Old Town of Zhongdian

Old Town of Zhongdian Shangri-la Yunnan
The old town of Zhongdian is a tangle of finely carved wooden houses. Pedestrian lanes lead visitors into remote parts where Tibetans still live in accordance with their traditions. The architecture, local residents and especially women in turbans remind visitors that he/she is on the border of Tibet.

Paradise on Earth

In James Hilton's novel "Lost Horizon", a city is described as paradise. According to the research, this city would actually be Zhongdian. The Chinese government then decided to change the name of this village in Shangri-La, which means paradise in dream.

Tibetan Village of Wood Houses

The old town of Zhongdian has kept its original charm and traditional architecture as opposed to new buildings that are further away. Paved sometimes with tortuous and steep streets, one may get lost in a maze of these finely carved wooden houses. Here, even the roofs are made of wood and the pillars of the houses are vaguely reminiscent of western mountain cottages.

Tibetan Music

Every evening, Tibetan women and men of all ages gather in the central square, which comes alive with the sounds of Tibetan music. Traditional dances are performed at the same time. Some women still wear traditional outfit with fuchsia turbans and long skirts.

Pedestrian Streets

Just like Lijiang, Zhongdian old town is for pedestrians. In a more restricted area, cafes and restaurants have settled to offer foreigners a moment of relaxation in a rural setting.

  • Best time to visit

    Apr. May. Jun. Sep. Oct. Nov. 
  • Altitude

    3 200M Altitude Old Town of Zhongdian
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