Tag archives for Yunnan

Land of peaks, valleys, and monasteries, Yunnan is home to the largest number of ethnic groups in China. The gateway towns of Shangri-La (much of which, sadly, burned in January 2014) and Lijiang showcase area traditions and cultures, but many interesting sites lie in the countryside. Here’a an insider’s guide to this wondrous region.

Where Is Shangri-La?

Since James Hilton imagined Shangri-La in his bestselling 1933 novel Lost Horizon, a host of Himalayan areas have laid claim to this earthly Eden. But only one place—Zhongdian in China’s southwestern Yunnan Province—has officially gone by the name Shangri-La County since 2001.

China’s Wild West

By Annie Fitzsimmons “Welcome to the Wild West of China,” my guide said as we touched down in Lijiang after a 4-hour flight from Shanghai. Though I didn’t yet spot any cowboy boots, I was indeed far west in the Yunnan province, at the foothills of the Himalaya; bordered by Laos, Vietnam, and Burma. For…