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It is strongly encouraged that each also carries a bottle of water and a chocolate bar as these will help to curb AMS Altitude Mountain Sickness. Lastly, your sun block. At 4, metres above sea level of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, you will be awed by her magnificent and holy presence. The mountain range is 35 kilometres long, 20 kilometres wide and the highest peak in the range is Shanzidou which as a height of 5, meters above sea level. All together, there are 13 peaks in the range.

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Of course, we will hike up to the highest point of 4, metres. Well, please do not underestimate metres. It took us 1hr 45 minutes, to walk up. It was a challenge to hike metres at high altitude, under extreme thin air condition. Even you are physically very fit, you should not to rush up or stop too long during your break.

Also, go visit the toilet before the climb. Should you feel unwell, have some chocolate and descend slowly as well. There is a first aid counter at the station which will assist you. Finally after 1 hour 45 minutes, we reached 4, metres point the highest view point accessible by tourists. It was an exhilarating feeling totally breathless ha-ha. After spending minutes at the highest view point, we began our hike down. Thinking it would be easier perhaps, just 30 minutes.

Again, we were wrong ha-ha. It took us another 1 good hour, to go down to the cable car station. We were advised by the local tour guides, to descend at a slow and steady rate. We came here as part of a tour from a well regarded an international travel agent. Our itinerary said we would go to m. In reality we only visited the spruce meadow at m. You take a cable car up here and walk through a forest for 10 minutes till you get to a field. There is a wooden walkway around - which you can't leave and some views of the mountain. But it also has a number of tourist shops.

Overall it's ok but not hugely impressed and we didn't see anything like in the pictures shown on here. Be very careful about the tour you get. The base of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a 35 km drive from Lijiang and once there, you will need to take a 10 minute cable car ride up to the Yunshanping Cloud Fir Meadow which is at an altitude of 3, metres.

If you are prone to altitude sickness, it might be advisable to bring your own oxygen supplies as the cans available for purchase at the summit shop are very expensive. The views of the snow peaks and glaciers from the summit are magnificent and it is well worth the expense incurred to enjoy not only the scenery, but also the fresh air and quiet peace that is awaiting you, if you take the wooded pathway to the meadow area.

In the Cloud Fir Meadow itself, you will also catch a glimpse of grazing horses and a herd of very territorial black goats, plus enjoy the musical tinkling of the thousands of wooden prayer mobiles that are hanging from the trees and wooden, Naxi culture totems poles. Seems like a must do when you are in lijiang. Watch your RMB dwindle as you go up the mountain. All the same view n same seating area All these is excluding jacket rental coz we bought our own. Conclusion: The snow mountains in Europe are more beautiful.

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Blue moon valley is beautiful. Take your time there Especially white water terrace. Don't feel rushed by the crowd there. Enjoy and take it the beautiful scenery. This is my second trip to the snow mountain. This time they have a newer and safer cable car system up the mountain to the 4,m level. Reservations are hard to come by in this invitation-only, seven-seat counter restaurant with no website, but it is well worth the effort. Also try: Aloette, two floors down, a neighbourhood bistro designed like the dining carriage of a passenger train, serving hearty cheeseburgers, steak frites and lemon meringue pie.

Strandgade , Copenhagen Foraging to fermentation: A true Noma disciple, Baumann explores the land for berries, flowers and mushrooms, and ferments everything from pumpkin seeds to squid guts. Renowned for his signature baked whole abalone puffs with diced chicken, chef Chan Yan Tak has sparked many a copycat in Hong Kong and beyond.

He has worked for the Four Seasons Hotel group since , working his way up to executive chef at Lung King Heen and becoming the first Chinese cook in history to receive three Michelin stars. Expect breathtaking views of the Victoria Harbour. Top tip: Book well in advance for the popular dim sum, which is available only at lunchtime. Loidi Kalea, 4, Lasarte-Oria, Lat.

His course degustation is a journey through seasonal produce, taking in homemade breads, smoked eel millefeuille and bone marrow salad. Star chef: The restaurant has held three Michelin stars since , and chef Berasategui has 10 in total. Costa Rica , Palermo, Buenos Aires tegui. Enter through an unassuming door in a street art-adorned wall for an eight-course journey through Argentina.

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Wine country: In , Martitegui and his team held a day pop-up at the SuperUco biodynamic winery in Mendoza. Refshalevej , Copenhagen amassrestaurant. California native Matt Orlando was chef de cuisine at Noma before opening Amass in to critical acclaim. Influenced by the land and the weather, the menu is built from careful examination of each ingredient before application of different techniques. The restaurant also makes its own fruit distillates. Sustainable cheffing: Shewry has made changes to improve the physical and mental health of those working in his kitchen, and is outspoken on the subject.

Are you sitting comfortably? A meal at Enigma takes a minimum of 3. Daring chef Quique Dacosta is known for his constant boundary-pushing and reinvention. His latest creation is Self Portraits, a seasonal menu using iconic and lesser-known produce that is meant as a portrait of Dacosta, his team and even the diner. Endless evolution: When Dacosta took over the restaurant he now owns in , it was called El Poblet and served Castillian food; his new Valencian cuisine developed in the 80s and 90s.

