Windows at the Songtsam Tacheng lodge look out on terraced rice fields and misted peaks in Yunnan's northwest corner. The area around Tacheng, watered by the upper reaches of the mighty Yangtze River, is considered among the most fertile in Yunnan.
In "Over the Horizon," in National Geographic Traveler's February/March 2014 issue, writer Scott Wallace goes in search of evidence of his grandfather, who vanished in Yunnan in the 1930s. "This hamlet, with its Buddhist shrine, has the mystical quality I imagine he was after. Perhaps the image of Baird in my parents’ bedroom was taken where I stand right now, looking down on terraced fields … and, beyond, the snowcapped Hengduan Mountains, which recede like waves into infinity."