Giant Camellia Tree in Yufeng Monastery, Lijiang

 Giant Camellia Tree in Yufeng Monastery, Lijiang

There are three courtyards in Yufeng Monastery, all decorated with ancient trees including ginkgo, magnolia and camellia. Wherein, the famous camellia tree “Ten Thousand Camellias” grows in the northern courtyard. According to the legend, the camellia tree was planted during the reign of Emperor Cheng Hua in Ming Dynasty (1465 – 1487), before the monastery was built. 500 years ago, two different breeds of camellia “Lion Head” and “Early Peach Blossom” were grafted into one and live as one ever since, thus creating the unparalleled camellia tree. Only 34 centimeters in diameter and 2 meters in height, the tree is surprisingly to have a crown area of 56 square meters, able to shade the whole courtyard in red when in full blossom. February to April is the blossom season of Lijiang, when the camellia tree blossoms merrily in a total of 20 batches, each batch with more than 1,000 flowers, reaching a number of 20,000 flowers at the end of the season, thus named the “Ten Thousand Camellias.”

How to Get There 

● Taking public bus No.7 can reach Yufeng Temple or take taxi from Ljiiang downtown.

● Take bus no. 6 from Qixing Street in the Lijiang Old Town, and get off at Yufengsi (Yufeng Temple) Station.

Entrance Fee CNY 25
CNY 230 for a combo ticket including Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yushui Village (also called Jade Water Village), Dongba Valley, Yufeng Temple, Yuzhu Qingtian Scenic Resort, Dongba Kingdom, Dongba Gods’ Garden and Baisha Mural).
Opening Hours 08:00-18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit 1 hour

Best Time to Visit

The best time to experience the ravishing views of Yufeng Temple is in late spring and early summer, because the famous camellia tree is in full blossomy during the period. It is said that camellia tree was planted in Emperor Chenghua’s era of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and that is to say, the tree is older than Yufeng Temple. The flowers of the camellia tree could bloom for more than 100 days, and there are altogether twenty thousand flowers bloom in 20 batches. The camellia tree is three meters (ten feet) in height and 34 centimeters (one foot) in diameter and the Lamas in the temple pleach the blanches of the camellia tree subtly into a 56 square meters (67 yards) flowery canopy. When stepping close to the tree, you find yourself plunging into an ocean of redolent and beauteous flowers. Look at the flowers carefully and see if you can find out the uniqueness of this old camellia tree: the intoxicating flowers are of two different varieties. The bigger ones are pink and nine pistillate while the smaller ones are white and single pistillate; two trees, which originally grew side by side, have now, over the years, entwined. With the irradiation of the brilliant sunglow and the contrast of the green grassland, the flowering tree looks like burning flames from beyond. It is the real ‘King of the Camellia Trees’.

Others Scenic Area:

• Lijiang Old Town

Lijiang old Town is officially called “Dayan Town”, “Dayan” literally means a “great ink stab”, a graphic description of the town’s location on a piece of rich flatland fed by a river and surrounded by green mountains. It is a well-preserved Naxi ancient town, listed as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. It is one of the four best-preserved ancient cities in China. The unique geographical location, historical background and multiracial inhabitants make it one of the most popular travel destination in China.

• Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Located in Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, Lijiang City, Yunnan Province, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is 15 kilometers north of the downtown, which has a highest altitude of 5596 meters and an area of 455 square kilometers. With thirteen perennial snow peak, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain resembles a jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence the name. Featured by its magnificence, precipitousness, uniqueness and beauty, the scenery of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain changes in accordance with seasons and weathers.

• Shuhe Old Town

Nestled at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, 6 km northwest of Lijiang old town, Shuhe Old Town was once a staging post at ancient Tea & Horse Road. With an altitude of 2440 meters above sea level, it is a tranquil town with a population of about 3000 people. Along with its sister town Lijiang, it is also part of the UNESCO Heritage site. Shuhe is the earliest settlement of Naxi people in Lijiang when their ancestors first moved to this region.

• Baisha Ancient Town

Baisha Old Town is one of the oldest towns in Lijiang City. It got its name “Baisha” meaning “white sand” from the natural white sand in the area. It was the cradle-land of the Tusi Dynasty evolved from the Mu Clan. It was also the earliest settlement of the Naxi people. In ancient times, Baisha was a center of silk embroidery in southwest China and an important place on the Ancient Tea and Horse Road.