The core area of Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas (UNESCO World Heritage Site), West Yunnan is a paradise for active travelers with an adventurous spirit. One of our most off-the-beaten-track adventures in Yunnan China, this itinerary is meticulously crafted for you to discover nature’s best – Nujiang River Grand Canyon, the remote idyllic villages of Bingzhongluo, snow-capped mountains, volcano park, waterfall… Delve into the cultural traditions of some of China’s remotest minority groups – Lisu, Nu, Dulong, Tibetan…, meet and chat with unsophisticated local people at the market or at their family, and experience yourself the local way of living.

Top things to do:

  • Two weeks truly Yunnan adventure experience through Dali, Nujiang and Tengchong, discovering the real hidden gems in China.
  • Marvel at the other-worldly landscape along Nujiang River Grand Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the East.  Like a local, enjoy the exciting and thrilling sliding rope experience over Nujiang River.
  • Explore Bingzhongluo, a blessed land connecting to two of China’s most beautiful and serene villages – Qiunatong and Wuli.
  • Uncover mysterious Sole Dragon Villages in Dulongjiang and visit tattoo-faced women.
  • Enjoy the scenic and cultural delights in Tengchong, staying at Heshun Old Town.
  • Explore incredibly beautiful mountain back-roads of West Yunnan, with views all along.
  • Travel style: original, private tour, culture, hiking, adventure

    Best time to travel: Apr-Jun;Sep-Nov

    Destinations: Dali, Liuku, Fugong, Bingzhongluo, Dulongjiang, Zhiziluo, Tengchong


    Meals included: No Meals

    On arrival in China and make your connection flight to Dali. Local guide of Yunnan Discovery has been waiting to greet you. After settling in to your accommodation, take a leisurely guided wa.lking tour of Dali Old Town – a once prosperous capital built around the 8th Century, with loads of Bai ethnic culture and folklores. Wander through the city's characterful old streets lined with Bai architectures, tie-dye shops, antique stores, galleries and cafes. Enjoy yourself the relaxing atmosphere.

    Travel tips: apart from Kunming, you can fly to Dali directly from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Changsha and some other China cities.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Pick up from your hotel in the morning, transfer to Chongsheng Buddhist Temple to admire the 9th-century Three Pagodas, standing majestically with the lofty Cangshan Mountain Ranges as its backdrop. Then enjoy a cruise on Erhai Lake for about one hour, looking across the stillness of this jewel-like lake to the fishing villages on the shore.

    After lunch, travel overland to Liuku County - the center of the Nujiang Nu & Lisu Autonomous Prefecture and start delving into the heart of Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas. It takes 4 hours roughly on the way. After checking into hotel, you may wish to take a walk around this special riverside town to look out ancient ferry and old Xiangyang Bridge.

    After dinner, if lucky enough we can enjoy the chorus by Lisu Ethnic group without the accompaniment of musical instrument at the Baihualing church. It is acclaimed as the “natural voice of the mountain wilds”.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    This morning set out for Fugong, driving along the beautiful Nujiang River Grand Canyon. Stop en route and visit the hot spring site of Lisu Public Bath Festival. There is a tradition goes that local Lisu people come here and have a public bath at the certain important dates. It is not just a bath, but a social activity and a grand festival to get together and to wash away the filth.

    Continue driving and indulge in sublime natural beauty, arriving Fugong County, another small county of Nujiang prefecture.

    Go checking the peculiar Flying Stone of Fugong - a huge stone said falling down from the sky though it might be down form the mountain.Overnight in Fugong.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Rise early this morning, and drive about 4 hours to Bingzhonluo. But we will have a photo stop on the way to for the famous Stone Moon, which is a huge round hole on the top of the mountain and can be seen through, looking like a moon hanging on the mountain.

    Are you a brave thrill-seeker? If so, experience the thrill of sliding rope to cross the Nujiang River. This is the main method of local people to cross the big river as there are very few bridges on the river.

    Arrive Bingzhongluo, the most important destination of this adventurous trip, Bingzhongluo, called by locals as the "Paradise Inhabited by Human and Gods” is embraced by numerous holy mountains and inhabited by Lisu, Nu, Tibetan and Dulong people for generations. Furthermore, you can discover some of China’s most beautiful villages such as the Qiunatong and Wuli villages, etc.

    The most beautiful part of Nujiang River flows through Bingzhongluo with Biluo Snow Mountain as its backdrop and formed the Mighty First Bend of Nujiang River.

    Overnight at Bingzhongluo for two nights.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Today we have a full day adventure tour of Bingzhongluo. Cross the Shimenguan (Stone Door Pass), walk on a remote part of the ancient Tea-horse Road to get into the best section of Nujiang River Grand Canyon, one of the longest and most beautiful canyons in the world with enchanting remoteness and wilderness. The ancient caravans walked this path from Bingzhongluo to their final destination - Tibet. But we veer off to discover the idyllic Wuli Village (village in the haze).

    Then explore the highlight of Bingzhongluo - Qiunatong Village, featuring the other-worldly landscape. The last isolated village of Nujiang River Great Canyon, nestled the edge of the Tibetan plateau, with virgin forest, waterfalls, stone and wood houses, snow-caped mountains, Qiunatong is like a colorful fine art created by god. At this small village – a reminiscent of China decades ago – you don’t have to hurry but to enjoy the real rural China.

    Ascend Gongdang Mountain to have a full view of Bingzhongluo and lookout the summit of Gaoligong Mountain called Gawagapu Peak.