A laidback bistro focusing on simple ingredients and bold flavours, Estela has customers coming back for its unforgettable beef tartare with elderberries and sunchoke, as well as burrata with salsa verde and charred bread. Gangnam-gu, Nonhyun-dong , 1st floor, Seoul restaurant-mingles. The seasonally changing menu is divided into sections such as grains, vegetables and fish, with jang and cho — Korean traditional fermented sauce and vinegar — playing an integral part in the food.

Corso Zanardelli , Gardone Riviera, Brescia ristorantelido Brothers Riccardo and Giancarlo Camanini opened their first restaurant in by transforming a retro open-air swimming pool on the western shores of Lake Garda into what is now Lido With inspiration from Japanese cuisine alongside French techniques, dishes might include Hokkaido uni with shaved black truffle, followed by myriad raw or cooked seafood courses and a grilled Miyazaki wagyu beef. Executive chef Sean Alex Gray and chef de cuisine James Parry command a multi-course tasting menu with courses including Ko egg with white sturgeon caviar, and razor clam with pineapple and basil.

A la carte: A separate menu served from the bar area offers sourdough crepes and pickle sandwiches. His farm-to-table concept brings fresh produce from two gardens just outside the city to feed his colourful and creative tasting menu of snacks and veg-focused mains. Highlights: The snack sequence features eat-with-the-hands bites like cauliflower with rice and Brazil nuts, as well as banana, bean and pepper. Nature theme: Despite its automotive surroundings, Aqua has a zen-like atmosphere with a private garden area and a shimmering, aquatic effect created by woven metal curtains and mirrored walls.

Kaiseki-style: A meal at SingleThread is a fast-paced sequence of delicate courses including an epic dedication to Sonoma in the form of a banquet of different bites to eat with the hands. Room at the inn: SingleThread is also a luxury boutique hotel inspired by Japanese ryokans , where an overnight stay comes with an unbeatable breakfast spread. The signature uni on toast is a must-try dish, while the wine selection is one of the biggest and best in the US.

A further branch is planned for Los Angeles. When David Thompson left the restaurant in , executive chef Pim Techamuanvivit took the helm, becoming the first woman to run the flagship restaurant at the Como Metropolitan hotel. Signature dishes: Steamed red curry of scallops with Thai basil and coconut, and hot and sour soup of river prawn and wild mushrooms. What next? Nilsson says he wants to spend time with his family, fishing, exercising and writing, before moving onto anything new — but the year-old chef is sure to make a comeback.

Impeccable service and a stunning setting in a former plantation house called Casa Moreyra in upmarket San Isidro district make it a must-visit destination. Modern fine dining using simple British ingredients is at the centre of Core, the debut restaurant of Clare Smyth, who spent 13 years working under Gordon Ramsay at his flagship Royal Hospital Road in London.

The logical approach would be to cut open the [rough jade boulder] immediately, but that would spoil the funand the potential for profit. The trick, for both buyer and seller, is to stake their judgement on three crucial points: How true is the color throughout the stone? How translucent is it?

And are there cracks and flaws within? To determine the value of the jade a small "window" is cut into the skin of the boulder. Buyers use flashlights and spotlights to try and determine the depth and translucence of the color. One buyer told Smithsonian magazine, "Even the best appraiser can see only 70 percent of the value of the stones. He can see the quality of color but not quantity of the color. Then, if you see a similar stone, you apply that knowledge. I often recall a stone I saw ten years ago.

In many places jade is still changed hands using an ancient Chinese ritual to keep the bidding price secret in which the buyer holds the jade he is bidding for in one hand and holds hands with the seller underneath a cloth with his other hand.


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The buyer only speaks the words for "hundred" or "thousand" and makes a signal with his hand under the cloth to express a number between one and ten. If a buyer extends two fingers under the cloth, for example, and shouts "thousand" he is making a bid for " Jade carver at work Up until about fifty years ago most carvers used the traditional method of drawing a bowstring back and forth to propel a drill with water and abrasive.

Unlike ivory, jade is to hard to carve. It is shaped through cutting, grinding and polishing. Some craftsmen use electric tools, others use traditional tools such as pedal-operated treadle grinder, which has remained essentially unchanged for over a thousand years. One craftsman who prefers traditional tools told Smithsonian magazine, "We could use a diamond saw, but this traditional method gives him more control. There is less wastage, because you can cut a very thin slice. Master jade craftsmen, like diamond cutters, take their time sizing up their pieces of jade.

We think about it for a few weeks. The craftsman is asking himself, 'How little can I do and still make it a pleasing piece? The workshops that mass produce simple jade jewelry are a different story. Green wrote: "A young craftsman in T-shirt and shorts uses a treadle cutter with a rope attached to a steel blade to saw through a five-pound piece of jade. His bare feet made a relentless patter on the treadle, and he regularly fed the blade with a mixture of abrasive grit and water. The first step in making a bangle is carving an outline on the on the jade.

