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Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
12,429 posts
5 reviews
Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

On January 11 the Old Town in Zhongdian (Shangri-La) had a devastating fire and a significant part of the Old Town was burned. Unclear if there are any injuries. It should become apparent in the next few days how extensive the damage is. Particularly if you were planning a visit this year with a stay in the Old Town, check to make sure you still have a viable booking. Hotels and other locations outside the Old Town (such as Songzanlin Monastery) aren't affected.

Edited: 11 January 2014, 21:21
Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
46,047 posts
830 reviews
1. Re: Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

Seems pretty bad: news.sohu.com/20140112/n393357362.shtml

Dublin, California
Level Contributor
23,886 posts
47 reviews
2. Re: Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

Yes the report seems devastating:

BEIJING (AP) — A fire that raged for nearly 10 hours Saturday razed an ancient Tibetan town in southwest China that's popular with tourists, burning down hundreds of buildings as fire engines were unable to get onto the narrow streets, state media and witnesses said.

Kunming, China
Level Contributor
4,095 posts
579 reviews
3. Re: Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

Similar fire in Lijiang's old town last March. These places, with their narrow, winding streets and old buildings are fire traps. Surprising that more of them don't burn up.

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
4,930 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

2/3 of the old town was burnt down. 242 houses(335 households) vanished.

Level Contributor
48 posts
99 reviews
5. Re: Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

The fire sounds like it has destroyed most of Shanrila old town.

Is there another place in the area worth trying? We have a week between Dali and Shuhe and Shangrila

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
12,429 posts
5 reviews
6. Re: Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

You could go to Shaxi and Shibaoshan, which is west of Dali near the town of Jianchuan. Then do the Lijiang area and Tiger Leaping Gorge and don't go further north than that. Alternatively, you could go ahead with your plans and head up to Shangri-La: the rest of the town including the wonderful Songzanlin Monastery has not been affected by the fire, and places outside the town like Pudacuo National Park are fine. Shangri-La old town IMO had become a bit overrated in the last few years, anyway, becoming a bit too much like a junior Lijiang Old town.

Tamworth, Australia
Level Contributor
1 post
7 reviews
7. Re: Fire at Shangri-La Old Town


We are planning a trip to Shangri-la on our way to Chengdu for a trek. We will be there for 3 nights in October and wondered how the reconstruction is likely to be going. What do you advise regarding accommodation - there are still some lovely looking places taking bookings in the old town, but we are concerned we may be in the midst of building dust and noise. Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thankyou.

Level Contributor
7 posts
216 reviews
8. Re: Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

Does anyone know of a bookshop with English books to send to some particular survivors, friends of ours, who survived the fires?

Doesn't matter if it is a little way away as long as I can communicate in English?

Thanks in advance

Chengdu, China
1 post
9. Re: Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

I was just there last week there is still a lot to see and do. At least 50 hotels. Many more restaurants. They need the income more than ever. Please go. There is weeks worth of excursions out of town as well.

La Rochelle
Level Contributor
3 posts
38 reviews
10. Re: Fire at Shangri-La Old Town

We were told by our tour company not to go . How can i find out the real situation?

Also what else would you recommend in tours in the area?