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Shangri-La: A Practical Guide to the Himalayan Dream
     

Shangri-La: A Practical Guide to the Himalayan Dream

by Michael Buckley (2)
 

Shangri-La is one of the most evocative myths of our time —so powerful that it has entered the dictionary as a synonym for paradise.As myths go, it is a young one: Shangri-La made its debut with the 1933 publication of British author James Hilton’s novel, Lost Horizon. No sooner was Shangri-La created by Hilton than a host of places staked claims to

Overview

Shangri-La is one of the most evocative myths of our time —so powerful that it has entered the dictionary as a synonym for paradise.As myths go, it is a young one: Shangri-La made its debut with the 1933 publication of British author James Hilton’s novel, Lost Horizon. No sooner was Shangri-La created by Hilton than a host of places staked claims to being the real location that inspired the book.This guide to the mythical site of Shangri-La is rooted in the glorious reality of the Himalaya, encompassing parts of southwest China, Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim and Ladakh. It forms a concise guide to the most remote areas of the region, with a focus on major mountain peaks, and some well-chosen treks in each area.Practical information and maps will ensure that visitors can make the most of their trip to this other-worldly destination, while armchair readers can browse and dream...• First and only guide on the market blending exploration of the myth with practical advice on visiting the contested sites• Focus on the region’s legendary sacred peaks and monasteries, including acclimatisation hikes, as well as tougher treks• Provides background on oddball adventurers and seekers of lost kingdoms of the Himalaya• Sidebars on esoteric topics like Tracking the Yeti (Bhutan) and Crazy about Hockey (Ladakh)• Illustrated wildlife appendix — a concise field guide to the most unusual animals• Extended color photo sections to illustrate the concept of Shangri-La

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781841622040
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
11/25/2008
Series:
Bradt Travel Guide Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

SNOWMAN TREKUntil the 1960s there were no roads in Bhutan: everything proceeded on the backs of horses or yaks, including postal deliveries. In the northern part of Bhutan, that is still the case—trails for bipeds or quadrupeds, but no wheeled transport. And due to snow, some parts are only accessible to pack-yaks, not to pack-horses. Arcing right across the north of Bhutan, from Paro all the way to Jakar, is the toughest walk in the Himalaya, the Snowman Trek. The trek is rough, but the rewards are great. Here, in the remote north, the romance of the Tibetan world—the yaks, the hardy nomads, the snow, the high passes—all comes together. This is a chance to witness a nomadic lifestyle that has disappeared in other part of the Tibetan world. This trek requires great stamina, and deep pockets due to the longer period required to complete it (at US$200 a night levied). Costs are likely to snowball (pardon the pun) if you get stranded in Lunana due to heavy snow, and have to helicoptered out. Timing is critical on this route due to snowfalls in Lunana: the best season for trekking is late September to mid-October. There are several variations on the eastern side of the route for the exit. The entire trek can take between 25 and 30 days. If you build in more rest stops, it can take even longer. Days 1-12: Paro to Laya (see Blue Poppy Trek), with a rest day in Laya. Days 13-19: Laya to Thanza: East of Laya, the Snowman Trek begins in earnest, traversing a series of high passes in the Lunana region. Everything in Lunana is carried in by yak caravans…

Meet the Author

Michael Buckley has travelled widely in Tibet, China, central Asia and the Himalaya, visiting many Tibetan enclaves. He is author of Eccentric Explorers, a book about the exploits of ten fearless adventurers to the Tibetan plateau, and of a travel narrative, Travels in the Tibetan World. For Bradt, he has also authored Shangri-La: A Travel Guide to the Himalayan Dream – a concept guidebook that covers contenders for the Shangri-La crown across the Himalayan range. In the course of numerous journeys to Tibet, Buckley has hitchhiked overland from Chengdu to Lhasa, trekked around Mount Kailash and mountain-biked from Lhasa to Kathmandu.

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