Tag Archives: Shangri-La

Photo Essay – From the interiors of Shangri-La county and a slice of Naxi Life

28 Dec

For our trip to Baishuitai in Yunnan region of China, we drove through some remote areas in the Shangri-La county. And during this drive, we saw some of the most gorgeous untouched mountainous landscapes and got a glimpse into the lives of local Naxi tribe that lives around these parts. And I am sharing more on them and their culture via a photo essay below-

Like India, China too has numerous ethnic groups and tribes. The Naxi tribe is an ethnic group that inhabits the northwestern part of Yunnan Province and the southwestern part of Sichuan Province in China. Originally from the nomadic clan of Qing people in North Western China, they later migrated south toward Tibet and usually live around fertile river land. In Yunnan they live around the Yangtze lands.

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My favorite pic of the trip – A local Naxi boy waving at us

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Photo Essay – White Water Terraces of Baishuitai

16 Dec

From Lijiang, we did numerous day trips and one of them was to Bai Shui Tai meaning “White Water Place”. It one of the world’s largest tuff-spring terraces and located at Baidi village that is 105 kilometers to the South East of Shangri-La.

The limestone terraces of Baishatui, Yunnan, China

The limestone terraces of Baishatui, Yunnan, China

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Top 5 Things to Do in Shangri-La (Zhongdian), China

10 Dec

Shangri-La, a small town high up in the Himalayas that for some is the beginning of a journey into Tibet, for many the end of a foray into Yunnan and for others just a taste of Tibet (if they don’t plan on going on any further). For me personally it was a mix of end of Yunnan and a taste of Tibet, coz as Indians we need additional permissions to enter mainland Tibet. And my own first impressions of the town itself were quite disappointing as all I initially saw were numerous commercial buildings and a very sleepy touristy town. However I soon realized that the way to explore Shangri-La is to keep it as a base and explore the beautiful landscape all around it.

Mountains near Shangri-La,   Tibet, China

Mountains near Shangri-La, Tibet, China

And based on our own experiences and learnings, please find below the top 5 things that you should do in Shangri-La –

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Adding a dash of spirituality to our Yunnan trip – Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, Zhongdian

23 Nov

I love visiting Buddhist monasteries and exploring their varied shapes, the beautiful paintings with bursts of vibrant colors and the calming silence surrounding it (no matter how crowded it is). Hence my trip to Shangri-La would have been incomplete without a visit to the ancient Songzanlin Monastery or the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery. This famous monastery, also known as ‘Little Potala Palace’ or Guihua Monastery, is located 5 km away from the city of Zhongdian on top of Fopinshan Mountain. It is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Yunnan province and is one of the most famous and important monasteries in southwest China.

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Songzanlin Monastery or the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, Shangri-La

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Photo Essay: A glimpse of the Tibetan Countryside

2 Nov

“Shangri-La” – just the mere mention of this name would conjure images in my mind of a mystical city located in some highly inaccessible ranges of the Himalayas and filled with secrets, known to but a few chosen ones. Though in realty, it is located in the northwest Yunnan Province, in the Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Called Zhongdian in Mandarin and Galthang in Tibetan, Shangri-La is the name given by the Chinese tourism authorities to this city after James Hilton’s novel – The Lost Horizon. Though I haven’t read the book, I recently got a chance to visit this city and drive around its surrounding countryside. This area provides a quick glimpse into the Tibetan life and culture, and I am sharing these via a photo essay with you today –

1. Stunning Vistas – Shangri-La is at an average height of around 3,000 – 4,000 m and has beautiful mountain ranges and views as far as the eye can see.

Gorgeous Mountain ranges all around

Gorgeous Mountain ranges all around

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Visiting China’s first national park – Pudacuo or Potatso National Park

1 Nov

Travel takes you to many places that are beautiful. But at times you find yourself in places where the words “beautiful”, “stunning”, “picturesque” or “gorgeous” just don’t seem to do it justice. Pudacuo National Park or Potatso National Park near Shangri-La (Zhongdian), China is one such place. One look at it and I was reminded of words Jane Austin’s protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet had used to describe her first sight of Darcy’s estate of Pemberley – “She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste”.

The entrance of the Pudacuo National Park, Shangri-La

The entrance of the Pudacuo National Park, Shangri-La

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Photo Essay: Landscapes of China

26 Oct

China… A country we keep hearing a lot about for a variety of reasons but somehow never from a tourism perspective. At least I wasn’t someone who’s top 10 travel destinations included it. Yet I recently planned a trip to meet my brother and his family there and from there on explore a small part of the interiors of this huge country. Planning this trip was a huge challenge, with limited information, language hassles, etc and I still don’t know what I expected from it before I left for my trip… But I certainly did not expect a modern country with amazing infrastructure, some really nice people and the sheer variety in terms of things to see and do for a tourist. I will also write a detailed post on how so many basic things (that we take for granted here) are done very differently there. But for today, really want to share its biggest surprise for me – the diverse and stunning landscapes…

The stunning landscape and reflections at the Potatso National Park, Shangri-La, China

The stunning landscape and reflections at the Potatso National Park, Shangri-La, China

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