a 13-year-old monk sits perched on a step outside his Ganden Sumtseling Monastery dwelling. Kids as young as 6 or 7 come to the monastery to study how to become a monk.
A woman waits in her shop for customers to come buy knick-knacks and jewelry. In the past several years, tourism has boosted the Shangri-La economy.
From a hill, Tibetan prayer flags frame the town of Shangri-La. Tibetan prayer flags often are found hanging in trees, on pagodas or at temples.
A Tibetan woman peeks out the gate of her home in the early earning. The homes in the Shangri-La villages are still constructed by hand with the help of neighbors and friends.
Shangri-La Tibetan villages sit on the horizon of a valley in early autumn.
A Tibetan woman strolls through her village on the outskirts of town with her grandson tied to her back. In Southwest China, it is common for adults to tie their children on to their backs with cloth.
Shangri-La is tucked away in between beautiful mountains and valleys. The town claims to be the inspiration for the setting of James Hilton’s book “Lost Horizon.”
Two monks wrestle outside their home at the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery. Most parents decide for their kids if they will become a monk. Not until they are around 18 years old can they choose a different path to follow.
Two Tibetan women chat as they walk their cows home in the early evening. The villages of Shangri-La depend on cows and yaks for their main foods, such as yak cheese and yak butter, which is mixed with tea.
Two Tibetan women head home with their horse in the early evening. Most Tibetan homes are self-sustaining, living off the land. But because of an increase in tourism in the area, some make extra money by inviting people into their homes for a traditional Tibetan meal, while others work in town.