2013 - Shangri-La the last frontier day 3

Backpacking Adventure to ShangriLa China the Last Frontier
30 March to 23 April 2013 (25 days)
(L-R) Ching Neng Bin, Chew Leng Soon, Bernard Lee, Lee Kam Boon, Grace Ong Siew Hua, Lily Yap, Lim Sok Bee, Lim Cheng Tee, Ng Peng Kim at Swallow Gully (燕子沟) Gongga Mountain

Day 03 (01.04.2013) Hailuogou (海螺沟) Red rocks @ Swallow Gully (燕子沟)

We went for breakfast at 7.30am at Double Pepper Mixed Noodle Restaurant. After breakfast we walked to the office to get our ticket to the Red Rock @ Swallow gully. A mini bus took us from the office to the starting point where we were served hot coffee. We chose the 2 hour walk instead of the 1/2 hour tour of the mossy forest.

We were then taken in 2 vans to go up the Gongga Mountain (贡嘎山) to see the glaciers but have to turn back after almost reaching there due to the heavy snow fall. All of us stopped on the way down for photographs in the snow. We were then taken further down to see the red rocks. We came back to Moxi town at 4.30pm. After a rest and dinner at 6.30pm, we walked around town.

Sleeping: Xinfei Backpackers Inn (鑫飞背包客栈)
noodle breakfast at 7.30am

villages along the mountain road

village farmers

security check at the park entrance

the high mountain dirt road looks quite frightening with the dried-up river deep down below

partial view of the Gongga Mountain range with fog and cloud rolling down the mountain

a Tibetan monastery along the mountain road

we stopped to visit the monastery by walking down the gigantic wooden steps

During prayer time, the hall fills with monks and they all sit on mats that are neatly lined into rows. There is one designated monk who leads the prayer and chanting time. The low pitched sound of the chanting monks can be heard from a far distance away.

the colourful main prayer hall

mural painting on the wall depicting practices of the earliest traditions of Tibetan Buddhism

paintings depict practices of the earliest traditions of Tibetan Buddhism

the Tibetan gods of death

the Tibetan god of wisdom

the walk to the entrance of the the mossy forest

the lady tour guides in the park

panoramic view of the Gongga Mountain range

the eight auspicious symbols in Tibetan Buddhism - 1. conch shell denotes the fame of the Buddha's teaching, 2. treasure vase denoting spiritual and material abundance, 3. parasol denotes royalty and spiritual power, 4. lotus denotes mental and spiritual purity, 5. endless knot symbolize the infinite wisdom of the buddha, 6. wheel represents the teachings of the Buddha,  7. golden fishes denotes good fortune, fertility and salvation, 8. victory banner denotes the victory of the Buddha's teaching and the triumph of wisdom over ignorance

Walking up the Sky-Leading Stair. It has 432 steps which represents 108 groups of Four Innocent Hearts - merciless, sorrow, happiness and abandonment. If you turn the prayer's wheel in clockwise when you are climbing the stairs, you are praying for health and success.

panoramic view of the snow-covered 7,556 meter-high peak of Mount Gongga

the 2 hour walk through of the mossy forest

the beautiful wild flowers found in the forest

these are Chinese medicinal herbs such as frog skin fungus and the caterpillar fungus below

Naro Dakini Mandala - Mandala is a Sanskrit word and it means a place for worshiping. The two trees in the middle means twins, wisdom and convenience. The shape of mandala is two triangles leaning closely and is surrounded by 32 Tibetan signs, signifying auspice.

the stone in front of the Naro Dakini Mandala - it depicts the centre of the universe

another magnificent view of the snow-covered 7,556 meter-high peak of Mount Gongga

Tibetan painting on the mountain rock surface

Kam Boon and I at the gully

the misty swallow gully

we had lunch at the Double Fish Viewing Platform restaurant

drove up the Gongga Mountain (贡嘎山) to see the glaciers but have to turn back after almost reaching there due to the heavy snow fall

van driver fixing the wheel chain to prevent sliding on icy road

it was fun playing in the snow

we built this snowman

the unique scenery of Red Stone Land - this is the Hailuogou Red Rocks Gully which is famous for its red color rocks along the creek

the red rocky landscape here is the Asia's largest

one of Sichuan's lesser-known attractions, about 300km southwest of Chengdu

stones covered with red substance is a microorganism


                            Total      Grand       Per Pax
Day                                        RMB                       RMB

