the tourists center for Yading Scenic Area to stay. The local government is going to build a Shangri-la resort town.
•Yading Village (4000 meters)
Yading Village is a paradise-like small village in mountains. It is still quiet with original natural beauty now although there are many tourists every year.
With the grasslands, stream flowing through forests, snow mountains in distance as well as the colourful flowers scattered on the grassland in summer, no one won’t be stunned when they visit this remote village.
Hike or ride a horse from Luorong Diary Farm to Milky Lake, which looks like a sapphire studded in the mountains. It needs about 5-6 hours by hking or 4 hours by riding a horse.
There is another lake, which is different from Milky Lake. It is just like a emerald. It is Pearl Lake.