Zhonghe Temple Picture

The Zhonghe Temple situated at the mountainside behind Dali, Zhonghe Temple

The Zhonghe Temple situated at the mountainside behind Dali. You can hike up the hill or take a cable car directly to the top. There are no single path leads directly up the hill; instead, oodles of local paths wind and switchback through farm fields and local cemeteries. Follow the left bank for about 50m and you'll see lots of ribbon trails leading up. Basically, all roads start from here, just keep the chairlift in sight and when in doubt, bear left. You should eventually come upon a well-worn trail and, following that, some steps near the top.

Branching out from either side of the temple is a trail that winds along the face of the mountains, taking you in and out of steep, lush valleys and past streams and waterfalls. From Zhonghe it's an amazing 11 km up-and-down hike south to Gantong Temple or Qingbi Stream, from where you can continue to the road.

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