Dukezong Old Town

Dukezong Old Town is a fascinating and historic district. Part of the reason for its allure within the realms of tourism are its 1,300-year-old history and its authentic dwellings in the style of Tibet. No other Tibetan city that can be found within the Tibetan counties of China is better preserved. It is also worth highlighting that this historic destination is the largest Tibetan city that can be found in China’s Tibetan counties. The other half of Shangri La is more modern and lacks the overall appeal of Dukezong, and as you might expect, most tourists prefer to explore the more historic Dukezong streets.This makes the Old Town one of the most important Shangri La attractions.

Dukezong Old Town
Dukezong Old Town

Tibetan Buddhist scriptures speak of a lost city that is laid out in the form of an eight-petal lotus flower. This lost city is known as Shambhala. The Dukezong Old Town is laid out in a similar design, its streets and narrow lanes branching outwards from the centrally located Turtle Hill. Another point of interest when it comes to the Old Town of Dukezong is the fact that many of its dwellings are painted white. This is a sacred color for Tibetans, as it is used to show respect to ancestors. Due to the many white dwellings in Dukezong Old Town, it is often referred to as the "White Stone City." It is also common to hear the town referred to as the "Moonlight City," as it takes on a silver sheen on clear nights.

The fact that the Dukezong Old Town is known for its old Tibetan way of life explains why so many travelers choose to pay it a visit on their China vacations. In the town’s ancient city square, or the Shangri La Old Town Square, as it is commonly known, bonfires are lit at night and people come to dance and listen to the local musicians. This is among the practices that have been carried out for generations, and it is quite a thing to behold. As for other things to do during a Dukezong Old Town visit, the town is home to numerous shops and restaurants. These businesses, if you will, are found along some of the town’s narrow lanes and can be wonderful places to visit when you’re not out enjoying area attractions such as the nearby Songzanlin Monastery. Square Street is particularly noted for its shops, bars, and restaurants.

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