“The most beautiful place" selected by Chinese National Geography –you cannot miss

2020-08-06China travel Guide

I have heard such a saying “there is a kind of travel, not for traveling thousands of miles, but for leisurely strolling; not for crowded scenic spots, but for the pleasant streets".


Stop if you want, and continue if you’d like. This is the most comfortable state of travel.
Now there is a way for you to see the most beautiful scenery in China.


Not only is it the home to some of the world's most beautiful landscapes, which has been selected as one of the “40 Most Beautiful Places in China” by CNN, it is also named the most beautiful place in China by Chinese National Geography.
--it is the Great Shangri-La • Rock Loop.


Compared with the mysterious 318 Sichuan-Tibet Line and the thrilling Duku Road in Xinjiang, it is less famous, but this doesn't mean it isn't as beautiful as other places.


Although this road is off the beaten track, it hides fascinating scenery.
It is home to the iconic scenic spots of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Tibet, and on this road you can enjoy almost all the sights you can think of.


It is more worth exploring than Sertar County in Sichuan, which is, after all, considered a "pilgrimage road" by off-road enthusiasts.


This road is full of surprises and unknown stories. Even its name Great Shangri-La • Rock Loop is very memorable.


The road was first discovered by the American explorer Joseph Rock. When he first discovered this road, he was so attracted by the beautiful scenery here that he came to China again and again later to visit the spots along the road.

He loved the places so much that even when he was seriously ill, he still said with emotion, "I would rather die on the mountain there with beautiful scenery than stay alone in the ward and wait for God's call".

It shows how charming this road is.

There are scenic spots like Lugu Lake, Daocheng Yading and Lijiang Ancient Town that you often hear about.


Along the way, you can not only feel the romance of flowers and snow, but also see the mountains, rivers, forests and ancient towns telling the long history.


The most beautiful ancient village - Tibetan Village in Dunbar

Starting from Chengdu, you will first come to the famous Tibetan Village in Dunbar, which was once rated as the most amazing one among the Top 6 beautiful ancient towns/villages in China by Chinese National Geography.

The Tibetan villages in Dunbar are unique, and houses with unified styles and exquisite shapes are scattered in the mountains.


If you come here in the morning, you can also see the shocking scene of the entire village surrounded by smoke. From a distance, it is like a fairyland.

As soon as you step into Dunbar, the sun is as brilliant as gilt gold, the sky is blue, and wild flowers along the road make it colorful. If it weren't for the moving cattle and sheep, and children running across the grass, you would think that you had strayed into an oil painting.

Photographers’ Paradise -Xinduqiao
After leaving the beautiful Dunbar Tibetan Village, the next stop is Xinduqiao, which is known as the photographers' paradise. Xinduqiao is the name of a town. It is located at the north-south fork of the No.318 National Road Sichuan-Tibet line, so the scenery there can be imagined.

The beautiful scenery you long for is here: boundless grassland, clear streams, towering ancient trees, rolling mountains...

And the most amazing thing here is its presentation of "light and shadow".

The sun dapples on the ground, all the trees seem to be coated with a layer of gold, and the streams are shimmering, like the starry sky.


The "Hidden World"-Litang
After visiting Xinduqiao, you will come to Litang County, a hidden paradise.
Here, if it weren't for the distant peaks and valleys, you would really think you were in the Hulunbuir prairie.

The top of the mountain is covered by meadows and various trees, with different shades and unique charm. Especially when the wind blows, it feels like being immersed in a green ocean.

Deep in the Maoya prairie is a crescent-shaped freshwater lake. The stream winds through the interior of the grassland and nourishes everything here.

Mount Zhaga stands majestically in the distance, and the snow on the top of the mountain does not melt all year round, just like a warrior guarding the land day and night.

Every year in June of the Tibetan calendar, there will be a famous horse racing festival here, you can enjoy wonderful equestrian competitions. The beauty here is not only the scenery, but also a variety of customs.

