Shangri-La previously known as Zhongdian, is a primarily Tibetan county in northwestern Yunnan province, about 5-hours-drive north of Lijiang. It is the location of the seat of the Dêqên Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and the last stop in Yunnan for a rough five-to six-day journey to Chengdu via the Tibetan townships and rugged terrain of western Sichuan. Perched on a plateau at an elevation of 3300 meters and located in the midst of three rivers, Shangri-La, meaning "ideal heaven" in Tibetan, is a sacred scenic region blessed with majestic mountains and beautiful lakes. Dotted with beautiful hills, flowers and alpine lakes, the region of Shangri-La offers superb possibilities for trek and botanical exploration. Shangri-La is home to many different ethnic groups, with the Tibetans making up most of the population. If you have no opportunity to visit Tibet, then just come to the Tibetan villages on the outskirts of Shangri-La, not only will you admire the picturesque natural scenery, but also experience the unique Tibetan culture and customs.