China – Shangri-La on Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie, China, April 2019:  To recap, I’m on a clockwise hike of the Tianmen Mountain plateau, along with thousands of Chinese domestic tourists. Having survived a glass sky walk some 4,500 feet in the air, my attention is now turned towards a collection of red buildings in the distance. A small village or hamlet perhaps, either way my interest has been aroused, so lets go and explore, lets think of it as traveling to Shangri-La

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The closest place to the settlement on the tourist map is marked as Tianmen Mountain Temple, accessed from Cherry Bay Restaurant. Actually, there’s no restaurant here but a collection of fast food outlets and a booth selling that awful 3 in 1 Nescafe coffee mix. Those with a desire to buy those tourist souvenirs can do so here, and without any sales pressure! From here one leaves the tourist main path and heads off towards the temple settlement arriving onto a concreted plaza lined with cherry trees, in full blossom – looks real enough, no faking this lot! So as one wanders between the selfie obsessed Chinese folk, here’s a few snaps of springtime China…

As one ascends the stone steps here, there’s a courtyard of tranquility, peace and just a handful of tourists. Yes, those annoying, noisy tour groups obviously don’t have this place on their itinerary – for obvious reasons when one thinks about it! So, Shangri – La here on Tianmen Mountain is a religious complex of temples, outhouses and meeting halls, all presented with some of the nicest architecture I’ve seen in China thus far. Here’s where photo’s can tell a better story…

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Unofficially, Shangri-La on Tianmen Mountain.

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The Centre Piece, access to climb is denied! 

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Ornate Architecture 

So, to sum it all up – what a wonderful little place. A corner of the mountain where one can escape the spitting, the shouting, the pushing and shoving and enjoy an hour or so of quality peace.

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