Asia travelogue day 22: Shangri-la frozen over

Zhongdian is an old tbtan town, clumsily renamed Shangri-la to encourage tourism. In the summer, its plains are lush and picturesque. In the winter– now– it is a freezing, deserted ghost town, with patches of ice covering its cobblestones.

We arrive late in the day. The bus station walls are spawled with cell phone numbers. Apparently these numbers are for anyone that wants any documents (licenses, diplomas, certificates) “made”.

Porter, the pothead from the trail, recommended us a hotel. We’re picked up by Beijing Man, the owner. He is tall, cleanly cut, and his accent gives him his name. RRRR. Lulz and I marvel at what I hereby knight our best accommodations of the trip. Hot shower capsule, space heaters, huge window with natural light. $18/night.

Dinner in which the yak dish looks like bibimbop. Back at the hotel, we discover why Porter recommended the place and could not bring himself to leave for four days. Beijing man’s friends come over (often apparently, during the low season). They bullshit, drink beer, smoke the local Yunnan ganja (apparently good shit), and watch American movies on BM’s 42 inch Sony Bravia. Tonight, Beijing man shows off his new stereo system. Hard to believe we are in Yunnan declining bong hits to the gentle sway of Jack Johnson and Jimi Hendrix, but there it is.

“Bong Hit Decline” is a good band name.

Pvt msg if you want the name of the hotel.

In the morning we hit up the two monastaries in town. In front of buddha, Lulz does her thing, and I awkwardly mimic her to blend in. I do not blend in.

Bus back to Lijiang. Very scenic ride. Advice: sit on the right side if going from lijiang to zhongdian. Left side on the way back. Sheer cliff views and all that.

If you have not received an email from me yet, it is because the government has intercepted it.

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