Shangri-La (Pinyin: Xianggelila), previously known as Zhongdian, is a small, primarily Tibetan town located 5 hours drive north of Lijiang. The Chinese part of town is typical for the area, but a recent bout of development in the old city center is creating an interesting old town to explore.

Highlights within a day’s trip from town include:

* Song Lan Lin Monastery, reportedly the biggest Tibetan monastery complex in the province
* Bai Shui Tai, a picturesque limestone formation
* Tiger Leaping Gorge, a sheer gorge which has a well marked trail and good tourist infrastructure
* Bita Hai, a lake featuring a small island in its middle, a popular destination
* Da Bao Si, a small but famous monastery approximately 15 km out of town
* Lijiang, the province’s mecca for Chinese tour groups

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