Enroute to Shangri-La

July 1, 2012 — 0



Enroute to Shangri-La

July 1, 2012 — 0


Shangri-La has always had a unique position in a lot of history loving people’s minds. The city has long been considered a dreamer’s paradise that was built by God himself and so on… A lot of us have heard stories about this “mysterious town” that exists “somewhere”. But, before we get into the details of this town, there is a lot to talk about the journey from Lijiang to Shangri-La itself.

Please click here for experiences of Shangri-La itself, while click here for Lijiang experience. And this for Kunming/Dali.

The route from Lijiang to Shangri-La has one of the most beautiful sceneries you can ever see. The journey winds through golden and green plains (depending on the age of the crops) and mountains, rivers and streams etc.


The famous Tiger Leaping Gorge comes enroute when going to Shangri-La. The gorge actually lies on the Yangtze River, which is the longest river in China flows from the Himalayas in east all the way to Shanghai in the extreme west.


Yangtze river flowing with beautiful backdrop of mountains lined with clouds. We also managed to see the Jade Snow Mountain to an extent, on this day, as it was less cloudy. That said, the best view was still from the point near Lijiang

Tiger Leaping Gorge

View of the Tiger Leaping Gorge from the top

The story behind the name of this gorge is indeed incredulous, although in a way, it can be believed. The legend goes that there was a tiger which jumped from the other side of the river gorge to the side we are at, in order to escape a hunter. Well, that seems a bit too good to be true, but our guide told us that that could be possible because 1) in winters, the water level drops considerably and there is a big rock in the middle of this gorge (which you’d notice is causing the flow to suddenly rise in the middle of the river). So, first it jumped on this rock and walked on it and then jumped to this side.
As for the river, the enormity of the same is well depicted in the pic below.


Continuing the journey to Shangri-La… part II

Post the Tiger Leaping Gorge, you start the real journey into the mountains with streams from the mountains flowing opposite your direction and weather getting little colder with every turn you take. Once some height has been attained, the Shangri-La plateaus up and there appears vast plain highlands with farms, plantations, lakes and what literally looks like heaven on earth.


When we are approaching Shangri-La, we can already start seeing the cultural difference. It starts resembling the Tibetan / Buddhist culture more and more as we approach the city and people, their dresses, dance etc which we got to see (by chance) on our way all depict that.



So we reached Shangri-La after a long 4-5hr journey but which was not tiring at all and in fact quite engrossing given so much to see and experience.

Hope on for the main Shangri-La experience!

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