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Shangri-La County (香格里拉县 Xiānggélǐlā Xiàn) is the new Chinese name for this ancient Tibetan county, previously known as Zhongdian County (中甸县 Zhōngdiàn Xiàn) to the Chinese, and Gyalthang to the Tibetans. In a wide, sweeping valley ringed by vast mountains, the town is the capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Deqin - the largest self-governing Tibetan area outside of the province of Tibet itself.
The renaming, inspired by the possibility that Zhongdian/Gyalthang could be the valley discovered in James Hilton's 1933 novel Lost Horizon, is part of a drive to put the area on the tourist map - also evidenced by the rate of development in the town centre. "Shangri-La" or "Zhongdian" may also refer to Jiantang Town (建塘镇 Jiàntáng Zhèn), the capital of the county.
The town still retains a distinctly Tibetan feel, however - the trip from Lijiang takes you past huge traditional Tibetan farmsteads and windswept meadows grazed by Yak - and sights near to town include huge, remote mountains and lakes as well as the enchanting Ganden Sumtseling Monastery (松赞林寺 Sōngzànlín Sì).
Diqing Airport (DIG) is located just a few kilometres from the capital, Jiantang Town. Airlines flying into DIG are China Eastern Airlines (from Kunming, Lhasa, Shanghai), China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou), and Shanghai Airlines (Kunming). There are daily flights from Kunming. Some flights to Lhasa are available, though not officially available to foreign tourists at the time of writing.
Buses run frequently across town, including particularly on the bumpy road to the Monastery.
The Old Town is explorable on foot, including the pleasant stroll up the central hills overlooking the town.
There is a wide selection of Western, Chinese and Tibetan restaurants available here. The Western food is actually very good. Sometimes you have western food in China, and it's not so flash!! Western recommendations are:
Tibetan recommendations are:
In the Dancing Square during the day there are also loads of little stalls selling BBQ sticks and some dumplings.
|Dragoncloud International Hostel||No. 94 Bei Men Street, Jian Tang County, Shagrila Yunnan||HOSTEL||70|
|Ge Sang Garden Inn||No. 043 Bei Men Street Shangri-la Old Town||Guesthouse||83|
|Harmony Guesthouse||#22 Beiman Street||Guesthouse||-|
|Lao Shay Youth Hostel||Shangri-la, Yunnan Jinugu Village, Blue Moon Valley(Si Ka Shue San)||Hostel||76|
|Tavern 47||47 Cuo Lang Street Shangri la Old Town||Hostel||88|
|The Home Tibetan Home||No.6 Wayao Road Old Town||Hostel||-|
|Tina's Youth Hostel - Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge||Hu Tiao Xia Zhong Xia (Tiger Leeping Gorge - Middl (Tiger Leeping Gorge - Middle Gorge), Di Qing||Hostel||-|
|N's Kitchen & Lodge||No.33 Yiruomulang St. Beimen, Old Town, Yunnan||HOSTEL||78|
|Shangri-La Lamtin Hostel||No.11, Co Lang Street Jian Tang County Near The Centre of The Old Town-Sifang Square||Hostel||78|
|Noah Inn||No. 11 ChiLangShuo，CangFang Street JianTangZheng Town||HOSTEL||76|
|You Jia Guesthouse||No.16 Dian La Ka Street Old Town Shangrila||HOSTEL||77|
|Tiger Leaping Gorge Janes Tibetan Guesthouse||No.2 Hedong St. Tiger Leaping Gorge||HOSTEL||-|
|Shangri-la Swallow's Nest Hostel||No.52 CuoLang Shangrila Old City||HOSTEL||76|
|Collect View Inn||No.61 CuoLang Shangrila Old City||HOSTEL||-|
|517 Guest House||10# Xiarongrui, Jiantang Town, Shangri-la County,||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|The Long Journey Backpackers' Lodge||No. 13 Hong Xue Lang Jin Long Street||GUESTHOUSE||-|
See also International Telephone Calls
China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.
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