Say What?? Travel Photo: One Room Shop

You’ve heard of Shangri-La, right? You know, that mythical place from James Hilton’s fictional novel, “Lost Horizon?” Well, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you probably know that Shangri-La is also a city in China that draws many a tourist thanks to its name!

You see, it wasn’t always this way. The town used to be called Zhongdian and was renamed simply as a tourist draw. Their justification? The town must be the fictional Shangri-La because it bears this distinctive feature from the novel:

Pyramid-Shaped Peak

That’s right! A pyramid shaped peak! Apparently that’s one of the things James Hilton (who hadn’t actually traveled to Asia at all) used to describe his fictional Shangri-La.

But it isn’t just folklore that draws people here. The town is in fact quite charming and has a nice Tibetan flare to it (though it’s nothing compared with the full on Tibetan towns I experienced in the Sichuan province!). The old part of town is quite picturesque and is where most visitors stay.

Shangri-La Old Town

Along with the influx of tourists comes, of course, an influx of shops selling souvenirs. And with an influx of shops comes an influx of names, which means people have to get a bit creative to stay ahead of the pack. And that is precisely how you end up with signs like this one. Please take note of the fact that this is a clothing store, not a place of lodging:

One Bedroom is Unusually Available

Programming Note: Say What?? is shifting to a twice weekly format and will be published on Mondays and Fridays.

Say What?? is a twice weekly series featuring numerous hilarious signs from my travels. Check back every Monday and Friday for updates! Or better yet, subscribe to my RSS feed to receive them automatically!

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8 Responses to Say What?? Travel Photo: One Room Shop

  1. Erin January 10, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    LOL!!! I had to do a double take on that one!

    • Aaron January 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      I know, right? It’s a doozie!

  2. Samantha Dermot January 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    The images aren’t loading for me..I see some html code instead

    • Aaron January 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      Whoops sorry about that! All fixed now!

  3. Samantha Dermot January 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    I am having such a hard time understanding all these signs from the architecture though:)

    • Aaron January 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

      Hehe I know. They don’t make a whole lot of sense in English at all. That’s what I love about them! And yes, the architecture in China is incredibly photogenic! Beautiful country, really!

  4. Dustin Main - Skinny Backpacker January 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    I think it’s probably worth going to China just for the signs even.

    • Aaron January 15, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

      Absolutely! The signs totally rocked my world! And the fact that almost nobody in China speaks English makes them all the better!

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