10 Days from$7351 p/p in USD
DeparturesApr, May, Jun, Jul
Guided, Small Group
Budget, Camping, Mid Range
Yunnan, a land of natural beauty and mystery, located in the most southwest of China, has a vast territory, magnificent mountains and rivers, abundant natural resources and diverse cultures. Yunnan is a home to 26 ethnic minorities which give a rich color to the land. They contribute with their colorful costumes, traditional songs and dances to the attractive life. Shangri-la, located in the beautiful Northern Yunnan province of China, captures China’s beautiful nature at its best. Spend enough time in Zhongdian, enjoy the azaleas on the snowy mountains while Lijiang has a history of at least 800 years and may date as far back as the Song Dynasty. As a popular destination in Yunnan, Lijiang is considered as a fairyland blessed with fresh air, clear streams, breathtaking snow mountains and an undisturbed landscape inhabited by Naxi ethnic minority.
Safari types:Botanical Safari, Cultural Safari, Guided Safari, Trekking Safari, Walking Safari
You will visit:Shangri-la, Zhongdian, Lijiang, Deqin, Weixi , Shaxi, Laojunshan National Park, Baisha
Activities:Walking Safari, Trekking, Bicycle, Nature Walk, Sightseeing Tour
Getting around:Transfer Vehicle, Bus, Train, Domestic Flight
Start/end:Start in Shangri-la, end in Lijiang
This best time to visit is from the end of April to the begining of June.
Price Per Person – USD
From USD 7,351 per person
- Accommodation based on two people sharing one room with twin-bed. All hotels as listed in the itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast
- All breakfasts as indicated in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
- Entrance fees to scenic spots as listed in the itinerary
- All the activity fees mentioned in the itinerary
- Private transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing during the trip by private air conditioned vehicle with a driver
- Guide: as outlined in the itinerary an English-speaking guide and driver will be provided in each city, who will remain with you throughout your time in that city. A new guide and a new driver will meet you at each city on your tour, to provide you with the best local knowledge available
- Arrangements: the tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges
- Travel Agency Liability Insurance
- International airfare or train tickets to enter or leave China
- China entry visa fees
- Excess baggage charges
- Medicine for sickness or accident while on the trip
- Personal expenses such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone calls, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the tour itinerary
- Any meals which are not specified in the tour itinerary
- Single room supplement
- Please note that the price will be much higher during the festival of Labors’ Day, National Day, spring festival
- Tips to tour guide and driver (recommended USD10-15/guest/day)
- Tourist accident insurance. NB – you are strongly suggested to buy travel and health insurance before you start out from your home country
- This itinerary is owned and delivered by ‘China Adventure Tours‘
- All prices are ‘From’ and may vary at the time of booking
- Display price is usually based on two people sharing
- ‘China Adventure Tours‘ reserves the right to change the content and price of the itinerary
- All itineraries are subject to availability
Day by Day Overview
This morning you take the early morning flight to Shangri-la. Meet a local guide, transfer to hotel and have a little rest. Visit Ganden Sumtseling Monastery in Zhongdian where 800 Buddhist monks spend their time engrossed in Buddhist learning away from their families and homes. The monastery, built in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama, has numerous chapels, fine woodcarving and paintings. It is a living museum of Tibetan culture. Parts of the monastery are being reconstructed and there is a great regeneration of the religious spirit.
Drive to the Napha Lake Basin (3290 m). The lake, north of Zhongdian, is really a plain that floods but is mostly dry and grazed by horses and pigs in summer. The slopes surrounding the lake are entrancing, leading to wild untrammeled mountain country beyond, and so rich in flora you will be finding something new every half metre.
