Shangri-La is the "Eden in dream". Since it first appeared in British novelistJames Hilton's Lost Horizon in the 1939, it has been associated withthe mystique of a place which could not possibly exist here on Earth. In Tibetan,Shangri-La means the "sun and moon in heart", an ideal home only found in heaven.There the lofty and continuous snowy mountains, endless grasslands, steep andgrand gorges, azure lakes and the bucolic villages always leave a deep impressionon visitors.
Located at point where Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan all meet, Shangri-La County is administered by Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. In the past, Shangri-La was called Zhongdian or "Jiantang" in Tibetan. In ancient times, it together with Batang (in Tibet) and Litang (in Sichuan) was the fiefdom of the three sons of a Tibetan King. In 2002, Zhongdian changed its name to Shangri-La.
At an average altitude of more than 3,000 meters (about 9,843 feet), Shangri-La is very difficult to reach. Without railways leading there, the chief means of transportation is motor vehicles. To get there, tourists will typically begin their journey in kunming, traveling first to Lijiang and then taking the long-distance bus in Lijiang to Shangri-La. It's about 175 kilometers (108.74 miles) from Lijiang to Shangri-La. On this way, the Tiger Leaping Gorge can be seen.
Shangri-La is inhabited by many different ethnic groups, with the Tibetans comprising the majority of the population. There you will have an opportunity to experience Tibetan life and learn about their lifestyle, religion and cuisine. The unique scenery, highlighted by plateaus, together with the fascinating ethnic culture makes Shangri-La very attractive and charming to visit.
Shangri-La is rich in natural resources from valuable herbs to rich mineral deposits (including gold, silver, copper, manganese and many other rare metals) to abundant animal resources (such as golden monkeys, leopards and musk deer). Shangri-La is a land full of natural wonders.
As a Chinese saying goes, "The earliest sunrise is seen in Shangri-La; and the most unique place is also there". Once you visit, you will fully appreciate the meaning of this saying. In addition, the warm welcome of the residents of this land will make you feel at home.