Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yunnan China Zhongdian County - now Shangri-La

Here is a typical walking street in the town Zhongdian. I flew into Zhongdian county that was renamed to Xiānggélǐlā (香格里拉, Shangri-La in Chinese) in 2001, to attract tourists. Liu Jainqiang who writes for China Dialogue and his son, Legend, suggested I come here on the train to Beijing from Yanqing. Consider reading China Dialogue
That he wrote. Jainqiang is a friend of my college classmate Leo Lum, whom I met at Carleton College in Northfield in the late 1960's. When I contacted Leo that I was coming to China, he encouraged me to meet him in Beijing which I did and where I had dinner in NE Beijing and met Liu Jainqiang who writes an for China dialogue.

Three Languages for a men's room in my first rustic wooden place to stay in the Yunnan Mountains of SW China. Tibetan, Chinese and then MAN in English! I found the place of the shower and refreshment at a high elevation. "Easy does it "walking on the stone paths as I am a flat lander. Able to carry my back pack at 9300 ft and got the assistance of a woman from Beijing who works in a tea house here. A friend of Jianqiang's. No problems very relaxing and beautiful place. Thanks to Liu Jainqing who writes for China Dialogue for the referral on the train to Beijing from Yanqing. Consider reading China Dialogue

I got up early each day, and walked to a cafe or hostel to have breakfast and try Wifi. Here is what it looked like in Zhongdian. In China I could not access my blog so I am now writing a few months after my trip, having digested some of the experiences over time. When I entered China in Nanjing I found my access at my hotel to the internet was very limited, so I spent time seeing and experiencing each day with my camera and those I was with, my local guides. Very grateful for the clarity of what I wanted to see, and for the cost effective local places I stayed and ate in!

N's Kitchen is next to an international hostel and provided breakfasts and coffee and internet. Local yak meat replaced beef in the menu! Copies of Time and the Economist on the wall and I left fresh copies I had purchased in airports to pass along. German, French Speakers here as well as English and the Chinese who are visitors to this mostly Tibetan ethnic area!

Here I am inside the Compass Cafe that had been recommended for breakfasts. I did manage a connection to the internet here for a while and chatted with a waitperson from the Netherlands. German and English spoken here! I nice oasis here to have relaxing food and chats with folks from around the world...An elevating experience all around!

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