It was only a matter of time before someone took the name. ‘Shangri-La’ was a fictional valley, idealized as an earthly paradise in James Hilton’s 1933 novel ‘Lost Horizon’. Now that we’ve established that Shangri-La isn’t a real place, making sense of why an actual place in China is known as Shangri-La is a little bit tough. Anyways, Shangri-La (also known as Zhongdian) is a small town in China’s Northwest Yunnan province that is home to some amazing Himalayan mountain views, a beautiful Tibetan monastery, and many ethnically Tibetan people. Preston and I spent a few nights there in December 2009 and did a bit of mountain biking in the surrounding area on our way to trek the Tiger Leaping Gorge. This photo gallery covers some of the highlights from our trip to the ‘real’ Shangri-La.