Chen Xiushui is an English teacher in Taiwan. The boy he tutors has a sister, Wang Biyun. They fall in love. But he's a leftist and leaves Taiwan to fight for a new China. They make a pledge to see each other one day. On the mainland Chen Xiushui is active in the Korean War as a doctor and a soldier and later in rebuilding the country, working in Tibet. He changes his name to Xu Xiuyun. A woman by the name Wang Jindi, also a soldier, falls in love with him, but he is still thinking of Wang Biyun. Wang Jindi sees he will never forget Wang Biyun, so she changes her name to ang Biyun herself. After quite some time, they get married, but it's all still very painful for both of them. In the meantime, the real Wang Biyun is still in Taiwan, waiting and trying to find out what had happened to Chen Xiushui. One day, while crossing the mountains, an avalanche kills Chen Xiushui. We follow the story in retrospective, as the real Wang Biyun now (60 years later) lives in New York and has sent her adopted daughter to Tibet, to find out what exactly happened to Chen Xiushui.