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Published: April 22nd 2005
Now it no longer a secret - after our trek Hefetz decided he saw enough of china and headed back home. Since then I am on my own - one of me against 1.5 billion of them. More on that feeling will follow.
Anyway, the first thing I did was to go from Zhongdian to Deqen. Deqen is right on the border with Tibet, and there is a big dispute on which city is the real Shangri La - Deqen or Zhongdian. Since Shangri La exists only in a book - this is really a fight about tourism...
I went there with a couple of Israelis I met in Zhongdian, so I wasn't all alone. The bus ride was less than 200 km long, and lasted for more than 7 hours. Not too rare here in the remote parts of China.
The way was beautiful - we crosses a mountain pass between several 5000+ m mountains, covered with snow. The road was scary - very narrow, right on the edge of the cliff, with traffic coming in the opposite direction, and with water from the melting snow. The only thing to do was to look at the scenery and
Deqen itself is located in a valley at 3800 m, and is not very interesting. Not too far away there is a holy Tibetan mountain called Meili, with its highest peak reaching 6740 m. The mountain cannot be seen from the town because of a hill that stands between them. We headed for that hill and stayed at a guesthouse there. We made it before sunset, and took some pictures of the mountain and the Tibetan Altars on that hill.
There was nothing else to do there that evening, so we ended up playing cards all night...
We woke up early in the morning to watch the sunrise that painted the mountain red and gold.
Even though I wanted to stay there longer, go to the mountain itself and visit its glaciers, my traveling companions thought it was enough, and so we headed back to Zhongdian, going through the same beautiful road again.
You can look at the pictures and decide for yourself - which city should be called Shangri La...
Until next time,
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