White Water Terraces (Baishuitai) – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

white water terraces (baishuitai)

White Water Terraces, also known as Baishuitai (白水台), are located at the foot of the Haba Snow Mountain in Shangri-La, with an altitude of 2380 meters and covering an area of about 3 square kilometers. It is the largest travertine terrace in China and is considered the birthplace of the Dongba religion of the Naxi ethnic group. In the Naxi language, Baishuitai is called “Shibuzhi,” which means gradually growing flowers. On the left side, a terrace resembles a crescent moon, with clear spring water overflowing, believed to be the place where fairies groom themselves. At the lower left side of the terrace, there is a natural sculpture, pure white like jade, resembling a pregnant woman, which is the place where the local people worship the god of reproduction.

The formation of Baishuitai is due to the slow downstream flow of spring water containing calcium bicarbonate, resulting in the gradual precipitation of carbonate salts, forming terrace-like structures resembling layered rice paddies, known as “terraced fields left by the immortals.” These crescent-shaped colorful pools are not regular or uniform between each level but are irregular, staggered, and of varying sizes. Each crescent-shaped pool has a pool bottom and embankment, all filled with water. The pools are closely connected, following the mountain terrain, forming a complete panorama without any signs of artificial carving, yet resembling artificially excavated terraced fields.

Originally, Baishuitai was revered as a sacred place for deities. According to legend, when the first ancestor of the Dongba religion, Dingbashiluo, returned from studying Buddhist scriptures in Tibet, he was attracted by the beautiful scenery of Baishuitai and stayed to preach, making it a sacred place for Dongba believers. Every year on the eighth day of the second lunar month, the Naxi people hold the “Worshiping Baishuitai” ceremony, where people from various ethnic groups including Tibetan, Naxi, Yi, Bai, and Lisu gather for worship activities, praying for a good harvest in the coming year through singing, dancing, and picnics.

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 hours
Ticket Price30 RMB
Opening Hours8.30 – 18.00
Telephone Number0086-0887-8866139

Location and Transportation

The White Water Terraces are situated at the foot of the Haba Snow Mountain, in Baidi Village, Sanba Township, southeast of Shangri-La County, Yunnan Province. It is approximately 101 kilometers away from Shangri-La city.

To get to the White Water Terraces from Shangri-La, there are several options. There are buses departing from Shangri-La to Sanba Township twice a day, in the morning and afternoon, with a ticket price of 26 yuan. The journey takes about 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, with a round trip costing around 400 yuan per day. For those coming from the Tiger Leaping Gorge Town, there is a scheduled bus departing at 14:00 in the afternoon to White Water Terraces.

Attractions near Tiger Leaping Gorge

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