Ancient Road to Tengchong

TweetFor the final exploration of 2012, I joined our old friend Prof. Gary Sigley for a trip across the Gaoligongshan range into Tengchong, famous as a caravan and trading station on the old road to Burma. I’d heard for years about a well-preserved stretch of stone road on the mountain; as you’ll see below, the [...]


2012 Mule Prize Gallery

TweetThe entries for the inaugural Mule Photography Prize are all in. This is just a bit of fun, whereby we invited everyone who came trekking with us in 2012 to send in their best mule-related shots. Feel free to vote for your favourite; I’ll announce the winner in the new year, by which time I’ll [...]


Muslim Mule Town

TweetI made a very brief visit to the village of Donglianhua recently. The village and surrounding area are easily interesting enough to warrant a more extended stay, but in the meantime here’s just a few pictures and superficial notes about the place.

Donglianhua is part of Yongjian Zhen, which sits on the very northern edge of [...]


More Flowers of Mt. Gawagapu, August 2012

TweetThese all come from Yang Xiao’s 6-day trek to find Chugan Lake, the largest of the alpine lakes around Mt. Gawagapu. As ever, there are quite a few I’ve been unable to identify…

I wanted to say this was a Nomocharis basilissa, but I think it’s just a paler version of the forrestii pictured below.

Botanist Robbie [...]


Further Exploration of Mt. Gawagapu, August 2012

TweetAfter the completion of the expedition recounted in this previous blog, Yang Xiao remained behind in Bingzhongluo for a few days. Joined by A Dou, the best of our guides/porters from that expedition, he followed what Frank Kingdon-Ward called “the Path of Terror” to find the alpine lake our group had tried and failed to [...]


Further Exploration of Mt. Tianbao, July 2012

TweetFor the last in this summer’s Shangri-la excursions, Yang Xiao trekked into the Tianbao range from the east and circled back to Zhongdian via Lake Abuji.

He found these lovely blue poppies in unusual abundance above the lake. This is my favourite flower.

This trail begins at around 3,600 meters and offers no great difficulties, passing through [...]


Mt. Tianbao July 2012

TweetYang Xiao was out and about in the Tianbao range, just south of Shangri-la, during the last days of June/first days of July. It’s not the most favourable time of year for weather, but you have to be prepared for a bit of rain to see the best of the region’s wildflowers. As this is [...]


Mt. Laojun Exploration

TweetOver the May holidays Yang Xiao escaped the crush in Dali and returned to Laojunshan, which we first visited on the Tea Trail to the Yangtze exploratory trek in May 2010. We failed to find a viable south-north route over the range to Shitou on that occasion; Yang Xiao hoped to do better this time [...]


Lijiang to Dali Recce

TweetApril 2, 2012
Yang Xiao just returned from a brief recce along the Tea Horse Trail between Lijiang and Dali. He made a few new friends along the way and took some nice pictures, too…

Shama Sijin belongs to the Yi ethnic group. His people moved to the Shaxi area from the Yi heartlands in Liangshan when [...]