I had some very long tough car rides during my Yunnan trip. To be specific, they were the 8-hour ride to Lugu Lake (瀘沽湖) and the 6-hour ride to Meili Snow Mountain (thank to our rally-champion driver for his very fast-yet-steady drive, cutting our ride 2 hours short from the usual 8-hour ride :P). It was not the long hours in the car that made the ride so bad. I had some very long car rides before when I visited Xinjiang and India, yet, nothing as tough as the ones I had in this trip.
While the weather made a difference in the comfort level of the rides, the super bumpy road condition was the main cause of these uneasy car rides.
On top of all the rocks and soil that lay along the already-very-narrow road to Meili Snow Mountain due to landslides and constructions, the road is built very bumpy on purpose, covered with stones, so to avoid the narrow mountain road from getting frozen and icy.
There are many road construction along the way.
Apparently, Yunnan government is in the action of developing its tourism. Both the road to Lugu Lake and the one to Meili Snow Mountain are currently under construction, and are targeted to be completed in next year. Hopefully, the rides to these places will be much easier and safer.
And for those who hate crowds, I would suggest you to go to these places as soon as possible! For once the road constructions are completed, the easy accessibility will lead to buses of tourists visiting these places!
I can tell the guesthouses and shops in Lugu Lake and Shangri-La Old Town are waiting for this day to come 😀
Most of the guesthouses in Lige (里格) of Lugu Lake are built in the recent 2,3 years, and there are more being built now.