Shangri-la tours introduction
Shangri-La - Could British writer James Hilton’s imaginary paradise really exist? According to people of Zhongdian, Yuannan Province, the answer is YES. Shangri-La, a land of eternal youth in Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon, has fascinated people around the world with its picturesque natural scenery and harmonious living environment. It is a place surrounded by snow-capped mountains, forests, gorges, and lakes. It is a place where many religions co-exist, and people of various ethnic backgrounds get along in harmony. It is a paradise sought by men of all colors and beliefs, a paradise that doesn’t really exist, or so have people believed.
However, since the mid-1990’s, more and more people have come to believe that there is indeed a place that resembles Shangri-La. Zhongdian County, a small township in Yunnan Province, looks so much like Shangri-La that in the summer of 2002, the Chinese government approved its request for a name change, from Zhongdian to Shangri-La.
Our Shangri-La Hiking tour will take you to places that resemble in many details James Hilton’s exotic Utopia. You will experience snow-capped mountains, green lakes, flowers and friendly local residents. Shangri-La’s many attractions include Bita Lake Nature Preserve, Napa Lake Baishui Terrace, Haba Snow Mountain, and Meli Snow Mountain.
China's First National Park Unveiled in Shangri-La
Shangri-La, famed as one of China's most naturally beautiful areas, now has the added honor of holding China's first national park, the 2,000-square-km Potatso National Park which was inaugurated on Thursday in Yunnan Province.
The national park takes up 17 percent of Diqing, an autonomous prefecture of Yunnan principally inhabited by Tibetans. Its diverse sceneries include crystal-clear lakes, undulating mountains and gurgling streams, making it a clear choice to become the country's first national park.
Local government efforts to map the park began in early 2006 since which time over 200 million yuan (US$26.3 million) have been spent on strengthening the park's preservation and eco-tourism appeal.
"By establishing the Potatso national park, China has taken the first step towards blending tourism development with natural protection," said Song Yinxiu, head of the park's administrative bureau.
Currently, around 69 km of roads have been constructed around two of Potatso's major scenic spots, the Shudu and Bita Lakes. The lakesides have also been protected by the laying down of 10km plank roads along their edges. The focus on environmental protection stretches all the way to the park's facilities with solar-powered public toilets and buses using clean energy used to minimize pollution.
During the park's ten-month trial operation run, it received 600,000 visitors with half the revenues from ticket sales being reconverted to environmental protection.
Although this is China's first national park, over 9,800 exist worldwide with the Yellowstone National Park in the US being the first one to be established in 1872. (Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2007)
Shangri-la city tours
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