Even Tsangyang Gyatso, the sixth Dalai Lama and a famous poet in Tibetan history, lingered about here and said, "the white crane, please lend me your wings. I won’t fly too far and will return as soon as I reach Litang."

“Passing Through Your World"- Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve
A movie "Passing Through Your World" made this place known.
The place, rated by many as "the last pure land on earth", really attracts millions of people.

Five Colors Lake, Milk Lake and Pearl Lake these three lakes with different styles scattered among the snow-capped plateaus.

Milk Lake is like a piece of pure turquoise surrounded by snow mountains. In the season when flowers are fragrant, the water on the edge of the Lake becomes pure as milk.

The Five Colors Lake is smaller than the Milk Lake, but it is equally pure. Especially when the light is sprinkled here at different times, the color of the lake will also change, just like a sapphire exuding brilliant light.

In addition to the beautiful lakes, Daocheng Yading also has sacred snow-capped mountains and vast meadows. In a word, almost everything about the snow-covered plateau is gathered here.

"The place closest to heaven"-Shangri-La
There are lakes, wetlands, forests, meadows, river valleys, streams, as well as rare animals and plants...

When you come to Shangri-La, you’re suggested to visit Meili Snow Mountain, which is considered by many to be the most beautiful snow mountain in Yunnan province.

There are ice buckets and glaciers at the bottom of the mountain, which are extremely spectacular. If you’re lucky, you can also see the sacred waterfall in Yubeng Village pouring down from a thousand-meter cliff.

Sunrise here is also not to be missed.

The golden light sprinkles on the snow-capped mountain, and the whole mountain instantly turns golden, just like a golden palace. This process is known as "Sun Shines Golden Mountain". It is so amazing that makes people unable to move their eyes at every moment.

“Cyan houses and wooden tiles” -Lijiang Ancient Town
Lijiang Ancient Town is just like a rest stop on this road, providing you with a comfortable place to rest after you rush around. If the journey is tiring, you may wish to find a home-stay in Lijiang Ancient Town for a few days.

Every household has flowers here, where you can put aside the troubles of life and enjoy life to the full.

During the day, walking on the streets paved with flagstones is also a pleasant experience.


In the evening, find a tavern and take a dip, listen to the folk songs on the stage, and end the nice day…

Lugu Lake is a place many people yearn for.

The white flowers bloom on the clear lake, which are especially lovely in the sun.

When the sun is shining, Lugu Lake is like a huge landscape painting, which can’t wait to reflect all the beauty of the world into it. It's really breathtaking.

Benzilan in the "Three Parallel Rivers" World Natural Heritage Area

Benzilan Town is located by the Jinsha River at the foot of White Horse Snow Mountain and is the only way to the Ancient Tea Horse Road.
The famous First Bend of the Jinsha River is located here.

The river is surging, forming a wonder of "two rivers are sandwiched by three cliffs".
The magic here is the Jinsha River section in Benzilan Town -on the left of the River is Yunnan province, while on the right is Sichuan province.

The “born-again” Dukezong Ancient Town

Speaking of the Dukezong Ancient Town, the name seems a bit strange to many people.
But it is an old town with a history of more than 1,000 years. The bricks and tiles here are all traces of history.

A fire in 2014 burned more than 100 houses and almost destroyed the old town here. Many people regretted it.
However, after reconstruction, it is still the largest Tibetan settlement in China.

Walking along the streets of Dukezong, you will find that there are still deep horseshoe marks on the rocky road, which were left by the caravan in those days.

You can also find a variety of Tibetan paintings and wood carvings in Huaxiang (flowery alley), all of which are exquisite.

There is a saying that goes well: let it rain, let it pour, don’t forget to explore.

You should do something to challenge yourself, and if you haven't yet decided what to explore, then come to the Shangri-La•Rock Loop. To walk through the snow-covered plateau, see the beautiful places, and feel the mysterious power brought by ancient culture!

--by Sophy Zhang(VisitOurChina)