Mingyong Glaciers

Last updated by fabiowzgogo at 2014/4/25

Mingyong Glacier was formed by runoff from Mount Kawa Karpo, the main peak of Meili Snow Mountain. The glacier consists of several "tongues" that fork down the mountain's gullies, stretching down as far as the forest line some 2600 meters below, only 800 meters or so above the surface waters of the Langcang River. The natural proto-ecology surrounding the glacier tongues is well preserved, representing the diverse natural geological characteristics that one would expect to find at such a xerothermic (i.e., both hot and dry) valley, of which Langcang River is a part.

According to researchers, Mingyong Glacier is the lowest-lying – latitude-wise – glacier in the world. Mingyong Glacier stretches some 4 kilometers in length, with a breadth varying from 30 meters up to 80 meters in certain places. In the recent past, however, the glacier had begun to diminish, though it has regained some of its original format since 2004.

 

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There are four scheduled buses (ordinary buses (*) and mini-buses (**)) from Shangri-la to Deqen County, all departing Shangri-la in the morning hours. From Deqen County a local bus will take you on to Mingyong Village. The Shangri-la to Deqen County departure timetable is as follows: 7:20**, 8:20*, 9:20**, and 12:00 Noon*.

Suggestion: Take the earliest bus you possibly can to Deqen County in order to improve your chances of being able to get a seat on a scheduled bus from Deqen County to Mingyong Village (alternatively, you can take a charter bus for this last leg of the journey – more on this below). The scheduled bus to Mingyong Village departs from Deqen County Bus Station at 4:30 PM every afternoon, and takes about an hour. With this option, you will have to overnight at Mingyong Village, since the only scheduled bus back to Deqen County departs at 8:00 AM every day. The fare to and from Mingyong Village costs 13 yuan per person each way.

As indicated, one can take a charter bus from Deqen County to Mingyong Village. Its route is along the Yunnan-Tibet highway initially, then it stops briefly at Feilai Temple, which offers an excellent view of Meli Snow Mountain. Thereafter it proceeds on to Mingyong Village. The trip takes about 1½ hours each direction. (Note, with the charter bus one can presumably return to Deqen County the same evening, it would depend on what arrangements can be made with the driver and your other fellow passengers.)

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1) Accommodations: The head of Mingyong Village, whose house is the first you will encounter when you enter the village, will arrange for your accommodation at the home of a local Tibetan if you so desire. The local Tibetans are very down-to-earth and unassuming. Tourists are welcome to bargain with a potential host regarding the price – in general the price of an accomodation is quite modest.

Tourists can also stay at Mingyong Mountain Village next to Mingyong Glacier at 60 yuan per bed per night. In addition, Mingyong Tibetan Customs Garden offers budget accomodation at 20 yuan per bed per night, and is a reasonably good alternative to private accomodation with a villager.  

2) Special Custom: The following custom should be respected where it is observed by the locals, especially in private residences: It is local Tibetan custom that men sit at table while dining; women sit on the floor.

 


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