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China High Altitute Yading Nature Reserve

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The quite expansive area up at the lakes in Yading Nature Reserve is great for mountainous vistas. There are two lakes that are accessible within the opening times of the national reserve, Milk Lake and Five Colour Lake. The latter is best seen in summer when it holds a lot of water. In winter the lakes' ice cover might reduce the typical mountain lake colour. All three of the park's landmark mountains can be seen from the lake area. When hiking up to Five Colour lake from Milk lake a view into the valley can be caught on a clear day to see the most distant of the three mountains, Xiaruoduo.

Photography Tips

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Travel Information

Getting there is not easy and requires patience, money and good physique as the area is in very high altitude deep within an inaccessible chinese national park (which are usually closed to puplic traffic).
Take a plane to Daocheng Airport (the highest in the world). Consider a sparse offering of flights, even in the high season. In winter flights only arrive every other day. You can also take a crushing 24h bus drive from Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus station. Drive or take a bus to the entrance of the Yading Nature reserve (1-2h drive). From there you have to take a mandatory bus into the park. When you arrive at the entrance of the scenic area you can either take and electric cart (for an additonal charge, obviously) or hike to the grass plains south south of the entrance. The final destination of the carts is in a beautiful grassy area. From there it is a difficult hike up to Milk and Five Colour Lake. Do not underestimate the altitude which rises up to over 4500m at Five colour lake. To save time it is worth taking the expensive cart to the grass lands and have more time at the lakes. Ultimately, multiday trekking inside the scenic area is highly recommended so that one is not dependent on the extremely photography unfriendly park infrastructure which forces you to enter the area late and leave very early.
Crowd Factor Just a few people
Best Timing Fall
Sunrise & Sunset 06:26 - 20:03 | current local time: 10:55
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Thank you Ravn Henkel for creating this photo spot.
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