China: From Chengdu via Lijiang to Zhongdian, Nixi and Benzilan
Primary we planed to go to Chengdu by plane and take the bus to go to the west (Yading). At our arrival in Chengdu we have been informed, that this area is closed for tourists and we had to find a new place to visit. As we wanted to visit tibetan area we decided to enter the area from the south and went by plane to Lijiang. We booked the flightticket in Chengdu and planned to go to Zhongdian (which as renamed to “Shangri La“) by bus. By chance there was a “rent a motorcylice” nex to our guesthouse in Zhongdian which gave us the possibility to go more to the north by bike – until the tibetan village Benzilan.
Beijing – starting point in the capital of China
Beijing was the point of departure to this journey, there were even just one night to explore a tiny part of this city. The Lotus guest house is located very close the center and it took about half an hour to go to the forbidden city.
To the south of this city is the Tiananmen Square which is covered with the sad history of 1989.
To have a roast duck it takes about ten minues to go the Roast Duck Rt. wich is parallel to the Qianmen Xidajie. The focus of these restaurants are tourists, but you will get a good duck over there.
Chengdu in Sichuan with hot pot
Chengdu is usually the place where people start their tour to explore Westchina or Tibet but it’s also worth to spend some time and enjoy the city. Chengdu is well known because of its tea houses which are spreaded in several areas – people play games or just chat all afternoon long over there.
We stayed in the Sim’s Cozy Guesthouse which is a great choice. On the way to the center is the Wenshu Monastery which was rebuilt in the Qing Dynasty, but there is also a newly build Pagoda with a height of 22 meters in the center.
If you are walking in the late evening you will find many places with people who are doing something like Tai Chi or Qigong in a big group with a teacher.
As Yading was locked for foreigner we decided to go to Yunnan by plane – the price for each person and each direction was 770 Yuan. We got the dicet directly at the Sim’s Cozy Guesthouse.
Lijiang in province Yunnan with famous UNESCO Heritage Site
Lijiang is separated into two parts, the old one and the new one. We arrived at about 11pm at the airport, went by bus to the new part and by taxi to the old one. This is porbaly the best time to arrive, because you are welcomed by a fabulous night view of old Lijiang – which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Old Lijiang – the home of Naxi, a minority matriarcal culture originating from Tibet – is ist built with wooden architecture, canals and the granite block streets. Some parts of the old city are coverd with restaurants for tourists with blatant singers – if you avoid them you find a nice place!
We spent two nights in the Lao Shay Youth Hostel, the staff at the desk is speaking English very well and helpfull to arrange your trip.
On the third day afternoon we left Lijiang to Zhongdian …
Zhongdian / Shangri La
After a great bustrip (appr. 5 hours) in the mountains we reached Zhongdian at 3.300 meters. Since the city is at the boarderline of tibetean culture mostly tibetean live here.
Like Lijiang it is separated in an old town and a new town and there are some monastries around the city to visit. The city was renamed to “Shangri La” by Chinese and many maps in China name it like this.
We stayed at the Shangri La Traveller club, it is at the old town.
Next to our guest house in Zhongdian there was a motorbike rental – you can rent a scooter just to explore the city or a bike which is a little bit stronger to get to the surrounding area of Zhongdian. The price per day is from 100 RPM to 150 RPM.
Motorcylce for Rent:
We went by motorbike to Benzilan.
|Name||hot water||towel||credit card||price for double *)|
|Beijing Lotus Hostel||24 hours||no||no||240 Yuan|
|Sim’s Cozy Guesthouse||24 hours||yes||no||160 Yuan|
|Lao Shay Youth Hostel||5pm – 1am||yes||no|
|Shangri La Traveller Club||24 hours||no||no|
*) the price for a double is the price we paid, sometimes there are different prices for a double.