Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. In the book, Shangri-La is a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia — a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world.
The Stone Forest or Shilin is a notable set of karst formations located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County, approximately 90 kilometres east of the provincial capital Kunming. The tall rocks seem to emanate from the ground in the manner of stalagmites, with many looking like petrified trees thereby creating the illusion of a forest made of stone. Since 2007, two parts of the site, the Naigu Stone Forest and Suogeyi Village, have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of the South China Karst.
Tengchong County is situated in Baoshan Prefecture, western Yunnan Province. It is well known for its volcanic activity. The name has also been given in English language sources of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as Tingyueh,Teng Yueh and Momein.
The Tiger Leaping Gorge is a canyon on the Yangtze River – locally called the Jinsha River (River of Golden Sand) – located 60 km north of Lijiang City, Yunnan in southwestern China. It is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas World Heritage Site.
Xishuangbanna is an autonomous prefecture in Yunnan's south. The capital city is Jinghong, the largest settlement in the area and one that straddles the Mekong River, called the Lancang River in Chinese.
Yuanyang County is located in Honghe Prefecture, in the southeast of Yunnan Province. It is well known for its spectacular rice-paddy terracing. It covers an area of 2200 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 365,000 (2002), of which 88% belong to ethnic minorities and 95% is associated with agriculture.