Monday, August 24, 2015


Shangri-La's Old Town is still worth a walk through. Many streets and houses are being rebuilt after the 10-hour fire in January 2014. A distinct blend of Tibetan-Chinese architecture. Work is a long way from being completed. Would take another year to have Old Town back to its former glory. But as the town re-builds, the economy is slowly improving and the face of the town is changing.

Joined the hosts and friends dancing at Sifanglou Square (四方楼广场). Hahahaha. Not exactly line dancing lah. It's Tibetan dance. The area is typical as of any town centre. Loads of people hang out there at any random time of the day.

The dancing is held daily from 7pm to 8pm. The dancers kinda belong to some sort of workers' union....maybe. The grannies in Tibetan clothes lead the dances and probably choose the steps. Man, those Tibetan dance steps are tough to follow. The beats are a bit off. Or at least I don't feel the music... Anyway, it was a good workout, something different from climbing hills. Moved different groups of muscles for a solid hour till they actually ached the next morning.

One could see the commercialization and retail sector opening up. Not sure how I feel about it. It's fine if it's restricted to this town center where the banks, government buildings, bigger hotels and hospitals are. The same way why I'm not keen to be brought shopping at tourist spots anywhere in the world. What on earth is there for me to buy???! The last thing I want to do on a vacation is to mindlessly shop for more clothes, shoes and trinkets, all of which I don't need. 

Stalls that sell the same produce and products lined the streets. Tourists- domestic and foreign alike enthusiastically peered over these wares to buy them. Over at the New Town area, bakeries that sell decent bread price them way higher than what we city folks can stomach, like SGD 9 for a thin slice of cheesecake. Better treasure the small-town feel while it lasts. That's the conundrum. Tourists want both the local-feel and the big-city comforts and conveniences.

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