In Tibetans, Shangri-la means the "sun and moon in heart", an ideal home only found in heaven. Its original name was Zhongdian(still in use on bus signs, etc). Shangri-la is located at point where Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan all meet. The county is worth to visit for the area's Tibetan heritage and gorgeous countryside in near isolation, with lofty and continuous snowy mountains, endless grasslands, steep and grand gorges, azure lakes and the bucolic villages...

There's no railway leading to Shangri-la, so travelers will begin the journey from Kunming, to Lijiang then take the long distance bus to get there. On the way between Lijiang and Shangri-la (170 km, about 4 hours drive), the tiger leaping gorge can be seen. There are direct flights from Kunming, Lhasa and Chongqing.

There are many ethnic groups inhabited in Zhongdian, with Tibetans comprising the majority of the population. So the lifestyle of Tibetans is the major highlights of a trip to Shangri-la.

The Zhongdian County is divided into two areas: Dukezong ancient town and modern city-like area. Besides the ancient street, other attractions to see in Shangri-la are: white water terraces, Bita Lake, Sanzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park, Haba Snow Mountain, Meili Snow Mountain, Napa Lake and so on.