    If it is Sunday, we may see local people praying and singing the chorus in a small church. The Western missionaries from UK and France came all the way to this faraway place during the Qing Dynasty without any modern traffic method, which was unbelievable.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Continue your Nujiang adventure driving about 4 hours to Dulongjiang - the Sole Dragon River Area. There is a Yunnan saying goes that the most beautiful view is on the way rather than on the scenic attraction. Today you hop on the vehicle to view / drive through deep forest, snow-caped mountain peaks, bamboo seas on the wonderful roads.

    Dulongjiang is the most remote and township in Nujiang prefecture, accessible by paved roads only in recent years. It is well known as “the museum of the wild fauna & flora” and being one of the most complete and best preserved natural reserves in China. Dulongjiang has been resided by a mysterious ancient tribe – Dulong (Sole Dragon), who are most famous for the tattoo-faced women. However, there are only about 50 tattoo-faced women alive, and the youngest one is already 50 years old. While young sole dragon ladies never do this anymore. So perhaps here’s your last chance to explore this vanishing sole dragon culture.

    Overnight at Dulongjiang for two nights.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    This morning, we start our Yunnan discovery tour from Maku - the site of the transnational market between China and Burma. It is right here Dulongjiang River flows into Burma. Keep driving, you won’t see a circled scenic attraction in this place, but expect some of world’s most scenic roads.

    If weather permits, we enjoy a trek to the Haba Waterfall, along the paths of valley to find the pure fall down the mountain.

    In the afternoon, if possible we will visit a Sole Dragon family. Have a chat with the local women who has facial tattoo and find out the reason for this unique tradition.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Today we drive back to Fugong, along the way we sit back and indulge in the views of natural landscape, snow-capped mountains, rivers, valleys, villages and bridges. If you like, enjoy yourself another time the sliding rope (Liusuo).

    Overnight in Fugong.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    This morning tansfer back to Liuku the capital of Nujiang prefecture, but on the way we will visit a lost city named Zhiziluo, the former capital of Nujiang before 1974. Zhiziluo in Lisu language means Someplace Good, but it is better known as the “City Of Memory”. It is where time has stopped. Travel back in time to see what China looked like during the Cultural Revolution period (between 1966 and 1976) - the statue and portraits of the great leader Chairman Mao, the cinema in the basketball ground, the wasted streets and the old government buildings.

    It seems the only thing still alive is the Laomudeng Church. Everyday between 6pm and 8pm local people gather here, praying and singing together the beautiful hymns. You may join them. After the journey through time, we continue the drive to Liuku and stay overnight.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Today we take another 7 hours’ drive to the boundary city Tengchong, approximately 200km to the border of Burma. A famous cultural and historical city in Yunnan, Tengchong was first built in Han dynasty nearly 2000 years ago and has long been known as an important strategic stronghold.

    During the World War II, Tengchong was occupied by Japan for several years. And it took tremendous amount of effort, including numerous Yunnan soldiers’ life to resume the lost territory of Tengchong. At that time many people had to leave home for another country, and finally returned after many years. So Tenghcong has become a famous hometown of overseas Chinese.

    Set in to your accommodation in Heshun Old Town of Tengchong.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Your guide will lead you to explore Tengchong. Different from the adventure in Nujiang, your Tengchong trip is more relaxing and more leisure.

    Visit Tengchong Volcano National Geopark – one of the four major volcanic groups in China and celebrated as a museum of volcanic geology. Located between two continental plates, the earth crust was very active here. Therefore many volcanoes were formed millions of years ago – but they are all dormant now. Climb up two biggest ones called Big Kongshan and Small Kongshan for spectacular views.

    In the afternoon, we explore Yunfeng Taoist Mountain to admire its Taoist architectures on the mountain top covered in mist and take in the panorama of the villages, rurality and hills.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    This morning we firstly visit the Second Sino-Japanese War Memorial Hall, one of the biggest World War II memorial halls in Asia. It composed of two parts, the exhibition hall and the tomb of more than 3000 Yunnan soldiers died Songshan mountain campaign. It was until this campaign that the Japanese invaders were driven out of Tenghcong.

    Then we walk to see the beautiful Dieshuihe waterfall, the only volcanic barrier waterfall in China, with a drop of 46m.

    In the afternoon, we head for Beihai Wetlands surrounded by mountains, with a total area of about 16 square kilometers. It belongs to the volcano barrier lake ecosystem, with very high values of natural research and sightseeing.

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    It is a relatively relaxing day. This morning your guide will lead you to wander the old streets of Heshun old town. Heshun is one of the most beautiful villages in China, with loads of culture and traditions, elegant ancient architectures and idyllic countryside. Visit the biggest village library in China, and the former resident of Aisiqi.

    This afternoon free at leisure. You may set out to explore more of the town's cultural sites and admire beautiful Ming and Qing architectures, including memorial archways at your own pace.

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Today, you will be picked up from hotel and transferred to the Tengchong Airport to board your flights back home. End of your 14 day Yunnan adventure tour to Nujiang, Tengchong and Dali.

    What's included

    • One-on-one travel counseling service with fully tailor-made itinerary
    • Private English-speaking guide, native-born or with years of local life experience
    • Reservations of domestic flights and trains as listed on your itinerary
    • Private driver, with comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle
    • Entry tickets to all attractions on your itinerary
    • Private transfers to airport/hotels/attractions
    • Handpicked accommodations to meet your needs, with daily breakfast
    • Lunch and dinner arranged at local restaurants, for taste of Yunnan
    • International flight tickets or train tickets
    • China Visa (but we can send you the invitation letter to help you apply China visa)
    • Tips for guides, escort, drives, bellman
    • Personal expenses

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