Travelers who want to explore China along the off-beaten road will find pleasure and excitement while traversing the challenging path towards the majestic Precious Stone Mountain. Truly, the Precious Stone Mountain is a hidden gem ideal for hikers, and those who want to visit ancient sites, or those who have the passion for ethnic culture.
Shibaoshan, more popularly known as Precious Stone Mountain is a tall mountain formation with three prominent peaks accordingly named Baoding, Shishan and Shizhong. If you like adventure and anthropological exploration, you will surely find a lot of pleasure visiting the Precious Stone Mountain.
What to See
The Precious Stone Mountain contains some incredible sights to feast your eyes on. You can explore the Haiyun Villa, the Rock Caves, and the Baoxiang Temple. What makes this site truly important for China is how it melds natural beauty and cultural heritage. In fact, the mountainous terrain along with the scenic views is too majestic to simply destroy. There are protected areas here such as the Shibaoshan Nature Reserve and the Sideng Market that is considered an endangered cultural site. The caves and temples are decorated with ancient art while the market is filled with traditional products, and goods specially made by the ethnic people.
For those who like to explore different lifestyles, then the Precious Stone Mountain also boasts of traditional communities and settlements of various groups such as the Ba and Yi people. The traditional lifestyle here is very much the same how it was in the past. They live in farming and subsistence. While their living conditions can be considered as below the standards of modern settlements, their lifestyles have remained the same as with their ancestors more than 100 years ago. Thus, they may not have modern amenities, but they have everything they need to enjoy a peaceful life.
Why is the Precious Stone Mountain such an important site in China? For years, the mountains have been the intersection between major countries like China, India and Tibet. They serve as trade routes between various kingdoms of the East and West as well as from the Southeast.
If you have exhausted your appetite for culture, then you will love exploring it by means of hiking or scenic travels. The nature reserve that covers 10 square miles is the ultimate defense of the Precious Stone Mountain to protect is natural flora and fauna. Across the mountains through the numerous peaks, you can find several settlements and small communities.
The mountain itself is 10,100 feet high. Since it is not an easy place to visit, you will find that it has retained its beautiful state. You can also find many quiet spots to explore and use for relaxation. The undisturbed forest is ideal for hiking where you can see unfamiliar plant and animal species. Truly, the Precious Stone Mountain is a majestic place for those who love nature, adventure and exploration.
Beyond the Precious Stone Mountain is a majestic region of lovely landscapes and water bodies. There are mountain formations, temples, sites, forests, caves, towns as well as hiking areas that you can traverse. Southeast of the Precious Stone Mountain is the popular Three parallel Rivers Reserve where you can see the rivers Nujiang, Lancang and Jinsha. In fact, this mighty biosphere is awarded a UNESCO protection to ensure that human activity will not affect the pristine, natural beauty of this location.
Traveling to Precious Stone Mountain is not going to be difficult since it is nestled between two very popular locations: Bali and Lijiang. If you want a faster route to the mountains, you can ride the bus or get a private car or a taxi service. There is a side road that directs you to the small village named Diannan. From here, there is a 25 kilometer distance to cover to reach Shaxi.