China Zhongdian, the Shangri-la of Yunnan

After five hours by bus in the rain and after crossing the mountains of northern Yunnan through Tibetan terrain I have arrived in Zhongdian, also called with the mysterious name of Shangri-la. According to the Chinese government, this is the official Shangri-la although it seems to be a kind of West Dorado with dozens of towns called in the same way throughout the Tibetan terrain.

It has been difficult to find a hostel since the guide talks little about this area and few tourists were walking through the town.

At 3200 meters high, Zhongdian has the most important Tibetan monastery in southwest China and its visit is truly spectacular with its 600 monks hanging around this city temple called Ganden Sumtseling Gompa built 300 years ago.