Foreigners get new view of Tibetan regions
Source: Xinhua | 03-13-2009 08:12Special Report: Tibet in 50 Years
CHENGDU, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Shangri-La, capital of the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Diqing in southwest China's Yunnan Province, has long been called "sun and moon in heart" for its snow-capped mountains, luminous lakes, broad pastures and diverse flora and fauna.
In recent years, an increasing number of foreigners have been attracted to Shangri-La and other Tibetan areas in southwest China.
"What I saw here is quite different from what the Western media reported," said Mark Hiew, an Australian freelance writer, who visited a number of monasteries in Tibetan regions in 2007.
Hiew visited Labrang Monastery in Gansu, Langmu Monastery in Sichuan and Taer Monastery in Qinghai.
"I watched monks chanting and local people coming to pray. They wore traditional clothes, prayed and visited temples seemingly of their own free will. Although I do not understand their language, I was moved by the atmosphere," he said.
"And some of the younger monks were happy to speak a little English with me. I found them to be nice people. They invited me to their homes for butter tea. I was surprised by how much time they seemed to spend on their mobile phones," he said.