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“Spring flowers”
Review of Shangri-La County

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Australia
Level 5 Contributor
12 reviews
23 helpful votes
“Spring flowers”
Reviewed 27 March 2008

I visited this region in May 2007 so what I write will be of great interest to anyone planning a vist to north western Yunnan in the month of May.
I travelled by taxi all day for a price of 400RMB about $A66 from LiJiang to Zhongdian, known as Shangrila. We stopped off at Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in China, on the Yangzte River.
Remember when reading these prices that $1.00 Australia will give you 6 RMB.
Down in the lower climate near Lijiang farmers were harvesting potatoes but as we entered the high plateau potatoes and barley were just emerging from the soil.
Then came the greatest surprise of all, valleys and hillsides covered in a wildflower similar to a small azalea bush. All flowers were either mauve or pink.
At various places along the road through these wildflowers there were waiting Tibetan families in costume. For 1 RMB per person, these women and children offered to pose with me to have photographs taken. I gladly agreed.
Further on, at a Dongba village I found children of that racial minority offering me unlimited opportunities to photograph them, their sheep and cattle for 1 RMB.
My advice to travellers is to carry lots of small RMB notes for such occasions.
It was also here that we began to see Yaks amongst the cattle.
Amidst a wildflower meadow stood a single Yak waiting with his owner who offered us unlimited photographic opportunities to sit on the Yak for 10 RMB.
Here the houses were two storey high, faced the south and had pressed earth walls. Although simpler, they reminded me of Bavarian farm homes.

Helpful?
2 Thank Margaretfay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
1 review
“The place to be”
Reviewed 11 February 2008

I recommended my friends to stay at Dragoncloud and they seem to like it even more than I did.

Renovated from an old "civil house", the wood structured building enclosed a quiet garden, a little heaven. Not to expect anything overly delicate, this place, simple as it is, is an extension of the owner's open warm sharp personality. I have no doubt all young people would love the place.

Many of the people I met there remain my most treasured friends.

The guest house has all the information a traveller would need, the owner knows the whereable throughly, food, transportation, weather, views and is a superb driver.

    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank cynthiaZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
70 reviews
51 helpful votes
“Immerse with the locals”
Reviewed 8 February 2008

Do visit the local market when you are in Zhongdian. Its kind of interesting to see what the locals buy and eat.

Another place that you can go is the Old Town of Zhongdian. Its actually very similar to the old towns in Lijiang. Only difference is that the architecture is more Tibetan and its quieter.

Helpful?
Thank t0kid0ki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
70 reviews
51 helpful votes
“Where you can find Bita Lake and Shudu Lake”
Reviewed 17 January 2008

I went to Pudacuo National Park / 普达措国家公园­ on 8 Nov 07. This National Park was formed recently to connect both the Bita Lake / 碧塔海 [3500 meters / 3828 yards above sea level] and Shudu Lake / 属都湖 together.

The admission fee to the National Park is RMB190. Upon purchasing your ticket, you will be directed to take one of their Environment-Friendly Bus which will be your mode of transport at the National Park.

Do pick a window seat [right side] so that you can enjoy the beautiful scenery while on the way to Shudu Lake. Upon reaching Shudu Lake, you will be greeted by a beautiful lake and you can find horses, cows and yaks lazing around, enjoying the grass.

As I was there in November, you can find light snow on the grassland and its rather windy. From Shudu Lake, you will need to walk along the newly constructed wooden walkboard [2.7km] for about an hr to reach the rest station, which will bring you to Bita Lake. Do take your time to walk, enjoy the scenery [the peace and tranquility] and stop to take pictures. The feeling is really wonderful and its great for those who works in the cities and seldom get to see nature.

After about an hr's walk, you will reach the rest station where you will queue for the bus to Bita Lake. On the way to Bita Lake, the bus will stop at one of the grassland for you to take some pictures.

As I was there in the late afternoon, it was rather gloomy and thus the view at Bita Lake is not as magnificient as you would have read on other views. From here, you have the option to take a short ferry ride at RMB30, followed by walking along the wooden walkboard [3km] for about 1.5hrs OR you choose to walk the full length of about 4km to the final pit stop where the Environment-Friendly Bus will bring you back to the entrance of the Pudacuo National Park. I will personally advise you to take the short ferry ride, followed by walking as its really tiring just to walk the remaining stretch to the pit stop.

Some advise if you are plainning to go to the Pudacuo National Park: Be there early, around 9 - 10am [during Autumn and Winter] so that you can enjoy the nice view. However do avoid going there around noon as it will be too hot [during Spring and Summer].

I would definitely go back again BUT it will be either Spring or Summer so that I can see the rhododendrons in full bloom which will present a different view.

IMPT: For those who are going to Zhongdian for the 1st time, you will NEED to take the "Hong Jing Tian" pills to prevent any high altitude sickness. I took the pills 1 week before my trip and everyday duing my trip. Thankfully, I did not get any high altitude sickness.

Helpful?
7 Thank t0kid0ki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 helpful votes
“Keep your expectaions low”
Reviewed 5 January 2008

We stayed here as part of Vantage Travel's China & Tibet tour. It was their first foray into this area of China and our group was sufficiently negative about our stay here that they changed hotels beginning with the very next group (they now book the Gyalthang Dzong Hotel). The glitzy lobby and clean, relatively modern rooms belie the unfriendly service and terrible food that await. Vantage tries to book quality hotels within walking distance of interesting areas, and we were able to walk extensively through the charming old (yet somewhat touristy) part of town at will, being an easy 5-10 minute walk from the hotel. I can see why they initially chose this hotel because of its location and apparent modernity. But surly desk staff and a hot Tang/greasy eggs/no bread breakfast had our group grumbling early on. Skip this hotel but check out the area if you have time. Zhongdian is an interesting city that has a frontier feel to it, I suspect even most urban Chinese consider this a hick town. The old part of town has several cozy guesthouses and restaurants that seem to cater to young Westerners on a budget. Despite the local government's recent adoption of the alternate name "Shangrila", it's no paradise and it's definitely not ready for prime time. Infrastructure and tourist facilities lag way behind larger Chinese cities. Aside from the old town, it's a pretty grim place. However, the surrounding valleys offer beautiful vistas, monastaries, unique local crafts and other delights. We visited a very large monastery an hour out of town that was abuzz with new construction and had a sizeable photo of the Dalai Lama in the main sancturary, astonishing sights after Tibet. Clearly being off the beaten path has its advantages. None of the official scrutiny evident in Lhasa seems to burden the Buddhists in Yunnan Province.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Food service
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank JessiesDads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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