In theyear 1893, James Hilton described an eternally peaceful and quiet place among mountains in the East—— “Shangri-La” in one of his novels for the first time. In the novel “Lost Horizon”, an English diplomat Conway and his brother Gorge scattered the English citizens and helped them leave the dangerous region. On their way home,their plane was hijacked and fell down into the mountain in the an region. Some lucky survivors were taken to Shangri-la where Conway found lots of fantastic things in such a state founded nearly 200 years ago, in which the local people lived up to more than one hundred years old and lived peacefully and harmoniously with the other people, animals and everything here. The place was called”Shangri-La” by the local folks。
James Hilton located “Shangri-La” in a mysterious valley which was surrounded by snow capped mountains; near where there were snow-clad peaks, blue lakes, broad grassy marshlands, and lamaseries, Buddhist nunneries, mosques,Catholic Church, the human beings and the nature were in perfect harmony,several religions and varies of nationalities exited at the same time; the temples looked splendid in green and golden; though people contacted the outer world by caravan for a long time, many foreign experts and scholars had come here to investigate and remained much relics……
Obviously,that is not only a beautiful scenery, but also a kind of artistic conception. With the novel and the film coming out, Shangri-La became very famous in western countries. Later, a Chinese named Guo Huonian used the name of this place and set up “Shangri-La” Hotel Group which has become one of the most successful hotel group in the world. At the same time, people didn’t give up looking for the legendary Shangri-La. Up to the end of this century, they finally have found——After inspecting and proving on many aspects, people found that Diqing Prefecture,the only an region in Yunnan, China, has striking similarity with what’s described in the tale regarding either on natural scenery or people’sway of living. Therefore, the name of “Shangri-La” spreads worldwide.
The Stone Forest lies about 80 miles to the southeast of Kunming. A geological phenomenon, the Stone Forest was a vast expanse of sea during the Paleozoic era——some 270 million years ago. Later, the movement of tectonic plates altered the earth’s crust, causing the sea to recede and its limestone bottom to appear, there by forming land.Due to the constant seeping of rain through the cracks in the limestone, some of the stone formation dissolved and the fissures broadened,producing a group of great sculptures of different shapes, all molded by nature.
In the midst of the forest, there is a huge rock screen on which two words——Stone Forest——are engraved in official script(in a calligraphic style typical of the Han Dynasty, 206 B.C.-220 A.D.). Among the scenic sights is the “Sword Peak Pond” with jadeite-colored water so clear that one can see the bottom of the pond. Other astonishing sights include “Figure of Ashima,” “Shi Ba Xiang Song” (its name originating in the Chinese love story, “Liang Shan bo and Zhu Ying tai”), and “Lotus Peak.”
The splendor of the Stone Forest is enhanced by the local customs of the native Sani people (who are part of the Yi minority). Sani people are industrious and hospitable——and unconstrained. Sani women are expert at spinning, weaving, and embroidering. They like to wear rainbow-colored head gear and bright-colored dresses. The young people especially are very good singers and dancers. Every day at sunset, under the moonlight, boys and girls gather atthe village platform. While the boys play the three-stringed plucked instruments, the girls clap their hands and dance the strong-rhythmed traditional “A’Xi (Ah-shi) Dance in the Moon” with great enthusiasm. If you happen to witness the event, you will be invited to join in the festivity.
Note that every lunar year, on June 24th, the Sani people celebrate their national festival——the Torch Festival. On that day, the entire Stone Forest is permeated with a celebratory atmosphere. There are traditional performances of wrestling and bull-fighting. Finally, when the land is enveloped in the curtain of night, the young men (holding torches in their hands) run after the young women to propose marriage in the light of colored lanterns.
Known also as Kunming lake, Lake Dian is located at the foot of the Western Hills south-west of Kunming city in Yunnan Province. Being a bright and smooth high land lake, it’s reputed as “A Pearl on the Yun gui Plateau”.
The picturesque lake, dotted with sails,appears green and boundless and shining with ripples. Along its 150 kilometers long winding bank, lies numerous scenic spots and historical sites such as the Grand View Pavilion, West Garden, the Lake Embankment.
The Grand View Pavilion:- Located at the lake’s northern bank, it was built in the 29th year of Kangxi Reign in the Qing Dynasty (1690 AD). It’s an exquisite structure with up turned roof-corners and eaves. Looking to the south, one has a fascinating view of the spectacular Lake Dian, and the graceful and full shape of the distant”Sleeping Beauty Mountain” shrouded in white clouds. The lake is surrounded by lush growth of trees and plants, with peony in full bloom in spring, and chrysanthemum blossoms found all over the place in autumn. The golden calligraphy of the Grand View Pavilion in bold Chinese characters sparkles brilliantly.
