After James Hilton’s book ‘Lost Horizon’ in the thirties, every town wanted to be renamed Shangri-La, but it was the ancient and enchanting town of Zhongdian in the Yunnan province that finally won the vote in 2001. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains carpeted with ancient oaks and pine trees, placid meadows and plains and home to over 20 ethnic minority groups, this earthly utopia exudes peace and tranquillity.
With an 80 per cent Tibetan population, Shangri-La gives visitors a chance to experience the Tibetan way of life without crossing the border. Disturbed only by the odd cattle bell ringing, roaming livestock and welcome bird songs, the quiet streets are lined with distinctive farmhouses, overlooked by vast mountainous landscapes. You’ll spot women carrying wicker baskets on their heads as you learn about the hardworking ethic these kind-hearted people employ and up at the Songzanlin Lamasery, the lamas will be more than happy to share their lifestyle and discipline with you.
Whether you want to incorporate Shangri-La alongside the Tiger Leaping Gorge or go off the beaten track exploring the remote Yi villages, let our experienced team help you tailor your bespoke adventure.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Suzanne, who's travelled extensively in China. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the guides who can take you to The Great Wall’s quietest spots, the villagers who can show you how to create your own lucky clay cat and the cooks who can rustle you up breakfast pancakes, Shanghai-style.
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Travel with us for total peace of mind. All our holidays are ATOL protected, we’re members of ABTA (the leading travel industry association) and you’ll have our full support throughout your travels.