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The name Shangri-La immediately evokes peace and tranquility, and it does not disappoint. Once a small village, Shangri-La has developed into a city of migrants from neighboring Sichuan and other parts of Yunnan have flocked here in pursuit of greater opportunities. A favorite last stop for travelers journeying into Tibet, Shangri-La's historic Old Town was recently revitalized through a government scheme designed to attract investment. Its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with cafes, restaurants and boutiques selling prayer flags, jewellery, 'thangka' paintings and traditional clothing from Tibet and other parts of the Himalayas. Adjacent to the Old Town, sits Zonggu Monastery, which boasts the world's largest prayer wheel. Make sure you take a trek up to Napahai Lake that overlooks the Shangri-la grassland, which is fed by snowmelt from the nearby mountains in the summer and recedes to form a lush grassland during the dry season. Each September the lake serves as a temporary paradise for flocks of migratory birds ranging from bar-headed geese to black-necked cranes, one of the rarest bird species left on earth. As well as birds it is a great place to spot the seasonal rhododendrons.

Shangrila Yunnan China 1 Shangrila Yunnan China 1
Shangri La Yunnan China Shangri La Yunnan China
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