Shangri-La : A Practical Guide to the Himalayan Dream

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-11-25
  • Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides
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This guide to the mythical land of Shangri-La is rooted in the glorious reality of the Himalayas, encompassing parts of southwest China, Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim and Ladakh. It effectively 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 ensures that visitors can make the most of their trip to this other-worldly destination, while armchair travellers can browse and dream.

Author Biography

Michael Buckley has trekked, biked and hitchhiked his way across Tibet and China. He is author of the Bradt guide to Tibet and lives in Canada.

Table of Contents

Background Information
Natural History
Planning and Preparation
Travelling in Ghana
Health & Safety
Towards Cape Coast
Cape Coast, Elmina and Surrounds
Sekondi-Takoradi and the West Coast
The East Coast
Inland of Accra
East of Lake Volta
Between the Coast and Kimasi
Greater Ashanti
From Kumasi to Tamale
Tamale and Mole National Park
Bolgatanga and the Upper East
Wa and the Upper West
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.



Until 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…


Excerpted from Shangri-La: A Practical Guide to the Himalayan Dream by Michael Buckley
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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