In 1933 British novelist James Hilton wrote a book called Lost Horizon, which was about a group of travellers who got lost in a place that Mr Hilton described as a place of eternity, peace and tranquility, an idyllic world of imposing snow mountains, deep gorges, crystal lakes, beautiful prairies and majestic but mysterious monasteries.
This place came to be known as the legendary Shangri La and in the 1990s, explorers and researchers trekked through India, Tibet and Nepal looking for a place that most closely resembled the amazing location that James Hilton had described. They eventually came across Zhongdian in Yunnan Province, south west China, on the border of Tibet, and found a place that fit the description.
In 2002, the city of Zhongdian had its name officially changed to Shangri La.
Whether Zhongdian actually deserves the title is debateable because its capital city, Dequn, is far from paradise, but the surrounding areas are truly beautiful, and so far it's one of the most amazing places I've had the good fortune to visit.
Here are some of my favourite pics:
Yubeng Village at the base of Meili Snow Mountain
Sunrise spotlights a village beneath Meili Snow Mountain
A Lama prayer tower
Meili Snow Mountain
Small village among the mountains
Tiger Leaping Gorge (notice tiny people at the bottom)
Autumn in Shangri La
Hope you like the pics! If you want to see more, I have a load in my Shangri La Gallery
on my website.