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Shangrila Overview

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. 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 so that Shangri-La Tour is very popular home and abroad.

‣ Where is Shangri-La

Located at point where Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan all meet, Shangri-La County is administered by Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. 

‣ Basic Information in Shangri-La

● Chinese Name: 香格里拉

● Key Words:  Paradise for Photograph, Utopian Place, Eden in Dream

● Area: 11613 square kilometers

● Population: 174,585

● Zip code: 533421

‣ Climate of Shangri-La

Shangri-la is about 3300 meters above sea level and has a plateau humid climate. The climate alters little between the four seasons, but the temperature varies a lot between day and night. The temperature can soar above 30 Celsius on sunny days; however, during the morning and at night, people may feel a wintery chill. So, when tourists visit Shangri-la, they should bring overcoats with them. 

‣ Administrative Division of Shangri-La

In 1996, the government of Yunnan Province of China set up an investigation group to do a research on the Shangri-la topic. They had a conclusion after a year of hard work. Shangri-la is located Di Qing  in Yunnan Province, and the mystery of Shangri-la became known. Until 2014, Shangri-La City has 4 counties: Jiantang County(建塘镇), Xiaozhongdian County(小中甸镇), Hutiaoxia County(虎跳峡镇), Jinshajiang County(金沙江镇).

‣ Story about Shangri-La

In China, the poet Tao Yuanming of the Jin Dynasty described a kind of Shangri-La in his work The Tale of the Peach Blossom Spring (桃花源记). The story goes that there was a fisherman from Wuling, who came across a beautiful peach grove, and he discovered happy and content people who lived completely cut off from the troubles in the outside world since the Qin Dynasty. In modern China, Zhongdian county was renamed Shangri-La in 2001, to attract tourists.

A popularly believed physical inspiration for Hilton's Shangri-La is the Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan, close to the Chinese border, which Hilton visited a few years before Lost Horizon was published. Being an isolated green valley surrounded by mountains, enclosed on the western end of the Himalayas, it closely matches the physical description in the novel. The Hunza Valley, however, lacks Tibetan culture and the Buddhist religion, so could not have been Hilton's cultural inspiration for Lost Horizon.

‣ What to Visit in Shangri-La

Shangri-la tour caters to different kinds of visitors because it has towering snow mountains, long rivers, vast grasslands and deep valleys. The famous snow-capped mountains are Meili Snow Mountain, Haba Snow Mountain, etc...In a sea of forests, there are countless alpine lakes, such as Shudu Lake, Napahai, etc...In addition, there are world famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, White Water Terrace, Potatso National Park, etc...Religious culture is one of the most charming culture in Shangri-la, and Tibetan Buddhism culture has a very long history; Songzanlin Monastery is just a good place to experience the special culture in Shangri-la.

‣‣‣ More Attractions in Shangri-La

Tiger Leaping Gorge

It is on the Jinsha River of the upper reaches of the Yangtze is located 105 kilometers south of Zhongdian County. It is one of the deepest gorges in the world. 

Ganden Songzanlin Monastery

Being the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, Songzanlin Monastery, also known as Guihua Monastery, is one of the famous monasteries in the Kang region.

Three Parallel Rivers Natural Reserve

In the high mountains of southwest China's Yunnan Province, three rivers – the Jinsha, Nujiang and Lancang – all originated from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, run roughly parallel, north to south for some 170 km. 

Meli Snow Mountain

As a holy land of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists, Meili Snow Mountain is characterized by the usual four distinct seasons.

‣ What to Eat in Shangri-La

Shangri-La's population is composed largely of Tibetans together with many ethnic minorities. This provides the opportunity to be immersed in beautiful scenery while tasting local food and drinks Tibetan Cake (sweet and crisp), Zanba, Pipa Meat, Saimi Lamb, Guoben Hot Pot, butter tea, yogurt, and Suolima (a kind of Tibetan Liquor brewed with the highland barley) are amongst the most popular.

‣ Minority Culture in Shangri-La

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 Transportation

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.

‣ Recommended Hotels in Shangri-La

• Five-star Hotels

•Hylandia by Shangri-La(恬居香格里拉)

•Songtsam Retreat(松赞林美景阁)

•Paradise Hotel Shangri-La

•Four-star Hotels

•Shangri-La Old Town Hotel(古城国际)

•Zhaxidela Hotel(扎西德勒)

•Three-star Hotels

•Shenqu Hotel(神曲酒店)

•Shunxin Hotel

•Moon City Hotel

‣ Shangri-La Travel Tips

Compared with Kunming and Lijiang, Zhongdian is a remote county. The hotel rooms meet normal Chinese standards but the general service standard may be lower than other cities. For example, the hotel may usually serve more Chinese food and less Western food for the breakfast, and less hotel employees speak English. This sometimes causes some misunderstanding between the hotel employees and the clients. However, people in Zhongdian are generally very nice and all the hotel employees will try there best despite the language barrier.

• Useful Numbers

Shangri-La Airport Inquiry: 0887-8229901Tourist Complaint: 0887-8225390Traffic: 122
Fire: 119Ambulance: 120Police: 110

• Festivals in Shangri-La

Most Tibetans of Shangri-La celebrate the Chinese New Year (Chinese Spring Festival) and they also have the Tibetan New Year. Furthermore, there are some other festivals celebrated there:

Horse Race Festival: It's celebrated on May 5th according to the lunar calendar every year. The horse race is held at the foot of Wufeng Mountain and lasts for three days.

Dengbashi: It's celebrated on July 15th according to the lunar calendar every year. During the festival, all the Tibetans wear festival attire and worship gods for good fortune. Also they perform the Guozhuang Dance and hold the horse race.

Gedong: A traditional festival of Tibetan Buddhism held from Oct. 2nd to Oct. 19th   each year. During that time, there is a performance of the Mask Dance.

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