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Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian, Yunnan

Zhongdian local ride
Zhongdian local ride
Photo of Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian by Kham_Spokes (65)

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☎ Telephone: (0887) • Population: 130000 • Elevation: 3299m

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Average Visitor Rating: 4.5 stars 4.5 of 5 (Based on 2 ratings)
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Shangri-La (Chinese: 香格里拉, Pinyin: Xianggelila), still known in some guidebooks by its old name Zhongdian (中甸), and starting to be known again by its really old Tibetan name Gyalthang (建糖) is a small, primarily Tibetan town in north-west Yunnan province. Although many travelers come to this town looking to travel overland into Tibet, the Songzanlin monastery complex and the beautiful outdoors to explore make this town a worthy attraction on its own.

The new part of town is typical for the area, but a recent bout of development in the old city center is creating an interesting old town to explore.

Highlights within a day's trip from town include:

About 100km to the south, past Tiger Leaping gorge, is the town of Lijiang, the province's mecca for chinese tour groups. About 40km to the south is the small village of Xiao Zhongdian.  To the north (and a bit west) is Deqin.

26 février 2006

Current Weather

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
High: 8°C
Low: -5°C
updated: 2006-01-27 09:15:04 GMT

Carte satellite Google Earth


Diqing Airport (DIG)
The Zhongdian airport is actually called the Diqing airport, sin...
Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian - Airports Transportation - Carte satellite

Harmony Guesthouse 5 stars
Opened at the end of May, 2005 by three guys from Kunming. The first...
Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian - Bars Hostels Lodging Nightlife Transportation - Carte satellite

Bus between Zhongdian/Xianggelila and Lhasa 2 stars
Starting June 21, 2005, there is a sleeper bus from
Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian - Transportation

Paradise Hotel
The Five-Star Paradise Hotel, completed in 2004, is at the time of wr...
Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian - Nourriture Hotels Lodging Sports Swimming

Ganden Sumtseling (Songzanlin) Monastery 5 stars
First settled in 1681 by the Fifth Dalai Lama, this breathtaking m...
Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian - Attractions - Carte satellite

Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB)
This is the only place in town that you can get a Tibet permit. In f...
Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian - Transportation

China Eastern Airlines (CAAC)
If you're looking for a flight out of
Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian - Transportation

The Compass: Lodge, Cafe, Consultancy 4 stars
Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian - Cafes Nourriture Hotels Lodging

Shangri-La International Youth Hostel
This place, including the showers, is very clean and comfortable-look...
Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian - Nourriture Hostels Internet Laundry Lodging

Banyan Tree Ringha
This somewhat bizarre resort complex has been tacked onto the back en...
Xianggelila / Shangri-La / Zhongdian - Hotels Internet Lodging Resorts


Visitor Ratings

Average Visitor Rating: 4.5 stars

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5 stars from sedgeyen (0) on 4 juin 2008 (See all my ratings)
Untitled Comments

Like any traveling, one needs to meet the right people in order to enjoy the area fully. Try connecting with people at the Karma Cafe or Hazel's Bar in old town. They will set you up with driver, guides, etc. My group spent 4 days there in May 2008 and had a great time hiking, touring, and visiting Tibetan families and enjoying the yak butter tea, barley wines, yak meat, etc. Aroo Kampa is a good restaurant with Indian/Nepali food. There are good bakeries in town to pick up picnic items.

4 stars from Kham_Spokes (65) on 16 octobre 2005 (See all my ratings)
Zhongdian, AKA Shangri La la la

Zhongdian is a hard one to pin point. Located on the southern edge of the Tibetan world, The place runs on its own time. Days run into weeks and weeks turn into season and nothing much seams to happen. But at the same time in the last couple year the Old town has seem a revival of sorts. Hang out here long enough and you’ll hear the fanatical stories of the days before. But these days it caulk a block cafes, bars and hotel’s. There are very few local who run business in the old town. Most of them are happy to collect the rent.

There is speculation of Zhongdian cashing in on the popularity of Lijaing. Most of the rosy tinted speculation is propagated by business interests. Whether the bubble bursts or the popularity continues to grow is something I’m sure will be debited for years to come. But if you’ve ever spent a winter there you’ll wonder how many of these businesses will continue to hang on.

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