2013 - Shangri-La the last frontier day 17, 18

Backpacking Adventure
ShangriLa China the Last Frontier
30 March to 23 April 2013 (25 days)
(L-R) Lily Yap, Lim Sok Bee, Ng Peng Kim, Lee Kam Boon, Bernard Lee, Ching Neng Bin and Teh Soon Shoei behind Lily on the bus to Shangri-La.


Day 17 (15.04.2013) Lijiang (丽江) to Shangri-La (香格里拉) (Zhongdian (中甸) 180km

After an early breakfast at KFC, we walked to the old long distance bus station to take the bus at 9.30am to Shangri-la. The 180km four hour bus journey took us through the valley and mountains and finally arrived at Shangri-la at 2pm.

On arrival at Shangri-La the last frontier, we all congratulated ourselves for another very successful challenging road journey and truly fulfilled our dreams, especially for me. Many thanks to our team leader, Bernard Lee and to all members who have assisted Bernard in so many ways.

After checking into our hotel we had lunch at Feilong Restaurant (飞龙饭店) directly opposite the hotel. We then took three taxis to visit Songzanlin Tibetan Monastery (西藏噶丹松賛林寺) also known as Shangri-La little Potala located at 3317m above sea level, the largest Tibetan Monastery in Yunnan. We came back at 6pm and had hotpot dinner at the same restaurant.

Temperature: 3c at night
Sleeping: Bihaiyuntian Business Hotel (碧海云天商业酒店)

the journey was all on winding mountain roads

Shangri-La is the "Eden in dream" since it first appeared in British novelist James Hilton's Lost Horizon in the 1939, it has been associated with the mystique of a place which could not possibly exist here on Earth.

In Tibetan, Shangri-La means the "sun and moon in heart", an ideal home only found in heaven. The continuous snowy mountains, endless grasslands and rivers, steep and grand gorges, lakes and villages always leave deep impression on visitors.

Shangrila town centre

our room at Bihaiyuntian Business Hotel (碧海云天商业酒店)

we had cheap good lunch at Feilong Restaurant (飞龙饭店) directly opposite the hotel


the Tibetan Buddhist monastery is about 5km from the city of  Shangri La


getting the bus and entrance tickets in this new booking office

at the viewing platform - the beginning of the 215m boardwalk to the monastery behind


the 215m boardwalk to the monastery

the almost dried up Lamuyuan Cuo Lake in front of monastery


the monastery is situated in an altitude of 3,380 metres (11,090 ft) high

it was still very cold out here at this time of the year



at the foot hill entrance gate behind me - there is a 146 steps up to the main hall of the monastery


a 146 steps up to the main hall of the monastery


the upper approach path to the Monastery

A five-story Tibetan-style building serves as the main hall of the monastery. Seen from the distance, the gilded copper stupa and tiles at the top of the structure seem to shine eternally in the plateau sunlight. The lower tier of this structure is supported by 108 giant pillars, a lucky number to Buddhists. The 16 colorful pictures hanging in the hall are said to have been painted by renowned lamas with a special golden liquid given by the Fifth Dalai Lama to the monastery. Lighted by numerous butter-oil lamps, the hall could hold 1,600 lamas sitting in meditation or chanting Buddhist scriptures.

the view south towards the lake from the top level in front of the main central temple hall

Monastery is surrounded by villages and forests


a beautiful Tibetan cat on the top level

decorated corner view of the Monastery

left is the Tsongkhapa Temple, center is the Main Hall and right is the Sakyamuni Temple - all the three temples have a lot of golden Buddha images, golden lamps and Tibetan Scripture and all of these are wonderful collections accumulated from each dynasty

Tsongkhapa Temple – This is the smaller building to the left of the Main Assembly Hall and has the same three story atrium structure on the inside as the Sakyamuni Temple. The building is dominated on the inside by a large statue on a raised platform in the center of the room with a wide alter at the front of the statue. This temple was used by monks for prayer and monks give blessings to tourists in return for donations.
Tsongkhapa Temple – belongs to the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism of the Gelukpa order of the Dalai Lama - a large statue on a raised platform in the center of the room with a wide alter at the front of the statue.  We saw a monk give blessings to tourists in return for donations in this temple.

Main Assembly Hall is normally used for monks to gather and chant Buddhist scriptures and houses a 9 meter tall statue of Sakyamuni Buddha

a 9 meter tall statue of Sakyamuni Buddha in the main hall

Sakyamuni Temple – This is the smaller building to the right of the Main Assembly Hall and the inside of the building is a three story atrium. The second and third floors are galleries over looking the atrium and the first floor holds an enormous seated statue. Colorful paintings cover all of the walls on the first floor.

this main hall of the monastery can sit more than 1500 monks congregated to recite the Buddhist scriptures

Buddha image stood eight meters high and was surrounded by brightly painted deities and prayer flags. Murals depicting the life of Buddha covered the walls.

the flat-top hill at the distance is the place for dead body to be fed to the mountain birds


we took a camera shot of the mountain birds after their feeding from the flat-top hill

Gilded pinnacle ornamentation at roof corners of the Monastery

Gilded pinnacle ornamentation at roof corners of the Monastery

Gilded pinnacle ornamentation at roof corners of the Monastery

at the rooftop courtyard view of the lake and hill

The rooftop statues of two golden deer flanking a Dharma wheel


Day 18 (16.04.2013) Shangri-La (Zhongdian) - day trip to Potatso National Park

Tashitelek! Greetings in Tibetan. Today is my birthday, and what a way to celebrate my 60th birthday in Shangri-La the lost horizon in China. This morning breakfast was special; the Feilong Restaurant prepared a special longitivity noodle and ‘siulongpau’ dumpling to start with and followed by a birthday song from team members. A birthday gift will be presented to me when we are back in Chengdu.

