Highlights

Dreaming of an authentic expedition to the far wild Yunnan? Travel off that beaten path and explore the heartland of Shangri-La with our exclusive adventure trip. It is especially devised to keep nature lovers and intrepid travelers entertained with endless opportunities to be embraced by nature.

Picture yourself walking amidst snow mountains, through primeval forest and remote villages, watching the wildlife and glaciers – all will come to your life.

Top Things to Do:

  • Take 9 days epic Yunnan adventure tour to Shangri-La and Lijiang to explore the remaining corners of an old world;
  • Explore the legendary old towns of Lijiang and Shangri-La, which are steeped in history;
  • Enjoy the off-track thrills on a journey to the mighty Meili Snow Mountain (Kawakarpo) and wonder at its glaciers;
  • Have a unique spiritual experience at the ancient temple and shrines, and even a hidden church;
  • Watch Yunnan’s endemic Black Snub-nosed Monkey and explore several nature reserves;
  • Visit the primitive remote villages, where the local mountain tribes lead a life of seclusion.
  • Travel Style: original, private tour, adventure, off the beaten track

    Best Time to Travel: All year round

    Destinations: Lijiang, Tacheng, Cizhong, Meli Snow Mountain, Shangri-La

    Day

    Meals Included: No Meals

    Nihao, welcome to Lijiang China and start an authentic adventure tour in the primitive Northwest Yunnan! After landing at Lijiang Sanyi International Airport, meet your local guide of Yunnan Discovery at the arrival hall and be warmly welcomed. Private transfer to your hotel in Lijiang (Dayan) Old Town. Enjoy yourself the unwonted and exotic atmosphere at this thousand-year-old city.

    The UNESCO-listed Old Town of Lijiang is one of China’s most famous and most beautiful ancient towns, entertaining travelers with its colorful minority cultures, charmingly preserved traditional dwellings and views of breathtaking surrounding landscapes. For your own exploration in Lijiang Old Town, make sure you don’t miss the sunset view from the Lion Hill.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Have a beautiful morning on your way to holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It was formed 2.58 million years ago and consists of 13 soaring snow-capped peaks, with the highest peak reaching 5596m. Take JDSM cable car to get to Yak Meadow at 3600 to 3800m, with peaceful atmosphere and best panoramic view of the mighty snow mountain. Luxuriate in the beauties of wild vegetation, mountain lakes and the equator’s nearest temperate oceanic glacier. If visiting JDSM in summer, the snow-blanketed earth exposes its surface and the yaks then graze on the hillside grasslands.

    Take cable car down JDSM and reach Baisha Ancient Town for lunch and Naxi ethnic culture exploration. It is the very place where Mu Family, the previous Lijiang Chieftain, started their legend in 13th Century and later ruled Lijiang for 470 years. The previous Lijiang political and economic center, Baisha is a significant part of UNESCO Lijiang Old Town. A religious art treasure left by ancient Naxi people, Baisha Murals is a must-visit sight in Baisha.

    Later explore the even more primitive Yuhu Village where most of the dwellings are made of pieces of rocks, in accordance with the serene surroundings and Naxi people’s worship for nature.Walk on the rough stony road to find the former home of Dr Joseph Rock, a renowned US naturalist who made Yuhu his home for 27 years and devoted his life to study the history of Naxi Dongba culture. And come to the Yuhu Lake (Jade Lake), an ancient artificial lake that connects abundant meadows, snow peaks and the clear sky.

    Return to Lijiang Old Town, and visit Black Dragon Pool en route. It is a quiet, beautiful park features elegant ancient architectures and a limpid lake that catches the reflection of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Check out from hotel and drive to visit Shigu Town (Stone Drum Town). A strategically important town in history for almost 2000 years, Shigu is shrouded with a tranquil atmosphere, surrounded by hills and farmlands, and besides Jinsha River, the upper stretch of Yangtze. Here, you can obtain the incredible view of the First Bend of Yangtze River. The Yangtze dashes down Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, through Qinghai, Sichuan, Tibet and get to Yunnan’s Shigu Town, then suddenly turn around towards the northeast plain regions, creating the V-shape bend, which is known as the First Bend of Yangtze River.

    Wave goodbye to Lijiang and set off to discover the secret parts of Yunnan on a trip to Shangri-La. Arrive at Tacheng Village in Weixi Town. You may have never heard Tacheng before. A magical, heavenly place though, it is rarely visited by the outsiders. There are huge mountains, primeval forests, serene valleys, home of Yunnan golden monkeys, and small, beautiful villages where the minority mountain tribes live a peaceful and isolated life.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Enjoy another refreshing morning on a trip to Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve. It is an original alpine coniferous forest stretching for hundreds of miles and connecting Deqin. A major water source forest west of Jinsha River, the nature reserve is also home to various kinds of wild animals, including Black Snub-nosed Monkeys, known to the locals as Yunnan Golden Moneys. Black Snub-nosed Monkey is endemic to China and one of the rare endangered species on earth.

