Formerly called Zhongdian County, Shangri-la is situated in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the northwest of Yunnan Province. It’s a plateau city with an altitude of 3,300 meters above the sea level. Gyalthang Town-the county seat of Shangri-la-was originally established in 7th century of the Tang Dynasty. It was then renamed “Du Ke Zong” which in Tibetan means “a blue moonlight city”. In the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, however, it was called “Tang Zong”. Gyalthang Town was an important dak on the Ancient Tea and Horse Trail (Road) and remains as one of the well-preserved old towns in Tibetan-inhabited area. 


Shangri-la has enjoyed an international fame for its intoxicating natural sceneries, long-standing history, mysterious Tibetan Buddhism and colorful ethnic cultures.


In Tibetan, Shangri-la means “the Sun and Moon in Mind”. It is also called “Shang Ba La” referring to an ideal Buddhist Realm. Serving as the joint part of Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet, Shangri-la exhibits great significance of politics, economics and culture. It was also a military fortress contested by commanders of warfare. In his novel “the Lost Horizon”, British writer James Hilton depicted a wonderful place locally called “Shangri-la” has been internationally recognized as the present Shangri-la County in Yunnan. Main tourist sites in Shangri-la include Gandan Songzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park, Shangri-la Great Canyon, the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the White Terrace, Napa Lake and Shika Snow Mountain etc.



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