Blog Entry 43
Renaming Zhongdian to Shangri-La in 2002 to increase tourism worked a treat. First on our hit-list: Ganden Sumtseling Monastery; a Tibetan Monastry built by the 5th Dalai Lama at an elevation of 3,380m. Of the 700 monks housed there, we were fortunate enough to see less than one.
Well this place looks warm and cozy!
The horse is watching the pig and man poop.
Dukezong Temple. Featuring gold Fortunate Victory Prayer Wheel...definitely within our top 8 Fortunate Victory Prayer Wheel's we ever did see!
Gary 'the yak' Zheng doesn't seem happy.
The increased presence of the guys strangely coincided with the decreased numbers of Tibetans.
Old Town lies to the south of Shangri-La.
Here in the main square, local tibetans and white people dance together every night to music by Khatak Phuntsok Topgyal, Lama Khen, and Harold Melvin Brown & The Blue Notes.
Old Town lanes...
Old Town food...
Aside from the walking, trekking through the countryside with our Tibetan guide Bruce "the guide" Wangdak was great.
China's somewhat controversial method of mining: take half a mountain then leave it to the Tibetan's to fix!
Shangri-La's multi-purpose sports stadium is in need of a redevelopment.
Tibetan kids are so much cuter than Western kids.
Oh Bruce you're a funny bugger!
Lunch with a Tibetan family in their home. The Namche ko Momo was second to none.
Who's a cheeky little monkey?
No I'm fucken not. You are.
Some random monastery: Instead of being sacrificed and turned into burger patties, animals brought here are spared and released to roam on the sacred hill.
It is said that bathing in the Tianshengqiao Hot Spring heals illness, injuries, and makes leopard print short-shorts even shorter.
[Sad update: Since visiting, a massive fire swept through and destoyed much of Old Town. This was the third fire to hit Tibet areas in past few months. What a coincidence!]