Located near Lijiang Old Town in China's Yunnan Province, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain rises majestically from the plains. With an elevation of 5,596 meters above sea level, and consisting of 13 peaks, the mountain's snowy peaks often rise above the clouds and fog which nestle among its crevices making it appear like a large dragon resting in the clouds, giving it its name. The mountain is snowcapped year round and with its natural unspoiled beauty it draws a great many scientists, as well as visitors from both home and abroad. The summit of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has never been climbed, although many mountaineers from many countries have attempted it.
There is an interesting legend about the creation of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. In ancient times, the Jade Snow Mountain, and neighboring Haba Snow Mountain were actually human twins. Their names were Haba and Jade Dragon. They earned their livelihood from the Golden Sand River. One day an evil demon decided to inhabit the river scaring away the fish and killing the local people. The brothers were very brave and honorable and thought it was their duty to beat off the demon, or die in the attempt. An epic battle ensued and the one twin Haba died in the battle. Jade Dragon fought even harder after the loss of his brother and actually wore out 13 swords fighting the demon and eventually drove him off. To protect the people, and prevent the demon from returning, Jade Dragon stood by the river and held the 13 swords he had used to beat off the demon for years, until eventually, he and his brother had turned into the two snow mountains, and the 13 swords had become the 13 peaks. For the local Naxi Ethnic people, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has become a sacred mountain and a symbol of sacrificing oneself for the betterment of others.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is famous for being a botanist's paradise. It is a sanctuary for rare animals and wild plants. One fourth of all of China's plant species can be found on the mountain and over half of the 13,000 species of plants in Yunnan can be found on the mountain. The 20 primeval forests shelter over 400 species of trees including fir, dragon spruce, Chinese hemlock, and fragrant camphor.
Different animal and plant species can be found at different altitudes. Different parts of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain feature very different ecosystems. There are several meadows on the mountain and each has its own special characteristics. One meadow is covered with gigantic spruce trees, while another is a vast grassland that was once a large lake that dried up in ancient times. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is also home to a rare tea. Known as Wild Snow Tea, this tea is revered for its help of sufferers of high blood pressure. It gets its name from the fact that it ripens in the winter. During this time of year, the Naxi ethnic men and women flock to the mountain to pick it.
The mountain has become a famous destination for visitors who wish to do a bit of sightseeing, mountaineering, skiing, exploring, and scientific research. It is an untouched natural paradise that should not be missed.
Sample Yunnan tour incl. this sacred mountain: 4-Day Lijiang Natural and Cultural Tour
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