Diqing, also named Shangri-La, is a famous area with numerous natural landscapes and unique Tibetan customs. It is the hidden paradise described by James Hilton in his novel Lost Horizon. Shangri-La (Zhongdian) is home to remote thrilling scenery, Tibetan monasteries and the starting point of the Tibetan world. Its utopian world has got everyone from backpackers to tour groups interested in visiting. Pudacuo National Park, which consists of many scattered lakes, should visit first when you arrive upon Shangri-La. Then majestic Songzanlin Monastery and Dukezong Old Town are on your radar.
Take a rest in local Tibetan house and drink buttered tea are awesome. If time permits, Baishuitai Terrace are worth your touring.
Shangri-La County is divided into two areas: Dukezong Ancient Town and a more modern city-like area. The two areas share Tuanjie Street as the common border. Dukezong, located in the southeast section of the county, has a history dating back over 1300 years. Almost all the buildings are white in color and feature the Tibetan style architecture. Upon arrival to old town, we recommend you take some time to relax before beginning your tour. A brief introduction to the scenic spots follows.
The attractions listed below cover the top tourist resources in Shangri-La: the sacred monasteries and lamaseries, the magnificent snow mountains, the unique terrace in Baishuitai, the simple villages, and the peaceful lakes.
Located three kilometers (about 1.86 miles) southeast of Shangri-La, the Wufeng Mountain is revered as a sacred mountain by the local Tibetans. Since the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the grasslands at the foot of this mountain have been used for horse racing events.
If you proceed southeast from the county for about 101 kilometers (62.76 miles), you'll arrive at another well-known attraction, the White Water Terraces. Theterraces are large limestone steps, built up over the years with calcium carbonatedeposited by spring waters which flow down the steps. You can take a bus fromthe Zhongdian Coach Bus Station to the White Water Terraces, or hire a car toget there.
The Haba Snow Mountain, a natural reserve of rare animals and plants, is about 120 kilometers (74.56 miles) southeast of the county. Both the mountain and the Tiger Leaping Gorge are located along the Dianzang Road, on the way from Shangri-La to Lijiang.
Songzanlin Monastery is five kilometers (3.11 miles) north of the county. First constructed in 1679 during the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it embodies the essence of the Tibetan Buddhist culture, and its architecture exemplifies thefeatures of the Tibetan style. It's the greatest monastery of Tibetan Buddhismin Yunnan Province. The city bus No.3 can take you there.
Shudu Lake and Bitahai Lake are two of the more accessible lakes in northeast of the city. Located within 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of each other, legend says these "pearls of the land" are pieces of a mirror broken and scatteredby a fairy while she was fixing her makeup.
If you want to experience unique Tibetan customs and appreciate the wonderful natural landscapes, you can take Shangri-La tours to discover Shangri-La’s beauties.