Travels in China – Lijiang to Zhongdian

Travels in China 7 – Lijiang to Zhongdian

The road from Tiger Leaping Gorge to Zhongdian

The road from Tiger Leaping Gorge to Zhongdian

Zhongdian, since 2002 called Shangri La is a town in South West China close to the borders of Burma and Tibet.

The road from Tiger Leaping Gorge to Zhongdian

The road from Tiger Leaping Gorge to Zhongdian 

From Tiger Leaping Gorge the road crosses some amazing mountain passes.

The Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery, Zhongdian, 2002

The Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery, Zhongdian, 2002

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.

The Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery, Zhongdian

The Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery, Zhongdian

… and here in 2007 when finally completed.

Zhongdian 2002

Zhongdian 2002

 The town is populated by Tibetans, Hui, Bai, Naxi and Han Chinese.

Zhongdian 2002

Zhongdian 2002

So apart from the scenery….

Zhongdian

Zhongdian

….the town is visually quite stunning….

Zhongdian 2002

Zhongdian 2002

particularly in the ancient part

Zhongdian - the ancient town 2007

Zhongdian – the ancient town 2007

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.

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