Chinese authorities have paraded the Olympic torch through a mountain town in southwestern Yunnan province called Shangri-la, the first of several stops it will make in Tibetan areas.

Security around the flame was extremely tight Wednesday, with police lining the route and keeping watch from the tops of surrounding buildings. Some local Buddhist monks said they were forbidden from leaving their monastery.

Anti-Beijing demonstrations in Tibet and Tibetan areas of China earlier this year prompted Chinese authorities to shorten the Tibet leg of the torch relay. Some human rights activists have called on Olympic officials to scrap the Tibet leg altogether.

The torch is scheduled to pass through the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, on June 19.

China has come under international criticism for its crackdown in Tibet in March. Angry demonstrations in several cities marred the international torch relay for the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.