2013 - Shangri-La the last frontier day 1, 2

Backpacking Adventure to ShangriLa China the Last Frontier
30 March to 23 April 2013 (25 days)

(L-R) Chew Leng Soon, Lim Cheng Tee, Ching Neng Bin, Lily Yap, Lim Sok Bee, Ng Peng Kim, Bernard Lee (Team Leader), Lee Kam Boon, Grace Ong Siew Hua, Teh Soon Shoei at Songzanlin Tibetan Monastery (西藏噶丹松賛林寺) , Shangri-La, China
The route: Kuala Lumpur > Chengdu (成都) > Hailuogou (海螺沟) > Luding (泸定) > Kangding (康定) Xinduqiao (新都桥) > Danba (丹巴) > Xiaojin (小金) > Rilong (日隆) > Chengdu (成都) > Xichang (西昌) > Lugu Lake (泸沽湖) > Lijiang (丽江) > Shangri-La (香格里拉) (Zhongdian (中甸) > Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡) / Bai Shui Tai terrace waterfall(白水台)> Lijiang (丽江) > Lugu Lake (泸沽湖) > Xichang (西昌) > Chengdu (成都) > Kuala Lumpur

Day 01 (30.03.2013) AirAsia D7-320: K.Lumpur to Chengdu 成都 Sichuan 四川

Nihao! Greetings from China. As usual, the adventure started from KL LCCT at 9.15am for a 4hour Air Asia flight to Chengdu airport arriving at 1.10pm, a half hour earlier than usual. We took 2 pre-booked vans to Traffic Inn hostel. We had lunch at a shop beside the Inn. Had some rest and at 6pm we walked to Jinli (錦里) night bazaar for dinner at Restaurant Eight Treasures.

Sleeping: Traffic Inn (交通背包客栈)
AirAsia D7-320: K. Lumpur – Chengdu (成都), Sichuan (四川)
Chengdu airport arriving at 1.10pm

Sleeping: Traffic Inn (交通背包客栈), 6号 Linjiang Middle Road, Chengdu trafficinnhostel.com

the friendly staff at the Traffic Inn

the Jinjiang River right in-front of our Traffic Inn originated from Fanjing Mountain

the fishermen at Jinjiang River

(L-R) Lim Cheng Tee, Ng Peng Kim, Lim Siok Bee, Ching Neng Bin scouting for dinner

we found this Tibetan traditional dried yak meat which is better than beef, is rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, hemoglobin and other essentials

Jinli Ancient Chinese Street (成都锦里古街), Chengdu, Sichuan

Jinli Old Street is 350 meters long, paved with flagstones.

a little girl at a traditional Chinese musical stall

with traditional Chinese-style mansions, folk residences, tea-houses, handiwork, fashionable cafes and barrooms, the age-old street reflects the integration of ancient and modern Chengdu

Jinli is a street full of traditional Chinese houses hosting shops that offer Chinese food and souvenir

shops that offer wide verity of traditional Chinese biscuits and food

visitors can taste the authentic Chengdu foods and snacks
night view of Jinjiang River in Chengdu

night view of Jinjiang River in Chengdu

night view of Jinjiang River in Chengdu

Day 02 (31.03.2013) Chengdu to Hailuogou (海螺沟) (296km / 7.5hrs bus)

Had Y5 breakfast at our Inn and then walked to the Xinnanmen bus station, leaving at 9:30 (119RMB (including 2 RMB insurance) for Hailuogou. Along the way, we stopped at Ya’an (雅安) for lunch at 12noon. The bus driver informed us that the road from Ya’an to Hailuogou is closed due to landslide and had to take an alternate route which is further and attracts toll – and for that all of us have to pay additional Y20 each. I must say that this new highway route is worth passing through as the sight is breathtaking. We passed through a town Ziamin which is to be flooded after the completion of the highway and a dam downstream.

