Laojun Mountain Scenic Spot stands in the join of three state-level attractions, namely, Yulong Snow Mountain, Combination of Three Rivers and Cangshan and Erhai. It is one of the main parts of the attraction of “Combination of Three Rivers”, the World Natural Heritage, and the main mountain of Yunling stretching in Lijiang , Jianlan and Lanping. Laojun Mountain stretches for hundreds of Li, overlapping and rolling. With its highest peak in elevation of 4,240 m, it is called as the “father of mountains in Yunnan Province” by historians of past dynasties.
With Jinsha River on its left and Lancang River right, its ridge bends and forms a half circle, which looks like the horseshoe-shaped furnace of Most Exalted Lord Lao for making pills of immortality. So, a story is going about that Lord Lao has ever made his pills here and whence comes its name. It covers 715 sq. km, including attractions of 99 Dragon Pool, Jinsi Rock Golden Mountain and Green Lake, Yunnan Lizeng Golden Monkey Nature Reserve, Liming Meile “Danxia” Landform and Xinzhu Botanical Garden.
The wonders in the scenic spot include “Danxia” Landform, strange peaks and rocks, green lakes and streams, flourishing forests and flowers, meadow growing on high mountains and frozen peaks and marvelous gorges. Its special sight of great value in appreciation and scientific expedition is composed of abundant alp vegetation, rare propagation, numerous glacier lakes, surprising “Danxia” landform and various national customs of Naxi, Bai, Lisu, Pumi and Yi. Experts inside and outside believe that it is one of the places in Yunnan, which own the most beautiful scene, most abundant natural resources and most special national culture, comparable to the famous Huangshi Park of U.S. and Edinburg Botanical Garden.
Mainly in structure of volcanic lava, Laojun Mountain has gone through the 4th IA, which left it with many landforms, such as horns, glacial cirques, glacial gorges and glacial lakes. Under the effect of permanent freezing and thawing, rocks covered by the ice are destroyed by cracking, efflorescing and denudating. Chipped rocks swept by melted snow and rain roll down with the water and pile around horns or in gorges.
Year after year, they become thicker and thicker and, under gravitation, move down as a whole, forming rock sea, which becomes a special landscape of Laojun Mountain. Huge rocks are frozen and cracked, producing stone circles and design-like lines, witch seems like manual work at the first sight but natural one after careful observation. At some rocks above the ground, flourish a thick layer of moss and clusters of small flowers in color of purple and yellow. The brown rocks covered by colorful vegetation, forming a natural color in harmony, adds magnificence to the landscape.
99 Dragon Pool
In the eastern side of the north of main ridge of Laojun Mountain, in the lap of the mountain in elevation above 3,800m, there are tens of lakes and swamps, distributing in cluster along the stream, which are called 99 Dragon Pool. Its water comes from the melted snow in spring and rainfall in summer, clear and cold, being of high quality. The overflowed water of the lake gathers together and forms streams, waterfalls and rivers, which flowing through the forest and finally running into Jinsha River and Lancang River.
These glacial lakes in various shapes are deep and mysterious, presenting colors of blue, orange, yellow and green through reflecting the shining sun, flowers and trees. Among them, the Yellow Dragon Pool is bottomless, where a red coral tree grows above the water. So, it produces red waves sometimes. There is a story going about that a divine dragon hides in the pool, if passersby make noise, the water will roll and turn turbid; the carol tree will disappear; it will raining, winding, thundering and lightening, which will make the blood creep.
This is legend only; analyzing in scientific eye, since Laojun Mountain towers clouds and its climate is under the affect of southwestern monsoon of the Indian Ocean, southeastern monsoon of the Pacific Ocean and air mass of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, except for some time in winter and spring, the top of the mountain is covered by thick clouds, which forms the basic condition of thunder storm. So, people may consider the magic phenomenon from the relationship between sound, light, electricity and clouds.
Liming Meile Scenic Spot
Located in Liming Village, with “Danxia” Landform formed by red sandstone as its major landscape, Liming Meile Scenic Spot covers 240 sq. km, being the largest and most completely developed Danxia landform. Owning various and colorful cliffs, perilous peaks and limestone caves, it is the most colorful one of numerous sights of Danxia landform in China, in the highest elevation, with greatest difference in height and most clearly layered. Among the attractions, Qiangui Mountain, Liguang Buddha and Niaowang Mountain are unique in the world, which are comparable to Wulingyuan in Hunan .
On the Qiangui Mountain, there is a huge bared rock, which is effloresced into the shape of fish scales, and this is called “thousands of tortoises racing for swimming”. It consists of a mountain slope covered by huge scales laid out in order. Every huge scale looks like a climbing tortoise. Looking carefully, you will find that the slope composed of the thousands of stone tortoises is like a larger climbing tortoise. Both the larger tortoise and the small ones climb towards the eastern direction where the sun rises. Because of the wonderful sight, people name the mountain Qiangui (thousands of tortoises in Chinese) Mountain.
Xinzhu Botanical Garden
Located in Xinzhu, Ludian Village, Xinzhu Botanical Garden gathers crossing ravines, waterfalls, green pools, cliffs and stone bridges. In the scenic spot, there are seed plants of 79 families, 167 genus and 280 species, among which there are many rare or endangered plants. In Oct, 1984, it was named as “Xinzhu Hengduan Mountains Natural Botanical Garden” by experts and scientists arranged by Yunnan Botanical Academy and Lijiang forestry sector.
Double Lakes in Jinsichang
In elevation of 4,513m, Jinsichang is the main peak of Laojun Mountain. Small lakes of different sizes and shapes scatter in the mountain in three or two, mounted in the meadow on the mountainside, as clear as bright mirror. No one knows the exact number of forming process of them. Their mysterious quietness arouses a holy feeling in people’s heart. Some said they are glacier lakes, others bravely guess that they are made by the ancient meteorites.
The double lakes connect with each other indistinctly, different in shape and dependent to each other, presenting lasting appeal from its mystery and beauty. Its accompanist is a sweep of red cuckoos, which are reflected on the dragon pool in spring. Numerous cuckoos freely bloom without any disturb, clustering around the pool and making it more charming. The most beautiful season of the double lakes is from mid May to mid June, when the flowers just bloom, the snow has not melted and the water is clear, everything is perfect.