Look, this whole trip was totally great, but I’ve been allergic for the past 4 days so my brain is half there and it’s hard to write coherent things about how great it was, so here’s a little stuff my engineer brain dashed off:
You take a bus from Shangrila to Feilai si, then the next morning share a van to Xidang. There are a bunch of guys driving there, no problem there. Takes 1.5-2 hours.
From Xidang it’s 9.4km to upper Yubeng. You can check the numbers on some of the power poles on the way up; the top is at about 105 and Yubeng is at about 150. It’s tough - I’m a reasonably fit 30 year old guy and it was still a whole lot of uphill. Took about 6-7 hours including breaks. The top is at about 12k feet and upper Yubeng about 10.5k. If you’ve acclimated in Shangrila (10k), you shouldn’t have altitude trouble.
The first stop, Dazhending, doesn’t have food, just instant noodles. The next two stops (Bayinong and Nanzheng Col at the top) have rice and eggs, so hold out for them if you can.
Upper and Lower Yubeng are both about 1-street towns. I can’t tell what’s the difference from a traveler’s point of view. Seems there are fine places in each. We stayed in Lobsang’s Trekking Lodge in upper Yubeng and the Sacred Waterfall guest house in lower Yubeng. None of the places are fancy, but at least they’re not too pricey (150RMB ~ $25 double room) and have good views and friendly owners. (Especially the Sacred Waterfall.)
You can meet goats.
Someone said it was “like life in the 1800s.” Well, not quite, unless the 1800s also had a thriving tourism industry. But it’s a taste. I bet the 1800s had even more mud.
Anyway, speaking of good views, the sacred waterfall hike is totally great. As it’s the easiest of 3 day hikes in the region, we expected it to be kinda easy and not super exciting. Wrongo, both ways.
Dude’s wearing a suit! Did he hike up in it?
Getting out, we took the Ninong trail. Way easier than the Xidang. Right before the Ninong village, you can take a shortcut down to a parking lot where some drivers are waiting. We went with one of them all the way back to Shangri-la.
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