Then the jade is cut into slices about half an inch thick and the holes are drilled out. Quality pieces have a fine grain, good color and translucency. Much of it is mined by small-time prospectors with sieves who hope for a big strike but get by mostly with relatively small pieces of white, green and brown jade that they can sell for a few cents a day,.

In recent years the otan area has become flooded with jade prospectors, so many in fact that some people worry that the area could suffer environmental damage that could last a long time and the resource that have kept the region going for millennia could be used up. Most worrisome is the damge caused by big mining operations.

A ban has been placed on mining along the Yulong Kashgar River but the ban has had little effect and mining has pretty much continued as before because local officials have been bribed by the big miners. As many a s 20, people and 2, pieces of heavy equipment continue to work the area, leaving behind strip-mine-like gashes as deep as 30 feet.

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In imperial times, Hotan jades were sent as tributes to Chinese emperors and carved into exquiste works of art and made into chops used to seal official documents. It was sold at a Christie's auction in Hong Kong. The relation between the jade merchants of the Kachin State and the craftsman in the Yunnan Province endured for centuries but was broken by the Communist Revolution, when jade merchant set up shop in Hong Kong and carvers and crafts men migrated to Hong Kong from Beijing and Shanghai. Today, the quality of jade craftsmanship is much better in Hong Kong than it is in China or Taiwan.

Of the jadeite that reached China from Myanmar in the s, about 40 percent of it was bought legitimately from auctions in Burma, 40 percent was smuggled through Thailand, and the remainder came directly from Burma to China's Yunnan province. These days Chinese in Yunnan are buying more and more jade directly from the Kachin State.

Large mutton fat jade piece in Hotan Cultural Museum Nephrite found in western China has traditionally been collected by "jade pickers" who wander the shores of dry river beds picking up stones washed down from the nearby Jade Mountains during the spring floods. In the Hotan area modern miners and prospectors use a variety of methods. Some dig holes in the river banks with picks and shovels. Others dig pits with their bare hands. More sophisticated operations use bulldozers to strip mine large swaths of earth, diesel-engine power pumps to spay water on patches of dirt and rock to reveal promising pieces of rock that can be checked out further with high powered drills.

By one count around , jade miners flood the Hotan area in the peak season in the spring and summer with only a handful finding enough jade to justify the time and expense spent looking for it.


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Small time panners like Yimin Narhun One good rock and my fortune is made. Others open a fist to show a handful of pebbles from white to green to brown Shops line the streets in Khotan, selling jade, cut into shapes from time smiling Buddha heads to shrimps, monkeys, flowers and fruit. Today, jade carvers mostly use diamond tipped equipment. In jade factories some workers cut big pieces of jade into smaller pieces.

Others shape them into bangles and beads, polish them, drill holes and sting them onto earrings, bracelets and necklaces. The factories also make jewelry and other objects from onyx, turquoise other stony minerals. Buyers of jade today beware. Very little of what is sold at "jade factories" is actually jade. Often it is soapstone, agate or bowerite, and other minerals are used that are difficult to distinguish from jade without a microscope.

In some factories the workers live in dormitories with bunk beds and without any showers or baths, requiring them to wash themselves using towels and buckets.

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After a day's work they are covered in dust and look like coal miners, except the dust is green, red or yellow depending on the color of stone that has been cut. Many work without masks and develop respiratory problems, in some cases coming down with cancer or a disease called silicosis, or dust lung, while still in their early 30s. Silicosis kills more than 26, Chinese workers a year in professions such as mining, quarrying, gem cutting construction and shipbuilding. A generation before some valuable jade pieces were treated as ordinary rocks. Thirty-year-old Lohman Tohti told the New York Times he recalls as a child heaving melon-size hunks into the sandbags that were used to thwart rising flood waters of the White Jade River.

When Chinese buyers began arriving here in the early s and the locals got wind of the stones potential value, his uncle made an enviable deal: he traded a rock the girth of a well-fed hog for a skinny cow. Today, my uncle would be a millionaire, Tohti, now a jade dealer, said with a wince. The jade boom, , fueled by a combination of new Chinese wealth and a 5,year love fore the stone, turned Khotan into something of a boom town in the late s and in the process turned some Khotan cotton farmers and Chinese carpetbaggers into jade tycoons. Unlike elsewhere in Xinjiang, Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese seem to be getting along in Khotan with both prospering from the jade trade.

The Uighurs have largely made their fortune harvesting jade from the river and selling it to Chinese middlemen. Because devout Muslims are proscribed from dealing in certain representational images, the Han have come to monopolize the carving and sale of Buddhist figurines, stalking tigers and the miniature cabbages that are popular among Chinese consumers. Hu Xianli, a year-old self-professed jade fanatic from eastern Zhejiang Province, told the New York Times he had been duped countless times over the years.

At best, he has grossly overpaid for mediocre specimens. At worst, he has mistaken chemically treated rocks for mutton-fat beauties. A retired railway engineer, he likened his relationship with jade to an overpriced college education.