About 80% of Shangri-la old town (Dukezong in Tibetan) burned down in early January. The fire started at a guesthouse at the old town center and burned for nearly 10 hours. The fire trucks couldn’t get in to the narrow streets and water was either frozen or cut off which is usual in the old town winter time.
Luckily no one died in the fire although it started in the middle of the night. It was saddening visiting what was left of the town. The center burned down completely, some buildings were saved at the front and on the edges. The southern side and the temple on the hill are unharmed.
Beijing is pouring money into rebuilding the town and now they are also making proper water system. But the work is slow and everything is still mostly rubble with some blackened walls standing. The plan is to complete the work in three years.
The dance that took place every evening at the square has been moved to the southern part, the square in front of the temple.