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4 Days Daocheng Yading In-depth Photography Tour

The Real Shangri-La - Daocheng Yading Photography Tour


Scenic Spot of Daocheng Yading is located at the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze, Sichuan. Some people call Daocheng Yading the “Last Pure Land on the Blue Planet”. In here, you will find the spectacular and sacred snow mountains standing under the pure blue and clear sky, vast meadow stretch to the horizon, strong view impact coming through the contrasting color of the box forest, and crystal and clean lakes lies peacefully under the heaven… Almost the most beautiful sceneries of a snow-covered plateau have gathered in here. You have every reason to come here and stay here. It’s easy to take breathtaking photos in here, even if you are not professional photographer. Daocheng Yading really deserves its reputation “the paradise for photographer”.

This Daocheng Yading photography tour can be customized depending on what photos you want to take, and on the weather condition when you go. Feel free to tell your interests and ideas to your personal travel consultants!

Basic Photography Info

Travel Route: Chengdu / Daocheng

Travel Length: 4 Days

Tour Code: CD-PTDYT-04

Tour Type: Customizable Private Tour

Departure: You Choose (you may plan it according to the best season and time.)

Itinerary Details Day by Day

Day 1 Chengdu – Yading (L)

Today, you will take an early flight from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to Daocheng Yading Airport. After the arrival, you will be welcomed by the local guide and be escorted to visit Banghe Village, which is 5km away from Daocheng County. Banghe Village is famed for its birch forest, farmland and river scene. This idyllic scenery of Banghe Village is most beautiful in autumn. Then, drive to Sangdui town to shoot the Red Grassland. The grassland is located at Sangdui Town which is about 28km north from Daocheng County. The most beautiful time of Red Grassland is autumn. At this time, the birth forest and the red grass compose a amazing picture with strong color contrasting.

After that, drive to Yading Village to check in your hotel. Have a good rest.

Red Grassland
Day 2 Yading (B, L)

Today, you will get up early and enter into the Yading Scenic Spot early. Take an electromobile to get to Luorong Pasture. At here, snow peak, forest, pasture, lake and wooden house provide the best scenery for you to shoot. This pasture is also the great place to shoot Three Religious Lord Snow Mountains. Then, hike or ride a horse about 2 hours to Milk Lake, which is located at the foot of Jambeyang. At here, you can appreciate Chenresig and Jambeyang from a very close distance. Five-colored Sea is close to the Milk Sea, it’s a very beautiful small lake. 13:00 to 14:00 is the best time to shoot Five-colored Sea. If you have extra energy, you can visit this lake.

After the tour, go back to Yading Village.

Milk Sea
Day 3 Yading - Daocheng County (B, L)

Today, after breakfast, ride a horse or hike to Chonggu Temple, this will take you about 1.5 hours. At Chonggu Temple, you can shoot Chanadorje Mountain here. Then, hike about half hour to Pearl Lake, which is under the foot of Chenresig. This beautiful lake is the best place to shoot Chenresig. If you have extra time, shoot in the Yading Village is also a good choice.

After the photography experience, transfer back to Riwa and keep driving to Daocheng County for accommodation.

Luorong Pasture
Day 4 Daocheng Departure (B)

Today, after breakfast, your guide will pick you up from the hotel to the Daocheng Yading Airport to take flight back to Chengdu. The drive will take you about 1.5 hours. On the way to the airport, appreciate this holy land again.

4 Days Daocheng Yading Photography Tour Map

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Yading Scenic Spot

Chenresig of Yading Jampeyang of Yading Chanadorje of Yading

The scenery in Yading Scenic Spot is the most beautiful part in Daocheng County. Giant snow mountains, precipitous cliffs, mirror-like lakes, magical glacier, vast meadows and primitive forests in Yading have created a peaceful earthly paradise for us. The Three Religious Lord Snow Mountains, Luorong Pasture, Chonggu Temple and Pearl Lake and Milk Lake are all must-go places for shutterbug.

Best Sites for Photography

Three Religious Lord Snow Mountains

Three Religious Lord Snow Mountains refers to Chenresig (Xiannairi), Jambeyang (Yangmaiyong) and Chanadorje (Xianuoduoji). They respectively represent the Bodhisattva of Mercy, Wisdom and Wrath. They are regarded as the sacred mountain which can protect the Tibetan people in Yading.

The best location to shoot Chenresig is the lake side of Pearl Lake, which is located one mile away from Chonggu Temple. The best time to shoot is from the sunrise to mid-day. Afternoon is not suitable for taking photos because the backlight makes framing easily getting dark, and creates glaring light. If you want to shoot the golden Chenresig and its reflection in the Pearl Leak in summer, you need to get to the Pearl Lake before 6 am. While in autumn, the best time to shoot golden Chenresig is around 9 am.

Luorong Pasture is the best location to shoot Jambeyang. Cowshed on the pasture is a relatively good position on the Luorong Pasture. The best time for shooting is 6 am in summer and 7:10 am in autumn. The sun will fall behind the left back of Jambeyang, and this will cause backlighting when shooting, so it’s not suitable to shoot sunset photo of Jambeyang. Another good time for shooting is at moonlit evening. You can shoot the fairy-tale scenery of Jambeyang.

The best location to shoot Chanadorje is the pasture around Chonggu Temple, and the best time is from afternoon to dusk. Another good location is Luorong Pasture. When autumn comes, the bushes are red, the larches are golden, and the sky is blue. The contrasting of the cold color and warm color will bring a strong visual impact for your photo, which highlights the pure, sacred and majesty of Chanadorie. Both forenoon and afternoon are suitable to shoot.

