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Tag Archives: Tang Dynasty

March 2008, Lijiang, China
Lijiang is located on the north side of the Himalayan Mountains 1,500 km east of Mount Everest and approximately 150 km from the Tibetan boarder in Yunnan Provence.

In 1933 the nearby mountains inspired James Hilton to write Lost Horizons the book that popularized the term Shangri-La. Citing extracts from Hilton’s book, some areas of China, such as the scenic town of Lijiang now claim they were the inspiration for Shangri-La. The neighboring county of Zhongdian in Yunnan has gone so far as to officially rename itself as Xianggelila (Shangri-La).When no one was looking I kicked the dirt in a couple of places but found no signs of a hidden diamond.

The day after visiting the lamasery in Shangri-La I headed two and a half hours southwest of Lijiang to Shibao Shan (Mountain).

Polata – Shangri-La

Near the top of Shibao Shan there are rare remnants of Tang Dynasty rock carvings that have been worshiped and protected by the Bai ethnic group. Li, my guide explained the people were recently relocated off the mountain, away from the historic rock carvings, to protect the IXth Century carvings.

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April 2006

This is my next to the last day in Xian. It’s Sunday, my guide has returned to her family for a few days of visiting relatives so I’m on my own. Wen Feng a part-time guide and full-time internet marketer has been showing me around Xian and its surroundings.

The Central Committee has greatly increased the budget for Xian, perhaps as part of a program to increase Terracotta Warrior tourism. Most noticeably is the fleet of new city buses.

Three of the four main boulevards have major construction projects in progress. There are huge shopping malls recently opened or under construction. This may not sound like a good thing but it is. All the new construction is using traditional Chinese style architecture. What was torn down was the more boring utilitarian proletarian style. Xian is returning to its roots. Read More »