Sunday, October 22, 2006

Visiting a Legend: Shangri-la!

Shangri-la! You may be scratching your head, trying to remember what you've heard about. Probably it brings up some images of an exotic place, maybe some kind of oasis. Long lost travelers stumbling into a beautiful refuge... Don't feel bad, I don't remember either! :) But I *can* tell you what the real thing is like: relaxing, charming, and literally a breath of fresh air!

Okay, it's not Heaven on Earth, but I would definately consider returning for a holiday. I helped do some renovation on a building there and made some good friends.

(Doing some electrical work - China Style)

A visit to the old town is quite charming! Stone-laid streets, shops with ornate wooden fronts, street food everywhere! Not to mention lots of hotels and hostels, all looking quite inviting and cozy! Lot's of 'trinkets' shops selling the usual tourist fare. But the best part of all is the dancing.

(Dancing - at night of course....only photo I had, all the others are movies)

The dancing I say!!! Every night at multiple spots in the city they have some cultural dancing! I suppose one could vaguely liken it to line dancing, but it's definately something else. All ages participate, the dancing is not too complicated nor too simple. Everyone forms in a circle which slowly goes round and round. Bright colored ethnic clothes are mixed in with the everyday regulars. From children to geriatrics! The large one in the city proper must have had between 300-400 people, while the one in the old city had closer to 70-80 people. If you're ever in China and looking for a getaway, visit Shangri-la!

(Tractor transportation for hauling goods - not allowed in most cities now...Reminds me of a roto-tiller somehow.)

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