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Upper Yubeng and the surrounding mountains

Yubeng is a Village in Northwestern Yunnan. The village is known for the beautiful valley it lies in and beautiful day treks which depart from it.


Yubeng Village is situated at the foot of the Meili Snow Mountain Range. From Upper Yubeng, trekkers have access to the Base Camp, and Ice Lake hikes. From Lower Yubeng, you can find the paths to the Sacred Waterfall, and if you are a hardcore hiker, Holy Lake, which from a higher vantage point, has an unobstructed view of the Kawa Karpo Peak (6,740 meters), and most of the rest of the mountain range.

Legend has it that for centuries Yubeng Village was unknown to the outside world. One day, an old man arrived in Xidang Village near Lancang River (the Mekong River) and tried to buy highland barley from the villagers there. No one knew where he came from, so some of the villagers followed him when he left, but on the way over the mountain the old man disappeared.

Later, the old man came back to Xidang to buy food again. The villagers objected and told him “we aren’t going to sell you barley or wheat, but just some millet.” When they loaded the food for the old man, one of the villagers made small holes on the bags. After he started his journey back home, the old man was followed again. He didn’t realize that the holes in the bags had spilled the millet along the way. However, when he reached a huge rock, he disappeared. So the villagers pried up the rock and Yubeng Village was discovered.

Get in[edit]

There are four buses from Shangri-la to Deqin every day. They leave before noon from the main bus station located in the north of the new town. Buy your ticket the day before if possible. Look for the clock tower just above its entrance. Take the #1 local bus from the bus stop just in front of Wonderful Grocery Store, across the street from the Old Town parking lot.

There are also minivans at the bus station that leave when they are full (the drivers are shouting "Deqin, Deqin!" to passers by). It's 100 yuan per person. The minivans are a bit faster than the bus.

From Deqin, it is easy to get a taxi to Fei Lai Si (20 minutes) where you can find a guesthouse and make further arrangements to get to the start of the hike in Xidang Village the next day. Sometimes, the bus from Shangri-la to Deqin will continue to Fei Lai Si for an additional 5RMB - it's worth asking the driver. There is also a public bus From Deqin to Xidang which leaves at 3 pm.

From Fei Lai Si, there are minivans leaving every morning for 150RMB (for a full minivan, which usually seats 7) to Xidang hot springs, which is the starting point of the trek to Yubeng. There is also a public bus leaving to Xidang hot springs at 8am from the viewing platform gate, for 20RMB per person.

The walk from Xidang hot springs to upper Yubeng takes 6-7 hours - a climb of around 1100m to Nanzong pass, followed by a 600m descent to the village. The walking trail goes along power lines - the poles have numbers on them, 1 being at the bottom, around 100 being at the pass, and around 140 being in the village. Along the path you will also see green trash cans, which is a good indication you're on the right trail. There are 2 shops on the trail before the pass, where you can buy refreshments - around poles 50 and 80.

A typical trek at Yubeng takes 5-7 days round trip from Deqin. For assistance in arranging private transportation from Shangri-la: [1]

Note: the entrance fee for the Yubeng area has recently changed from 80 yuan to 230 yuan per person. This is due to the forced purchase of a package ticket. There is a student discount (120RMB), but only for students under the age of 25 and with a valid student card.

Get around[edit]

Mostly by foot, although there are plenty of mules for hire in different points along the trail. It's possible to get a ride with a local on the back of a motorcycle from Xidang hot springs to Yubeng village, or get your bags delivered the same way.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Base Camp and Ice Lake (3850 m). Beautiful glacier fed lake above a meadow. 5-8 hour hike. The path starts after passing through upper Yubeng - locals can point you in the direction. Along the path there are green trash cans - just follow them. There is a pass after about 3 hours, and after another half hour there is a tea shop at the base camp where it's possible to buy a bowl of rice (20RMB) or refreshments. From the base camp to the lake is about another hour.  edit
  • Ninong (2000 m). Follow the Yubeng river down to the Lancang river and hike to Ninong village. Some of the most stunning views and thrilling trails of the area. Hike out or in this way do not miss out.  edit
  • Shenpu 雨崩神瀑 (Sacred Waterfall) (3650 m). Apparently best seen in the morning to catch rainbows. 4-5 hour hike. The path starts by crossing lower Yubeng, and turning right near the stupa. There are green trash cans along the path. There is a tea shop about 2/3 of the way to the waterfall.  edit
  • Holy Lake (4200 m). A high mountain lake that is infrequently visited. There is a meadow at around 4100 meters with a partial shelter.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Hike and relax amongst the beautiful scenery.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Caterpillar fungus, matsutake and snow lotus when it's the season

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Upper Yubeng[edit]

  • Yak Butter Inn (爱上酥油茶) (3200 m), Upper Yubeng (Across from the basketball court at the school (xue3 xiao4). Keep walking straight through the village.), +86 18288840453. A newly opened guesthouse (2012) setup by a Singaporean, Gilbert, who is kind to strangers and passionate about the area and traditions, especially woodwork. Good food (20-30/person) local, western, Singaporean. MILO, excellent coffee, beer and tea (free!) available. English and Chinese spoken. An experienced trekker, he is able to advise on the routes and places to trek in Yubeng. 30/person.  edit
  • Lobsang's Trekker Lodge ( 藏巴乐之家 ) Website: [2] Located in Upper Yubeng just off the road leading to the beginning of the Base Camp trek. Call Lobsang in the evening (after 8pm) at the Kawa Karpo Pilgrim Family House: 0887-8411032 to arrange a pick up in Xidang, or to make a reservation. Cell: 13988797053 (not much cell reception in Yubeng though). 德钦梅里雪山雨崩
  • Hiker's Home ( 徒步者之家 ), (located between upper and lower Yubeng), 08878411173.  edit

Lower Yubeng[edit]

  • Tibetan And The Han Nationality. From 30Rmb.  edit
  • An Zhu G.H. From 35Rmb.  edit
  • Mystic Waterfall G.H, (located at the end of Lower Yubeng (Near the temple)), 0887-8411082. From 20Rmb.  edit
  • Sacred Lake G.H, (located at the end of Lower Yubeng (Near the temple)). Good food with challenging/endearing service. Room smelled like mould, hot water, firm but comfortable mattresses. English menu but can be difficult to order as staff are not strong at reading Chinese. 100-200/room.  edit
  • Snow Domain Auspious Hotel, (located at the start of lower Yubeng). A new guest house, with nice rooms and a clean bathroom. Solar hot shower. Nice manager who speaks only Chinese. 25/bed, 160/double room with bathroom.  edit


Get out[edit]

The most popular way to get out is to walk from lower Yubeng to Ninong (4-6 hours), where there is a road, and catch a minivan to Deqin (150-200RMB per car). To reach the starting point of the trail, go through lower Yubeng and turn left at the stupa. After a few minutes, you'll cross a bridge and start walking along the right bank of the Yubeng river, mostly downhill. The trail stays mostly on the right bank, crossing over to the left bank only a little before the river joins the muddy Lang Cang (Mekong) river (some guides claim this is the fourth bridge, not counting the one immediately after the village). There are two tea shops along the way where there are bathrooms, both on the right bank. After crossing to the left bank, the trail is narrow and goes along a water canal which delivers drinking water to Ninong. After the trail curves left, you can see the village and the road on the other side of the river.

There is a public bus from Xidang back to Deqin every morning at 8. Hiring a car is around 150 from Xidang.

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