    The Yunnan Golden Monkeys base is located on the hillside of Baima Snow Mountain, where there are 800 to 1000 monkeys of 8 different species living and growing here. Every morningfrom 9:00 to 9:30 is the best time for monkey watching when they are having their breakfast: the delicious radish, bamboo shoots or the buds of broad-leaved trees. Black Snub-nosed Monkey is the most human-like animal. They have the red mouth quite similar with human’s. Watch the monkeys run freely in the wild, take in the natural scenery, and breathe the fresh air.

    Say goodbye to the lovely monkeys, and continue the adventure of Yunnan. After about 2 hours of driving, arrive at another village called Tongle (meaning Happy Together). The whole village seems to be built on a cliff between mountains by using local Lisu people’s own architectural techniques. We have about 2 hours touring in Tongle Village to stroll through the all-wood houses.

    Afterwards, journey to Cizong Village in Deqin County.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Situated in a remote corner of Lancang River Valley, Cizhong Village is mainly inhabited by Tibetan people, but was also deeply influenced by the missionary few hundred years ago. No wonder you can see one of Yunnan’s most beautiful churches here. So isolated the village located that people still keep their traditional lifestyle – they are taught how to plant grape and how to make wine. You should have had the chance to savor the local wine when having dinner last night.

    Enjoy the morning with a delightful walk around the village along a river, and visit the church of Cizhong. It is a very special but wonderful experience to see how Buddhism and Catholicism coexist in Cizhong.

    Later drive for 2 hours to get to Meili. After lunch, visit 390-year-old Feilaisi Temple of remarkable architectural style on Yunnan-Tibet Highway. Free at leisure, and watch the sun set over Meili Snow Mountain at the viewing platform near your hotel.

    Located at the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas (UNESCO), Meili Snow Mountain is well known as the first of the 8 holy mountains in Tibetan Buddhism. Its main peak, the Kawakarpo, is the highest mountain in Yunnan Province and so far still a virgin peak without any human climbing conquest.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    This morning come to the viewing platform again and enjoy the amazingly beautiful sunrise of Meili if the weather permits - the snowy peaks break through the seas of clouds and glows golden in the morning sunshine. Then get back to hotel and have your breakfast before setting out for the Mingyong Glacier on Meili Snow Mountain.

    After1 hour driving, reach Mingyong Village, and then transfer to a shuttle bus of the park to the Mingyong Glacier. It is the lowest altitude glacier in the lower latitudes of the earth, and the biggest and longest glacier in Yunnan, stretching between 2600m and 6740m above sea level. Visit an old temple called Taizi Temple at the root of the glacier. Taizi is another name of Meili Snow Mountain, meaning prince.

    After the exploration of Mingyong Glacier, transfer back to the hotel and have a good rest with truly tranquil setting.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Today we need to drive for 5 hours to get to Shangri-La, and firstly visit the Big Bend of Jingshajiang River and Dongzhulin Monastery at Benzilan en route.

    Bordering Sichuan to the east, Benzilan was one of the famous towns on the ancient Tea-horse Trading Route and vital to ancient caravans delivering goods between Yunnan and Tibet. For over 1000 years, Benzilan has experienced success, glory and recession, and developed their own unique Tibetan-oriented culture. Benzilan is also known for wooden bowl making and incense making.

    After the visit of Benzilan, we hit the road again, and later explore Nixi Tangdui Black Pottery Village, with pottery-making history of over 2000 years and getting a superb achievement in Chinese pottery industry. After a local flavor lunch, watch how the local craftsmen making pottery wares, with their traditional manual skills.

    In the afternoon, enjoy a nature trip in Napa Lake Grasslands (Napahai Natural Reserve), where the 660-square-kilometer plateau seasonal lakes and swampy meadows are the wintering habitat for black-necked cranes and other migratory birds like bar-headed goose and yellow duck. When in summer, the vast grasslands are dotted with wild flowers and groups pf cattle and sheep.

    Finally arrive in "Shangri-La" hidden in the Himalayas. Spend the rest of the day freely

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Enjoy the morning on a nature adventure to Shangrila Pudatsuo National Park. At an altitude of 3800m, it consists of primeval forests, meadows, wildlife, and valleys. The best things to see are two highland fresh water lakes: Shudu lake and Bitahai lake.

    In the afternoon, explore Samstanling Monastery, the biggest and most famous Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan, also known as “Yunnan’s Potala Palace”. Marvel at Samstanling Monastery’s grand architecture and preserved relics, and learn from your guide about its history.

    Thereafter, come to the 1300-year-old Dukezong Ancient Town. Also known as the Moonlight City, it was built based on the myth of Shambhala, the heavenly realm of Buddhism. Stroll through the traditional Tibetan dwelling houses and visit Baiji Temple (One-hundred Chicken Temple) on Guishan Mountain, where you’ll see the world’s biggest prayer wheel.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    It is the end of your 9 days Shangri-La, Meili & Lijiang adventure and soon you will return to the modern civilization. Your guide and driver will escort you to Shangri-La Airport. Have a safe journey back home!

    What's included

    FAQ

    Useful things to know before you go

    • 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
    • Round-trip cable car on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Spruce Meadow)
    • 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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