Formerly known as Zhongdian, in 2001 the city was renamed to Shangri-La, after the mythical Himalayan utopia described by British author James Hilton. In the novel, Lost Horizon, the people here live in isolation from the outside world and are almost immortal, living years beyond the normal lifespan and only very slowly ageing. Today, this Shangri-La exhibits all the traits of Tibetan culture - barley cultivation, yaks, lamas, monasteries, butter tea and prayer flags - for a taste of the legendary region.

A short drive west of the city brings you to the Pudacuo National Park, with 20% of China's plant species and a third of its mammal and bird species, many of which are endangered, including the Black-necked cranes. North of the city is the beautiful Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, home to around 600 monks.

Find inspiration & advice from our
Specialist Insights



Complete a form or call our specialist advisors to start planning your trip.

Please provide as much information as possible, and we will aim to respond to your enquiry the same or next working day.

Speak to a Specialist

020 8762 0616

Travel in Confidence

  • Free Proposal Itinerary
  • 100% Customisable Tour
  • Specialist Advice & Inspiration
  • First-hand Knowledge
  • Expert Travel Consultants
  • Excellent Service & Support

Contact an Advisor

Please be a descriptive as possible
Where would you like to go on your trip?
How many people will be travelling?
When would you like to depart on your trip?
How long would you like to be away for?
Receive information about travel to Latin America by email
Would you like us to send you a copy of our brochure?