Dêqên aka Shangri La, The Mystical Paradise
I thought we got off on the wrong foot. It was rainy, cloudy and humid on that day. We walked a good hour on the dirty streets of Dêqên.
At the entrance of the infamous Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, our cash on hand was not enough for the admission; so we ended up going back to the Hylandia.
Fortunately, the rain stopped; so we decided on an old town tour.
Stepping away from the newer part of the city, the Dukezong Ancient Town consisted of mostly wooden and stone made houses. It looked very much like from some Chinese series which I had watched in my childhood and hitherto.
Goosebumps flooded my skin when I heard that this 1300 years old ancient town was destroyed in 2014 by fire. Back then, I noticed a few piles of detritus and empty pieces of land but assumed nothing.
Following a random path, we unconsciously reached the Guishan Park and the Big Buddha Temple (大佛寺).
While walking through the town, I thought we were the only tourists around. Well, the others had found their shortcut by taking the main gate which could be reached by car or bus.
There were mostly Chinese groups and several Vietnamese visitors that I had spotted from eavesdropping their complaint.
It was such a reward to be able to enjoy this amazing view.
The next day, we made our way again to the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery. Instead of taking the bus, walking was the best way to get used to the altitude and the town.
We first went in the wrong direction then took the shortcut with a great number of potholes filled with rainwater. Soon there was an auto rickshaw that was driving zig-zag in order to avoid those traps. It took three times longer going straight but he made it safely.
Finally, after another 30 minutes of going uphill, we arrived again at the Tibetan Culture Expo Center. Tickets were purchased and we were ready to go.
I'll let the pictures tell my adventure because I do not think there are any words (from my current knowledge) I could describe the mystic harmony that reigned in the atmosphere and this breathtaking view.