Shangrila – Heaven On Earth Part II

I was having my breakfast at main square of Shangrila before starting my day. It was a type of Chinese bread, Shin Ke ping with hot fresh milk. For the bread, it cost me 8 RMB and 5 RMB for the fresh milk. You can order the Yak butter tea or Yogurt as well for your drink.
Shin Ke Ping

Based on my conversation with one of the guests at the hostel, I found out that it’s much cheaper and convenient to join the tour rather than visiting myself to Potatso national park. Entrance fee for the park itself 258 RMB, while  for return journey for the public bus 30 RMB. For the tour, it just cost you 280 RMB, 8 RMB cheaper with more convenient, as no need to queue for purchasing the tickets first.  Potatso national park is a must visit place in Shangrila.

After the entrance, there were eco bus which took people to the first stop, Shudu Lake. From here, there are three options offered. First option was walking along the Shudu lake for about 3.3 km. Second option was taking the boat to the second stop, however for this option, there will be extra fee of 50 RMB. The third option was still on the bus which would continue the journey to the second stop which mean surrender to the journey.
Shudu Lake
Shudu Lake

If there is no problem, I would recommend you to take the first option, walking along the Shudu lake so you can enjoy the view and nature better as well having exercise which brings good to your health.
Shudu Lake

Along 3.3 km, there are few stops however toilet only available on selected stop during the way.
Shudu Lake

One of the good thing you can find during your walk is Usnea longissima, a kind of greyish green beard lichen hung on the branches which are sensitive to pollution and can only survive at the places where air is unpolluted like Shangrila.
Usnea longissima

Inside the park,  you can also find wild animals like Squirrels, fox, and bear as well. For Bear and fox, normally on the day time, you won’t find them as they tend to rest from the visitors.
Squirrel
Squirrel

After reaching the second stop, there was eco bus took the visitors to the next stop at Militang.The journey around to Militang had beautiful landscape. From there, visitors who wished to have lunch on the complex, will need to stop on one stop before the last path of journey, Bita lake. For buffet lunch inside, it will cost you 60 RMB.
Militang
Militang

Nearby the restaurant, there was field which have a lot of Yak around however the bus can not stop over there.
Yak

At the last stop, Bita lake, same as Shudu lake, visitors had three options, either walking along the way for more than 4 km, taking boat with additional fee 50 RMB or continue taking the bus to the exit.
Bita Lake
Bita Lake
Bita Lake

Bita lake itself covers an area about 2000 square meters at the elevation of 3538 meters. It is a holy lake for Tibetan people.
Bita Lake
Bita Lake
Bita Lake

On the walking journey, you will find group of horses around the green fields with full of colourful plants.
Bita Lake
Bita Lake

Upon reaching the last stop, the eco bus take about 15-20 minutes taking us to the exit.  Same as most of tourism places in China, the most disturbing is the shop at the exit place where visitors are being forced to walk along the shops to reach the exit and the worst thing, the length of the shops that you need to pass along here is so long.

At the night, it’s time for looking for dinner place. After wandering around, I decided to take my dinner at Lhasa flavour restaurant at the corner of main square on the second floor based on the recommendation from friends met during my journey.
Lhasa flavour restaurant
Lhasa flavour restaurant

It’s indeed a very good choice with reasonable price. Based on the recommendation from restaurant staff, I ordered Shabaleb, deep fried flat meat dumpling.  The meat used here is Yak meat and it also contain egg as well, a tasteful Tibetan food. The second meal was Tsanthuk, a barley soup with Yak meat. The soup itself was also tasteful.
Shabaleb
Tsanthuk

When you dined in this restaurant, try to get the corner seat facing the main square, hence you can enjoy you meal while watching people dancing on the main square.
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It was my last night at Shangrila. Finally I encouraged myself to join the crowd dancing on Tibetan square. It’s not easy for me as inflexibility of my body which not used to dance.

From the main square, I went to one of the temple on the old town area. The view at night was spectacular with gold colour on the background.
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To reach the temple, you need to climb over the high stairs. When you reached to the top and plan to roam around the temple area, you will need to be careful as surrounding of the temple, there are no fences to protect people should they walk more than the concrete floor area.

Beside the temple, there was also a museum which I did not visit as no more time to roam around.
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On the next morning, I went to most famous temple in Shangrila, Songzalin monastery which also being named by people there mini Potala palace.
Songzalin Monastery

Going to Songzalin monastery from the old town is easy. From the car parking area of old town of Shangrila, you just need to cross the street and then take public bus no 3 paying only 1 RMB.
Songzalin monastery
Songzalin Monastery
Songzalin Monastery

The bus no 3 having last stop at Songzalin monastery. However for visitors, the drivers will ask you to stop at the bus ticket area which then later you will take free bus provided to Songzalin monastery.

Going up to the Songzalin monastery was tiring as you would need to take the stairs all the way until up.  Do take care when you go up and just adjust your speed accordingly. The view from top is wonderful.
View from Songzalin
View from Songzalin
View from Songzalin
View from Songzalin

For Buddhist who purchase the souvenirs from there will be prayed by the monk directly.
Souvenir
Songzalin Monastery
Songzalin Monastery
Songzalin Monastery
Songzalin Monastery

When you go back to old town from Songzalin monastery is easy as you can find the public bus no 3 parking there, hence you do not need to take the tour bus to the entrance. The bus will stop on the entrance of the old town area.

For my last lunch at Shangrila, I am having Yak hot pot nearby my hostel. The price was reasonable, 38 RMB per person plus 10 RMB for the hot pot. There was also one next to my hostel, but the owner was too cocky, do not want to receive one people dining on his place.

Personally I would recommend you try to have hot pot buffet. The restaurant I went to is next to The tour receives and Ni Ma hostel on Yimuorang street.
Hotpot Restaurant
Hotpot Restaurant

My trip in Shangrila finally end and I left Shangrila taking sleeper bus to Kunming.

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