The biggest reason why I wanted to come to this area is because of the things beyond the Lijiang and that is the beauty of nature. I took a trip up to the area called Shangri La. Now, the area is called that for purely tourist reasons to get more in to spend more money. I knew this but still wanted to see what it was like and it was one of the best places I have ever seen.
The area is 90% Tibetan with small villages and lots of wide open spaces. It reminded me a lot of Mongolia with the sure mass of green space and the indigenous people. A lot of my time was spent wandering around the huge park near by called Pudacuo National Park (普达措国家公园) which is about 500 square miles but only 5% of the park can be accessed by tourists. The park itself, reminded me a lot about going to the cottage in northern Ontario (near Dorset).
I stayed in the town of Zhongdian (中甸县). The place I stayed was nice and it was in the heart of the old town and was easy to walk around. I got a chance to eat some Yak hot pot which was very tasty. The weather was COLD at 5C going up to about 15C. It was perfect weather for someone like me.
The only issue with this area is the altitude sickness. I was really dizzy and light headed. I got some oxygen to help deal with this. The whole trip gave me a lot of inspiration to go to Tibet. Too bad the area is closed until the 25th.