Discovering Yunnan’s Tibetan Plateau - A personal Shangri-La

By Bruce Connolly | | Updated: 2017-12-12 07:09

I could feel within me that the older area had the potential to become a "high-altitude Dali". Indeed combining Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian and much in between there was the making of excellent travel possibilities. Such towns were historically long connected. Known locally as Deqen, like other north Yunnan settlements, it was on the historic "Tea Horse Trail" where from the 6th century Pu’er tea was transported by packhorse from sub-tropical Simao up to Lhasa. Wandering around, looking at people in their heavy traditional clothes I would wonder how many could trace their ancestry back through the centuries. Older Zhongdian in '95 had the impression of a town where people never or rarely left.

Sitting at market foodstall 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]
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