In the year 1893, James Hilton described an eternally peaceful and quiet place among mountains in the East— “Shangri-La” in one of his novels for the first time. In the novel “Lost Horizon”, an English diplomat Conway and his brother Gorge scattered the English citizens and helped them leave the dangerous region. On their way home, their plane was hijacked and fell down into the mountain in the An region. Some lucky survivors were taken to Shangri-la where Conway found lots of fantastic things in such a state founded nearly 200 years ago. Conway discovered the local people lived up to more than one hundred years old and lived peacefully and harmoniously with the other people, animals and nature. The local folks called the place “Shangri-La”.
James Hilton located “Shangri-La” in a mysterious valley which was surrounded by snowcapped mountains. Nearby, there were snow-clad peaks, blue lakes, broad grassy marshlands, and lamaseries, where Buddhist nunneries, mosques, Catholic Church, the human beings and the nature were in perfect harmony, several religions and varies of nationalities existed at the same time. The temples looked splendid in green and golden. Though people contacted the outer world by caravan for a long time, many foreign experts and scholars had come here to investigate and remained much relics.
Obviously, that is not just a beautiful scenery, but also a kind of artistic conception.
With the novel and the film coming out, Shangri-La became very famous in western countries. Later, a Chinese named Guo Huonian used the name of this place and set up “Shangri-La” Hotel Group, which has become one of the most successful hotel group in the world.
At the same time, people didn’t give up looking for the legendary Shangri-La where up to the end of this century, they finally have found it.
After inspecting and proving on many aspects, people found that Diqing Prefecture, the only an region in Yunnan, China, has striking similarity with what’s described in the tale regarding either on natural scenery or people’s way of living. Hence the name of “DiqingǎShangri-La” became famous throughout the world.