After arrival at Daocheng Yading Airport we drive to Yading National Nature Reserve. It is located in Shangri La Town, Daocheng County in the southern part of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province. Lying in the eastern part of the Qinghai Tibet Plateau, in the middle of Hengduan Mountains, the reserve is adjacent to Shangri La County in Yunnan Province in the south and Lugu Lake and Lijiang in the southeast. The forest cover of the reserve is 560 square kilometers, where many wild animals and plants thrive. There are more than 10 peaks with an altitude of more than 5000 meters, more than 30 peaks above 4500 meters, and 62 ancient alpine glaciers and lakes in this area.
Along the famous Rock Line, we walk through snow capped mountains, sacred lakes and high mountain valleys in Yading. In March 1928, American Explorer Joseph Rock set out from Muli, crossed Yading, Daocheng and other places, and went deep into Gongga (Minya Konka) mountain area. After two trips through Yading Daocheng, he published his travel notes and photos in the magazine “National Geographic”. In April 1933, British writer James Hilton wrote the famous novel "Lost Horizon" based on these travel notes and photos, especially Rock's exploration experience at the three sacred mountains (Xiannairi, Yangmaiyong and Xianuodoji) in Gongga Ling area. People called the "Xanadu" described in the novel as "Shangri-La". And since then, there was an upsurge of searching for Shangri La in the world.
We have two and a half days to explore the Yading Nature Reserve, trekking to the three magnificent sacred snow mountains (Xiannairi, Yangmaiyong and Xianuodoji), closing to the beautiful Milk Lake, Five-color Lake and Pearl Lake, walking in the colorful streams, flower sea, meadow, grassland and virgin forest, and visiting the Bangpu Monastery and the Chonggu Monastery of Tibetan Buddhismus with a long history.