I arrived in Shangri-La by bus from Lijiang. The ride cost 68 RMB ($10.97 USD), took about four hours, and was full of beautiful scenery.
After buying my ticket, I went outside and as is standard China, any Westerner who emerges from a bus station, train station or airport, must be greeted by every taxi driver who ever lived. I honestly do not find this as over the top frustrating as I did last year. It is still annoying as all hell, but I have come to accept that this is China.
I pick a driver and off to my hotel we go. The ride cost me 20 RMB which = $3.23 USD
I am staying at N’s Kitchen and Hostel. I walk in and am greeted with “Jennifer?” because that is a perk of being a Westerner in China. You get five star diamond service by being greeted with by name whenever you walk into a hotel.
I am taken to my room, followed by the hostel dog. It turns out there were two of them, the tiny one was so adorable I wanted to steal her so badly.
Shangri-La was a victim of a fire back in January 2014 that completely destroyed the old town. The view from my window showed construction going on to rebuild. I could constantly hear it as well. It was a very noisy place. The noise did not bother me but I find that sometimes when you visit a place (Istanbul comes to mind) and you hear the background noise it is a bit surprising as you are in a real life movie scene complete with background music.
It was around 4:00 pm when I arrived and I was told the internet would be on in half an hour. I internally groaned thinking that this meant my internet would be incredibly sporadic and slow but it turns out I had the best internet speed here so far in the trip.
As dusk hit, I walked over to Guishan Park. This was about a five minute walk from my hostel. At night the locals dance from 7:00 to 9:00. It was really cool to watch.
Even cooler was up above lives the Golden Temple and the world’s second largest prayer wheel. A lot of people think this is the largest prayer wheel in the world. That is because up until 2010, it was. Then a bigger one was built in Guide County in Qinghai, China.
View of Shangri-La from the top: