• Low-carbon travel picks for the Dragon Boat Festival
  • Shenzhen Daily 2010-06-04 14:32 Unknow

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    Low Carbon Network News: THE spotlight is on low-carbon living, which has been fashionable for quite a while, and low-carbon travel is becoming increasingly popular with travelers.

    In contrast with luxurious travel, low-carbon travelers minimize energy consumption and pollution while reflecting an awareness of environmental protection.

    If you are able to extend the approaching three-day Dragon Boat Festival by a few days you could arrange a trip to one of these destinations and maintain a small carbon footprint.

    1. Yanzigou (Swallow Cove)

    Location: Inside the famous Gongga Montain International Travel and Recreation Zone, 283 kilometers from Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province.

    Features: It became famous after it was selected as the site for shooting the arks in the blockbuster “2012.”

    Yanzigou was not well-known on western Sichuan’s travel circuit until the disaster movie featured it as one of its settings. Glaciers, snow-capped mountains, forests with colorful leaves and hot springs can all be found here, while the highlight is a 30-kilometer red stone shoal, whose origins are still shrouded in mythology.

    The scenic zone calls for low-carbon travel concepts, so the number of sightseeing buses has been reduced, and even the extended walking path was built on a path used by villagers as they went to gather herbal medicinal plants. Disposable raincoats are no longer sold, and free raincoats are offered instead.

    This is destination suitable either for a leisurely one-day tour or a three-to-four-day mountain hike that involves camping and horse riding.

    How to get there: Fly to Chengdu, take a bus to Moxi Town at the Xinnanmen Bus Station and rent a private car to drive to Xinxiang County. One bus travels between Moxi and Chengdu daily, costing 100 yuan for a single trip. A ride from Moxi Town to Xinxiang costs 10 to 20 yuan.

    2. Zhangjiajie

    Location: Western part of South China’s Hunan Province.

    Features: Battery-powered bicycles and hybrid buses are the means of transport and wild animals and visitors coexist in the area.

    The Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar” must have impressed many with the floating Hallelujah Mountains, which are said to have been inspired by the “Southern Sky Column” in Zhangjiajie. It has since become one of the most popular spots in the area. Thanks to strict controls on cars and an emphasis on hybrid vehicles and battery-powered bicycles as the main mode of transport, visitors can enjoy the fresh air and see wild macaques from time to time.

    How to get there: A train travels between Shenzhen and Zhangjiajie daily from Shenzhen West Railway Station. The 16-hour trip costs 175 yuan.

    3. Shangri-La

    Location: In Deqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

    Features: Low carbon is the lifeline of the eternal beauty of Shangri-La, a place renowned for its enchanting natural scenery and diversified landscape.

    Situated on the southeast edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Shangri-la is a sacred destination featuring snowy mountains, canyons, grasslands, highland lakes and original forest scenery. Meili Snow Mountain is a symbol of China’s low-carbon travel. The highland lakes are the purest freshwater lakes in mainland Asia.

    How to get there: Fly to Kunming and then to Zhongdian, Deqing. The air fare from Kunming to Zhongdian is 650 yuan. A bus from Kunming to Zhongdian takes 20 hours and costs 134 yuan. Four buses leave Kunming from Panjiawan or Nanyao bus stations.