Shangri-la (formerly called Zhongdian, before Dec 2001) County is the location of the seat of Di Qing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in the west part of Yunnan province, about 170km northwest of Lijiang City. "Shangri-la" is a Tibetan word which means "land of sacredness and peace." Even today, Shangri-la County remains an untainted natural paradise which retains a mysterious and bewitching quality. Visitors to Shangri-la will sure find themselves in a land where mysterious tranquility pervades every inch of the ever-changing scenery.
Napa Lake Nature Reserve is both an ideal grazing field for herdsmen and a paradise for many species of birds. This is, in the true sense, a seasonal lake. When summer comes, snow on the adjacent mountains melts and flows down into about ten rivers forming a vast lake. In the dry season, Napa Lake becomes boundless green grassland--the best time for herding sheep or cattle. Every September, the lake turns into a temporary habitat for migratory birds, such as bar-headed geese, wild ducks and black-necked cranes (one of the 12 rarest bird species in the world).
Songzanlin Monastery is a typical Lama monastery. Located at the foot of Mt. Foping, 4 kilometers north of Zhongdian County, a monastery was first built here in 1679 and has been rebuilt many times. The architectural style of the building is a faithful imitation of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
The two main halls here are surrounded by hundreds of rooms for monks. In the main halls, three bronze statues and beautiful color murals decorate the walls relating to historical Buddhist events.
Pudacuo National Park
Pudacuo National Park is located about 25km east of Shangri-La County. As the first national park on the Chinese mainland, Pudacuo was open to visitors in 2007. It incorporates the Bita Lake Nature Reserve and the Duhu Scenic Area in the Hongshan region. As such they are part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas World Heritage Site.Pudacuo qualifies as a natural wonderland. It contains endemic species of fish found nowhere else in the world, rare and beautiful orchids, black-necked cranes and taxus, a yew whose extract are indispensable to the creation of many cancer drugs.