Lao Jun Shan (Laojun Shan) National Park

Laojun Shan

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Located within the UNESCO protected Three Parallel Rivers National Park in the north-western Part of the Yunnan Province, Lao Jun Shan (Laojun Shan) offers some of the most spectacular red/purple sandstone formations in China. The so called Danxia (red/purple sandstone) is outstanding in terms of its high elevation (up to 4’200 m), which result in extreme “freeze-thaw” weathering and contributes to some remarkable Danxia landform features, including the “tortoise shell” surface pattern.

A good starting point to explore the Laojun Shan (Lao Jun Shan) area is Liming at the northern entrance to the National Park. Some basic accommodation is available in Liming as well as a handful of local restaurants. A 1.5 hour walk leads to the top of Mount Qian Gui (Qian Gui Shan) where millions of years of erosion left behind a magnificent and fascinating landscape resembling a tortoise shell. On a clear day, Mount Qian Gui (Qian Gui Shan) also offers spectacular views of the surrounding red cliffs and the Huangshan Mountains in the distance.

The Lao Jun Shan (Laojun Shan) National Park covers an area of 1315 km2 which is roughly the size of the Faroe Islands or slightly bigger than Hong Kong. The entrance fee is 105 RMB.