Trip Start Mar 11, 2010
Trip End May 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
Zha Shi Da Ji Hotel

Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The locals all seem to call it Zhongdian instead of the new name Shanglr-la. I showed it to some people in my book and they said "Shangrili - la.. ya ya" There is nothing spacial there and no particular reason to go except it is part of Tibet and only part you can go without a permit. I came here with the intention of going overland to Chengdu but have decided not to go that way cos it is too hard with the language barrier. So far I have been OK but it is very hard to comunicate with NO words at all. The only ones I have picked up is xie xie-thank you.
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. Eventually I was on a bus, hopefully the right one.On the bus were these small plastic conyainers which I thought were rubbish bins WRONG they were spittoons. And they got used way too much for my likeing. The other day on a plane somewhere the bloke on the window seat from me was hacking up big gobbies and spitting them on the floor. mmmmn
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.
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chris on

the food looks right up your ally just every bit of every animal satay'd and smoke on the side of the road :).

Ngaere on

You wont get lost in your coat. Love the photos - dusk ones especially. I was surprised that the hotel was not yours - NOT!!! We understand your inability to read the train timetable, tickets and most other signs. Enjoy and have fun. It is all part of the experience.

flurr on

the place looks really nice, except for the caged birds and random animal skewers but like chris said... its right up YOUR alley! i loved your comment about the people taking a photo with you, your new nickname - buddah? haha! good to hear your having fun and are still safe. miss you already. xxx

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