a mythical Himalayan utopia in southwest China
Shangri-La (香格里拉, Xiānggélǐlā) County in northwestern Yunnan Province was formerly called Zhongdian (中甸, Zhōngdiàn) County but was renamed after the fictional land of Shangri-La in James Hilton's 1933 novel Lost Horizon in 2001.

Many travelers use the county town as a gateway into Tibet, either traveling many days overland by Jeep to Lhasa or by flying from the city's airport. However, the town itself is a tourist destination, due to picturesque natural scenery of grasslands, lakes, snow-capped mountains, gorges and forests. The most famous scenic spots are the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, Pudacuo National Park, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Meli Snow Mountain, Bita Lake and Napa Lake.

In the book Lost Horizon, Shangri-La is a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia - a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world.
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