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Holiday Overview


  • Lijiang highlights
  • You will start the trekking of Tiger Leaping Gorge, as one of the world's four great gorges,
  • Visit Napa Lake Nature, which Reserve is the country’s largest grassland and most scene area of the plateau.
  • Visit Tibetan families
  • Enjoy the magic sunrise of Golden Meili Snow Mountain
  • The view of the glacier is the most extraordinary.
  • The sunrise of the Mt. Kawagebo glacier
  • Hike to the Holy Waterfall, enjoy the stunning scenery
  • Visit Tongle Village, it is the most original ethnic village in Yunnan Province.
  • Have a tour of Tacheng Golden Monkey National Park

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. It is known for its colorful and intriguing diversity of ethnic minority groups. We will start with Lijiang City, which enjoys a long history of over 800 years, a gathering place of Nakhi ethic group. Spend enough time in Tiger Leaping Gorge - one of the most attractive area in Southwest China. Your tour will end the trip at Zhongdian or say Shangri-La for the famous Dragon Snow Mountain etc. During this trekking route, you will not only visit impressive natural sites but will reach the rarely visited villages which still maintain their traditional lifestyle from thousand years ago. 

Note: All the time and distance shown here are approximate and indicative only, if there is inconsistency, it will depend on the weather, local road condition and other actual situation.

Brief Itinerary

  • Arrive in Lijiang
  • Lijiang highlights (B)
  • Lijiang-Qiaotou Town-Tea&Horse Guesthouse (BLD)
  • Tea&Horse Guesthouse-Tina’s Guesthouse-Shangri-la(BL)
  • Shangri-La (3,297m) (BL)
  • Shangri-la-Deqin-Feilaisi(BLD)
  • Feilaisi-Mingyong Glacier-Feilaisi (BLD)
  • Feilaisi-Xidang-Upper Yubeng Village(BLD)
  • Upper Yubeng-Ice Lake-Upper Yubeng(BLD)
  • Lower Yubeng-Holy Waterfall-Upper Yubeng (BLD)
  • Yubeng-Ninong-Cizhong(BLD)
  • Cizhong-Tacheng(BLD)
  • Tacheng-Liming(BL)
  • Liming- Lijiang (B)
  • Departure from Lijiang (B)

Map & Itinerary

Holiday Itinerary

  • Arrive in Lijiang (altitude: 2,416m)

    Upon arrival in Lijiang, check in, Relax yourself in Lijiang Old Town.. Lijiang is a small mountain town of stone and tile, laced with swift canals, which has been recently listed as an UNESCO world monument. It enjoys a long history of over 800 years and unlike most of the old towns in China, there is no city wall due to a superstitious belief of the local ruler whose family name is Mu (tree木), when encircled by walls, would be Kun (besieged困). Wooden structures, mountains, small rivers and lanes integrate harmoniously in this mountain town. It is also an enclave of ethnic minority cultures, and especially a gathering place of rugged mountain people of Nakhi (Naxi) ethnic group.
    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

  • Lijiang highlights

    In the morning drive to Black Dragon Pool Park (pinyin: Hēilóngtán), also named Jade Spring Park, shows visitors picturesque scenery with a large crystal pool, luxuriant trees, a tall mountain and historic buildings in graceful shapes. Located at the foot of Elephant Hill, a short walk north along Square Street of Lijiang Old Town in Yunnan Province, China, it was built in 1737 during the Qing Dynasty and offers a spectacular view on the region's tallest mountain, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, over its white marble bridge. The park features several smaller temples and pavilions 
    Then we will drive 22 kilometers to Yuhu village, 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.
    Tour to Baisha village and visit Baisha Frescoes, north 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. 
    And Shuhe ancient town named as the town of clean water. Shuhe Ancient Town, an important part of the Ancient Lijiang City, the world cultural heritage, is one of the earliest sites inhabited by Naxi ancestors in Lijiang highland and at the same time it is once an important post station on the ancient tea road. 
    In the later afternoon wander in the Ancient Lijiang Town Sightseeing of the Old Town of Lijiang today that is regarded as "Oriental Venice, unsophisticated and picturesque".
    Time permit, we’ll next learn more about the Naxi people at the Dongba Museum. The museum is built completely according to the traditional life style of the Naxi Minority. You can feel the traditional atmosphere of national culture from the layout of its yard, building facilities, tools and details of life. Later, more tours including Black Dragon Pool.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Distance driving: Lijiang Old Town/Baisha Village 10km

