Blogs from Shangri-La, Yunnan, China, Asia


Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La September 17th 2018

The following morning we had vegetable noodle soup for breakfast at a local restaurant before hopping into the car and driving to Tacheng National Park. Once we arrived at the park we hopped into the over sized golf buggy and made our way up the hill. Tacheng National Park is home to a reasonable sized population (approximately 360) of the Yunnan snub nosed monkey (sometimes called golden monkeys). The monkeys are endangered, as a result of habitat loss, with only about 1700 remaining in the wild. They live at altitudes above 3000m. After walking uphill for about 45 minutes we came across a group of about 16 monkeys who were probably wondering why so many humans were watching them eat the last of their breakfast, groom each other and play. Fortunately the monkeys were not brave ... read more
Yunnan snub nosed monkey, Tacheng National Park
Yunnan snub nosed monkey, Tacheng National Park
Yunnan snub nosed monkey, Tacheng National Park

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La August 14th 2018

Hi All. After Mingyong it was back to Shangri-la for a couple of nights. I was really looking forward to seeing the old town and I was really disappointed. It felt empty and lifeless. The monastery also felt to be rather soulless when compared to the temples and monasteries we had seen in Sichuan. Never mind. On to Lijiang. Enjoy the photos JAH Bless ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La November 22nd 2015

Shangri-La... It's cold in Tibet ! Visit of the huge Tibetan monastery and a quick visit to the old town (mostly burned down two years ago, being rebuild now). - city bus number 3 to the monastery gate, 1Yuan. - entrance fee for the monastery and local transportation, 125Yuan !!! - city bus return to downtown, 1Yuan. - laundry 20Yuan.... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La March 5th 2015

4 mars (À Shangri-la) Je sort de mon lit chauffant et m'aperçois rapidement qu'il a plu la majeure partie de la nuit sur Shangri-la. Comme je me trouve à plus de 3000 mètres d'altitude, et qu'il fait sous zéro, la pluie s'est rapidement transformée en neige. Je suis surpris de voir le fin tapis blanc couvrir la comateuse vieille ville ce matin. Je n'avais pas spécialement prévu voir de la neige durant mon périple chinois. Ça me fait sourire. Ça ajoute un peu de poésie sur la silencieuse ville figée dans le temps où rien ne semble se passer. Ouaip. Quand ici, "neiger" est le verbe d'action de la journée, c'est que de toutes évidences, l'inertie mène la ville. Il ne me reste plus un seul morceau de linge propre dans mon sac-à-dos. Rien. Tout ce ... read more
Coeur de la vieille ville de Lijiang
Nourrir les mouettes
Jus de maïs ou de petits pois?

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La March 3rd 2015

... 2 mars (Dans une mini-van en direction de Shangri-la) Je m'agrippe à la poignée de porte et prend un grand respire. Ancré le long de la route du Tiger Leaping Gorge, le Tina's Guesthouse est maintenant derrière moi. Ça fait seulement cinq minutes que nous avons quitté, que déjà, je comprend dans quel désagréable manège j'ai prit place. Le chauffeur suicidaire semble en pleine course avec lui-même. Le précipice de l'une des gorges les plus profondes au monde tombe sèchement à partir de la route. Les garde-fous sont absents. Malgré cela, le conducteur roule quand même à une vitesse démesurée dans les courbes comme s'il tenait le volant d'un jeu d'arcade. On est balancé de droite à gauche dans la mini-van. Un rodéo. Le voilà maintenant qui dépasse aveuglément dans les virages. J'ai peur pour ... read more
Vieille ville de Shangri-la
Calme plat

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La October 26th 2013

We got up early on the morning of October 26, and I said goodbye to Selective Tours' Managing Director Christine who was to return to Sydney. I, however, was lucky enough to be embarking on a short tour of other areas in the province. Our first stop this day was Kunming Airport, where we boarded our flight to Shangri-La. Shangri-La is the main county in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Dêqên, which is situated in north-west Yunnan, bordering Sichuan and Tibet. It can be reached by air from Kunming, with flights taking approximately one hour. The county was named Zhongdian until 2001, when it was renamed Shangri-La as it claims to be the inspiration for the fictional Shangri-La described in the 1933 novel ‘Lost Horizon’ by British author James Hilton. In the novel, Shangri-La is described ... read more
Shuhu Lake, Potatso National Park
Shuhu Lake, Potatso National Park
Tibetan Prayer Flags at Potatso National Park

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La October 3rd 2013

And so from the magnificence of Tiger Leaping Gorge, it was a 2.5h bus ride further north to my last stop in northern Yunnan. With time running out on my visa, I'd previously wondered whether I should even come this far, as it would entail having to take a (relatively) more expensive flight back to Kunming, before racing down to the border with Vietnam. But with a name like Shangri-la, how could you not go? Historically known as Zhongdian, the local government decided to rename the city after the mythical paradise of James Hilton's novel, which was set to the east of Tibet, in hopes of tourism spin-offs. And how has it worked. Shangri-la has very quickly become a sort of mini-Lijiang, with its restored and clean Old Town featuring the obligatory hodge-podge of restaurants, guesthouses, ... read more
Songzanlin Monastery
Nightly Tibetan-style Folk Dancing
BBQ Galore at the Old Town

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La March 13th 2013

The Snow Mountain Tour (400 mile cycling tour!) DISCLAIMER: This post is going to blow your mind! Ted and Luanne (the innkeepers here at the Kaiwen Village Inn) asked me to evaluate their "Snow Mountain Tour", a 700 kilometer (400 mile) cycling route that forms a loop around the 5 major snow mountains north of Lijiang. What made this side-adventure so unique was that I was loaned a mountain bike to ride the whole way while Thomas, Richard's nephew as my driver, followed behind me in his van. Sorta like a pro cycling team's support car! Before I left, Ted warned that the route would be very dangerous in certain places - many sections of the road have narrow shoulders, shear dropoffs, and at times very heavy truck traffic. Other sections ascend extremely steep hills through ... read more
The View from the Road to Tibet
Thomas, my Driver
Biking Around Napahai Lake in Shangri La

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La December 2nd 2012

Yunnan, just by name it could inspire so many questions... Always seems to have a veil of mystery, the most mysterious of all is of course famous Shangri-La, which was originally called Di qi, but changed to Shangri-La for the famous book &moive "Lost Horizon" - James Hilton. I have to say the world has been giving too much credit to the name "Shangri-La", which misleads many people to have very high expectation about the place Shangri-La. I am one of them. Before I went there, every mentioning of Shangri-La made me feel it's a place like "heaven", huge grass land with yaks everywhere, having lake-blue sky and snow-capped mountains as backgroud, local people dressing in their traditional Tibetan style clothes, milking the yaks, making barley wine and dancing around the fire at night. Somewhere hidden ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shangri-La September 29th 2012

Zhongdian aka Shangri-La is situated at 3200m above sea level; at that height, many travellers experience altitude sickness. We didn't recognize too many side effects of altitude sickness, mostly just shortness of breathe. We slowly worked our way up – from Kangding (2600m) to Xiangcheng (2800m) to Shangri-La (not to mention a few times on the bus over 5000m!) – and that could be what helped us out. Zhongdian was unofficially renamed Shangri-La by the government more than a decade ago, apparently because 'experts' had established with certainty that the area is the location of James Hilton's 1933 bestseller Lost Horizon. However, cynics say it was done to increase tourism since logging in the area was banned. The city is booming so the plan has obviously worked. As we drove into town all we could see ... read more

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