What are the Best Places to Visit in Shangri-la? Enjoys the reputation of “the Lost Paradise”, Shangri-la is a place rich in natural resource and also unspoiled historical relics. Where to visit in Shangri-la? Travel with us, you will have chance to visit the scared snow mountains, experience its unique ethnic custom, primary natural reserve and time-honored religious architectures that built hundreds years ago, etc.
Meili Snow Mountain, or the Crown Prince of Snow Mountains, towers over the landscape in the west of Deqin County (Shangri-la) in Yunnan Province. It is known as the most beautiful snow mountain of the world. Kawagebo Peak, the main peak of its own, is the highest peak in Yunnan Province and one of the grand four holly mountains of Tibetan Buddhism.
The best season for visiting Meili Mountain is from January to May, during the time it has snow-capped peaks, dense forests, vast grasslands and beautiful wild flowers. The rainy summer season makes the trail muddy and difficult. The place is also nice from mid-October to mid-November when it is covered with marvelous autumn colors. Winter is cold and heavy snowfalls may block roads and isolate the region for weeks or months.
22km away from Shangri-la, Potatso National Park is the first national park of mainland China, which consists of two main attractions – Bitahai Lake and Shuduhu Lake. With well-preserved ecological environment, primary forest, wetlands, deep valleys and alpine meadow can also be seen in this park. All major spots are connected by walkable plank which offers a closer distance for travelers to experience the natural environment.
As the highest lake in Yunnan Province, Bitahai Lake is 3,500m above the sea level. Covering an area of about 159 hectares with an average depth of 20m, Bitaihai Lake is famous for its limpid water and its beautiful scenery which is set against the mountains and with forests surrounding it.
Clear water, lovely fish, herds of cows and sheep, and surrounded by lots of primitive forests is the truly description of Shuduhu Lake. The lake water is so limpid that people could see Shudu cracked-stomach fish produced in the lake whose color is golden and there is a crack line along its stomach.
Located on a mountain slope only 5km from downtown Shangri-la, Songzanlin Lamasery is the largest Tibetan Buddhism monastery in Yunnan Province. Since the 5th Dalai Lama chose the site through divination in 1679, the monastery has grown into the most important community of its kind in Yunnan.
Built in the style of Potala Palace in Lhasa, the magnificent monastery complex resides on top of a hill and consists of the two Zhacang and Jikang lamaseries - which take on the form of five-story Tibetan watchtowers - five gates, numerous sub-lamaseries and hundreds of rooms for the monks.
The main scripture hall in the center of the compound is the highlight of the visit, especially during prayer time in the morning or during auspicious festivals when devotees come to take part in the festivities. The hall itself can accommodate some 1,600 lamas sitting in meditation or chanting Buddhist scriptures and features 108 imposing pillars.
About 8km to the northwest of Shangri-la, Yunnan Province, Napahai Natural Lake Reserve is 3,270m above sea level and covers 660 square kilometers. It is both an ideal pasture for herdsmen and a paradise for many species of birds.
This is, in the true sense, a seasonal lake. When summer comes, snow on the adjacent mountains melts and flows down into about ten rivers forming a vast lake. In the dry season, Napahai becomes a boundless green grassland - the best time for herding sheep cattle. Every Steptember the lake again turns into a temporary habitat for migratory birds, such as bar-headed geese, wild ducks and black-necked cranes which is one of the 12 rarest bird species in the world. During this period, the lake becomes an ideal place for ornithologists from around the world.