The ancient city of Lijiang in southwest Yunnan Province is magnificently situated on a plateau 2 600 metef8 above sea level. Tiers of green mountains surround the dry, water bubbles from Springs, and flowers perfume the air all year round. The home mainly of the Naxi nationality people, Lijiang is the Naxi Autonomous County seat. The climate is mild, with an average temperature around 22℃(71.6F.).
Yulong (Jade Dragon) Mountain, the central scenic attraction in the Lijiang area, is near the Jinsha (Golden Sand) River, thirty kilometers north of the city, and rises six thousand meters above sea level. Jade Dragon Mountain has 13 snow-covered peaks, usually piercing clouds which are ever changing.
In fact, the whole scene of Yulong Mountain is rarely seen. An unforgettable sight, though extremely rare, is the mountain girdled by white clouds but revealing the silvery peaks sparkling in the sunshine. The highest of the 13 pinnacles is Fan Peak,
Fan Peak reflected in the lake at sunrise is a most striking view at Yulong Mountain. And a very old orange tree, railed Dragon Girl’s Tree by the local people, has its story. The daughter of a Naxi chieftain is said to have fallen in love with a lowly shepherd, a situation the chieftain opposed so violently that he had the shepherd burned at the stake, while the girl was imprisoned in a pavilion where she wept until she died. Her tears formed a lake and submerged the pavilion. The next year an orange tree sprang up beside the lake which people like to say is the maiden transformed.
Yulong is celebrated not only for its majesty. A great variety of plants also grow there, vegetation varying according to differences of altitude and climate. Plants carpet the hillsides in a rainbow of colors, some pale, some bright, and include varieties common to both temperate and sub-arctic zones. Botanists regard tile mountain as a treasure house of plants. Woody plants hundred kinds, while there are over four hundred kinds of medicinal herbs. The Meteria Medica of Yulong compiled two hundred years ago contains drawings of 328 varieties of herbs. Yulong is flower country too, with more than three hundred varieties of azalea alone. Growing in clusters among fairly rare wild flowers, they are beautifully set off. Lijiang is scarcely less grows in the southern foothills of Mount Yulong in the Yulong Temple grounds. This tree blossoms every few days from January through April, each time putting forth more than a thousand blooms, each as big as a saucer and having exactly 18 flame-red petals. Its ten trunks are intertwined as solidly as a wall. Yulong Mountain also has many streams rushing down with a roar that can be heard quite some distance away. Black Dragon Pool charmingly reflects the mountain, its entire 13 pinnacles visible from Belt Bridge. This reflection against a backdrop of floating clouds and blue sky has been likened to a flying dragon.
The sound of water is all around, for streams flow into the pool from every direction. On all islet in the pool is the three- tiered “Deyuelou” (Moon Embracing Pavilion) amid trees and flowers. Since water bubbles up almost everywhere in the city, Lijiang has the reputation of every household having its own spring.