3 a. Breakfast 110.00 11.00
b. Snacks 53.00 5.30
c. Entrance fees - Swallow Gully (140 X 3)+(199 X 7) 1,813.00 181.30
d. Dinner 285.00 28.50
e. Room - Xinfei Backpackers YH (70 X 5) 350.00 35.00
2,611.00 261.10

click below:
Day 01 (30.03.2013) AirAsia D7-320: K. Lumpur to Chengdu (成都), Sichuan (四川)
Day 02 (31.03.2013) Chengdu to Hailuogou (海螺沟) (296km/7.5hrs bus)
Day 03 (01.04.2013) Hailuogou (海螺沟) Red rocks @ Swallow Gully (燕子沟)
Day 04 (02.04.2013) Hailuogou (海螺沟) Luding (泸定) Kangding (康定) to Xinduqiao (新都桥)
Day 05 (03.04.2013) Xinduqiao (新都桥) to Danba (丹巴) Land of thousand watchtowers

Day 06 (04.04.2013) Danba – day trip to Jiaju Tibetan Village "the most beautiful ethnic town
Day 07 (05.04.2013) Danba (丹巴) – staying in Jiaju Village
Day 08 (06.04.2013) Jiaju Village (甲居藏寨) to Xiaojin (小金) to Rilong (日隆)
Day 09 (07.04.2013) trekking up Changpinggou (长砰沟) middle gully of Siguniang (四姑娘山)
Day 10 (08.04.2013) Rilong (日隆) to Chengdu (成都)

Day 11 (09.04.2013) Chengdu (成都) day trip to Huanglongxi (黄龙寺)
Day 12 (10.04.2013) Chengdu (成都) to Xichang (西昌)
Day 13 (11.04.2013) Xichang (西昌) to Lugu Lake (泸沽湖)
Day 14 (12.04.2013) Lugu Lake - cycling around Lugu Lake
Day 15 (13.04.2013) Lugu Lake (泸沽湖) to Lijiang (丽江)

Day 16 (14.04.2013) Lijiang (丽江)
Day 17 (15.04.2013) Lijiang (丽江) to Shangri-La (香格里拉) (Zhongdian (中甸)
Day 18 (16.04.2013) Shangri-La (Zhongdian) - day trip to Potatso National Park
Day 19 (17.04.2013) Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡) / Bai Shui Tai terrace waterfall(白水台)
Day 20 (18.04.2013) Tiger Leaping Gorge to Lijiang (丽江)

Day 21 (19.04.2013) Lijiang (丽江) to Lugu Lake (泸沽湖)
Day 22 (20.04.2013) Lugu Lake (泸沽湖) to Xichang (西昌) to Chengdu (成都)
Day 23 (21.04.2013) Chengdu
Day 24 (22.04.2013) D7-327 Chengdu to K. Lumpur (2355 – 0430)
Day 25 (23.04.2013) 25 23/04 Arrival K. Lumpur: 0430 hrs

      RMB        RM
Total Costs per person excluding Air fare    4,664.15      2,360.06

Return Airfare per pax incl. insurance, meals   1,632.41    826.00 

Total Cost Per Pax incl. of Airfare    6,296.56 3,186.06


  1. Tibetan Buddhist principles are rather complex to fathom unless you're one of them. 2 hrs walk through the mossy forest on board walk, that's comfortable through strange place on earth; good for horror movie shooting in the night.
    Mossy forest at Cameron Highland is much denser (then again it's tropical). The 2 lady guides of the park look tough but still very feminine. Strange looking flowers and herbal plants sure are eye-opening rewards along the way. In the cold open wilderness, NB Ching remembered to take off one hand glove to show a "make it" sign, like everybody did. Was it 'we're no.1'? or '1Malaysia"? It's a great picture shot for the group in snowy winter wonderland-comradeship all the way. Memang-lah no fun to turn back when the Gongga Mt. peak was within sight due to bad weather condition. The Hailuogou red rock gully made up for the loss with an exalting discovery of the picturesque red rock creek. Somehow the incomplete journey up the snowy Gongga Mt. was so frightening...safety had been always a priority. Very intersting and tell-tale photo-reporting. Ching, you're some body....!

    Alan K.

  2. Leong Kwok Seng24 July, 2013

    Thank you for sharing. Always love to read your travel blogs.

    Have not had the opportunity to meet u in person but heard a lot of your travels from Kam Boon and thru your blogs. I miss the opportunity to travel to Chiengmai and surrounding areas last year with your group as I have already committed on another trip.