Sunday, August 30, 2015


架子是用来嗮青稞 (Highland barley) 的。青稞蜂蜜酥特别好吃。

And that's a wrap for the sojourn in Zhongdian/Gyalthang/Shangri-la. I'm going to miss it so so so so so much. In five years, when the highway connecting Zhongdian to Lijiang (that's now four hours away on the narrow two-lane crowded mountain road) is completed and open to heavy traffic, the destructive mark of domestic tourism will be seen and felt everywhere in paradise.

This trip is much treasured. Zhongdian has a special place in my heart. It was a destination that was undertaken as a personal challenge 10 years ago. It fed my soul and fortified me in faith and strength. Today, this trip is more of gratitude, thanksgiving and paying-it-forward. Should I return in another decade, I don't think I'll be fit enough or have it in me to sleep on groundsheets, trek or gallop on horses across the plains anymore. Ahhh memories. The next trip would be rather different, I fancy.

As beautiful as Zhongdian is, my mind is swirling upon the upcoming General Elections at home, even though I'm trying my best to ignore the many idiotic statements made. Anyway, in view of current mood, only certain aspects of James Hilton's 1933 'Lost Horizon' resonate with me, least of which is this quote in Chapter 6,

Certainly during visits to the valley Conway found a spirit of goodwill and contentment that pleased him all the more because he knew that of all the arts, that of government has been brought least to perfection. When he made some complimentary remark, however, Chang responded: “Ah, but you see, we believe that to govern perfectly it is necessary to avoid governing too much.” 
“Yet you don’t have any democratic machinery — voting, and so on?” 
“Oh, no. Our people would be quite shocked by having to declare that one policy was completely right and another completely wrong.” 
Conway smiled. He found the attitude a curiously sympathetic one.


Onward to Lijiang.

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