Yunnan, Part IV

More photos from my trip in Yunnan.

After Tiger Leaping Gorge, we went to Shangri-La, a city in the very northwestern part of Yunnan. Shangri-La used to be Jiangtan Town (建塘镇) and its name was changed in 2001 based on the novel Lost Horizon by the author James Hilton. In the novel, Shangri-La is a Himalayan utopia, where the citizens are immortal and isolated from the outside world.

Shangri-La sits at a very high altitude and is a popular gateway to Tibet. We spent our first days outside of Shangri-La visiting a Buddhist monastery. Unfortunately for this blog, the monks did not permit photographs in the monastery. Which is too bad because it was really neat. The first floor of the monastery is where the monks would pray and meditate. It hosted over 1,000 praying stations, so 1,000 monks could pray and meditate at the same time. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors had really elaborate buddhist shrines and decorations. The colors red and gold dominated every room. The shrine was under construction, the monks were doing all the work, and had been for about 15 years. The monks were friendly. I was told their money mostly came from donations and from tourist entry fees. We were in a pretty isolated area and it didn’t seem like many tourists made their way to monastery, which is maybe why the construction is taking so long.

Then we went back to Shangri-La for a couple of days, rented bikes and rode around town. Below are a few pictures of a Buddhist temple in Shangr-La.

Phil infron of the giant Buddist prayer wheel.

The temple in Shangri-La

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