Travels in China 7 – Lijiang to Zhongdian
Zhongdian, since 2002 called Shangri La is a town in South West China close to the borders of Burma and Tibet.
From Tiger Leaping Gorge the road crosses some amazing mountain passes.
One of the main reasons to travel there is to visit the Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery – the largest in south west China, here photographed in 2002 when the renovation following the damage caused during the Cultural Revolution was nearing completion.
… and here in 2007 when finally completed.
The town is populated by Tibetans, Hui, Bai, Naxi and Han Chinese.
So apart from the scenery….
….the town is visually quite stunning….
particularly in the ancient part
Sadly, in January 2014 fire broke out in a hotel in the 1300 year old ancient town and rapidly spread among the mainly wooden buildings and narrow streets, destroying much of it.