I just returned from 4 days of hik­ing in this beau­ti­ful remote moun­tain vil­lage in Chi­na. Yubeng! Tucked in a val­ley sur­round­ed by glaciat­ed peaks right on the bor­der with Tibet.

The only way to get here is by foot, or for those with a bad case of Ambu­lo­pho­bia (fear of walk­ing), mules can car­ry you.

Upper Yubeng Village beneath Bawu Bameng Peak 5,000 m (16,404')

Upper Yubeng Vil­lage beneath Bawu Bameng Peak 5,000 m (16,404′)

Nes­tled in a farm­ing val­ley on the bor­der of Tibet, amongst lush green forests, sur­round­ed by rugged glac­i­er cov­ered moun­tains lies Yubeng Vil­lage.

Upper Yubeng Sunrise

Upper Yubeng Sun­rise

It’s split into Upper and Low­er Yubeng. Two vil­lages about a 40-minute walk from each oth­er.

Pigs roam freely in Upper Yubeng Village

Pigs roam freely in Upper Yubeng Vil­lage

Lower Yubeng Quinu Bengding Monastery

Low­er Yubeng Quinu Bengding Monastery

Pigs and cows roam the streets and chick­ens run to and fro between the farm hous­es and fields

Upper Yubeng Roaming Pig

Upper Yubeng Roam­ing Pig

Low­er Yubeng has two small monas­ter­ies, is a lit­tle more rur­al (although they both have free-roam­ing farm ani­mals) and is a lit­tle qui­eter. Upper Yubeng com­mands bet­ter views as it’s high­er in the val­ley and has more guest­hous­es and a few bars.

Lower Yubeng Village viewed from Upper Yubeng

Low­er Yubeng Vil­lage viewed from Upper Yubeng

Upper Yubeng Village on the trail from Xidang

Upper Yubeng Vil­lage on the trail from Xidang

It’s an 18-kilo­me­ter walk to get here. The views com­ing down into the vil­lage are enough to get your heart racing…along with the high alti­tude!

Lower Yubeng Village, on the trail from Xidang

Low­er Yubeng Vil­lage, on the trail from Xidang

There are hik­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties through the moss-cov­ered forests, up into lush val­leys with glac­i­ers and water­falls.

Glacial Lake above Yubeng - 3,900 m (12,800')

Glacial Lake above Yubeng — 3,900m (12,800′)

Prayer flags line the hiking trails

Prayer flags line the hik­ing trails

Or you can just relax in the usu­al­ly qui­et vil­lage and enjoy the spec­tac­u­lar views of the Meili Snow Moun­tains as a mule munch­es on the gar­den near your hotel and a pig sniffs for some­thing edi­ble on the cob­ble­stone path.

Upper Yubeng afternoon

Upper Yubeng in the after­noon

On the hike to the holy glacial lake, you pass through a beau­ti­ful pas­ture with yaks graz­ing. This is also the base camp for those climb­ing Kawage­bo Moun­tain 6,740 m (22,110′)

Meili Snow Mountains (Kawagebo) Base Camp

Meili Snow Moun­tains (Kawage­bo) Base Camp

Felaisi & Meili Snow Mountains

One usu­al­ly stops over in the near­by Tibetan town of Feilaisi. A pic­turesque town in its own right with unpar­al­leled views of the Meili Snow Moun­tains dom­i­nat­ing the sky­line.

Tibetan Feilaisi a good place to stop on the way to Yubeng Village

Tibetan Feilaisi a good place to stop on the way to Yubeng Vil­lage

The sun­ris­es and sun­sets here put on dis­play a spec­tac­u­lar myr­i­ad of col­ors.

Sunrise over Meili Snow Mountains seen from Feilaisi

Sun­rise over Meili Snow Moun­tains seen from Feilaisi

The inter­play of light and shad­ows illu­mi­nates the moun­tain in gold­en hues rem­i­nis­cent of an Albert Bier­stadt paint­ing of the Amer­i­can West.

Sunset over Meili Snow Mountains seen from Feilaisi

Sun­set over Meili Snow Moun­tains seen from Feilaisi

For more pic­tures and detailed infor­ma­tion on Yubeng Vil­lage includ­ing hik­ing in the Yubeng Val­ley click here for the com­plete guide!

 

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