"The Road to Shangr-La"
On January 11th of this year heaven burned in a massive inferno. Shangri-La, a 1,300 year old Tibetan village lost most of its old town in the accidental fire but is rebuilding quickly and scheduled to finish in 3 years. In the past, Shangri-La was called Zhongdian or "Jiantang" in Tibetan. After appearing in British novelist James Hilton's, "Lost Horizon" in 1939, it has been associated with the mystique of a place which could not possibly exist here on Earth. In Tibetan,Shangri-La means the "sun and moon in heart", an ideal home only found in heaven. It's located in China at a point where Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan all meet.
I am on a three month trip through Russia, Mongolia, China, Burma, and Cambodia and have been thinking of creating a real blog for some time. I am not much of a social networking person. In the past I have felt that some blogs and "tweeting" were a bit self-indulgent and gratuitous. However, I have recently been enjoying reading about others' experiences and travel provides a lot of stories and time to reflect. The world is so vast and varied I thought I'd share a snipet of what I have experienced. And since the bus I was to take this morning to Daocheng was postponed until tomorrow (hopefully, due to lack of passengers), I figured this was a good time to start.
People here are warm, even if the weather is not yet. There are lofty snowy mountains, grasslands, never ending gorges and deep blue lakes that match the sky. I'll soon post more including some of the amazing landscape. What interested me here was how people carry on when the heart of their town has disappeared. Like the plane that went down in "Lost horizon" perhaps, but people endure and the magical charm of this place persists.