Located in northwestern Yunnan province, Shangri-La is a fictitious paradise, characterized by towering snow-capped mountains, luxuriant forests, vast gorges and sheer lakes. It is situated at the southeast edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, from where the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Province originate.
Literally, the word Shangri-La means “a place of complete bliss and delight and peace”. It is a real earthly paradise and mythical Himalayan utopia isolated from the modern world. Shangri-La is a Tibetan word meaning land of sacredness and peace. Historically, the name "Shangri-La" was used in Ancient Tibetan scriptures for a place of exoticism and natural beauty. However, the fame of this name started when the British author James Hilton published his novel "Lost Horizon". The Shangri-La described in the book was depicted as a harmonious and mystical azure-sky valley guided by a lamasery, which locates in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains, where people lived an almost immortal life. He made Shangri-La a must-see tourist attraction to many backpackers and visitors.
Shangri-La is a marvel for tourists looking for some pure landscapes far away from the outside world. It is characterized by the breathtaking views represented by Pudacuo National Park, where Bita Lake and Shudu Lake display their unique beauties; Songzanlin Lamasery, a Buddhist sacred land in Yunnan; Meili Snow Mountain, one of the four sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism; Three Parallel Rivers, where the Geological Museum with diversified landforms like high mountains and gorges, snowy peaks and glaciers, plateau wetlands, forest meadows, freshwater lakes are located; as well as customs and lives of ethnic minorities in this region.