Chonggu Temple

Chonggu Temple occupies an ideal location in Yading Scenic Spot. Standing on the green and yellow meadow with blue and transparent sky over its head, facing the thousand years of snow mountains in distance, while the sleeping canyon lying behind, Chonggu Temple is like the door of heaven, where you feel you were so close to god’s world. Any photographic novices can take good pictures in Chonggu Temple due to its advantaged position. You can see Chenresig and Chanadorje in here, and all things around the temple can be the foreground of the two mountains. The best time to shoot Chenresig in here is from early morning to mid-day, while Chanadorje is from afternoon to dusk.

Luorong Pasture

In Luorong Pasture, herds of sheep and cows are scattered over the grassland and enjoy the great sunshine and pure lake water. Snow peak, forest, pasture, rivulet, lake, waterfall and wooden house compose a most beautiful picture. This pasture is surrounded by the Three Religious Lord Snow Mountains, thus, it’s also a great place to shoot the Three Religious Lord Snow Mountains.

Milk Lake and Pearl Lake

Start from Luorong Pasture and proceed along the valley between Chenresig and Jambeyang, you will arrive at the Milk Lake, which is located at the foot of Jambeyang. The lake surface is bright with many colors, and the mountain’s reflection in the river looks more holy and pure. Pass Chonggu Temple and keep walking for about half hour, you will arrive at Pearl Lake. Pearl Lake is hiding behind a small forest, and it’s actually a bigger pond. Verdurous water shines quietly under the reflection of the sky. Chenresig’s reflection on the lake surface keeps invigorating the lake.

Scenic Spot around Daocheng County

Banghe Red Grassland Red Grassland

Along the way from Daocheng County to Yading Scenic Spot, there are also many scenes deserving your visit, like beautiful Banghe Village and Red Grassland. In Banghe, white poplars scatter randomly along the road, a few white pagodas lie among the undulant mountains and forest. In Red Grassland, red, blue, white and yellow, only a few colors, however, you’ll be amazed when you feel the strong visual impact formed by these colors.

Best Sites for Photography

Banghe Village

Banghe Village is only about 5 miles away from Daocheng County. The fabulous idyllic scenery of Banghe Village is composed of river, farmland, birch forest, hamlet and temples. This is a great place to shoot the autumn scenery of Daocheng. Banghe’s scenery is more suitable to shoot in before the sunset. At this time, there will form an acute angle between the sunlight and the ground. If there is a kitchen smoke or fog at this time, the picture would be more beautiful. Along the road from Jinzhu Town to Yading Village, the best location to shoot Banghe scenery is 2 miles away from Jinzhu Town. You can shoot Banghe River and afar village facing the sunlight at the road side, and then, just before the sunset, turn your camera to shoot the birch forest’s shadow against the sunset.

Red Grassland

Red Grassland is located at Sangdui Town, which is only about 28 miles from Daocheng County. Once the September comes, there will be full of red grass. This scene will continue to mid-October. During the golden autumn, the birth forest is shining from afar, while in front of the forest is a little pond which is full of red grass. The Red Grassland is actually small, however, it’s definitely deserve your visit. The best time to shoot is from the sunrise to forenoon. At this time, the red grass is facing the sunlight, thus, the color of the grass is brighter.

Best Season for Photography

The best shooting season is autumn, from the end of September to middle of October. At this time, the air visibility is very good and the photo shot at this time has a good transparency. At another hand, autumn is the most colorful season. Photo at this time has rich layers, just like an oil painting. Dawn and dusk are very good time for shooting. If you want to shoot sun shining on the snow mountain, you should be prepared before dawn. In the morning, the sun angle is very low, and the mountain and forest have abundant light and shade levels, which gives the photo more depth.

Tips from Our Experts

1. Recommended equipment:wide angle lens, telephoto lens, small aperture, tripod, graduated filter and polarizer

Place like Daocheng Yading has numerous things to shoot, thus, it’s wise for you to prepare full photographic equipment. Wide angle lens is essential in landscape photography and it will bring a different visual impact to the photo. Telephoto lens will help to shoot the remote snow mountain and forest. The light is weak in dawn and dusk, so you need to use small aperture to increase the depth of field. While long exposure time is needed to make the photo clearer, thus you need tripod to steady the camera. When you shoot on the plateau, light and shade contrast is rather strong, it’s better for you to use graduated filter and polarizer to make sure the photo can be exposure correctly.

2. Don't hesitate when shooting

The weather in Yading is changeable and unpredictable. Sometimes, sunshine is gone too soon, maybe only in several seconds, so it’s important to capture the scene. Don’t hesitate when you shoot. You can modify the photo later if your photo is not very good, but if you miss the scene, it’s too late to regret it.

3. Medicine preparation

Yading is a high attitude area, you may face harsh living conditions, so aged and frail should act according to their abilities. Prepare some medicine to ease altitude sickness. Vitamin complex tablets, cod liver oil and cold medicine should also be prepared according to actual situation.

4. Warm notice

There is large temperature difference between day and night, so prepare enough warm clothes. Rain-proof and snow-proof equipmentand sunblock shall be also prepared.

5. Taboos

Killing living things is strictly prohibited; it’s forbidden to take away anything from the holy mountain; don’t protect the natural environment in the scenic spot.

6. Transfer advice

From Chengdu to Daocheng Yading, you can take bus, and this will take about 2 days to get there. Another way is by flight, it’s only takes 1 hour to fly from Chengdu to Daocheng. In the scenic spot, some sections are allowed battery cars, but most transportation vehicles are horse and your foot.

7. Accommodation advice:

Daocheng County and Yading Village provide hotels for tourists. You can also stay at Chonggu Temple and Luorong Pasture, however, the accommodation and facilities here is not good as Daocheng County and Yading Village.

For more photography advice in Daocheng and Dading, you can feel free to contact us and we are here ready to help!

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