Shangrila – Heaven on Earth Part I

Shangrila has become one of destination that I would like to visit for long time. One of the reason is due to the rich of the culture especially Tibet’s culture while easy access as no need for the extra permit and have to join tour, the one which normally you will find when you visit Tibet. Shangrila itself is still part of Yunnan, same as Dali, Lijiang and Kunming.

 How to Get There?
There is domestic airport nearby Shangrila, Diqing airport from several parts of China, include Kunming, Lhasa and Chongqing however the flight to Shangrila in general quite expensive.  People usually combine their visit to Shangrila with Lijiang, same as what I did for my travel. I took earliest morning bus, 9.30 AM from Lijiang. Normally it takes 4 – 5 hours for the journey between Lijiang and Shangrila, however during my visit, we encounter traffic jam several times during the journey hence the journey is extended up to 7 hours of journey.

I would encourage you to take morning bus from Lijiang to Shangrila as well as the journey is worthed  with incredible view during the journey which you won’t find if you take aircraft or take night journey.
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During the journey, you can find the green fields, river around together with the valley.
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You might find surprise of a man guiding the wild boar across the road as well.
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When I saw the white Tibetan Pagoda nearby the street, I knew that we had reached Shangrila.
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Upon reaching Shangrila, I share a car with other passengers to go to the old town of Shangrila (Gu Zeng). The journey from bus station to old town cost you 10 RMB per car. On our case, we split among five of us.

Not wasting time much, I looked for my hostel in the old town, Tavern 47. The owner of Tavern 47 is Korean who married with local Naxi woman. The location of the hostel is quite nice quite near to the main square and they also provide restaurant as well.
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The owner, wife as well the staffs are so friendly that made my journey to Shangrila more pleasant.

As we arrived late afternoon, I decided to cancel my trip to Dali to extend further one day in Shangrila.  Due to this, I request to extend further one night at Tavern, however unfortunately there is no available room as it was peak season, holiday season in China. Not wasting much time, I look into the website to book another night in other hostel, N’s kitchen.

Later I order Yak burger, one of local specialities in Shangrila. You should try Yak Meat during your visit there.  The Yak meat is being processed into different food from Yak floss meat, Burger up to soup which you can easily find in the restaurants.
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Tavern 47
Address : 47 Cuo Lang Street 
                 Shangrila Old Town, Shangrila, China
Phone    : +86-887-8881147
Email      : christinhe@hotmail.com

Afterward, the journey to explore Shangrila began. The first place to visit is the main square, where there is dance performance every night where local and tourists join dance together. The main square also became places to find food for morning breakfast and on day time, it became BBQ centers and places to look for local souvenirs.

If you visit there, you should try the BBQ prepared by Tibet people especially Yak meat BBQ and wild matsutake mushroom. Most of BBQ cost you 10 RMB for 3 BBQ sticks except the wild matsutake mushroom cost more about 10 RMB/ stick, while the normal mushroom cost lesser 2 RMB/ stick.
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Other souvenir that you might consider is the comb made of Yak bone or dried matsutake mushroom, however as always,  bargain hard more than half for the prices mentioned.
Yak Comb

It’s a pleasant evening walking wandering the old town of Shangrila.
Shangrila

On the middle of the old town, you can find Tibetan stupa.
Tibetan Stupa

The night performance has begun. It’s indeed very nice experience to see people dancing which makes you want to join them as well. That night was special as it was Chinese valentine day. There were many roses seller around.
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Chinese Valentine Day

We will continue our journey in Shangrila in next article.

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