Road trip from Zhongdian to Daocheng
We planned to travel over 400KM from Zhongdian (now called Shangri-la), northwest of Yunnan to Daocheng in southern Sichuan today. A long portion of the road was extremely bumpy though paved that we had a hard time in the SUV. We had to ask to stop a lot to take pictures and also to stretch. I felt that I had a harder time today than my Sichuan to Tibet trip couple years ago though the road conditions were definitely better this time.
We drove over couple major mountains including the Warming Snow Mountain (No Name Snow Mountain). We decided to hike up to the peak from the road that is above 4800M elevation. It was very cold that we both were in our full ski jackets, thermal hats and gloves. Pan advised us to take it slow because of the high elevation. It took us more than half hour to trek up 150M or so to the peak for a breathtaking 360 view. I am happy to report that China won the race both ways.
We ended up stop at Xiancheng, about 120KM away from Daocheng because it was getting late and Xiancheng was the last bigger town where we could have a decent place to stay. We stayed a new hotel, arguably the best in town. We were so tired that we crashed right away and skipped dinner.