Zhongdian is a hard one to pin point. Located on the southern edge of the Tibetan world, The place runs on its own time. Days run into weeks and weeks turn into season and nothing much seams to happen. But at the same time in the last couple year the Old town has seem a revival of sorts. Hang out here long enough and you’ll hear the fanatical stories of the days before. But these days it caulk a block cafes, bars and hotel’s. There are very few local who run business in the old town. Most of them are happy to collect the rent.
There is speculation of Zhongdian cashing in on the popularity of Lijaing. Most of the rosy tinted speculation is propagated by business interests. Whether the bubble bursts or the popularity continues to grow is something I’m sure will be debited for years to come. But if you’ve ever spent a winter there you’ll wonder how many of these businesses will continue to hang on.
There is no question that Zhongdian, as well as any other place in the north west of Yunnan is a great base for the untapped adventure tourism potential of the eastern Himalayas