Day 107: Shangri-La (香格里拉) – October 2nd

Saying farewell to the comforts of Salt Well, we hit the road again with an 8am bus into Yunnan province to the town of Deqen. This region is famous for its 梅里mountain range, with a small town built off the side of the cliff right before Deqen, dedicated to anyone wanting a spectacular view.

Note: Meili Mountain is one of the four sacred mountains in Tibetan culture, and it is said that if the moment you enter Deqen and you can see the full view of the whole mountain range without cover, you would have good luck for a year!!

We weren’t super lucky, but the mountain-gods were good enough to us and the clouds miraculously opened up a small window for us to see the tallest peak of the ranges, Kawakarpo (卡瓦格博)!!! So we still feel that we’re going to get some good luck =)

The fact that it’s October 2nd means it was almost impossible to book a place to stay in such a popular destination. We called almost every hotel we could find online and it was all full! To add to this, there’s been a massive cloud hovering over us for the past couple of days, and the weather predicts another 7-days of mild rain. The crappy weather, along with fact that it was next to impossible to find a place to stay, we ended up skipping this spot and headed directly to Deqen….for the next stop of Shangri-La!

Hearing the name, it’s hard not to visualize a spectacular place, like an explorer discovering a paradise valley just over the hill. Jiajia said “Don’t have your hopes up”, but I really couldn’t help it! And once we arrived, I understood why she said that…. This place is overrated and massive. The old town is surrounded by a bland and busy new town, lined with the most hotels per square km we’ve ever seen. Despite this, the whole place was ridiculously overpriced at about 2-3x regular prices. In the end, we ended up staying outside the old town at a hotel.

Not. Impressed.

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