Located at the foot of Haba Snow Mountain, the White Water Terrace (called Baishuitai in Chinese) is a gorgeous natural terrace with beautiful cliff side pools. Measuring 140 meters in length and 160 meters in width, the terrace is one of the biggest of its kind in China. It looks like a large white marble carving among the green mountains and local people call it ‘a field left by fairies’. It is about 108 kilometers southeast from Shangri-La County.
The White Water Terrace is covered by a layer of white deposits of calcium carbonate. Spring water flows down from the mountain, leaving crystallized sodium carbonate along its slopes, giving the impression of a marble sculpture.
White Water Terrace is the birthplace of Dongba culture of the Naxi Ethnic Group. It is a sacred place for the Naxi people. A Dongba doctrine explains that the white color represents auspiciousness and sanctity. According to the Naxi culture, a man without any experience of visit to the White Water Terrace cannot be a true believer.
In addition to the spectacular terrace itself, travelers can also learn more about the Naxi ethnic culture in the nearby Baidi village. On the eighth day of the second lunar month, when the mountains surrounding Baishuitai Terrace are festooned with flower blossoms, the Naxi people come to worship this sacred site. Dressed in their holiday best, they sing and dance to celebrate this ethnic festival.
It takes about 3 hours by vehicle from Shangri-La County to White Water Terrace . There are daily busses operating between Shangri-la and White Water Terrace. Traveler could also rent a car to visit it combine with the Tiger Leaping Gorge in one day.