2010 - Backpacking to Tibet > Part 2

Backpacking Adventure
30 days to Sichuan, Yunnan, Tibet, China
20 Mar <> 18 Apr 2010
(L-R) Lim Kee Moon, Ching Neng Bin, Bernard Lee, Cindy Chong, See Beow Aun, Sharon Tan, Chew Siang Peng, Chew Leng Soon, Lily Yap, Choo Chiew Chin, Chan Meng Fai at Hailuogou Glacier Park
Route for part 2: Chengdu > Moxi > Hailuogou Glacier Park > Lu Ding > Chengdu > Panzhihua > Lijang > Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Day 07 (26.03.10) Chengdu > Moxi

9.30 am bus (117Y) from Chengdu to Moxi. This was another hellish bus journey through narrow winding mountain roads and again with all those idiot drivers around. I am grateful that I am still alive to write this story.

In Moxi we checked in at Xinfei Backpackers Guesthouse (Tel:0836-3266214) at 50Y a room for two. The owner Mr. Liu, very friendly who had given us useful information about the place. We walked around visited a 100 year old church and temple. Had good dinner at a restaurant. Fine weather at 10C during the day and at night was -5C.

Bus fare (117Y) from Chengdu to Moxi
Sleeping at Xinfei Backpackers Guesthouse at 50Y a room for two.

Instant cup noodle for lunch - cheers!
The guesthouse proprietor gave us this wild bird for dinner
Xinfei Backpackers Guesthouse - Mr.Liu and wife at the center
Walking down along the traditional wooden houses
Multicolored Catholic church where Mao camped out during the Long March
The priest sang songs for us
Yak skull for sale
Day 08 (27.03.10) day trip to Hailuogou Glacier Park

After breakfast, it was a ten minutes walked to the booking office: entrance fee is 72Y and bus is 80Y. A steady 40 minutes, 30km bus drive on the eastern slopes of the Gongga Mountain - passing through Camp1, 2 and 3 before reaching Belvedere. From here, we have to take the cable car (150Y) up to the Glacier. We walked through all the three Hailuogou Glaciers which is known to be the lowest glacier in Asia. We came down to Moxi by the last bus at 4pm. The temperature was -5C.

Sleeping at Xinfei Backpackers Guesthouse at 50Y a room for two.
Entrance to the park at Moxi

Belvedere restaurant
Belvedere food market

Yak meat taste like beef
3 km by cable car to the glacier

At a Tibetan temple beside glacier No.3

Glacier No.3 behind Kee Moon is 14.7km long and formed 1,600 year ago

Walking down to glacier No.3
The path can be slippery and I fell many times

I am at the edge with the glacier below me.
We are happily sitting on the glacier
I think I have enough of snow and glacier for the rest of my life

Day 09 (28.03.10) Moxi > Lu Ding > Chengdu

9.30am minivan (20Y pp) to Lu Ding (50km) in one hour. We had very good roasted duck in Luding for lunch. Catch the 1.30 pm bus (105Y each) out to Chengdu arriving at 7pm.

Sleeping - Traffic Inn, Std.room is 120Y for 3 person.

Food and more food to eat
Water gushing out from the rock surface
The new township of Lu Ding
Remaining building destroyed by earthquake in Lu Ding

The Long March of Chairman Mao took place on this Luding Bridge - a 100m long chain suspension bridge over Dadu River. Need to pay 5Y to cross for tourist.

Roasted duck for lunch
Day 10 (29.03.10) Chengdu

Today, we visited the Panda Research Center in the morning and evening was the amazing performance of "Face Changing" opera. By tourist bus from the Inn to Panda Center is 2Y and entrance fee is 58Y. Ticket and transport for face changing show was 100Y booked at the Inn.

Sleeping - Traffic Inn, Std.room is 120Y for 3 person.

Lazy pandas - eating and sleeping only
Be here early in the morning so that you can watch the pandas eating, playing and sleeping.

Panda museum

this river runs through Chengdu
The Ship Restaurant
Entrance to JinLi area
The river side along Linjiang Zhonglu

At the famous face-changing Sichuan Opera
Day 11 (30.03.10) Chengdu > Panzhihua

It was a free and easy day - rest day in Chengdu. The day was spent walking and exploring Chengdu and also inquiring about the trip to Tibet at travel agencies and information centers. We have to catch the 12hrs overnight K117 train at 6.05pm to Panzhihua (716km) en-route to Lijang. Cup noodles, bananas and apples for dinner and breakfast on-board the train.

