Zhongdian - Yunnan Province
This town in northwestern Yunnan province provides a taste of Tibet for those who can’t make it the real place. The high altitude means Zhongdian is practically shut down for several months during the winter, but in the summer the old town comes alive with the colours and sounds of Tibet. Becoming increasingly popular each year, it is still possible to witness the Tibetan culture and unspoiled scenery of this mysterious region. The 300 year old Ganden Sumtseling Gompa (also known as Songzanlin Monastery) is the largest Tibetan Monastery in Yunnan Province.
The surrounding area is also home to some spectacular scenery and national parks, such as the Pudacuo National Park and Napa Hai Nature Reserve. From Zhongdian you can also reach the picturesque Lake Lugu, which is home to the Mosu - one of the last practising matriarchal societies in the world.