Utopias of Yunnan

A journey less travelled. On this journey, we witness the spiritual utopia of Shangri-La, the fertile valleys of Tacheng, the indomitable peaks of Laojun Mountain, the fervour of Lijiang, the sheer spectacle of the Tiger Leaping Gorge and an immersion of Naxi and Tibetan cultures. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Witness extraordinary landscapes through Shangri-La autonomous

Stay in intimate and boutique lodges

Experience intimate encounters with the Naxi and Tibetan people

Get up close and personal with the endangered Snub-nose monkeys

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE  SHANGRI-LA 

Arrive Shangri-La today, also known as Zhongdian. On arrival, make a visit to Shangri-La Old Town, an atmospheric town center, adorned with traditional Tibetan architecture and buildings and currently in restoration process after a fire broke out in 2013. Thereafter, we arrive into the compounds of Songzanlin Monastery scenic area where you will enjoy an inspiring stay at the Songtsam Retreat

Overnight: Songtsam Retreat, Shangri-La

Meals: Lunch

DAY 2: SHANGRI-LA

We begin the day with a visit to the Songzanlin Monastery, second in importance in the world of Tibetan Buddhism. Built in 1679, the monastery is composed of Zhacang and Jikang lamaseries and is regarded as a holy ground by the Dalai Lama and the locals. In the afternoon, spend a leisure day and consider an excursion to Shika Mountains where you can ascend to the top by cablecar or consider a horse-riding excursion to the beautiful Napa Lake

Overnight: Songtsam Retreat, Shangri-La

Meals: Breakfast

 

DAY 3: SHANGRI-LA / TACHENG

Today we begin our journey through the beautiful landscapes to Tacheng (3hrs drive) passing through low mountain valleys and one of the most fertile areas in the region. Fresh vegetables, fruits, local ham and rainbow trout are famous in Tacheng, making it a "healthy and tasty" destination. On arrival at at Songtsam Lodge Tacheng, we visit the surrounding Naxi villages and visit a local Naxi family to gain insights into their heritage and customs and enjoy some leisure walks in the rice fields. 

Overnight: Songtsam Lodge, Tacheng

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

DAY 4: TACHENG

After breakfast, we embark on a tour to visit the renowned and endangered Yunnan Golden Monkeys, also known as the Snub-Nosed Monkeys. The species is elusive due to their endangering numbers, less than 2000 in the wild and endeamic to Yunnan. After lunch, we visit Bazhu Tibetan Village to learn about their culture and experience the daily lives of the villagers. 

Overnight: Songtsam Lodge, Tacheng

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

DAY 5: TACHENG / GELADAN GRASSLAND

Today, we drive 2hrs to the Geladan Grasslands and arrive at the Vinetree Kingsway Tented Resort located in the lush grasslands where you will enjoy lunch on arrival. Have most of the afternoon to admire the stunning surroundings. We then embark on a all terrain vehicle to navigate our way through spectacular scenery, rugged natural beauty and admire the sacred mountain peaks and nature. In the evening, enjoy an intimate dinner with your hosts and thereafter, admire the tranquil and starlit skies. 

Overnight: Vinetree Kingsway Tented Resort, Geladan Grasslands

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: GELADAN GRASSLAND / LIJIANG

Our journey continues to Lijiang where on arrival, be orientated to the UNESCO-listed Lijiang Ancient Town starting from Square Street. Ascend Lion Hill for a panoramic view of the ancient town and its roof tops. Thereafter, a short drive takes us to Shuhe where we check in to the charming and intimate adventure lodge, The Bivou Lijiang

Overnight: The Bivou Lijiang

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 7: LIJIANG (EXCURSION TO TIGER LEAPING GORGE)

Today, leave for an excursion to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest and narrowest gorges in the world. We take a hike on the Upper Gorge, most accessible section of the gorge and offering an easy experience to witness the power of the raging waters. Thereafter, we make a visit to Stone Drum Village, a beautiful frontier town of the Old Tea Horse trail. We also see the First Bend of the Yangtze River where you will see a sharp "V" shaped bend of the famous Yangtze River. 

Overnight: The Bivou Lijiang

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 8: LIJIANG 

Begin the day with the "Impression of Lijiang" Show choreographed by famous Chinese director, Zhang Yimou and involves more than 500 ethnic dancers of various ethnic minority group in their best costumes performing against the stunning backdrop of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Thereafter, drive through the lovely countryside and visit the home of explorer Joseph Rock, the village of Baisha before spending some time in Lijiang Ancient Town. Consider a walk up to Lion Hill for a panoramic view. 

Overnight: The Bivou Lijiang

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 9: DEPART LIJIANG

Today, transfer to Lijiang Sanyi Airport for your onward journey. 

HOTELS

Songtsam Retreat Shangri-La is at the heart of the sacred region of the Three Parallel Rivers set at 3300m above sea level. A refuge at the end of the world, immerse in genuine Tibetan hospitality and be wowed by luxurious furnishings, views and architecture of the retreat. 

Songtsam Retreat, Shangri-La

Songtsam Tacheng is situated in a low valley with year-round mild weather and sufficient rainfall and one of the most fertile places in the area. Besides fresh vegetables, local ham and rainbow trouts, wild honey is also a specialty in Tacheng and guests have the opportunity to visit local beekeepers. Rooms feature a wide balcony with views of the terraced fields. 

Songtsam Lodge, Tacheng

Songtsam Tacheng is situated in a low valley with year-round mild weather and sufficient rainfall and one of the most fertile places in the area. Besides fresh vegetables, local ham and rainbow trouts, wild honey is also a specialty in Tacheng and guests have the opportunity to visit local beekeepers. Rooms feature a wide balcony with views of the terraced fields. 

Vinetree Kingsway Tented Resort, Geladan Grasslands

The Bivou Lijiang, located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lijiang, is a designer guesthouse for the modern adventurer. Housed within two historic farmyards built by the area's Naxi minority tribe, all 16 rooms look out over private gardens landscaped to reflect the full colour and fragrances of the changing seasons. Bivou Lijiang is the proud Winner of Tripadvisor 2014 Traveler's Choice Award for Top 10 Small Hotels in China. 

The Bivou, Lijiang

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