Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Where I stayed
Dragoncloud Guesthouse

Flag of China  ,
Thursday, May 21, 2009

I decided to go to Shangri-la for a couple of reasons.  One was that I really wanted to visit the Ganden Sumtseling Gompla (a 300 year old Tibetan Monastary) and 2nd was that I wanted to see if my body would take the altitude.  It would definitely be an easy and cheaper escape then paying a package for Lhasa and then realizing that I needed to get out because of altitude. (Obviously I had already been in high altitude regions and know that my body does not handle it very well.)  Shangri-la is at 3200 m high while Lhasa is about 3600 and higher. 

So in a tourist bus I go with another 4 - 5 hour ride. Again, great views along the mountain range and good roads.  In Shangri-la I have to start taking Diamox that same night and after that everything seems fine the following day.  I have a decent and clean room with hot water but . . . no heat in the room although there is an electric pad so you do get nice and cozy once in bed. After the 1st or 2nd day inShangri-La I seem to be suffering quite a bit from the altitude, very sore throat and vocal cords not working properly!!! Not a good thing.  I am getting worried that maybe I should not go to Lhasa. I still manage to  have a lovely visit at the Tibetan Monastary ( although there is a very hefty fee).  Two lovely chinese students asked me if I wanted them to show me around so I had a nice visit and great explanations from them. Also visited another monastary in Lhasa, markets, the old city and anything else that caught my attention.

Shangri-La was quite cold so I ended up buying a warm jacket which I thought I would also need in Lhasa.  My throat was not showing any signs of getting better despite the fact that I was taking lozenges as well as liters and liters of water. 

Shangri-la was also a possibility as a starting point for my Tibet trip but by then Chengdu had caught my interest and before going I definitely needed to clear the throat problem.  There were no flights from Shangri-La to Chengdu so I was back on the bus to Lijiang to then take a flight  to Chengdu.
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