I still remember back the days when I was just an innocent child… Every saturday night, there was a cute introductory before the kids show, which was highlighted by a tiny fairy that flies among the pine forests covered with thick snow. That was also the first time in my life that I knew snow existed in this world. And definitely, with a child’s dream, to play with snow is always the best thing to do in the winter. But it seems to be impossible just for me, who live in a tropical country that the everage annual degree reaches up to 30 Celcius degrees. After many years, the ‘little boy’ finally finds himself enjoying the first snowy scence, which he knows that he truly recalls old days’ memories at Jade Dragon Snow Moutain!
Jade Dragon moutain itself is a legendary place where gods of Naxi people live and consits of numerous beautiful landscapes along the Yu Long conserved area. Some rumors say that ones with true heart and good mind may obtain the best wishes when conquer this moutain by themeselves, but up to now, there has not been any record of the first person to make it to the top of 5590 meters above the sea of Jade Dragon Snow Moutain due to the harsh of windy weather, freezed snow and steep slope. Known for the best scenery of the whole Yunnan, China, Jade Dragon moutain every day attracts thousands of visitors from far away provinces in China and sometimes, nature-loved foreign backpackers which are called by the word “wai guo ren” ( ), by locals. It is not a big problem to search for the best time for tourist to come here, which falls around April to May and September to October with clear sky and sun shines all day long. However, man plans gods laughs. There is nothing that guarantees things are smooth as we hope.
I used to be pessimistic about the fact that there is no chance we could totally be amazed at the famous snow moutain with all-year-round-snow-capped top when the sky was so cloudy even on the very first days of April in China. From the ticket office on the long foggy moutain path that leads to the scenery sites of Yu Long area, we could see clouds cover most of the moutain, but still be able to acknowledge that there is snow on the slope. The driver even expressed a moody face that shows her worry and said to us that today we might not be lucky to see the moutain in its best condition since Lijiang rained for almost 2 days.
It’s not normal for this area to have snow or rain in this month as simply it’s not the rainy season, and the winter? Definitely finish for a month ago. So, I just kept in my mind a strong belief that it was still early at 9am to say anything about the Jade Dragon today. Even that we were already in the cable car to “climb up” the Spruce Meadow – one of multiple zones that you can have a look at, things were not better even worse.
Spruce Meadow lies at around 3200 meters high attitude above the sea. This platform is a combination of two plants: a small number of pines and of course, a vast land of spruces, hence the name of this place. From the cable station, there is a narrow wooden walking path inside the forest leading to a large praire covered by thousand of tall trees. We reached the path at around 11pm, every corner was covered with thick snow. From the ground to the leaves, things are just a unique color of fresh white, brown from the wooden tree and green. The sky up above our heads had no sign of dismissing its clouds. Perhaps, the bad weather did a great job on getting rid of people coming there since there was just around 5-10 persons at that time. With china, a country of more than 1 billion population, it’s not a common thing to see on those Qing Ming festival days.
In a nutshell, I was absolutely amazed and appreciated to have a sense that things were real; Spruce Meadow did bring me the first time so play with snow. That I let myself involved in snow, make a snow ball and walk in snow on the two sides of the path was what I couldn’t forget. Snow was just fresh, freezed and melted as I try to put in through the tip of my tongue (actually not really hygiene :D).
Someone say that April doesn’t have snow, but yeah, I would say that I did experience such month with snow in Jade Dragon! We walked along the path in 30 minutes enjoying the freezed climate at around 1 to 2 degrees without hesitation, I guess “the joy of snow” took away all our coldness!!! A vast land of snow (as all grass are now under thick snow) with foggy view created by snow slowly appeared as every step we took. Another walk way that circles the “white” area to help visitors view the background of Jade Dragon Moutain behind it, which we often see on the postcards or instagram photos of this place. But , not in this way!!!, not this time. We walked for another 20 minutes to finish the whole circle, giving up the fragile hope that the sky would turn to be blue and clear just for a second.
No pains, no gain!
As I said, nothing was sure until the last minute. As we intent to walk back to the cable station, things changed completely. At first, a small chop of the moutain could be seen though very blured. Just 5 minutes later, half side of the moutain was visible thanks to the flown away clouds. Everyone turned back to see that magical moment, they did not leave anymore, and we did, too!! The sky was clearer and clearer with a full background of the moutain with snow on the slope. All people there was just so shock to see that short period, they was over the moon viewing the landscape.
We did not miss any second to record that moment through our camera. Finally, we did not lose our hope and reach the best result. I would say that we were sure there was not many days visitors managed to see such a scence as we did.
When we entered the zone of Blue Moon Valley – an extremely unbelievable scence that most people come there just for it, the sky was a little bit cloudy although just a few minutes ago, it turned from cloudy to sunny. A bit dissapointed but we did enjoy the landscape really well.
The Valley, in fact, is a composition of three moderate ponds that reflect the blue and green color of moss or water (I’m not really sure about this). It was nothing but clear and greeny as a pure mineral water pond deep inside the jungle. Within the background of green trees and Jade Dragon moutain, it did suprise and bring the best mood to anyone who stand there. Everything was just so magnificent and marvelous. Imagine you walk under the blue sky, the atmostphere is fresh and cool. I can say that I almost fall in love with this place at first sight.
Some Yaks were just standing on the white milky stream to drink water (their owners need them as a mean of earning money from photos, though the Yaks seem not happy), couples are having wedding photos taking advantage of this weather. It was not so rushing there, but pleasant and bustling. The pink blossoms were also another feature that light up the whole Blue Moon Valley as they showed their fully pink color through the blue sky.
We, finally had to say goodbye to get back to Lijiang City after a whole day to experience so many things we have never knew before. The long road to the city appeared to be shorter because of the best treat of the Yu Long sceneric area until the ending point of Gan Hai Zi zone.
The trip to Jade Dragon Snow moutain impressed and presented us with the best joy of enjoying everything although not really nice at the first period. This memories were just so pristine that deeply inculcate into my mind, especially the best moment of the clear scence as I described. Perhaps, Hardly will there be any chance that I come back there again, but I still appreciate and keep all the treats it did to me. Thank you for everything, Jade Dragon Snow Moutain!