It was the British writer James Hilton’s novel “The Lost Horizon” that has brought fame to an unknown and incontaminated place Shangri-La and made it a household word since its publication 50 years ago. And from then on this fascinating place has become the dreamland for many tourists and adventure lovers. According to the novel, the incontaminated 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.
Dozens of years witnessed the failure of efforts to seek out and locate for certain this dreamland. However, with the passing of time, people’s believe that it must be somewhere in the southeast tip of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, the hightest plateau in the world, became firmer with more and more evidences as a result of persistent search and research. At last, a few years ago, the government of Yunnan Province declared the discovery of Shangri-La. It is in “Diqing”, now a prefecture in Yunnan Province, China.
It is ture Diqing, deep in contact with nature, is the right place where one can rest at ease in the green shelter provided by the woods, relax next to the crystal clear waters of the alpine lakes or let the eyes wander towards the impressive snowcapped peaks surrounding the area. The area of Shangri-La provides the possibility to enjoy unforgettable moments without any stress and confusion but excitement while enveloped in a natural environment which is remarkable charming and overwhelmed in an aura of honesty and hospitality of the local ethnic group which is unforgettably touching.
Shangri-La is also a paradise for mountaineers. There are nearly one hundred snowcapped peaks which are a constant challenge irresistible to mountain climbers. Among these peaks, the Thirteen Princes are all over 6000 meters high and among the most mysterious and precipitous. The Kagebo Peak, known as “Chief of the Eight Sacred Peaks”, soars up as high as 6,740 meters and towers its surrounding mountains. In the 20th century, mankind has set foot on top of Everest for many times but has failed to conquer the Kagebo Peak.
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. Yaks and sheep are easily seen grazing themselves and playing on the grassland; tree-shaded villages of white houses are scattered over the prairie; the fragrance of buttered tea blended with the fresh air exerts a temptation on those who encounter it; the melodious pastoral songs by headsmen in colourful costumes can be heard here and there – all these create a charming and unparallel mosaic and possibly drive one into an ecstasy of enjoyment.
One hundred million years ago, the area of Shangri-La began to come out of waters along with the rising of the Himalayas from the bottom of the sea, which was brought about by the collision of the Eurasian Plate and the Indian Plate. This unique geographical and natural environment has formulated the different tradition and culture of the residents. Shangri-La features the simple but peaceful life, the friendly and honest interpersonal relationship, the friendly and honest interpersonal relationship, the pious and persistent religious believe, the kind, uninhibited and unsophisticated characters of the local people.
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