Mingyong Glacier of Meili Snow Mountain, Diqing
Located under the Kawakarpo Peak, Mingyong Glacier is the longest, largest and lowest valley glacier in Yunnan Province. At 28.5 degrees north and an elevation of 2,700 meters (8,858 ft), it is located at the lowest latitude and elevation of any glacier in China. The glacier is fed by snows on Meili Snow Mountain, and is one of the classical outdoors hiking routes around Shangri-La.
Attraction Type: Snow Mountain/Glacier
Chinese Name: 明永冰川
Best Time to Visit: From December to February
Recommended Visiting Time: 3 hours or above
Open Hours: All Day
Admission Fee: CNY 55
Location: on the mountainside of Kawagebo, the major and highest peak of Meili Snow Mountain in Deqin County of Diqing Prefecture in Northwest Yunnan
Why is Mingyong Glacier So Special?
The Mingyong Glacier derives from Mount Kang Karbo, the main peak of the Meli Snow Mountains. They wind down along the valley, their ice tongues stretching down to the 2,600-meter forest area, just over 800 meters away from the waters of the Langcang River. Mingyong Glacier is the low altitude glacier of the lowest latitude in the world. The whole length of the Mingyong Glacier is about 4 kilometers with the width of 30 meters to 80 meters. In the past years, however, the Mingyong Glacier has vanished gradually.
Where is Mingyong Glacier – Location
Mingyong Glacier is located in Deqin county, northwest of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province and is 48 kilometers from the county seat.
How to Get There?
Deqin County is about 182 kilometers from Shangri-La city. Tourists can arrive at Shangrila city first and then take the bus or car-rental to Deqin. At Deqin Bus Station, there are unregular scheduled bus running to Mingyong Village. It takes you about one hour to drive there. And you can also rent a car directly to Mingyong Village from Shangrila.
Another way to get there is to take a bus to Feilai Temple from a number of nearby destinations: Kunming, Dali, Lijiang (albeit, via Shangri-la), and Shangri-la itself. Then rent a car to Mingyong Glacier. Due to lots of tourists going to Mingyong Glacier, you can share a car with others for the money saving.
Two Ways up the Mountain(about 2 hours)
On Foot: On the way up the mountain, footpath is on the left side of mountain. Walk for about 1.5 hours and you can see glacier and Taizi Temple. The way on the left side of Taizi Temple leads to observation deck and the right side to Lotus Temple. Lotus Temple is bigger than Taizi Temple while more people pilgrimage and burn incense for pray at Taizi Temple. In a sunny day, the best spot to view Kawagebo is Lotus Temple.
By Horse-riding: The horses are only available in the entrance and in the Taizi Temple, there are no horses for you to ride even you are tired on the half way. The way for horse-riding is on the right side of the mountain.
Feilai temple, the best place to watch goden peaks of Meili mountain at sunrise. So if u plan to watch sunrise, it’s absolutely a good idea to live at Feilai temple the night before. But actually it is unusual to see the goden peaks. The peaks of the mountains are often surrounded with clouds due to the high altitude they are. And this makes more interestings for Meili. There’s a kind of saying that, if any Japanese appears in this area then people can’t see the golden peaks that day. This is because Japanese are not welcomed by Tibetan people. Yes, they hate Japan and Japanese, just like people in notheast of China.
Yubeng is a secluded small Tibetan village tucked away at the foot of Meili Snow Mountain in Deqin county, the northwestern corner of Yunnan Province. It is only accessible by foot or horse/mule. But the trip, however arduous, is worth it. Yubeng is divided into an upper and a lower section. Both parts offer fabulous views of the Mei Li Snow Mountains. Lower Yubeng is smaller, quieter and closer to the lakes and waterfalls that you will likely visit during your stay.
It is called the Lancang River after it reaches Changdu. The river runs south until it leaves China at the Nanla Bayout of Yunnan Province and therefrom changes its name from the Lancang River to the Mekong River. The river finally empties into the Pacific Ocean in the south of Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam.
Useful Travel Tips
► Bring some fast food with you to replenish your energy because the meal can be only served after you return to Mingyong village.
► No climbing alone allowed. For the sake of safe, walk carefully in the bottom of glacier and don’t climb up alone.
► Try to go there on sunny days. The road is easier to walk and it is not cloudy on sunny days. Winter is cold, but snow is also more spectacular, suitable for photography.
► Please keep in mind that in the mountains, do not yell or shout, that would offend the God of the Mountains. Tibetans there is always very quiet and respectful. Believe it or not, at least we do as the Romans do or show the courtesy.