Charmed at Songzanlin Monastery, Zhongdian, Yunnan

song1Travel in Yunnan is always a rewarding experience. Visiting Zhongdian, principally a Tibetan town with a mixture of Han, Bai and Naxi, constitutes a great sample of Tibet if you don’t have time to travel on to Tibet proper. The Old Tibetan Town plus Songzanlin Monastery are a must see places when in Zhongdian. Songzanlin Gompa is a clone of Potala Palace in Lhasa, a massive structure overlooking the nearly-11,000 ft. high plain around Shangri-La. Built in late 17th century it has wonderfully gilded rooftops, magnificent temples with impressive altars and frescoes. Visiting you will always run into many monks and Tibetan pilgrims though, if you’re lucky, you may be treated to a sight out of the ordinary, a visit of charming beauties adorned in their entire splendor.

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