China’s new tourist attraction: “Shangri-La”
Editor's note: "Manufacturing: Shangri-La" is a three-part series on a Tibetan hamlet turned tourist trap. Read Part 2:Profit quest imperils one of world’s most stunning landscapes; Part 3: China’s Shangri-La for minorities.
SHANGRI-LA, China — The fabled land of Shangri-La is a “delightfully favored place,” where monks live for hundreds of years, in the shadow of a “dazzling pyramid,” the mountain Karakal. The air has a “dream-like texture.” Every breath yields a “deep anesthetizing tranquility.”
That, at least, is how Shangri-La is described in "Lost Horizon," British author James Hilton’s classic 1933 novel.