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Cang Mountain

The beautiful landscape of Cangshan is mainly known for its endless snow that last for the entire year, one of the main four elements of Dali. In the summer, the relevant color difference between the green hillsides and the white peaks becomes one of the wonders of this place. Here you can enjoy the adrenaline rush on the cable cars while having breathtaking views of the landscape, or you can even discover harmonious forests on the quiet hiking trails.

Things to do +

Climb to the top of the mountain and discover the most impressive view of Dali

Description: Ximatan or Xima Pond is situated at the top of Cang Mountain, and the route to it is one of the most recommended for travelers visiting Dali for the first time. To date, it is the one spot that receives the biggest traffic during the year, so it is recommended to avoid holidays and high seasons.

 

Hiking at Yudai(玉带路)

Description: Yudai is the name of a flat trail in Cang Mountain that can be entered via Sanyue Street. There are two ways to do this hiking trail, one from north to south, and the other from south to north.

From North to South: This route starts from Zhonghe Temple, in the north of Sanyue Street, which can be reached by taking Zhonghe cable car that goes directly to the temple, or going up by foot.

On the way you can see several streams with places to take short breaks. 2,5km from the beginning of the route, you will arrive at the monument of the God protector of the mountain, a place where some mystics leave pieces of fruits as tributes to this God, which are normally eaten by forest animals.

Then, you have the option of choosing Ximatan cable car (洗马潭索道), the longest in the entire park, with which you can go to the top of the mountain. Afterwards, in no time you will reach the Qilongnv spring, made up of seven small springs from top to bottom.

On the final part of the route, there’s Gangtong cable car(感通索道), and next to it you will see the famous memorial to the Zhenlong chess match, created with giant stones.

At the end of the route you can choose two ways to go down the mountain. Take Gangtong cable car directly, or go down by foot and visit Gantong and Jizhao temple.

It is recommended to bring bags to be able to collect the trash that you see throughout the journey.

From South to North: it is the aforementioned route but just the other way around, visiting all the same points.

 

Visit Jizhao Temple

Description: Jizhaoan or Jizhao Temple, renowned for its famous blue hydrangeas around it, is located at the foot of Cang Mountain, next to Gangtong Temple. It is the most beautiful Buddhist nunnery in China, famous for the diversity of succulent species found in all parts of the temple.

The best way to enjoy this place is by ordering traditional local tea at the temple with a tea set and drinking it on the terrace under the sun. It is completely free, although a small amount of money that goes to the foundation of the temple is always donated (¥20-100).

Another essential thing to do is try the vegetarian dishes of the temple. Lunch is at 11:30 and dinner at 17:50. It is priced at ¥20 and you can try anything you want. Keep in mind that food should not be wasted, so you always have to take the appropriate and necessary amount.

For believers, you could always buy flowers at the temple for ¥30-80 and offer them as a present to the temple.

Additional information:

Jizhao Temple or Jizhao An (寂照庵), Cang Mountain, Dali.

Opening hours: 08:00 -18:00.

Contact: 0872-268-3858.

How to get +

Gangtong cable car stop or Gangtong Temple: From the South Gate of the old town you can take a direct tourist bus to Gangtong cable car stop. The distance is 7,3 km.

Cang mountain Cable Car stop (Ximatan Cable Car): from the South Gate in the old town you can take the direct tourist bus to Ximatan cable car. The distance is 4,3 km.

Zhonghe cable car: From the South Gate of the old town you can take the direct bus to Zhonghe cable car. The distance is 2,9 km.

Tickets and prices +

All tickets can be purchased directly at the park or cable car entrance.

Cangshan Natural Park: ¥30 per ticket.

Cable cars:

Ximatang (5500 m long): there are two separate sections, the first one that goes from the foot to the middle of the mountain, where the Qilongnv spring is located. And the second, from the middle to the top.

First section / part: round trip ¥112 (it’s not posible to buy it separately).

Second: 80¥/ one way (¥160 the round trip).

Combined: round trip for both sections ¥270, including the ticket of the natural park.

Gangtong (2600m long): one way (¥85) or round trip (¥110).

Zhonghe (1600m long): one way (¥70) or round trip (¥105).

Travel tips +

Avoid the shops in Sanyue Street:

If you take a taxi to get to Cang Mountain, the taxi driver may ask you if you have purchased tickets or if you need to buy bottled oxygen or rent a coat due to the weather. This is to take you to a store on the way where you can buy everything and convince you with the reason that the lines for the tickets are very long and you would have to wait a long time. However, that is not true, and also you can easily find everything within the tourist area and at the same price.

 

The highest point of interest is Ximatan, at 4500 m above sea level. At this altitude, some people may feel uncomfortable from the lack of oxygen in the air. It is the only section where you are possibly going to use an oxygen bottle since the Ximatan cable car will not leave you directly at the end point but you would have to make a way up for about 20 minutes.

The main symptoms of oxygen deprivation are headache and chest pain, dizziness and fainting, and in extreme cases life-threatening. Although most people adapt quickly.

 

It is not recommended to buy oxygen bottles before climbing Ximatan, except in special cases, since it is not known if you would have any of the symptoms mentioned above, and most people adapt easily to the conditions. Besides, once in the destination, you will find a lot of shops that sell them.

 

It is recommended to walk at a moderate pace, and keeping a steady breath to gradually accustom the body to the altitude. It is not recommended to use bottled oxygen so as not to generate dependency.