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Shangri La

''a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world...''

sunny 28 °C

There were now 7 of us in the gang! 2 US gals - Camden (who was hilarious) & Jennifer, and 1 UK gal - Ellie had joined us. They were lovely girls altogether - they'd been living in Shanghai and 2 of them had just completed the Great Wall of China Marathon - JAYSUS - Ironwomen.

Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton. It is supposed to be a mystical happy land, and believed to be in the Yunann province. Today Zhongdian claims the title of Shangri La (renamed for marketing reasons). The countryside is beautiful and it's a great place to hang out and experience Tibetan culture without all the red tape and hullaballoo of actually trying to get into Tibet.

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Anywho the 7 of us checked into a YHA in Shangri La (check out this artwork on the walls)

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Awesome eh??

Anywho we checked in and came upon Frenchy Trumpet girl sitting on the floor in reception, pouring over pages and pages of maps and notes. She was awesome. Mad as a brush and talked about 300 miles an hour, and with SUCH EXCITEMENT! I liked her instantly. Her name was Martah but I called her Frenchy. She got excited by everything - especially plants! Martah had been volunteering and studying in China for 11 months and once she was finished, she decided to travel around China for a few weeks. She carried her trumpet strapped to her back everywhere and everyone she met asked her to play for them. It started conversations for her (although that would have been no problem to her anyway), opened closed doors for her - i.e. got her into places for free, she went busking with it, played in a bar with some Irish and English guys with it and was just generally awesome. So Frenchy joined our crew and we all went out for another hotpot. Well I couldn't take another hotpot so went for some momos and they were (in the words of Joao) DEELISHHSHHEEYUS.. :D

After dinner we went drinking in the square for a while, we saw a baby do a poo on the street, we threw some shoes around in some sort of naf competition, and then realised we had a curfew and had to go back to our hostel. Myself, Frenchy, Stef & Joao stayed up drinkin, laughin and being eejits on the rooftop which was great craic altogether. (Don't we need this filter? Yes we do! - ha!)

Next day we pottered around Shangri La and went up to the big temple.

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I liked Shangri La a lot better than Lijiang. SL was a bit quieter and less obviously pretendy Chinesey. (If that makes sense) The temple was cool and I sat and had a look out over the city, enjoying the silence. I heard some noise coming from the Giant Twirly Prayer yoke and took this to mean people were trying to push it round 3 times (for good luck?,blessing - I forgot to find out. I expect you have noticed my lack of facts in the last few posts - my apologies - i'm too busy having a good time to find out all the answers!)
Anywho we rushed to join in and push the big prayer wheel round. Loads of people started out pushing it, but then half of the buggers jumped out half way through, so while the first push around was easy, the second was harder and the third (with only about 7 of us left) was nigh on impossible. But we JUST about made it. :) YAHOO!!!
I felt pretty lucky and blessed by this achievement (although I have felt that way for most of my trip).

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Lunch was skewers of stuff at the market. It was nom. There were skewers of mushrooms, spring onions, yak, potato, chorizo, courgette and big chilli peppers - all covered in spicy pepper. DROOL. It was amazing, although our mouths were on fire afterwards.

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Back at the hostel we hung around for a bit playing Brain Trivia where myself and Stef got a WHOPPER SCoRE OF 7900!! NEW WORLD (lisa) RECORD.

Posted by squeakylee 05:05 Archived in China Tagged culture la prayer tibetan shangri yokes

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