The Legendary Shangri La

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The Legendary Shangri La

Postby ChinaMark » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:19 am

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:

Songzanlin Monastery

Yubeng Village at the base of Meili Snow Mountain

Yubeng Village

Sunrise spotlights a village beneath Meili Snow Mountain

A Lama prayer tower

Meili Snow Mountain

Sunlit Mules

Prayer flags

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.


Postby alex168 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:10 am

Looks very beautiful place Mark,

The only thing i can "critique" so to speak is that i think you just went a bit overboard on the saturation of they sky, looks just a tad bit too much blue! But i understand the reason behind it,

Love the photo of the village that is "lit" up by the sun and then the mountain in the back!

Thanks for sharing!

Postby Bob Andersson » Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:23 am

Hi Mark,

Thought we hadn't heard from you in a while and now we know why. There are some stunning shots n that sequence - thanks for sharing. 8)

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Postby ChinaMark » Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:52 am

Hi guys and thanks for the comments. Yeah, it seems like ages since I last posted here. I was away traveling for a while and I've been busy with other things, but I still pop in to see what's going on from time to time.

Cameralabs was the first photo forum I joined and everyone here gave me such great support when I got my first DSLR and started learning about photography, so I'll always come back here and try and contribute...or at least lurk in the background :)

Glad you like the pics!


Postby PlayerOne » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:05 pm

hey marc, wow stunning shots really :)
i feel your fear that someone will rip your pics, but in thumbnail resolution you could do without for our viewing pleasure.

i particualarly love the one with the clouds circiling the city "Sunrise spotlights a village beneath Meili Snow Mountain "

although I have nothing to critique on the landscape pics, I have to point out that remote tribetan cities (as long as the chinese didnt destroy them) are almost all of the same beauty as in your pic.

at least 4 other cities in Nepal/India etc contest the title for Shangri la, but of course only in china it is so easy to rename a city for the marketing gag.

this is most probably not the real shangri la ;)

Postby ChinaMark » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:10 am

Hi PlayerOne,

Yeah, Tibet is on my go to list for sometime in the not too distant future and I've no doubt that there are going be many places just like it there. Would love to go to Nepal and India too, and so many other places, but I fear I'll never get to visit all the places I'd love to go to.

I guess I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to watermarking. I always think if I just put my name in the corner at the bottom, then someone could just crop it out. I tried to position it on these where it'd be less intrusive, but I appreciate it does break the flow and take away from the image as a whole.

Thanks for your feedback,

Postby GCJ » Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:58 pm

spectacular pictures Mark, seems a great advert for travel.
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