Sleeping - overnight train at 185Y
Chengdu Train Station
Station public toilet - no door

Kee Moon slept like a baby - very comfortable

Day 12 (31.03.10) Panzhihua > Lijiang

Another traveling day. Arrived at Panzhihua at 6.15am. Took the shutter bus (4Y) from train station to the main bus terminal. Traveled for another 7hrs by bus (80Y) to Lijiang which is 270km away. This was the longest continuous journey - 12 hours train followed by 7 hours bus. The drive to Lijiang took us into Yunnan province across a spectacular mountainous region. Entering the Old Town, we have to pay 80Y each at the guesthouse to the local govt. as maintenance fee, the receipt issued is used for purchasing other entrance tickets of scenic spot.

Sleeping: Old Town Courtyard Youth hostel for 60Y a room for 2

Panzhihua city

Looking for guesthouse at Lijiang Old Town
Old Town Courtyard Youth hostel for 60Y a room for 2. It has a courtyard with sitting areas, plants and lanterns
The Lijiang old town was built in the late Song Dynasty and the early Yuan Dynasty and was listed by the UNESCO on the list of the world's major cultural heritages in 1997.
The countless red lanterns in Lijinag are all beautifully lit up in the evenings.
Day 13 (01.04.10) Lijiang

Exploring more of the Old Town and visited the Black Dragon Pond Park and the museum of Dongba Culture. The pool is listed in the collections of famous pools of China because of its natural beauty. The Dongba Museum is the sanctuary of the culture of Naxi ancient culture.

Sleeping: Old Town Courtyard Youth hostel for 60Y a room for 2
The water canals was given the title of "Little Venice of Orient".

Water from the mountain melting snow runs into this main canal and flows through all the smaller drains in the Old Town area. This is the place to relax and take plenty of colorful photos.

I was learning the Naxi folk dance and listening to the ancestral music.

We walk this charming minority old town, again and again. Since we stayed in the old town, a pedestrian area, there won't be any traffic and can walk easily over the cobble stone and wooden plank paths past bars, restaurants and stores.

Water wheels at the main square

To the Black Dragon Pond Park

The Dongba Museum
A view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from the Park which is 15km away, the snow-covered mountain resembles a jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence, the name Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

This is the best place to have Naxi meal, situated just outside the park. We have been eating almost everyday in this shop during out stay in Lijiang.

The town itself is like a fairy tale. Narrow, winding streets, canals with bridges and everywhere red lanterns. There are many nice stores and terraces. Thousands of Chinese tourists visit here.

Old-fashioned cobble stones road
Walked up the street on top of the Old Market Square for a good panoramic view of the traditional houses roofs .
Day 14 (02.04.10) Lijiang > day trip to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Mountain)

In the morning, we hired a van for a full day visit to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain visiting the Yak and Spruce Meadow. The ridiculous high fees are as follows: entrance fee is 80Y each, bus ticket is 20Y, cable car to Yak Meadow is 60Y and Bruce Meadow is 55Y. Another 80Y if you have not paid the maintenance fee.

Sleeping: Old Town Courtyard Youth hostel for 60Y a room for 2 

The mountain has 13 peaks of which the highest is 5,600 meters and stretches a length of 35km and a width of 20km.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a holy mountain for the local Naxi people, because long time ago, it was a place for young lovers to sacrifice their young lives in honor of true love and to escape from the arranged marriages and feudal ethics.

Yunshanping (Spruce Plateau) is a grassland with gigantic spruces.
Backpacking to Tibet - Part 1
Backpacking to Tibet - Part 2
Backpacking to Tibet - Part 3
Backpacking to Tibet - Part 4



  1. Can't wait for part 3. As always your photos say it all. What a great trip.

  2. Jimmy Lim Yim Fee18 June, 2010

    Mr Ching....those pictures are very good....one day I hope to follow you to one of these adventures....
    ...one day I hope to meet up with you and your friends.....
    Jimmy Lim

  3. Tq Peng for ur interesting adventures.

    Unfortunately some pixs r not downloaded even my task bar showed that it had completed the task.
    I had to click to download to see the pixs.

    Maybe u can improve on that.

