United offers nonstop flights from Washington Dulles to Beijing. Air China, China Southern and several other Chinese airlines offer frequent connecting service to Yunnan’s capital, Kunming, from Beijing and several other Chinese cities. China Eastern and China Southern offer daily service from Kunming to Shangri-la, also called Zhongdian or Diqing, from about $250 round trip. Several hiking spots in the Shangri-la area — particularly Pudacuo National Park and the Shangri-la Alpine Botanical Garden — are accessible via taxi from Shangri-la old town.
WHERE TO STAY
Banyan Tree Ringha
Jian Tang Town, Shangri-la County
Top-end luxury resort about 45 minutes by car from Shangri-la Diqing airport. Rooms from about $500 a night.
The Cozy Inn
8 Ancient Way Gallery Road, Shangri-la
Simply but tastefully furnished. The friendly staff speaks minimal English. Double rooms from about $35 a night.
WHERE TO EAT
Somewhere Else Cafe
Northeast corner of Shangri-la old
town’s central square
A Dutch-owned cafe serving excellent lattes and cinnamon scones. Coffee and pastries from about $2 each.
Soyala Tibetan Diner and Lounge
1 Cangfang St., Shangri-la old town
The best — and perhaps only — place in Shangri-la for yak burgers and homemade craft beer. Also try the yak-meat momos, a Tibetan specialty. Burger and beer about $9.
WHAT TO DO
Pudacuo National Park
China’s first national park, about 15 miles from Shangri-la. Easily accessible by taxi, and a nice place to spot late-spring and early-summer wildflowers. Entrance fee $30.
Shangri-la Alpine Botanical Garden
21 Heping Rd., Shangri-la County
A short taxi ride from Shangri-la old town, the garden includes a Tibetan temple and walking trails flanked by wildflowers. Free.