Last updated by fabiowzgogo at 2013-11-3
Yubeng Village is a secluded Tibetan village tucked away at the foot of Meili Snow Mountain near the city of Shangri-la, in the northwestern corner of Yunnan Province. The only way to reach the village, which is surrounded by mountains on all sides, is by non-motorized means, such as by foot or on the back of a horse or a mule. But the trip, however arduous, is worth it, for Yubeng is a charming little village which, due to its inaccessibility, consists of only 20 households. The only access road over the mountain is suitable for non-motorized traffic only.
Yubeng Village is divided into an upper and a lower section. From the upper village, tourists can visit the site of the former base camp of the joint Sino-Japanese mountain-climbing expedition that ended in tragedy in 1991 (their remains were first found in 1998). The local villagers, as well as Tibetans of the region in general (they all belong to the Zang culture, a Tibetan sub-group that is not recognized by the state as a separate ethnic minority), hold Meili Snow Mountain to be sacred, and believe that scaling the mountain will bring the wrath of God upon them. Oddly – or perhaps not so oddly, depending on your relationship to mysticism – no one has successfully scaled Meili Snow Mountain, though several teams have tried. All have given up, except for the joint Sino-Japanese team, whose members would meet their end on the mountain.
The lower village offers a less macabre and more inviting sight: Yubeng Waterfall. In addition, there are other scenic sites in the lower village, such as an official seal dating from China's ancient past, testimony to the fact that Yubeng Village indeed has a long history.
Solo Adventure Tips:
How to Get There?
Get yourself to Xidang Village (where you will not want to miss a visit to Mingyong Glacier) by whatever means is convenient from your departure point, then rent a horse or a mule for a 5-hour ride to Yubeng Village. The cost of renting a horse from Xidang to Yubeng and back to Xidang is 140 yuan, which those who have tried walking say is worth the price. If you can arrange it, try to make the last leg of your journey to Xidang Village by bus, since you will be passing through the valleys of China's "snow mountain" region, where the natural beauty is so stunning that it is almost surreal. Yubeng Waterfall and the Ancient Seal are situated about 8 kilometers from Yubeng Village proper.
If you arrive to Xidang Village late (you will not be able to rent a horse for a night trip over the mountain), you can always overnight at the Xidang Hot Springs facility ("Renshuitang" in local parlance) for 20 yuan per bed per person.
1) Bed & Breakfast (Board and Lodging) at Yubeng Village: The fare (included in the lodging) is very simple, consisting usually of the specialty, buttered tea, of Zanba bread (Zanba is a kind of roasted barley flour), and of potato. There are guest reception centers at both Upper Yubeng Village and Lower Yubeng Village. The price is 20 yuan per bed per night. A third option for the macabre-at-heart is to stay at the former base camp of the ill-fated, joint Sino-Japanese mountain-climbing expedition. At the base camp, where there is a small lake, one may wet one's toes in the lake's icy waters.
2) Attention: You are advised to arrange for the rental of the horse/ mule from Xidang Village to Yubeng Village and back as part of your local travel package in order to make sure that you have transportation on to Yubeng Village, otherwise you will have to remain at Xidang Village until a horse/ mule is available.
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