Honeymoon bliss in Shangri-La

Mother Nature is beautiful

I'm a romantic at heart. Since I was young I've had an image of what my perfect wedding and honeymoon would be like - a traditional wedding followed by a romantic holiday in a remote paradise. The very first time I read Lost Horizon by James Hilton, the book that first conceptualised Shangri-La, I was captivated by the 'earthly paradise' he described and it instantly became the vision of my ultimate honeymoon.

Since I travel a lot to see my parents in New York, I have earned many Asia Miles™ with my American Express Cathay Pacific Credit Card over the years. All of these Asia Miles came in handy for the honeymoon because I had more than enough for 2 free tickets, but I had to renew some of the mileage first and with my Card I enjoyed a 10% discount on the Mileage Renewal Fee.

We started our adventures in Lijiang, a city 2,400 metres above sea level. It took a while to get used to the altitude, but after a day we were out and about exploring the city, enjoying traditional Chinese tea at local teahouses and practising our Putonghua with some friendly locals. The Old Town of Lijiang is one of the most picturesque places I have ever been. The UNESCO Heritage site has a quaint system of waterways and bridges which made for some fun and romantic photos.

After our short stop in Lijiang, we were ready to set off into the heart of heaven on Earth – the Shangri-La Canyon located in the province's northwest. When we arrived I was awestruck by the natural beauty – crystal clear lakes, majestic green mountains, fields of flowers as far as the eye could see and the bluest skies I have not seen in a long time. Ben and I spent days hiking through the fields hand-in-hand enjoying the utopia we were in and only stopping occasionally to photograph the wildlife.

When I returned home, there were beautiful bouquets of flowers awaiting at my front door. Ben had used his Card to arrange the delivery while we were still in Shangri-La. It was the sweetest thing he’s ever done for me and I was able to enjoy my very own little Shangri-La for a little while longer.

Travel Tips:

There are no direct flights from Hong Kong to Shangri-La. Cathay Pacific Airways operates daily direct flights to Kunming Airport where you can connect to other transportation to Shangri-La.

It was just us and nature. For that feeling of being the only two people on earth - the remote Shangri-La Canyon is it. - Mr. and Mrs. Richards

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