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China - Yunnan

Key Places

Bai Shui White Water Terraces

The Bai Shui White Water Terraces at the foot of Haba Snow Mountain  (2,380 m) are a natural wonder of the world. The terraces have been created by calcium carbonate sediment as melted glacier water flows off the mountain. The pools were formed over thousands of years, rolling off the slopes in elegant steps.

The Bai Shui Terraces are also the birthplace of Naxi Dongba culture. Legend has it that the first saint of the Dongba Religion was attracted by the area’s fascinating scenery on his way back from Tibet. Later, the White Water Terraces became known as the ‘Holy Land of the Dongba Religion’. The Naxi gather annually on the eighth day of the second lunar month, to celebrate in a traditional festival with singing throughout the day and night.

The Terraces are called Shi Pu Zhi in Naxi language, which translates as ‘gradually growing flowers’.  The springs flow from the mountain at the foot of a willow tree next to which is a rock bearing the following inscription.

A monk lived in this holy Buddhist land 500 years ago, who devoted himself to preaching Buddhism.

Just like waving clouds and white snow, the silver terraces stretch for miles. As clear as crystal, the springs meander, which seem to be frozen on the terraces.

The springs will gush out ceaselessly, how I envy the immortal who created the terraces.

Key Places

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