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Celebrating My Birthday In Kun Ming, Shangri-La & Lijiang (China)

Looks like this year is where I blog only once every month. How I wish I have more time for blogging? 

Within less half a year, I went China twice. It's not my intention neither my plan, but I totally didn't expect the boyfriend surprised me a trip to China for my birthday this year. Like I mentioned before, a trip is the best gift for a gal who loves to travel. Last year November we went Wuhan for the boyfriend's birthday, and for this round, we went Kun Ming for my big day.  

2019 China AirAsia Kun Ming
The flight duration from Kota Kinabalu to Kun Ming takes 4 hours and 15 minutes.

But Kun Ming serves as a transit only, we then continued with our next journey after resting at the airport for nearly 5 hours. Luckily Kun Ming Changshui International Airport opens 24 hours. We flew with Lucky Air, a low cost carrier to Shangri-la. Besides Lucky Air, you can also opt for China Eastern Airlines to catch a flight from Kun Ming to Shangri-La. The flights between these two routes are available daily.

2019 China Lucky Air

For this trip, I unable to share most of the expenses incurred especially for the airfares and hotels cause everything booked by the boyfriend. He leads, I follow. Hahaha... 

Shangri-la, formerly known as Zhongdian and it was renamed in 2001. In Tibetan, Shangri-la defines as a land of sacredness and peace. 

2019 China Shangri-la Airport 01

We finally landed in Diging Shangri-la Airport after an hour and 40 minutes flight with Lucky Air from Kun Ming. The airport itself was pretty small, somehow reminds me of Wudang Mountain Airport which I went last year. It's funny where all of us, the flight passengers were asked to get out immediately from the arrival hall in order for the airport staff to lock the door. 

2019 China Shangri-la Airport 02

Once we stepped out from the arrival hall, we're amazed with the typical Tibetan-style paintings hung on the walls. There is no shuttle bus provided at the airport to the city center. So one either take a taxi, or like us, we requested for a transfer from the lodge we stayed. Guess what, the owner picked us up from the airport for free. That's so thoughtful and kind of them. 

2019 China Shangri-la Inn 01

Our Stay In Shangri-la:
Wanxinglo Ng The Inn (Can only book from Chinese website. The downside if you can't read Chinese like me 😟)


1) Shika Snow Mountain 
We signed up a day tour with the inn's owner where he will drive us to two places in a day. The first place he brought us was the Shika Snow Mountain, regarded as a holy mountain for the local Tibetans. In order to get up here, you need to take two cable car trips which cost CNY270 per person. 

2019 China Shangri-la Yunnan Shika Snow Mountain 01

2019 China Shangri-la Yunnan Shika Snow Mountain 02

The altitude of this mountain is 4,500m above the sea level. Some visitors might experience altitude sickness and trust me, it's not a joke. Try to avoid vigorous physical activities such as running and jumping to prevent the altitude sickness. Get ready with some medicine against altitude sickness or even, buy portable oxygen tank before going up. 

2) Potatso National Park 
The second attractions that the owner brought us to after we had our lunch. This national park is famous for its well-preserved primitive landscape, which is endowed with lakes, wetlands, forests, meadows, streams, brooks, rare plants and animals. When we were there, majority the whole are covered with pure white powder snow. 

Entrance Fee: CNY180 (Including sightseeing bus)

2019 China Shangri-la Yunnan Potatso National Park 01

2019 China Shangri-la Yunnan Potatso National Park 02

2019 China Shangri-la Yunnan Potatso National Park 03

3) Songzanlin Monastery 
Regarded as the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, this is my most favourite sight among the rest in Shangri-la. The monastery is full of treasures like plenty of golden figures of Buddha josses, golden lamps, Tibetan lections and so on. All of these magnificent collections accumulated from different dynasty. They are consider precious productions created by people of both Tibet nationality and Han nationality. 

Entrance Fee: CNY115
How To Get To Here from City Center: Take public bus #3 from Shangri-la County. A single bus trip costs CNY1 (approx. to RM0.60, that's incredibly cheap)

2019 China Shangri-la Yunnan Ganden Sumtseling Monastery 01


4) Shangri-la Ancient Town
Before leaving Shangri-la, we made a visit to the old town which not far away from our lodge. Maybe due to winter time, quite number of the shop owners went back to their homeland and therefore, many shops were closed. Almost the entire place was quiet and we didn't get the opportunity to experience the vibrant and happening life there. 

2019 China Shangri-la Old Town 01

2019 China Shangri-la Old Town 02

From Shangri-la, we took bus to Lijiang and stay for a night before leaving to Lugu Lake on the next day. I will share more about Lijiang later. 

Have you ever heard of Lugu Lake before? Frankly speaking, I never knew about this place until the boyfriend told me that we're going for a short 2 days and one trip out from Lijiang. Lies 3 hours away from Lijiang Old Town, this charming Lugu Lake is famous as the home of Mosou people and its last matriarchy society in China. One thing I never imagine is that China has such a beautiful and mesmerising lake encircled with hills and the water is so crystal clear and inviting. And then at night, we got to watch the Mosou culture dance. 

2019 China Lugu Lake 01

2019 China Lugu Lake 02

2D1N Lugu Lake Tour Package: CNY520 including transportation services in air-conditioned minibus, one night hotel stay with lake view, a breakfast, 2 lunch meals and a dinner. But the meals were kinda disappointing. Better bring along instant noodles. 

So, now we back to Lijiang story. From Shangri-la, we took bus and the journey takes more than 4 hours with a short toilet break. Once we arrived in Lijiang, we took public bus #11 to Lijiang Ancient Town. 

Although we didn't stay long in Lijiang, but I personally fall in love with this charming and lovely town. I really wish I could have more time here. At least we managed to visit two old towns and for your information, old town/ancient town is always my favourite spot to visit as it offers authentic old-world experience with deep insight into the culture, architecture, and life in those times.

1) Lijiang Old Town - UNESCO World Heritage Culture
This historical center is situated not far away from our lodge and I went twice throughout my stay in Lijiang. It has a history for over 800 years and a well-preserved old city of ethnic minorities with brilliant culture. 

2019 China Lijiang Old Town 01

2019 China Lijiang Old Town 02

2019 China Lijiang Old Town 03

2) Shuhe Ancient Town
4km to the northwest of the Lijiang Old Town, Shuhe is a small village which has a similar old architecture as Lijiang but it's more relaxed and not as crowded as Lijiang. To get here, we took DiDi, which similar to Grab apps but China version. 



Our Stay In Lijiang:
Two Meters Love Theme Inn
2019 China Lijiang Accommodation

Another thing I didn't expect is that the boyfriend surprised me with my favourite flower - a beautiful and lovely bouquet of lilies. This is my first time I received flowers in overseas. Absolutely overwhelming and unexpectedly! 

2019 China Lijiang Birthday Flower


P/S: The reason why I have no time to blog is because I busy with two things; Girl Guides activities & events and also keep travelling. I'm currently in Singapore & Kuching for my family reunion to celebrate my nephew 1st birthday. 
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