Trip Start Mar 11, 2010
35Trip End May 01, 2010
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I couldnt find one of the bus stations cos,as usual, the Lonely planet map is wrong so I had to catch the town bus to the long distance bus station. I was lucky that 2 chinese backpackers got on so when they got off so did I. The woman at the ticket counter didnt know Shangri-la but eventually understood Zhongdian. There were no english signs and no one I could find who spoke english. The ticket was in chinese so I just walked around showing people and pointing
Zhongdian is a tourist town. I dont think it tries to be anything else. I loved the place and so far is the only place I would come back to. The old part of town has been preserved and is full of hostels and souvineer shops. For some reason I dont think it is as tacky as Lijiang. I got in early and couldnt find the guest house I wanted so settled for the first one I came across. Lunch was from a cart in the main square I had yak kebabs. They were beautiful. The town and people are so Tibetan. I loved the place and would like to spend some time here. There is the Three rivers national park and a Glacier park to explore in the area. I walked around the town for a while and felt the effects of the altitude a couple of times (bit dizzy) but no real problems. The wind was bitterly cold but out of the wind it was quite pleasant. There was a gompa behind the old town so I got some pics of it and went back to get some after dark. It was too cold to wait long so I took the pics at dusk and went back for some more yak kebabs for dinner. This time I also had "chicken" and some other meat. All were tasty. I think yak is a highly underrated meat.
The bus back to Lijiang only cost me 40y (56Y to get there) and I thought this odd till I saw it. It was abit of a boonger and it wasnt the express like the one going up. we had afew stops along the way for the locals and there livestock. I didnt realise a pig could be so loud and duck shit stinks pretty bad. It was a fun trip.