I confirm Daocheng Yading Scenic Area as the most picturesque place I’ve ever been to in my life so far. And yes, it is way more beautiful than Jiuzhaigou National Park!
Every single random shot is beyond Instagram-worthy and I’m really glad that such a pristine natural beauty still exists. The scenery in entire area blew me away; all the adjectives of beauty in the world would not do the place any justice.
Even though I was afflicted with a very mild case of oxygen toxicity after I descended from mountain, I would still do it all over again (if there is an easier way to get there). Yet at the same time, I hope this scenic area doesn’t become too accessible to ensure limited numbers of humans would come to pollute and destroy the place.
I was on an organised group tour where we flew in via Chengdu and it a 3 day coach ride to cross 6 mountains to get there. There were stops of smaller scenic spots along the way which were quite pretty as well.
The View Enroute
The view on the journey is quite pretty as well:
I can’t wait to get to another mountain again! They are so majestic and calming. I can totally understand why in the martial art period dramas, they always talk about going up to the mountains to meditate. I would love to do that even though I can’t do nothing.
The highlight of our tour was the Pearl Lake (4,100 M above sea level) at the foot of Mt. Chenrezig (Xiannairi) which is 6,032 M above sea level! It’s extremely challenging to get a picture where the waters are still as it’s so windy (and cold) up there! I was up there for almost 1 hour and this is the best shot I could get.
In retrospect, it was also how I was up there for almost 1 hour that probably contributed to my mild oxygen toxicity attack. I was initially nauseous and soon after, I started feeling numbness all over my face and limbs. Fortunately, I was previously from Red Cross so I knew how to handle the situation. If it ever happened to you (or anyone around you), just try to breathe as normally as possible into a paper bag (or through a scarf/tightly bunched cloth to reduce the level of oxygen intake. Then gradually increase the alternating between breathing normally into the open and the paper bag/scarf until all the symptoms go away.
Altitude sickness (low oxygen) and/or oxygen toxicity (too much oxygen) can be fatal so do not exert and ignore the symptoms that your body is telling you!
So that PSA done, here are the photos from the Daocheng Yading Scenic Area:
Best Time To Go
We went in October and we were really lucky to have sunny weather that day. It was cloudy for the other days of the trip. While most of the sites would say that September & October are the best time to visit, given global warming, autumns are now shorter so October is the prettiest. The Scenic Area is closed in the winter months.
Things To Take Note Of
There are no dining/refreshment options in the Scenic Park at all. So if you are planning to go free & easy to the Daocheng Yading Scenic Area, make sure that you have food and enough water with you. There are a few vending machines at the bus stop area in the park and that is all there is. Please take your trash away with you.
There are also no accommodation inside the Scenic Area. You are also not allow to camp/stay overnight within the park. So plan your trip/hike carefully.
Please take good care of the Daocheng Yading Scenic Area and yourself if you are planning to make a trip there; doesn’t matter if you are going on an organised group tour or free & easy. There is no medical assistance available within the vicinity; think “Man vs Wild”.
The walking trail within the park looks like this:
Don’t be an asshole to climb over the railings to walk off trail like some of the visitors I saw. There are park wardens who will yell at people over the loud speakers to get back on the broad walk but, the park is vast and assholes will be assholes. They are idiots so please don’t think it is ok and join them to get “the shot” for Instagram.
Beyond that, enjoy the natural scenery and grandeur. Let the vast and peace seep in. Ohm.