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Shangri-la

The capital of the predominantly Tibetan prefecture of Diqing, Zhongdian was renamed Shangri-la, after the mythical, Tibetan-influenced setting of James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon. While Zhongdian did see a large increase in visitors and tourists after its name change, the city nonetheless managed to preserve its heritage and unique architecture, especially its flat-roofed, ornate buildings. Today, as in the past, Zhongdian is home to the Kham people, a distinct ethnicity of Tibetan origin famed for their warrior traditions.

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