Legend of Shangri-La

In 1933, English novelist James Hilton wrote a captivating tale of an idyllic settlement high in a secluded mountainous valley. Entitled Lost Horizon, it describes a world often chanted pavilions perched between the high mountains and the fertile Blue Moon Valley. Today, even those who have never heard of Lost Horizon, the words "Shangri-La" evoke images of utopia. Hilton said his readers would not find Shangri-La on any map but suggested that Shangri-La was located in a long valley with "rounded, sad looking hills on either side" and capped by the "loveliest mountain on Earth".

It was almost a perfect cone of snow, simple in outline as if a child had drawn it. "Italian-American film director, Frank Capra snapped up the tights to Lost Horizon and cast Ronald Coleman and Jane Wyatt in the 1937 film version. "I'm sure there's a wish for Shangri-La in everyone's heart Oh, I just wish the whole world might come to this valley, "crooned Wyatt. The film won the 1937 Academy Award for Columbia Pictures . Ronald Coleman and Jane Wyatt in de 1937 film, Lori orison. photo and above South China Morning Post, 29, 1997 Though neither Hilton or Capra ever stepped foot in the region, many speculate that Hilton's Loa Horizon was inspired by a series of articles published from 1924 to 1935 by National Geographic magazine - that included accounts of Joseph F. Rock's expedition of North west Yunnan Province.

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