Odyssey to South of the Clouds... (p5) - Shangri-la Old Town & Town Square

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Bodhi Cafe, Shangri-la Old Town
April 2015

Becky told us that we should head to the town-square around 630pm and join the local spent their evening, doing the folk dance there. we could also visit the golden-temple which nested on the hill next to the square.post-lunch, it was still early and we decided to go back to the room. i went to see Becky while TI had a quick nap in the room.

after a while, we went out again and decided to wander around the Old Town. we were a bit unfortunate as the Old Town was still under re-construction mode, after the major fire incident in early 2014. there were only few shops/rows that survived. dusty road, construction - all around etc. and seeing the building being re-build to mimic the old architecture, in a way stripped the authentic feel and originality of the place. but then, the Old Town is a signature of almost every regions in China, and it has to be preserved and relived as part of the heritage.

we made a stop at Bodhi cafe, to try Yak Butter Tea. ah..the name reminded me the butter-beer of Harry Potter. it was quiet pricey at 15 yuan per glass, but we just gave it a try. verdict - weird or i quote - macam tapir gakla rasa dia. LOL. well.. i wouldn't recommend it ..or may be if you want to know how it taste..try to put plenty of butter into your hot tea.. hehe.

i wasn't sure whether we were actually in low season or because of the re-construction work etc., but the streets of the old town felt empty. few shops in business, selling tibetan crafts for tourists, few cafes etc. and we only bumped on to few small groups of tourists.

it was almost 630pm and we walked towards the square, as per Becky's direction - follow where you see the giant praying wheel!

and we could hear the loud folks music filling the air as we were about to reach the place. as we arrived, the locals and joined by the visitors were already started the dance.

it was entertaining, seeing the locals doing their activities. even happily joined the crowd. ah..the dance reminds me the 'pocho-pocho' dance.

the dance lasted for almost 3 hours if not mistaken, and we could see more and more people coming to join as we viewed the square from the hill nearby. we decided to leave the party and visit the golden temple and giant praying wheel that located on top of the hill. and i must say, the night view of the place was breathtaking...i mean..the temple and gian wheel were glowing like gems.

anyway, we had to do a bit hiking, by climbing the stairs to reach the temple. and as Zhongdian itself located at more that 3000m asl, one easily out of breath. and even TI get caught by the altitude sickness as we went back to the inn after the visit.

TI wasn't well that night, and we decided to have our dinner inside - the instant noddle. and then i went to see Becky to confirm the plan for the next day, which was visiting the national park.

till then.


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