  4. Wished I was with you guys (Nam Hong's fren) Really enjoyed your adventure in China. Thank yo for sharing.

  5. Jackson Au19 June, 2010

    Hi Ching~you're indeed a marvelous guy. Can't thank you enough for your kind sharing of your interesting journey to places that are always very fascinating and of course sometimes the journey itself is quite dangerous as you mentioned of those crazy drivers. Your goodness has paved the way for everyone to have a safe journey. Can't wait for your next sharing. Till then wish u good health, great joy and happiness always~
    Best wishes
    Jackson Au

  6. Chong Yam Kiang19 June, 2010

    Hi Ching
    Thank you for sending the beautiful pictures. By the way, I was in Jiuzhai Valley on 22/3 to 24/3. Those pictures there looks familiar to me. Unlucky that we didn't meet.
    Yes, are you living in Ipoh now as I notice that you started the journey from IPOH.
    YK Chong
    Public Bank

  7. Eddy Cheong19 June, 2010

    Dear all,

    Our valued member, Ching has submitted part 2 of of the gallery of brilliant photos he took during his backpacking adventure to Tibet for your viewing and enjoyment.

    Unfortunately, the 4 MB Google limitation on the size of attachments that can be posted at New-Huaren means that Ching's photos cannot be posted directly to the forum. To view, you will have to follow the URL link below that will lead you to his blog.

    I must say I am most impressed with Ching's photography and the painstaking diary notes he made of his said adventure in China. In particular, I note that he even managed to visit the Luding Bridge at Sichuan Province! That suspension bridge dates from the Qing Dynasty and is considered a historical landmark. In 1935, during the Long March, soldiers of Mao's Fourth Regiment secured the bridge as a river crossing vital to the Red Army.

    Fleeing from pursuing Chinese Nationalist forces, Mao's forces found that there were not enough boats to cross the Dadu River. Thus, they were forced to use Luding Bridge. On the morning of May 28, 1935, Lin Biao's army division, 1st Corps of the Chinese Red Army received an urgent order from general headquarters: Luding Bridge must be captured on May 29, 1935, one day ahead of the original schedule.

    His regiment then marched 120 km in less than 24 hours. Along the way, they defeated numerous nationalist forces which blocked their path. On the dawn of May 29, 1935, Lin Biao's troops reached the bridge, only to discover that local warlords allied with the ruling Kuomintang had removed most of the planks on the bridge. Despite the main Kuomintang army closing in, the Chinese Red Army emerged as victor in the ensuing Battle of the Luding Bridge.

    I can imagine how Ching must have felt when he actually walked across that same memorable bridge, which as mentioned, is such a significant landmark of China's modern history.


  8. Liew Khooi Cheng19 June, 2010

    Dear Ching
    I have been to Lijiang and I too like this township. You seem to have covered a lot more area around this place than I did! I am always amazed by the places and pictures in your blog!

  9. Jimmy Lim19 June, 2010

    It's wonderful how back packing can really bring out the joy of traveling. Great to receive those fantastic pictures and stories that goes with it.
    Jimmy Lim
    Public Bank

  10. Phillip Tinkler20 June, 2010

    Your photo essays just keep getting better. Its almost as though we were there with you. Can't wait for part 3.

  11. Hi Ching
    I just checked these mails today.
    Thanks for sharing your pleasure of travel in China. It is magnificent. Before this, I am not border to check out the magnificent sites of china. After this, I think I will.
    Take care.

  12. Jimmy Lim24 June, 2010

    I'm on contract now. From your descriptions it is definitely what I want in my travels. Perhaps when I'm done with banking I'm certainly and surely would want to join you in your travels too. Keep in touch bro.
    Jimmy Lim
    Public Bank

  13. Lee Kam Wah02 August, 2010

    Hi, Ching long time no see! Never expect to see you and knowing such a wonderful trip to China after retirement, really admire you, do keep in touch and share more of your experience in outings. Hope to hear from you again.

  14. K. Sugumar10 August, 2010

    Dear Mr Ching Neng Bin,
    Good day. Am not sure if am to address you by your name or Sir would be more appropriate. Am saying this as after reading your stories from your ever interesting blog, I’ve become more and more interested to know you.

    My name is Sugumar, am 42 years old living in Penang . I go for jogging, hiking and play football whenever got chance and so I was looking for some stories of other active club members when I saw yours in the title Backpacking and Outdoor Adventure and started to read them.

    I’ve almost finished reading most of your great stories like backpack to Tibet , Thailand , Burma , Cameron, Camel Trophy Challenge, Marlboro Tour and the best from where you got started at Outward Bound School .

    You’re such a great man in action, Sir. I just wanna say hi and it’s my great honor to know a great man like you.

    Thank you and have a blessed day.
    Thanks and Regards
    K. Sugumar