Firstly described in the well-known novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton, Shangri-La is a permanently joyous paradise isolated from the earthly world. The people live happily and contently there. Today, you will have a full day to explore its mystery and beauteousness.
After breakfast, pay a visit to the Songzanlin Lamasery – the largest Tibetan Buddhist lamasery in Yunnan. It is reputed as “Little Potala Palace” for its faithful imitation of the Potala Palace. In addition to perfect pattern of architecture, Songzanlin Lamasery also offers fine murals and magnificent Buddhist statues. While prayer flags are fluttering and the bells are tinkling, you will get an otherworldly peace of mind in the lamasery and understand how the simple Tibetan keeps their pure and religious belief in this temporal world.
Later you will drive to Potatso National Park and intoxicate yourself with the primitive landscape, including wetland, meadow and rare flora and fauna. Take a leisurely walk beside the beautiful Bitahai which is the highest lake in Yunnan Province. With captivating snow-mountain, green forest and bluish sky reflected in the water, Bitahai looks like a magical mirror. After feasting on the good views, walk to Shudu Lake where you can see scads many flocks and herds grazing in the field.
In the evening, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family and experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people.
Tips: 1) dress modestly, behave with good manner and ask for permission if you want to take pictures of monks or pilgrims; 2) the altitude of Bitahai is 3,538m, and avoid strong activity to avoid high altitude sickness; 3) you can choose to take a boat sailing on Bitahai or Shudu Lake for a more relaxed sightseeing.
- Songzanlin Lamasery – “little Potala Palace”