The morning we took two vans to visit the Potatso National Park which is 22km from Shangri-La. There were 3 stops, the park bus took us first to the walkway entrance of Shedu Lake where we trekked the 3.3km long elevated walkway to the northern part of the lake.

At the exit another bus took us to visit the Bita Lake and here again we trekked the 4.2km walkway along the lake to the visitor centre. Finally, 4.2km walkway has come to an end and we are so glad to reach the exit. The walk was tiring, and the scenery was the same because of the large Bita Lake. This National Park is not what I had in mine. It is so well taken care of. There are pathways for people to walk on.

Along the way there was snow fall and also hailstones. The bus then took us to the centre of the park to see the large meadow known as Militang Pasture, where horses and yak roamed.

We would comment that this is not the time to visit the park as we were not able to see any flowers and animals in this early spring time. The best time to visit the park is July or August. We also feel that the entrance fee of Y258 per person is a bit too high.

In the afternoon we visited another Tibetan Temple, the Dukezong Temple beside the Dukezong Old Town which has the largest praying wheel in Yunnan. We then walked through the Old Town and took the bus back to our hotel.

Temperature: 2c at night
Sleeping: Bihaiyuntian Business Hotel

I am getting the 60th birthday wishes from all team members. This morning breakfast was special; the Feilong Restaurant prepared a special longitivity noodle and ‘siulongpau’ dumpling to start with and followed by a birthday song from team members. A birthday gift will be presented to me when we are back in Chengdu. I happily served them the special noodle.

this is the hot plate to keep our food and also ourselves warm - inside it is a burning coal

Located 22km east of Shangri-La, Potatso is the first national park in mainland China with a total area of approximately 300 sq km. In Tibetan language, Patatso means reaching the opposite side of the lake by boat under the help of deity.

the walkway entrance of Shedu Lake where we trekked the 3.3km long elevated walkway to the northern part of the lake which gave us to experience the natural environment


besides the lakes, forest, marsh, valley, alpine meadow and so on can be seen in the park




covering 15 sq. kilometers, Shudu Lake is 3,700 meters above the sea level


there are also boat services for those who do not want to trek

Kam Boon was feeding the squirrel along the walkway

all spots are connected by walkable plank which offers a closer distance for travelers to experience the natural environment


Kam Boon and I tried to push the pine tree apart!


the alpine cold temperate coniferous forest vegetation zones, the highest point of it is in the northern peak of Mi li Tang mountain, 4159 meters above sea level

this is at Militang pastureland viewpoint - is between Shudu Lake and Bita Lake - dotted with yaks and cabbage-like grass (locally called Yak-butter Grass because the local Tibetans use the leaves to wrap yak butter)

at the great Militang pastureland, you could see its endless dry, brown grass, dotted with sporadic bushes, gave the wilderness an almost African look


we were all so excited by the sudden falling of snow at the entrance of Bita Lake

"Bitahai" means a quiet lake. The Bitahai Lake is surrounded by mountains covered with ancient pines and oaks, it appears like an emerald in the heart of the mountain

panoramic view of the Bitahai Lake



covering an area of around 393 acres with an average depth of 20 meters, it is famous for its completely clear water and its beautiful scenery which is set against the mountains and forests surrounding it




small river running into the lake near the exit point

at the exit gate of the lake where the bus waited for us to drive us back

the glistening Dukezong temple sitting on top of a small size mountain called Xiaoguishan




the approach steps to the temple

there is a palace called Chaoyang Palace which was built in Qianlong Period Qing Dynasty behind us

the full view of the Chaoyang Palace


great views from the hill top Chaoyang Palace over the old town and the mountains


And on the top of the mountain, there is a large prayer wheel. It is said that it is the world’ largest prayer wheel that has been recorded in the Guinness World Records The golden wheel is always shining and stretching into the sky.

with the blue sky and white clouds accompany, the prayer wheel stands out majestically 

it takes that number of people to turn the prayer wheel

I participated with others in turning the giant prayer wheel - Lim Cheng Tee is behind me

Chew Leng Soon and Lim Cheng Tee standing behind are also helping to pull

Lee Kam Boon is smiling but not pulling because he is holding his ipad

Captain Bernard is happy to pull along


the Dukezong Old Town is beside the temple

Dukezong Old Town is old-fashioned and well preserved, but a bit touristy with lots of shops selling knick-knacks. The main square has dances starting at 7.30pm every night where the Tibetan locals and visitors can dance together. 

Sleeping in this Bihaiyuntian Business Hotel

dinner at Feilong Restaurant (飞龙饭店) directly opposite the hotel




Total Grand Per Pax
Day

RMB RMB RMB
17 a. B'fast - KFC rmb222 + Mcdonald rmb45 267.00
26.70

b. Bus - Lijiang to Shangrila 690.00
69.00

c. Rooms - Bihaiyuntian business hotel 5 X rmb150 750.00
75.00

d. 3 taxi @ rmb30 - hotel to Songzanlin Monastery 90.00
9.00

e. Entrance fee (4 X75)+(6 X 115) 990.00
99.00

f. Lunch 122.00
12.20

g. Dinner 132.00
13.20




3,041.00 304.10






18 a. Rooms - Bihaiyuntian business hotel 5 X rmb150 750.00
75.00

b. B'fast 100.00
10.00

c. Top-up phone 50.00
5.00

d. 2 vans - Shangrila to Potatso National park 350.00
35.00

e. Entrance fee - Potatso National park 2,580.00
258.00

f. Fruits 35.00
3.50

g. Bus no. 1 - Largest prayer wheel/ancient to hotel 10.00
1.00

h. Dinner 177.00
17.70




4,052.00 405.20


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

No comments:

Post a Comment