Shangri-La City in Tibet

Wednesday, 15 December 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  4 minutes

© flickr.com - Rod Waddington/cc-by-sa.2.0

© flickr.com – Rod Waddington/cc-by-sa.2.0

Shangri-La (Tibetan: Gyalthang) is a county-level city in Northwestern Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China and is the location of the seat of the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, bordering Sichuan to the northwest, north, and east.

Shangri-La was formerly called Zhongdian County but was renamed on 17 December 2001 and upgraded into a county-level city on 16 December 2014 as Shangri-La (other spellings: Semkyi’nyida, Xianggelila, or Xamgyi’nyilha) after the fictional land of Shangri-La in the 1933 James Hilton novel Lost Horizon, in an effort to promote tourism in the area. Formerly, the Tibetan population referred to the city by its traditional name Gyalthang or Gyaitang, meaning “Royal plains”. This ancient name is reflected in the Tibetan Pinyin name within the town of Jiantang, the city seat.

Ganden Sumtseling Monastery © flickr.com - Rod Waddington/cc-by-sa.2.0 Guishan Temple © Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-3.0 Old Town © panoramio.com - Colin W/cc-by-sa-3.0 Old Town © panoramio.com - Colin W/cc-by-sa-3.0 Old Town © panoramio.com - Colin W/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Luca Casartelli/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - Rod Waddington/cc-by-sa.2.0 © panoramio.com - Colin W/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - Rod Waddington/cc-by-sa.2.0 © panoramio.com - Colin W/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - Rod Waddington/cc-by-sa.2.0 © flickr.com - Rod Waddington/cc-by-sa.2.0
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Ganden Sumtseling Monastery © flickr.com - Rod Waddington/cc-by-sa.2.0
In the early morning of January 11, 2014, a fire broke out in the 1,000-year-old Dukezong Tibetan neighborhood. About 242 homes and shops were destroyed and 2,600 residents were displaced. About half of the old town was destroyed by the fire, half was spared. After the fire residents were allowed back to their homes and shops. By the end of 2014 rebuilding had started and tourism started to come back. Generally tourism was not affected by the fire, since the main sights in the old town, such as the prayer wheel and temples were not damaged. Many of the other main sights are located outside of the old town.

The town’s airport is Diqing Shangri-La Airport. Covering an area of 225 hectares, it is one of the biggest airports in the northwest of Yunnan. There are flights to Kunming, Chengdu, Lhasa, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Since there is no railway available in Shangri-la, taking a long-distance bus is also a major means to get to Shangri-la besides flight. It takes about four hours to get to Shangri-la from Lijiang by bus. Tourists who rent a car for the trip can also visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the First Bend of Yangtze River on the way. The Lijiang–Shangri-La railway is under construction and estimated to be completed in 2020. Many travelers use the county town as a gateway into Tibet, either travelling many days overland by jeep to Lhasa, or by flying from the city’s airport. However, the town itself is a tourist destination, primarily due to the nearby Gandan Sumtseling Monastery, Pudacuo National Park, and Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Read more on Wikivoyage Shangrila and Wikipedia Shangri-La City (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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