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Baishui Terraces (The White Water Terraces)

The Baishui Terraces, also called white water terraces is approximately 90 kilometers from the center of Shanggri-la County. It is located at the Bai people's village at the foot of Haba Snow Mountain. The terraced slope is 140 meters in length and 160 meters in width, with a semicircular platform pool on the top surrounded by white limestone.

The terraces gradually formed over hundreds of thousands of years. The variegated landform of the tableland is a continual deposition of calcium carbonate that is contained in the spring water. Every year, the surface of the land is covered by the deposition and finally transformed into the terraced structure you see today. Today, the Baishui Tableland covers an area of three square kilometers (about 741 acres).

Calcium is white, but the terraces of Baishui are creamy white and sometimes streaked yellowish brown. The reason is the flowing spring water deposited other dissolved minerals besides the calcium.

Besides being a beautifully scenic spot, the Baishui Tableland is also the birthplace of Dongba culture of the Naxi Minority Group. According to legend, the first saint of the Dongba Religion was attracted by the fascinating scenery of this place on his way back from Tibet. He then stopped to missionize here. Later, the Baishui Tableland became known as the Holy Land of the Dongba Religion. On every February 8 of the lunar year, the Naxi people living in the Sanba gather to celebrate the traditional February 8th Festival with presentation of dances and songs. Tourists are attracted to participate in this folk holiday while enjoying the wonderful landscape of Baishui Terrace. What fun it is!