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Where mother nature shows off

By Xu Xiaomin in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-25 07:11

Where mother nature shows off

Lugu Lake in Ninglang county on the border of Sichuan and Yunnan. [Photo by Xu Xiaomin / China Daily]

A region of incredulous beauty regardless of the time of the year, Yunnan province is one of the best places to seek reprieve from the bitter cold of winter

To escape the cold and dreary weather in Shanghai during winter, there was no other destination in my mind other than Yunnan province.

From peaceful lakes to fields of bright yellow rapeseed to snow-covered mountains and ancient towns, the contrasts make for breathtaking scenes of nature.

Even in January, the coldest month in China, the region is constantly bathed in sunshine, something which was most welcomed following two and a half days of driving from Shanghai. During our journey to Yunnan - the trip took us through Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan and Guizhou provinces - all we ever saw was rain and fog.

Here in Dali of Yunnan, the colors of the landscape rejuvenated the senses. The sky was a deep blue, the plants were so green it seemed as if winter never arrived, and the rooftops of residential buildings looked as if they were adorned with carpets made of red and yellow flowers.

Dali's ancient town was one of our first stops and it proved to be an ideal place for a nice meal after a long journey. I even managed to get my hands on a good cup of coffee, which was very comforting especially after all the soft drinks I had drank in the service stations on the way to Yunnan.

We spent the night at The One, an idyllic boutique hotel in the ancient town that offers a high quality buffet spread for breakfast and comfortable room with modern facilities. The next day, we headed to Erhai, a beautiful lake with sapphire blue water that is located some 2,000 meters above sea level. Measuring 256 square kilometers, the lake would take most people at least a day to cycle around. I soon discover that many people from Beijing and Shanghai have purchased villas alongside Erhai solely because of the beautiful lake and the fresh air.

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