Journey to Shangri-la
We left the flat at 8:30am and managed to get a taxi to the bus depot easily enough. The bus depot was fairly large and was similar to the train station with an x-ray machine for the bags and then you enter a into one of the two waiting rooms. We had to wait about an hour for our bus, the bus was a cross between a mini bus and a coach. The coach would be comfy enough for small people, but with my long legs it was quiet uncomfortable. The journey was a very exciting one taking us down to the Yangtse and along it for almost an hour. We then came up the other side and climbed steeply past raging rivers and landslides which completely covered some parts of the road. We then finally came out on a plateau with amazing Tibetan houses. Which were really big square buildings, a little similar to Swiss houses, but with more brick and huge tree trunks as support. The supporting columns must have come from trees which were hundreds of years old. When I got closer to one I could see that they didn't use many nails, but had slotted the wood in so that it fitted.
We got dropped off just in front of the bus depot at Shangri la so we had to catch the number 1 public bus from just round the corner. An older Dutch women in her sixties also came as she was needing to find a hotel, but had none booked. She was actually one of the guests from our hostel a few days earlier in Lijiang. The bus took us to right outside the old town entrance and so we just followed our directions from the hostel website and we got there after a little looking around. We stayed at the hostel 'tavern 47' which was very nice. We were met by the owner who is Korean and speaks very good English he was very friendly and showed us around and then chatted with us about what places were good to visit. We then went out for a late lunch, we had BBQ Chinese food from the stalls in the main square, the food was very tasty. We then had a little walk around old town, which was similar to Lijiang old town, but was much smaller and with more Tibetan style buildings. We then went back to our hostel to look up more places to go and to have some more food. I had some good fried pork and rice and Sarah had a hot Chocolate, both were made by the owners wife. The whole hostel was family run by mostly the owners wife and brother in-law. We spent a few hours chatting with the owner about places to visit and looking them up online. But the names for the places were bad descriptions, such as snow mountain which had no snow and napahai lake, which was had no water as it had been too dry this year, even with all the heavy rain and flooding in the last two days. Whilst at the hostel we also met some Spanish people who were in the same hostel as us in Lijiang and by some amazing coincidence we met a lady which Sarah had been emailing about the area, although she was from Deqin eight hours north. After looking things up online we went out for dinner, we had a look around for a while and decided on a restaurant. We had battered fried aubergine with mince and also a dish of fried pigs heart. After dinner we went back to our hostel and spent some more time on the internet as the weather had been so wet and cold all day.