Daocheng is a small town located at 3760m above sea level in the Southernwest part of the Sishuan province. It is a long, bumpy, dusty but incredibly beautiful 11-hour bus journey from Shangri-La. It is by far the most beautiful bus ride I have ever been on. It is an off the beaten track location that is used as a basecamp for the Yading Natural Reserve.
While most people heading from Shangri-La to Litang use Xiangcheng as a layover, I have read nothing but bad reviews about Xiangcheng. Daocheng is an alternative route and it is so much worth a visit! The town of Daocheng does not have much interest itself but its surroundings are absolutely breathtaking! Get a mountain bike and explore the area. Expect mesmerizing desertic and mountainous landscapes, Tibetan villages, lovely people and tasty food.
While any path can lead to incredible tibetan sceneries, I explored the one leading to the Yude village and was stunned with the scenery. It is a 30km return ride. You can add a few additional kilometers getting lost between the Banghe, Sela and Eluo triangle.