Shangri-La is Real: in Southwestern China, on the Border of Tibet

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The mythical Shangri-La isn’t as mysterious as you think.

Shangri-La, or Zhongdian (Xiānggélǐlā, according to modern Chinese), is located in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan. Being so close to Tibet, there are a number of political arguments that have taken place over this region.

The relationship between Tibet and China is a touchy subject. As a foreigner, I was able to enter Shangri-La on a Chinese visa. Personally, out of respect for both parties, I take no public stance. I only want to show you my photos from this remarkably unique region.

The vast landscape of Shangri-La.
The vast landscape of Shangri-La.
Deserted.
Deserted.
Before getting rocks thrown at our bikes and shot with BB guns!
Before getting rocks thrown at our bikes and shot with BB guns!
On the outside, looking in: a harsh difference.
On the outside, looking in: a harsh difference.
Monk housing.
Monk housing.
A raised Tibetan temple, looking out over the small township.
A raised Tibetan temple, looking out over the small township.
Traditional Tibetan prayer flags.
Traditional Tibetan prayer flags.

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10 thoughts on “Shangri-La is Real: in Southwestern China, on the Border of Tibet”

  1. WOW! The more of your China posts I read the more I want to skip my next couple of countries and head there right now! Breathtaking photos as well, great job 🙂

  2. Green Global Travel

    These images are absolutely gorgeous! This is a part of the world that I have yet to see and so appreciate the opportunity to experience the landscape, architecture and people through your images!

    1. Probably. The town itself seemed quite touristy, but I still enjoyed it. I can’t imagine it would have been like that 10 years ago!

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