At about 3,000m (9,000 feet) above sea level and 28.5 degrees above the equator, the Mingyong Glacier is both China’s lowest and most southerly glacier. This makes for a wonderfully diverse sightseeing as you hike up a few thousand feet.

Start the walk to the glacier from Mingyong Village. An easy 2 hours walk leads up to the Taizi Temple, from where you will have a first stunning view of the Mingyong Glacier. It’s a lovely walk, through an old forest of huge trees, overgrown with moss. The forest floor is covered in ferns and other, lush green plants, interspersed by the occasional wildflower. From time to time you pass piles of mani stones (stones engraved or painted with sacred texts), prayer flags and other signs indicating certain holy rocks or trees.
 
About two-thirds of the way up, the muddy path is suddenly replaced by a raised wooden plank-way. The views are incredible: over the pine trees and river below, and up towards the beginning of the glacier. This first stretch of plank-way takes you to a clearing with a small, picturesque temple and a couple of snack stalls. From here you can get your first full views of the glacier.
 
If you have more energy left you may continue further up to the Lianhua temple.

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