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Home Travel in Yunnan Ailao Mountain
Ailao Mountain
Travel in Yunnan


Ailao Mountain (āi láo shān 哀牢山) is a branch of Mount Yun (yún lǐng 云岭). It is formed during the Quaternary Himalaya Mountain Building Period (zhōng shēng dài yàn shān yùn dòng shí qī 中生代燕山运动时期). When the ground rises, and the river sinks, the disparity in height becomes prominent. This is how the deep cut topographic feature forms today. The Ailao Mountain leans from northwest to the southeast from inner Sajiang River. On the west side of the river, the Ailao Mountain and Sajiang River are in parallel. Here mountain and river are intertwined.

The mountains are tall while the vales are deep. Dadi Rock (dà dǐ yán 大底岩), the main peak of Ailao Mountain, stands on the border between Zhelong Village (zhě lóng xiāng 者竜乡) and Zhenyuan County (zhèn yuán xiàn 镇源县) with a height of 31,659 meters above the sea level. The side mountain Daxueguo (dà xuě guō shān 大雪锅山) is surrounded by clouds and mist. With a variety of species and distributions of plants (including numerous famous and precious ancient ones), Daxueguo is of high value in scientific research of climate and geo-biology. And it is the central part of the natural reserve, as well as an important base of observation and research of Chinese and foreign scientists.

The  Damaoer Mountain (dà mào ěr shān 大帽耳山) and Xiaomaoer Mountain (xiǎo mào ěr shān 小帽耳山) are tall and of various shapes. The river bank is an ideal place for cereals growing and tropical commercial crops growing for the its many outfans and rock formations. The east area of the river is the dissected topography on the verge of southern highland in Yunnan , good for the growing of Yunnan Pine and subtropical fruits. Visitors can enjoy the sun bath in the lakefront of Fuxian Lake (fǔ xiān hú 抚仙湖).


Ailao Mountain in Xinping County (xīn píng xiàn 新平县) is an appealing place with fascinating green. The mountain looks dark green from a distance. The paths in the mountain is underneath the tall trees and thick leaves. It looks dark in the mountain with shelters of towering trees. Some mosses grow on the trunk, telling people that the trees are still in the swaddling of the nature. The ground is soft with thick leaves lying on it.

Looking upon through the upon leaves, you may see the sunshine. The mountain in the section of Xinping is a core area for the Ailao Mountains, and it is also a well-preserved primitive forest. The forest covers about 73.44 percent of the total area in the county, about 4.223 square kilometers.

ailaoshan3Many years ago when the horse caravan was still moving on the path in the forest, some special products such as bronze, grains, herds and teas have been delivered out of the area, while some yarns, cloths and salts were transported here. Nor far from the path, there was a manor of a former minority hereditary headmen. The construction style of the manor combines wooden carving with  traditional Chinese calligraphy, painting and landscape art.

Location: Gasa Town, Xingping Yi and Dai Autonomous County, Yuxi
Transportation: Bus or drive
Opening Hours: 8:00 am-7:00 pm
Admission Fee: CNY 50
It takes 75 minutes from Kunming to Yuxi (90 km by superhighway). Traveling from Yuxi to Xinping, travelers should first go to Da Kai Men (a town in Xinping) by the superhighway of 60 km. Then there is another 30 km journey from Da Kai Men to Xingping County seat on second class highway. The total journey is 90 kilometers, taking about 2 hours. After arriving at Xinping County Seat, travelers can go to their own destination they want to (the scenic spots in the Ailao Mountain is scattered) at Xinping Bus Station. There are buses to all the scenic spots there.