Cangshan Mountain & Three Pagodas, Dali, Yunnan Province, China

For the fourth part in the Dali series, we visit Cangshan Mountain, walk the Jade Trail and visit the Chongsheng Temple and Three Pagodas complex. It was an intense and incredibly fulfilling day!

Other posts in this series can be found at:

Cangshan Mountain

A must visit while in Dali is to take the gondola up Cangshan Mountain. You have the choice of two gondolas and a chair lift. I would recommend choosing the west gondola, and then walking across the Jade Trail to the east chair lift, which is 12km of a perfectly smooth, paved and well signed route, with gorgeous mountain views. You can then go back down the chair lift (it’s an experience unto itself, with your feet dangling in the air for over 25 mins!) and take the middle gondola to the top for the final part of your Cangshan experience. Unfortunately for us, thunder and lightning came as we were descending the chairlift so it wasn’t safe to go to the very peak. We’ll save that experience for our next visit.

Cangshan Mountain
GFX100S 32mm ISO-200 1/140sec f/8
Cangshan Mountain
Jade Trail @ Cangshan Mountain; GFX100S 56.5mm ISO-125 1/42sec f/8
Cangshan Mountain
GFX100S 32mm ISO-100 1/100sec f/8
Cangshan Mountain
GFX100S 32mm ISO-200 1/110sec f/8
Cangshan Mountain
GFX100S 44mm ISO-200 1/320sec f/8
Cangshan Mountain
GFX100S 32mm ISO-100 1/140sec f/6.4
Cangshan Mountain
GFX100S 32mm ISO-200 1/480sec f/8
Ethnic Minorities
Bai ethnic people; GFX100S 61.8mm ISO-200 1/420sec f/8
Ethnic Minorities
Bai ethnic people; GFX100S 52.7mm ISO-200 1/450sec f/8

Three Pagodas

While coming down the 25 mins. chairlift at Cangshan, we saw the three pagodas shining in the sun, and decided to visit that temple complex. It’s a short 2.4km drive from Cangshan (we used Didi everywhere to get cars) and thought we’d quickly go in, check it out and then head back, but we were shocked by what we found inside. The entire complex is incredible; it’s huge and very well maintained. The buildings are amazing, and with the stormy weather, made for some dramatic images. I’d highly recommend spending a few hours in this complex as we felt we barely scratched the surface by spending an hour there. Be forewarned that there are a lot of stairs. 

Three Pagodas
GFX100S 38.9mm ISO-200 1/800sec f/8
GFX100S 32mm ISO-200 1/80sec f/8
Three Pagodas
GFX100S 51.7mm ISO-100 1/320sec f/8
Cangshan Mountain
GFX100S 50mm ISO-200 1/1100sec f/8
Three Pagodas
GFX100S 32mm ISO-200 1/1400sec f/8
Three Pagodas
GFX100S 51.7mm ISO-200 1/300sec f/8
Cangshan Mountain
GFX100S 44mm ISO-200 1/1300sec f/8
Cangshan Mountain
GFX100S 49mm ISO-200 1/350sec f/8
Three Pagodas
GFX100S 200mm ISO-100 1/180sec f/8

I hope you’re enjoying this series from Dali. There will be one more post to come to wrap up this short, but epic trip to a beautiful part of China. Next up in the series will be Jinsuo Island, Internet Red & the Conclusion.

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