Shangri-la

Shangri-La or Xianggelila 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.

Name

Shangri-La was formerly called Zhongdian County (中甸县Zhōngdiàn Xiàn) 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. The Tibetan population refers to this place by its traditional name Gyalthang or Gyaitang (Standard Tibetan: རྒྱལ་ཐང།; Wylie: rgyal thang, ZWPY: Gyaitang), meaning “Royal plains”. This ancient name is reflected in the Tibetan Pinyin name of the town of Jiantang (建塘Jiàntáng)[citation needed], the county seat.

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