During two weeks of language study in Lijiang, Yunnan, we took a weekend jaunt to the fabled Shangri-La. Of course, Shangri-La is an imaginary place, and the town is actually called Zhongdian. But it's a brilliant marketing idea, to say the least!
There's much to see here. And, while in Yunnan, the town is influenced heavily by Tibetan culture.
If you find yourself in Yunnan in the summer, make a trek here and make your way from your hostel to the Chicken Temple for some meditation, incense burning, and chicken watching.
China is not a particularly religious country on the surface, but here you'll find many Chinese and Tibetans sending their prayers to heaven on wisps of incense smoke.
You'll also find a number of holy Chickens roaming the grounds, making their way in and around the streams of prayer flags.
It's quite a hike up the hill, and the high elevation makes it more strenuous. We noticed the city map isn't quite accurate about the Temple's location, so ask your hostel and get locals to help you along the way. It's a small town, so you'll find it eventually.