Shangri-la:A Mysterious Paradise

It was the British writer James Hilton's novel The Lost Horizon that has brought fame to an unknown and uncontaminated place Shangri-La and made it a household word since its publication 50 years ago. 

According to the novel, the uncontaminated nature and folklore of Shangri-La would never fail to impress a special emotion into these who encounter it: the clear air, the nearer white clouds in the blue sky, the breathtaking beauty of landscape and the warm heart of the honest and unsophisticated local people would certainly soothe the body and allow the mind to rest.

In the mid-1990s, more and more evidences have shown that Shangri-La is located in northwestern Yunnan. The location, climate and natural sights, and especially the unique folklore, are similar to what was described in James Hilton's novel.

Shangri-la means “the sun and the moon in the heart” in Tibetan, referring to a place of idyllic beauty. For long in the heart of those who have been eager to encounter it, Shangri-La has been a wonder worked by nature and a place "full of sunshine and moonlight". It plays as the meeting point of the sun and the moon, time and again embraces beautiful flowers, white clouds, snowcapped mountains, untouched forests and mirror tranquil alpine lakes. Spotted over its vast green grassland are villages inhabited mainly by Tibetan, Naxi, Lisu ethnic groups. The grassland has been divided magically into eight pieces like eight petals of a lotus flower by crisscross rivers and has provided a wonderful habitat for both animals and human beings.

What was more fantastic to them was the social conditions there. Many religions co-existed, and people of various ethnic groups got along in harmony. The man-to-man and man-to-nature relations were properly handled. People were well off and friendly, and the entire society was peaceful and tranquil.... Shangri-La has become a synonym of the "Land of Peach Blossoms" a factious land of peace away from the turmoil of the world - and of an ideal society. For many years since then, looking for "Shangri-La" has become a painstaking pursuit for numerous tourists and adventurers.

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