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Thank you for this info. Always on the lookout for inexpensive ways to get around in Shangri-La. Last time I used a local driver for a morning drop off at Shika Mt, with a pick up in the afternoon for 50rmb.

Next time I'll look into bus 12. I'm wanting to hike up rather than take the gondola ride at Shika, stay overnight at Consonance Lake (灵犀湖). I'll probably have to doge the gondola people, who kept telling me, you can't hike here, you can't hike there.

Thanks for the link kc430.

The majestic mountains of Deqin borders both Tibet and Sichuan. Yading Nature Reserve is a mere ~80km away.

From a geological perspective, there are no imaginary provincial nor country borders separating mountain formations created millions of years ago, much less homo sapiens whom evolved much more recently to plot flags/names all over the lands.

Same can be said for The Grand Canyon in Arizona or White Cliffs of Dover in England. These epochal beauties are ancient, and have inspired countless poets and artists of all skin colors. All of whom, like you and me, are the embodiment of the cosmos as we reexamine ourselves. True "Shangri-La" resides in serenity of mind.

The Telegraph article was originally published in China Daily. Here is a link to the original article, "Where is Shangri-La?".[...]

The article has a 20 minute video of author Simon Chapman's quest to find the place which inspired HIlton's novel, Lost Horizon. Chapman's conclusion? Yading Nature Reserve in Sichuan, as written about before the area had that name, by Joseph Rock in National Geographic articles of the 1930s.

I feel the need to contribute to the community on Shangri-La. I carry fresh, lingering regrets for not coming to the aid of this foreign, solo female traveler who was asking unlicensed taxi drivers (or 黑车) for a ride to the popular Sumtseling Monastery (featured photo above).

The drivers' asking price was 200 rmb to take her there by car. She smartly walked away. However, they called her back and their conservation ensued inaudibly. I believe she negotiated her ride down to one hundred or so. Still a rip-off.

The Sumtseling Monastery can be reached via public Bus 13 for a 1 yuan fare. Bus station is 50 meters across the street from Shangri-La Old Town (north entrance). That was where the lady stood alone with her backpack.

The bus route sign direction is incorrect. So take the bus on the right side of the street (Northbound), not the opposite left side. Bus 13 will take you the town's ticket lobby and parking lot. It is the terminal stop (终点站). After purchasing entrance ticket (100-120rmb), a park shuttle will take you higher grounds to the foot of the Temple entrance.

Leaving the temple grounds is easier. Bus 13 awaits just outside the grand entrance at the foot of temple across the public restrooms. No shuttles necessary en route back to Old Town. Bus 13 starts at 7:30am.

For those who wish to visit the Napa lake/protected wetland nature reserve. For 2 rmb, just hop on Bus 12 (green) on aforementioned opposite side across from Old Town starting at 8:30am. Or just wave to approaching Bus 12. They normally slow down or honk to pick up perceived tourists along their +30km drive through town and around the brim of the protected Napa wetlands, but not before first passing the foot of Shika Snow Mountains. Some areas along the bus route have official fence openings where visitors enter without fees. Enjoy a picnic on dryer grass to soak up the high UV sun. To get off Bus 12, just ring the bell or call out to the bus driver (politely call them shifu (师傅) to stop anytime along the route. Last bus is 4:30ish.

Local women and grandmas adorned in colorful attire will ride around the lake too. Bus 12 turns into a giant sightseeing karaoke box. Even the bus driver would join in on their indigenous folksinging like James Corden's carpool karaoke. Their spirit is so carefree. Good times.

That is a great book by Jim Goodman (which you linked).

Stumbled on Jim Goodman in Chiang Mai and told him that Rock book 'is a masterpiece'. He looked surprised, suspicious and maybe a bit glad soneone said so. Made me wonder if he ever got any (or enough) credit for his Rock exploration, or his books in general.

I stopped short of naming it "Holy Mountain" as that would carry Abrahamic connotations. Sacred Mountain probably has a better ring for the Tibetan Bon & Buddhism motif.

RIP to 11 victims of Mt. Everest just last month. They need stricter regulations on the south Nepal side.

The gravity-defying, floating Hallelujah Mountains in James Cameron's Avatar film franchise is also fictional, but based off of the majestic beauty of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan.

Nature of the cosmos has continuously shown itself more miraculous than our human imagination.

An article titled "In search of the real Shangri-La" on Lost Horizon and Shanghai-la was republished three days ago on the Telegraph:

"'The place described in the book Lost Horizon has never been disclosed, but we knew it was Muli and the surrounding area' - Xuan Ke, son of Joseph Rock's secretary who organised the translation of Lost Horizon into Mandarin in the 1970s"

As of today, 23 June, Lijiang's Black Dragon Pool water source spring has dried up. A reliable source of drinking water by locals, it reduced it flow last week and today when I went to collect water found out the trickle had finished. Thunderstorms on the way this week.