You should come across your first blue poppy, Meconopsis horridula, on some of the rocky slopes, then carpets of the great orchiCypripedium both C. tibeticum and C. flavum, together with primulas, androsaces and much more, both shrub and herbaceous plants. There could not be a lovelier spot for your picnic lunch. The shaded gullies near the villages at the base of the hills can be explored for days. It is also interesting to see village life, and time permitting, you will visit a Tibetan home Wander on the slopes resplendent with Incarvillea, Cypripedium, Androsace and a host more plants.
Overnight: 4-star hotel in Shangri-La
The botanical feast continues today. Drive to Shika Snow Mountain, take the rope way to top, and enjoy flower viewing along the small valley between two rope way stations. A walk up a narrow gorge, rich in more plants than you could imagine, leads to upland valleys that can be explored as much as energy allows, unless your whim is to relax in the floriferous meadows.
Shika Snow Mountain Scenic Area is located 7 kilometers southwest of Gyanthang town of Shangri-La County. With its highest altitude being 4,449 meters above sea level, this area covers 65 square kilometers and its elevation drop is 1,179 meters. Due to the high attitude and vertical climate, we could appreciate various alpine and sub-alpine land forms and vegetation. In the cable car we can have a wonderful birds-eye view of Gyanthang (the Old Town of Shangri-la), the Ganden-Songzanlin Monastery, Napa Lake and Shangri-La Airport. Shika is a Tibetan word (Shangri-la dialect) meaning a mountain abounding in deer. It is said when Sakyamuni began to preach Buddhism in the Deer Park, two deer listened to him attentively in knee-down posture.
Therefore, deer stands for common people and are regarded as mascots in Tibetan Buddhism. It is the symbol of longevity and strict adherence to dharma. In history, this lofty mountain stood between two important cities of Shengchuan Prefecture of Tubo Kingdom: Dukezong in the east and Tacheng in the west. Therefore, the mountain was the pass connecting Tubo and Nanzhao Kingdom in Dali. It was the first Tibetan sacred mountain along the Ancient Tea and Horse Road and enjoyed high prestige among Buddhist pilgrims in West Yunnan.
The mountain is famous for its diversity of geological land forms and biological resources. With rich geo-tectonic features, it is an ideal place for scientific research and exploration. The impacts of the Quaternary glaciations could be seen everywhere in the mountain. Unique valleys and blue alpine lakes shrouded amidst meadows and forests are extremely attractive. It’s the best place in Shangri-la (Zhongdian) to view some other sacred Buddhist snowcapped mountains in Tibetan Area.
In the afternoon wander in the old town of DuKeZong.
Overnight: 4-star hotel in Shangri-La
In the morning you make your first sortie east of Zhonghdian to Ringga temple and the hill of the Five Wisdom Buddhas. This is a most sacred pilgrimage site for all Gyalthang Tibetan people. It is where they go to pray and eave their problems behind. The meadows en route have a stupendous variety of wild plants in flower. As well as the more obvious masses of iris and rhododendron, you will come across your first bog primulas and corydalis. A little more searching will bring you to Sinopodophyllum and Nomocharis lilies. Both of these carpet the delightful hillside of the monastery under the host of Tibetan prayer flags.
In the afternoon we will start driving northwest towards Baima Snow Mountain. On the way visit Dongzulin Monastery. We will go to Baima Snow Mountain U-shape valley base (at 3912 m) it is one of the most important bio-diversity sites for the Great Rivers Project sponsored by the Nature Conservancy. You may also see Tibetan villages and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way and the view of meadow in the gorge.
Overnight: Baima Research Base (public toilet no shower)
Today you leave the base exploration along the U-shape valley and across forest fringed with more plants you will recognize naturalised now in English gardens, great stands of Rodgersia pinnata for example. Late afternoon drive to Deqin.
Overnight: Feilaisi TianTang Hotel
Early in the morning we visit Feilai Monastery and soak up the sun rise view of the whole of Mt. Meili. We will drive to Weixi County (185 km, 4 hours). En route, we will stop at Qideng Ge temple and on the way pay a visit to the Cizhong Church. It is amazing that you can see a Christian church in a Tibetan area. It was built by a French churchman almost 100 years ago. The church is in the village where Han, Naxi and Tibetan people live together harmoniously. Enjoy beautiful views of Mekong Gorge.
