In Tibetan, Shangri-la means 'sacred and peaceful land'. This is the Shangri-la depicted in James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon. After a careful investigation, it was determined that the beautiful Shangri-la described in Lost Horizon is in fact the city of Zhongdian, located in the Deqen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province.
This fascinating place has become a land of dreams for many tourists and adventure lovers. The clean air, white clouds, blue sky, breathtaking beauty, and the warm heart of the honest and unsophisticated local people soothes the soul and allows the mind to rest. Even today, Zhongdian remains a pristine natural paradise with a mysterious and bewitching quality.
Three snow-capped mountains, Meili, Baimang, and Haba, tower magnificently over the landscape. The region is crisscrossed by the Golden Sand, the Mekong, and the Yangtze Rivers and the snowy peaks form a beautiful backdrop. Cattle graze leisurely in the meadows where exotic flowers and verdant grasses wave in the gentle breeze. In the depths of the surrounding forests an exotic world of rare birds and animals can be found.
Shangri-la is also a paradise for mountaineers. There are nearly one hundred snowcapped peaks which are a constant challenge irresistible to mountain climbers. Mother Nature has endowed Shangri-la with bountiful natural resources, making the land a happy home for 100,000 ethnic minorities, including Tibetans, Lisus, Naxis, and Yis.
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