Published: September 16th 2010September 11th 2010
We are now in Zhongdian, otherwise known as Gyeltang, Gyalthang or Shangri - la. Having four names gets particularly confusing - especially when you are trying to catch a bus. Officials named the town Shangri - la in an effort to boost tourism after James Hilton's novel. While us Brits refer to the town which is the last before the Tibetan border by this name none of the locals do.
It is a lot colder here to the point where we have been given electric blankets and have taken to wearing as many of our clothes as possible. There is an abundance of yaks roaming around on the street. Every shop seems to sell something yak related; yak butter tea, yak curry, saddles for your yak and yak leather boots.
A short bike ride out of town leads to Napa Hai lake where you get to see locals going about their day to day lives in beautiful villages - while we were assured that there was a path around the lake after much searching we were unable to find it so ended up trudging through waterlogged grass lands covered in bright couloured heathers which when the rains come
Drying out the hay
Throughout the area you see these sharp wooden spikes which are used to hang hay and animal food off
next month will be completely covered by the lake . We also explored the famous tiger leaping gorge although the high altitude means that even the most basic exertion leaves you dizzy and gasping for breath so the three day hike was definately out!
There are more photos below