What We Do

Mountainous landscape forested with pine, rhododendron, and a long list of diverse flora and fauna is backdrop to the unique cultural heritage of Shangri-La. YMHC is dedicated to the preservation of this heritage and supports projects to promote sustainable tourism and to partner with others to protect the natural beauty of the prefecture.

Shangri La Projects in a Nutshell

Handicraft Design and Development
Shangri-La Handicraft Center
Funded by Hong Kong Federation of Women and Pansy Ho

Opened in August 2006, the Shangri La Handicraft Center is dedicated to promoting handicrafts made by the people of Shangri-La. It is open to visitors and tourists from 10 am to 6 pm daily (closed Monday). You may visit the shop where authentic handicrafts from the region are sold at fair trade prices. Profits from the sale of these items go to training, design, and associated projects for the artisans.

Preserving Cultural Heritag

Gathering of Friends of Diqing in Shangri-La

This is an annual event where friends interested in learning more about Diqing and YMHC projects gather in Shangri-La. We spend several days together brainstorming issues surrounding eco-tourism and better practices for Diqing prefecture. Experts in a variety of tourism related fields are invited to give us new ideas and relate experiences which will help us build appropriate projects. This event was sponsored jointly by Diqing Prefecture government and the Center. Our first “Gathering of Friends” held in October 2005 was a great success. About 35

guests came from China and abroad. Vice Governor Shi Zhong Kai gave a breath taking slide presentation which drove home the uniqueness of this corner of Yunnan’s mountain landscape. Many of our guests added valuable insights and stories of eco-tourism experiences. The American architect, Ben Wood, shared his vision for a tourist friendly, beautiful Shangri-La Valley.  Since this time, many guests from China, Hong Kong, and abroad have joined us in Shangri La to make friends with the people of Shangri La.


The Shangri La Handicraft Center invites volunteers from China and abroad to participate in a variety of activities in the community.   Assignments range from teaching English in the Center, helping in the handicraft shop, to eco-tourism projects sponsored by the Center.   Volunteers give their time and talent to the community and take valuable lessons home learned in interactive projects.


Shangri-La, A Photographic Essay by Sahra Malik

This is the first major publication for YMHC. Photographer and designer, Sahra Malik, has completed the first edition of this beautiful photo story of uniqueness of Shangri-La as a travel destination. As we go through the “Essay” we begin to understand why this fragile blend of people with an ethnic diversity and strong cultural heritage who make this beautiful landscape their home is a treasure not just for China but for all people on earth.

Eco-tourism Workshop

Held in January 2006, this workshop brought together government officials, local and international experts and investors to discuss the options for creating a national park system in Diqing. *Read more about this interesting workshop under Eco-Tourism heading.

Future project plans

Research and Design for Handicrafts Bed and Breakfast training project Rural Women’s Empowerment project Master-Student handicraft traning Making Woolen Felt in Shangri-La Branding Environment friendly tourism practices Awards and Signs for Historic Buildings