    • Meals B

    • Time driving: Lijiang Old Town/Baisha Village 20mins

  • Lijiang-Qiaotou Town-Tea Horse Guesthouse

    Check out in the hotel, drive about 100KM to Qiaotou Town(Tiger Leaping gorge Town). Drive along the Naxi ethnic villages and the upper Yangtze River, with a panoramic view of the First Bend of Yangtze River on the way. You will start the trekking of Tiger Leaping Gorge, as one of the world's four great gorges, is honored as one of the deepest and most marvelous gorges with 3900 meters in depth.
    Start the trekking form the Qiaotou Primary School, after half an hour, arrive in Changsheng Village, pay a visit to Changsheng Hope Primary School. Arrive in Zhong Nuoyu village at noon and have lunch in Naxi Family Guesthouse. After lunch, you will start the most difficult part trekking to the 28 Zigzag Bends trail and reach the top peak at the elevation of 2670m.
    You will arrive at Tea Horse Guesthouse to finish today's trekking. This is basically the halfway point of the journey. 

    • Accommodation Local Guest House

    • Ascent 820m

    • Descent 300m

    • Meals BLD

  • Tea Horse Guesthouse-Tina’s Guesthouse-Shangri-la

    Get up in the early morning, trekking down to Tina’s Guest house passing a small but high waterfall on the way. Tina’s is the best location to enjoy the scenery of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. 
    Then drive to Shangri-la. you will have entered the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys. On the way, visit Baishuitai (White Water Terrace). The terrace is covered by a layer of white deposits of calcium carbonate crystallized in the spring water. In addition to the spectacular terrace itself, visitors can also learn about the ethnic Naxi minority and folklore in the nearby Baidi village.
    Upon arrival, if time is enough, walk around Dukezong Ancient Town, an important town of the Ancient Tea-horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Ascent 300m

    • Descent 700m

    • Meals BL

  • Shangri-La(3,297m)

    Zhongdian is the first Tibetan town in Yunnan with a sprinkling of Bai Muslim and Naxi cultural influences.  It is a beautiful land characterized by snow-capped mountains, vast grasslands, idyllic lakes and religious culture. It is a "Utopia" free from stress, pollution and turmoil that plagues most of the cities where we live. 
    Today we’ll visit Shangri-La Old town, huge prayer wheel and local Tibetan. This area is rich with Tibetan-style architecture and dates back 1300 years! We’ll explore Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan Monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias - 'the little Potala Palace ', so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere. Walk around for 2 hours. 
    After lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll drive to a small hill to visit Napa Lake about 6km away. The Napa Lake Nature Reserve is the country’s largest grassland and most scene area of the plateau. Here we will have a chance to visit local Tibetan family, communicate with local people and enjoy a tradition Tibetan lunch. And enjoy the Tibetan culture and take photographs before get back to Zhongdian old town for some souvenir shopping. 

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BL


    Today is transfer day. Early in the morning we will drive 7hs directly to Feilaisi Temple. On the way we will have many stops for the pictures, we will not only pass by some Tibetan Villages, but the Horse-hoof Shaped Bend and Baima Snow Mountain( 4,200 m /13,776 ft), it is one of the most important bio-diversity sites for the Great Rivers Project sponsored by the Nature Conservancy. And stay in a hotel nearby Feilaisi Temple, where we can see the whole 13 Peaks of Meili Snow Mountain if lucky enough.
    • Accommodation 3 star hotel

    • Distance drive : 200km

    • Meals BLD

    • Time drive: 7h

  • Mingyong Glaciers (2,600m)