After a 7.5 hour bus journey, we arrived at Moxi town (磨西鎮) at 4.30pm. Mr Liew the proprietor of Xinfei Backpackers Inn came with his motor cart tuk-tuk to pick us up. Kam Boon and I walked out to the Old Street and other places in town. We came back at 6pm for dinner at Jiang You Speciality Restaurant recommended by Mr. Liew. After dinner we all went to a pub for Budweiser beer and came back just before 11pm.

Sleeping: Xinfei Backpackers Inn (鑫飞背包客栈)

had the cheapest breakfast (Y5pp) at our Inn with lots to eat

we stopped here at Ya’an (雅安) for lunch at 12noon - the bus driver informed us that the road from Ya’an to Hailuogou is closed due to landslide and had to take an alternate route which is further and attracts toll

Ya'an town - we were all very lucky indeed, twenty days later on 20th April 2013 an earthquake of 7 magnitude struck here  causing serious casualties and property losses and millions of people in distress.

a chopping board street vendor in Ya'an

a popcorn vendor making popcorn using a popcorn cannon along the main road of Ya'an

the corn kernels is put in a little cast-iron cannon-type canister which is sealed with a heavy lid over an open flame - when the pressure gauge on the canister reaches a certain level and with one poptastic explosion, all the popcorn shoots out at once into a rubber tyre container

a view of the countryside and its villages on foot-hills

notice the elevated S-shape highway

one of the many long tunnels in China

another elevated S-shape highway - this new highway route is worth passing through as the sight is breathtaking

toilet time at this newly built tourist WC along the highway - very clean

oranges for sale along the road beside the farmland

passed through a dam downstream under construction

passed through this town Ziamin which is to be flooded after the completion of the highway and a dam downstream

passed by a new highway bridge under construction

Mr Liew the proprietor of Xinfei Backpackers Inn waited for us at the bus stop to drive us in his tuk-tuk to his Inn

Mr Liew's self made tuk-tuk for transportation - Lee Kam Boon seems to be driving

at the Xinfei Backpackers Inn (鑫飞背包客栈)

Lee Kam Boon with Mr. and Mrs Liew

Moxi Old Town is located in the south of the Luding County in Garze, close to the Mount Gongga and the Hailuogou Glacier Forest Park. It is about 304 km away from Chengdu city, and about 70 km from Kangding.

Catholic Church In the old street of this town, there is a western Catholic church which was first built by romantic French missionaries; but in building style, it blended in southwest China's traditional temples style. It is said that during the Red Army's Long March, Mao Zedong had put this church as a headquarters, planning the future of the Red Army here in 1935.

road side roasted lamb for sale in Moxi

6pm for dinner at Jiang You Speciality Restaurant recommended by Mr. Liew

with just one helping, its almost gone - see below

Moxi Town is the settlement of the Han Nationality, Yi Nationality and Tibetan Nationality. It has kept a complete ancient town blocks; those blocks are the ancient building group built during late Qing Dynasty. Note: my forefathers are actually from this dynasty - my Chinese name: 秦 能 斌 

the ladies dancing at a public open playground
newly made friends from Hongkong met in the bus

the evening roadside vegetable vendor

a beautiful Tibetan building along the main road

at a pub in Moxi Old Town for Budweiser beer in the evening

Sleeping: Xinfei Backpackers Inn (鑫飞背包客栈)

Total Grand Per Pax


30 1 a. 2 vans - Chengdu airport to Traffic Inn hostel 160.00 16.00
Mar b. Room - Traffic Inn IYH (2 twin + 2 triple) 586.00 58.60

c. Dinner 268.00 26.80

1,014.00 101.40

31 2 a. B'fast  50.00 5.00
Mar b. Busfare Chengdu to Moxi (121 X 10) 1,210.00 121.00

c. Bus - alternative route @ RMB 20 P.P. 200.00 20.00

d.  2 Telephone cards @RMB80 160.00 16.00

e. Dinner  200.00 20.00

f. Drinks 300.00 30.00

g. Room - Xinfei Backpackers YH (70 X 5) 350.00 35.00

2,470.00 247.00

click below:
Day 01 (30.03.2013) AirAsia D7-320: K. Lumpur to Chengdu (成都), Sichuan (四川)
Day 02 (31.03.2013) Chengdu to Hailuogou (海螺沟) (296km/7.5hrs bus)
Day 03 (01.04.2013) Hailuogou (海螺沟) Red rocks @ Swallow Gully (燕子沟)
Day 04 (02.04.2013) Hailuogou (海螺沟) Luding (泸定) Kangding (康定) to Xinduqiao (新都桥)
Day 05 (03.04.2013) Xinduqiao (新都桥) to Danba (丹巴) Land of thousand watchtowers

