Tibet and Shangri-La: The Search for a Hidden Paradise

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Many Khampas are grappling with the onslaught of modernization. On the dusty streets of a town called Daofu, young monks in maroon robes sit astride shiny motorcycles with religious symbols pasted on the windshields. Chinese Canto-pop music warbles from giant speakers set up in CD shops. Languid Han Chinese "hostesses" apply makeup in squalid karaoke parlors.

Banyan Tree Ringha Hotel, Shangri-La County, China - Yunnan

Upscale Tibetan families proudly use electric juice blenders--instead of traditional wooden butter churns--to prepare yak-butter tea for visitors. Even in the hinterland, nomads set up solar-energy panels next to their yak-hair tents on the 4,meter plateau. And yet the image of Tibet as a utopian wonderland untouched by materialism persists.

Vaill and Klika first became intrigued with the region while mountain climbing there in ; later their discussions led Vaill to link it to "Lost Horizon," one of the entertainment lawyer's favorite films. In a dangerous September journey they traveled for four days over mountain passes between 15, and 16, feet high. They intend to keep the precise location of their Shangri-La secret, "because we don't want the Chinese to ruin it" through uncontrolled tourism, says Vaill. He has reason to worry; local Khampas have known its general location all along--around the Sichuan area of Daocheng--and are planning their own tourist drive.

Visit the real-life paradise of Shangri-La

Vaill intends to return this year to finish filming an hourlong documentary titled "Finding the Real Shangri-La," which Thomas Horton Associates has agreed to produce and distribute. They've already got 12 hours of footage, including Tibetan pilgrims visiting the Spring of Eternal Life, a proverbial "fountain of youth.


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One source they interviewed for the project is former film star Jane Wyatt, now 90, who played the female lead opposite Ronald Colman in Frank Capra's film version of "Lost Horizon. The author revealed that his source material included British archival material, articles by Joseph Rock and other documents. Wyatt's character, who was not in the book, spiced up the film considerably when she went skinny-dipping in a lotus pool and burbled, "I'm sure there's a wish for Shangri-La in everyone's heart She may get her wish yet.

Baker has written one for the ages.


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    About The Heart of the World The myth of Shangri-la originates in Tibetan Buddhist beliefs in beyul , or hidden lands, sacred sanctuaries that reveal themselves to devout pilgrims and in times of crisis. About Ian Baker Ian Baker has a passion for photographing food, wine and scenery. Product Details.

    in Search Of History - Tibet's Lost Paradise: Shangri-La (History Channel Documentary)

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    Luxury hotel chain Shangri-La opens first hotel in Tibet

    In doing so, Hilton built upon pre-existing fantasies, stereotypes and archetypes, many of which were centuries old, but Hilton also created something new in the form of a vision which captured the imagination of his contemporaries and has remained ever since. In Hilton's novel, Lost Horizon, Shangri-La is a valley high in the north of the Himalayas where a monastery more accurately, a "lamasery," as the inhabitants were lamas not monks dedicated to peace and study exists.

    The precipitously steep valley is also home to a rich variety of flora, and its inhabitants are renowned for their longevity. The Western myth of Shangri-La is part and parcel of a long-term fascination with Tibet, which even today is still seen as a land of mystery, ancient wisdom and spiritual purity on the roof of the world, all of which stands in contrast to the Western world.

    osipro.henkel.buildingonline.com/thunder-on-the-veldt.php I love travel books and discovering the world if it's only from my armchair, it was very interesting to learn about Shangri-La and Tibet. What did you like best about this story? This book is the first I have listened to about Tibet and I enjoyed it very much, it was very informative and interesting.

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