Heavy snow on the plateau

{Part 5 - Our Founding Director Fionna Heiton is currently travelling in Tibet with her teenage twins}

Yading National Park is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty, turquoise lakes and snow capped mountains. The pictures I had seen were stunning and my excitement grew as we drew closer. We check into a stunning brand new hotel to be greeted by Khampas who turned out to be nomads tempted by the easy job of greeting and singing to guests! The guys have enough English to explain that they come from the plateau near Lijang and will get 4 days off a month to visit their families. They seem delighted with their new roles which seems a lot easier than tending yaks.

The next morning, the weather does not look good. Rain turns to snow. Determined to visit the national Park we head to the ticket office to catch the shuttle bus to the national park. We have forgotten our passports and officials refuse to let us go until we quote our passport numbers. Luckily the hotel has our passport information and we head up the mountain accompanied by excited Chinese tourists who have never seen snow before.

The snow gets deeper and deeper as we reach the entrance to the park. It is freezing and are glad of our thermals, down jackets, hats and gloves. Visibility is poor, yet there is a great beauty in the pristine snow scenes.

We discover a brand new monastery being built and head in out of the cold. Artists from a nearby town have been commissioned to paint Buddhist murals.

We warm ourselves by their electric heating ring and chat about their work. Outside the snow piles down and locals invite us to join them around a roaring open fire. The atmosphere is wonderful and we linger with these generous folk. However away from the fire, it is bitterly cold and we return to the hotel to warm up. We may not have seen the stunning views of Yading National Park but we did have a unique Tibetan experience that we wouldn’t have swapped for anything!

Want to experience Tibet for yourself?  Find out more about our Road to Shangri-La Joruney here