Western Hills Scenic Area:- Located at the west bank of the lake, it’s a large forest park with hills and ridges rising one upon another, and covered with old tall trees. The park is endowed with dense natural forests, murmuring streams, luxuriantly green bamboos, and crisscross with ancient paths. Scenic spots and historical sites are over hill and dale. The area from Sanqing Tower to Long men is a place of concentration of the most spectacular scenic spots and architecture, and therefore reputed as “No.1 Scenery in middle Yunnan”.
Hill of Goddess of Mercy:- The temple of Goddess of Mercy perches on the Hill at the lake’s west bank, with a beak-shaped portion of the hill extending into the lake water. The temple is confronted by perilous cliffs covered with lush woods. As even-storey brick pagoda stands on the hill top which commands a bird’s eye view of the Lake Dian, the mountain ranges along the Lake, the vast expanse of fertile land, and the smoke belching from the chimneys of fishermen’s homes.
Located in the counties of Antu, Wu song and Chang bai in southern Jilin Province, Chang bai shan is one of China’s nature preservation zones, covering an area of over 200,000 hectares, extending 78.5 kilometers north to south, and 53.3 kilometers west to east. It has a wholesome natural environment and ecosystem with world famous precious animals like Northeast Tigers, sikas, sables etc. It’s China’s typical comprehensive nature existence of world importance.
The Crater Lake:- It nestles on Bai tou shan （The White-Head Mountain）, the main peak of the Chang bai shan and is also a border lake between China and Korea. Surrounded by 16 exotic peaks, the lake is the crater of a volcano, filled with blue waters, known as “The Heavenly Lake”. The basin-shaped lake, 2155 meters above sea level, and 313 meters deep at maximum, encompasses an area of 9.2 square kilometers. It’s a typical high mountain lake. The lake waters keep flowing out, without causing apparent change in its water level. The two white rivers of the upper reaches of the second Songhua River originate here. The inner side of the lake bank is craggy cliffs formed by rough-surface rocks and white pumice stones, which make the Lake resemble a marble bowl carved with uncanny workmanship. The surface of the Lake is smooth as a mirror, with the reflections of grotesque cliffs upon it in numerous exotic shapes.
The Waterfall of Chang bai shan:- The water of the Heavenly Lake finds its way out through an opening in the northern bank and at a vertical cliff, 1250 meters away, drops 68 meters down with loud rumbles.The Chang bai Waterfall hangs in the air like a white ribbon.
The Hot Springs of Chang bai shan:- At the north side of the White-Head Mountain, there is a group of hot springs coverings an area of over one thousand square meters. Two white rivers wind their ways among the hot springs. The right banks where the mouths of springs concentrate are shrouded in hot misty air all the year round. The springs vary in temperature,with the highest reaching 82 degree Celsius. The hot waters contain hydrogen sulphide and have high medical value.
The Primeval Forests: The vast sea of forests appears mysterious and bizarre. No old sky-piercing trees have ever been felled. Natural-grown upside down trees are covered with moth, and young trees shoot just from the old rotten roots.
Everest is the highest mountain on Earth （as measured from sea level）. Snow-capped mountains， azure sky， golden rays of sunshine， the pure and mysterious aura of Tibet has excited the imagination of so many people of the world.
The summit ridge of the mountain marks the border between Nepal and Tibet. In Nepali the mountain is called Sagarmatha （Sanskrit for “forehead of the” sky） and in Tibetan Chomolangma or Qomolangma （”mother of the universe”）。 Although it was named Everest by Sir Andrew Waugh， the British surveyor-general of India， in honor of his predecessor Sir George Everest， the popular pronunciation of Everest （Ev-er-est） is different from how Sir George pronounced his own last name （Eve-rest）。
They all battled freezing temperatures. Winds up to one-hundred-sixty-kilometers per hour. Dangerous mountain paths. And they all risked developing a serious illness caused by lack of oxygen. All for the chance to reach the top of the world.
The first and most famous of the climbers to disappear on Mount Everest was George Mallory. The British schoolteacher was a member of the first three trips by foreigners to the mountain. In nineteen-twenty-one， Mallory was part of the team sent by the British Royal Geographical Society and the British Alpine Club. The team was to create the first map of the area and find a possible path to the top of the great mountain.
At the time，scientists believed that a person at the top of the mountain would only have enough oxygen to sleep. Scientists believed that Messner and Habeler would die without oxygen. Scientists now know that two conditions make climbing at heights over eight-thousand meters extremely difficult. The first is the lack of oxygen in the extremely thin air. The second is the low barometric air pressure.
Today，scientists say a person lowered onto the top of the mountain would live no more than ten minutes. Climbers can survive above eight-thousand meters because they spend months climbing on the mountain to get used to the conditions. Climbing to the top of Mount Everest is a major victory for any person， but imagine if the climber could not see.Two years ago， the first blind man successfully reached the top of Everest. Erik Weihenmayer （WINE-may-er） was a thirty-two-year-old American. He climbed to the summit with the help of his team.