Lost Horizons

{Part 6 - Our Founding Director Fionna Heiton is currently travelling in Tibet with her teenage twins}

James Hilton wrote Lost Horizons in 1933. He in fact travelled extensively in Kham before writing Lost Horizons which would go onto become one of the most famous books on Tibet. Although very dated, it tells of a plane that crashes on the Tibetan Plateau. The passengers meet a monk who takes them to a beautiful place, Shangri La.  Since then, people have searched for Shangri La. Some say it exists only in your mind. For me, I think it can be anywhere that you find special. The day I travelled from Yading down from the plateau, I think I found my Shangri La. The road from Xiangcheng climbed steeply affording incredible views as we reached high passes. Mile after mile, we travelled through forests and empty valleys. Any plane crashing here would indeed be lost.  Dropping down into yet another valley, we were amazed to find only a village or two. We were miles from anywhere and glad that our driver knew the way.

Eventually a larger village had a small Tibetan restaurant. We devoured the fried rice before continuing towards the Yunnan border. We have booked into a hotel just outside Benzilan for the night. Benzilan was one of the key places on the old tea and horse trading route connecting Tibet and India. With 15 kilometres to go, we look forward to a hot shower and dinner. However road works on the Yangtse River Gorge, meant a 2 hour delay. We reach our accommodation for the night in time for a lovely dinner.

Looking out on a small temple the exquisite boutique hotel was authentically Tibetan in style, service and management. Sun poured through colourful stained glass and fruit trees flourished in the garden. The days journey melted away.

Want to find Shangri-La?  Find out more about our Road to Shangri-La Joruney here