Shangri-la, China

Trip Start Aug 18, 2008
Trip End Jan 07, 2009

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 4 2008 - Shangri-la, Yunnan, China

The bus from Lijiang took about 4 hours. Nice sunny day, it was weird cuz the landscape looked exactly like the interior of British Columbia in the summer, except this was the winter... really dry, kinda desert like...anyways....

We had a bit of trouble getting a hostel in Shangri-la. It wasn’t as touristy or well kept as Lijiang. We ended up staying in a little place off on the side streets called (I think) Red Dragon Guesthouse.

The day was almost gone by the time we got there, so we hopped in cabs and quickly made our way towards the famous monastery up on the hill. Our drivers were really hostile and stopped at the beginning of the road up to the monastery and demanded money up front, and way more that it would have typically cost. After a couple minutes of trying to figure out what the hell they wanted, we just hopped on the public bus that went down that route for like 2 yuan. Take that cabbies.

The monastery was pretty run down, but it was still impressive as i hadn’t seen anything like it before. There were a number of other tourists wandering the grounds, and it must have been about time to pack it in, cuz most of the monks had gone indoors and were staring at us from the high up windows. As the sun set, you could see ravens flock from all directions for the monastery as they came in to roost for the night.

Overall we didn’t find Shangri-la that interesting, it was just a dusty old town without much happening in it. I have a feeling the monastery would have been better with a tour guide or at least someone who knew what was up.

That night we witnessed an awesome group dance that happened downtown in a square. Probably a hundred people showed up, all different ages and from different walks of life. There were speakers that blasted some tunes while everyone danced the same dance around the central pillar in the square. Each song had a different dance, and everyone seemed to know it...well everyone except us. Unfortunately that was the highlight of Shangri-la.

1 day is all we thought we needed. It wasn’t a tough choice for the group to make. Off to Dali further south!

Upon further inspection the place we got a room was "Dragon Cloud Guest House", not Red Dragon Guesthouse. oh well. close
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