Day 06 (04.04.2013) Danba – day trip to Jiaju Tibetan Village "the most beautiful ethnic town
Day 07 (05.04.2013) Danba (丹巴) – staying in Jiaju Village
Day 08 (06.04.2013) Jiaju Village (甲居藏寨) to Xiaojin (小金) to Rilong (日隆)
Day 09 (07.04.2013) trekking up Changpinggou (长砰沟) middle gully of Siguniang (四姑娘山)
Day 10 (08.04.2013) Rilong (日隆) to Chengdu (成都)

Day 11 (09.04.2013) Chengdu (成都) day trip to Huanglongxi (黄龙寺)
Day 12 (10.04.2013) Chengdu (成都) to Xichang (西昌)
Day 13 (11.04.2013) Xichang (西昌) to Lugu Lake (泸沽湖)
Day 14 (12.04.2013) Lugu Lake - cycling around Lugu Lake
Day 15 (13.04.2013) Lugu Lake (泸沽湖) to Lijiang (丽江)

Day 16 (14.04.2013) Lijiang (丽江)
Day 17 (15.04.2013) Lijiang (丽江) to Shangri-La (香格里拉) (Zhongdian (中甸)
Day 18 (16.04.2013) Shangri-La (Zhongdian) - day trip to Potatso National Park
Day 19 (17.04.2013) Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡) / Bai Shui Tai terrace waterfall(白水台)
Day 20 (18.04.2013) Tiger Leaping Gorge to Lijiang (丽江)

Day 21 (19.04.2013) Lijiang (丽江) to Lugu Lake (泸沽湖)
Day 22 (20.04.2013) Lugu Lake (泸沽湖) to Xichang (西昌) to Chengdu (成都)
Day 23 (21.04.2013) Chengdu
Day 24 (22.04.2013) D7-327 Chengdu to K. Lumpur (2355 – 0430)
Day 25 (23.04.2013) 25 23/04 Arrival K. Lumpur: 0430 hrs

      RMB        RM
Total Costs per person excluding Air fare    4,664.15      2,360.06

Return Airfare per pax incl. insurance, meals   1,632.41     826.00

Total Cost Per Pax incl. of Airfare    6,296.56  3,186.06


  1. I like the 1st group pic with the Tibetan temples built on the hills as background, it's well arranged to be seated or standing like that, well balanced. Night scenes on the streets or along the river of Chengdu is absolutely charming. The motor cart Tuk Tuk seemed so fragile, guess it's only for short distance to the Backpackers' Inn. Lee Kam Boon again showing his smiling disposition. With chopsticks ready, you folks were hungry or the dish was too good to resist? I noticed that the Chinese people liked to dance in the public, as hobby or as a way of life to exercise etc. The Backpackers'Inn looked simple and basic, but NB Ching was smiling, guess it's comfortable enough. Thank Goodness you folks missed the earthquake!

    Alan K, KL.

  2. Dear Alan, I love to read all your comments in my blog. Many thanks. Many of my friends also told me that they too love to read your comments, and always looking forward to read more. Alan, please carry on writing.

  3. Andrew Loo Sung Kee25 July, 2013

    Interesting... felt a wave of admiration... a quite longing to be one in the group...

  4. pc n s kim in Vancouver06 August, 2013

    Thanks 4 sharing your passion. The planning has been so meticulous.
    Your group is certainly blessed. If only we are in Malaysia; we would have pestered you to include us in your second-to-none trips.
    Well done, Neng Bin.