Overnight: JingYu Hotel
This morning we drive to Shibaoshan (165 km, 4 hours), a famous temple which is over 1300 years old and evidence of the spread of Mahayana Buddhism into Yunnan from Tibet. Representations of the Bodhisattva Guanyin and other Buddhist images are carved into the rocky mountainside. Visit Shibaoshan, then transfer to Shaxi, an important role as a bustling trade station on the Tea and Horse Caravan Road, an important branch of the Silk Road. In the late afternoon visit Shaxi town and free to join the town.
Overnight: Laomadian Hotel
We will drive about 2.5 hours (79 km) to Daqunlong Mountain Villa, trekking about 30 minutes. Arrrive in Laojunshan National Park, 99 Dragon Pool, (3900-4100 m) have a picnic, then about 4 hours/6 km trekking to the camp.
Overnight: Camp at Elong See (3,900 m)
After 4 hours trekking arrive in Azuoluo. Have a picnic, then in the afternoon do about 3 hours trekking to Wuzhiluo followed by a 2.5 hour drive to Lijiang.
Lijiang is the capital of the Naxi Autonomous Prefecture in the north-east, where you transfer to the hotel. Naxi is a matriarchal tribe with a rich culture. Lijiang has existed for at least 800 years and has its own Tibeto-Burman language with a unique pictographic script and its own tradition of unique music and musical instruments. Women run the market and businesses and inherit property through the youngest daughter and men are gardeners, musicians and child rearer. Lijiang was at one end of Tibet’s trading route and had trading ties with far flung cities in Burma, Tibet and India. The old town with its cobbled stone streets and stone bridges over canals and Naxi architecture is a wonderful place for walking around. The Naxi Dongba culture is a mix of animist and Buddhist practices. You will also travel to Baisha, the ancient capital, where in the Dabaochi Hall you can see fine examples of the frescoes completed during the 15th and 16th centuries by Tibetan, Naxi, Bai andHan artists.
Overnight: hotel in Lijiang
In the morning a walking visit will be made to the beautiful old town of Lijiang, located at an altitude of almost 8,000 feet and a UN World Heritage Site. The old part of the town has wonderful old cobbled streets, meandering streams and views that will take your breath away. The ancient town of Lijiang is a lovely Chinese traditional town. Visit the WanGulou Pagoda on the Lion Hill, which offers a superb view over the rooftops focus of the old town.
Next you will visit the Naxi villages of Yuhu and Baisha. Yuhu is a simple village of Naxi minority with the former residence of Dr Joseph Rock. Dr Rock, an Austro-American botanist and explorer who lived here off and on from 1922-1949, is best remembered for the introduction of innumerable plant species to the west and his rigorous works on Naxi ethnology. Just steps away from Dr Rock’s residence, nrth of Lijiang Country finds the Liulidian Temple and Daobaoji Temple at Baisha village, housing 558 mural paintings on 12 walls that date back to the Ming Dynasty in 1385. Buddhism, Taoism and Lamaism manifest in integration in styles of the Han Chinese, the Tibetan, the Bai and the Naxi people on the murals, a proof of exchange on politics, economy, culture and religion between the mainland and the frontiers of China. They are now rated as key cultural relics under national protection.
Naxi Doongba Culture Lecture, Dongba Culture and Pictograph learning. Embroidery experience and cultural learning in Baisha village. Visit the Black Dragon Pond with the Wufeng Temple (Five Phoenix Pavilion) and Dongba Museum. The pool provides you an opportunity to take great pictures of the crystal clear pond with backdrop of Snow Mountains in the distance.
Overnight: hotel in Lijiang
Transfer to Lijiang airport for your flight to your next destination.