The name of Shangri-La
The phrase "Shangri-La" most probably comes from the Tibetan, Shang - a district of Tsang, north of Tashilhunpo, "Mountain" equal to "Shang Mountain", Mountain Pass, which suggests that the area is accessed to, or is named by, "Shang Mountain Pass". However, it maybe that Hilton had heard of Shambhala - the Tibetan equivalent of Shangri-La, but could not remember its name.
Another name "Zhongdian": The town has promising hints of nirvana: broad thoroughfares lined with three-storey buildings, many gaily painted in reds and oranges. It seems appropriately relaxed, with neither pedestrians nor vehicles in any hurry; a yak plods past, pulling a cart.