    Try to get up early in the morning, enjoy the magic sunrise of Golden Meili Snow Mountain. Then drive 1.5-hour (12km) to Mingyong village (2,230m), the starting point for the walk to the glacier. Mingyong Glaciers, an extremely long ice under the Kawakarpo Peak, may be the world's lowest glacier. This sea of ice rushes into the valley in an impressive way and expands to about 80 meters wide! The view of the glacier is the most extraordinary. The glacier retreated 200 meters in four years and these events are believed to be associated with global warming. From the village, an easy 2 hours walk leads up to the Tibetan Taizi Monastery (2,900m), from where we will have a first stunning view of the Mingyong Glacier. It’s a lovely walk, through an old forest of huge trees, overgrown with moss. The forest floor is covered in ferns and lush green plants, interspersed by the occasional wildflower. From time to time we pass piles of mani stones, prayer flags and other signs indicating certain holy rocks or trees. Then, for those with energy left can continue further up to the Lianhua Temple (3,100m). It was hard work at times, due to the altitude, but certainly worth it. After that, take only 1.5-2 hours walk down to Mingyong village, drive to Xidang Village, where we will be able to have a hot spring spa. The condition is very basic but worth to try.

    • Accommodation 3 star hotel

    • Ascent 870m

    • Descent 870m

    • Distance hiking: 10km

    • Meals BLD

    • Time hiking: 4-5hrs

  • Feilaisi-Xidang-Upper Yubeng Village(

    Early in the morning , you could enjoy the golden mountain ,on top of which the sunrise touches its snowcapped peak. weather permitting. After breakfast, drive along Mekong River to reach trail head. You will get off the car at Xidang Village, then hike up to and over a mountain pass to Yubeng, with picnic lunch (5-7 hours, with several steep sections). Arrive in Upper Yubeng village; dinner in a traditional Tibetan living room, overnight in Yubeng. Today you will need a horse to carry your luggage. Stay overnight in local guest house.

    • Accommodation Local Guest House

    • Distance trekking18km

    • Meals BLD

    • Time trekking 7h

  • Upper Yubeng-Ice Lake-Upper Yubeng

    Enjoy the sunrise of the Mt. Kawagebo glacier from the guesthouse, then walk up to Binghu Ice Lake of the Meili Snow Mountain. Walk through the original forest from Yubeng Village, you will see some horses and yaks, as well as some wild animals if you are lucky enough. A beautiful river originates from the Glacier Park, walk along the river with some wooden bridges and spruce trees, you will have a wonderful view of Mt. Kawagebo Glacier. At last, arrive at the Ice Lake which is located at the foot of the glacier. Trek back to Upper Yubeng .Stay overnight in local guest house.

    • Accommodation Local Guest House

    • Distance trekking18km

    • Meals BLD

    • Time trekking 7h

  • Lower Yubeng-Holy Waterfall-Upper Yubeng

    If the weather is good, we will wake up to a clear view of the Mt. Kawagebo glacier. After breakfast we will hike to the Holy Waterfall ( 7 km , 2-3 hours), from which Yubeng’s name originated. Buddhists coming to this area on pilgrimages circumambulate the waterfall 13 times with the belief. Then walk back to Upper Yubeng. Stay overnight in local guest house.
    • Accommodation Local Guest House

    • Distance trekking14km

    • Meals BLD

    • Time trekking 4h

  • Yubeng-Ninong-Cizhong

    This morning, you will need a horse to carry your luggage. Walk along the least traveled path of Yubeng, from Yubeng Village to Ninong Village. After lunch, drive to Cizhong for overnight. On the way to Cizhong, you will see grand canyon and idyllic scenery. Stop to view at a distance.

    • Accommodation Local Guest House

    • Distance trekking: 21km , drive: 50km

    • Meals BLD

    • Time trekking: 5h , drive: 1h

  • Cizhong-Tacheng

    This morning, you will visit a local Tibetan Catholic Church and watch their prayer. The church was built by French missionaries in 1867, the church is used by Tibetan, Naxi and Lisu people. They still have the grapes planted by missionaries and old the traditional way of making wine. 
    Then drive to visit Tongle Village, a Lisu and Naxi people’s village. It is the most original ethnic village in Yunnan Province. people here live in the traditional houses built with wooden walls and tile roofs.

    • Accommodation 3 star hotel

    • Distance driving: 240km

    • Meals BLD

    • Time driving: 7h


    This morning, we will have a tour of Tacheng Golden Monkey National Park. As a national park integrating primitive ecology, Neolithic sites, religious pilgrimage place, paradise of Black Snub-Nosed Monkey and multi-national style, the scenic area is particularly distinguished with the religious culture and temple scenic spots such as the dense forest, valuable and rare animals and Patriarch Bodhidharma's Cave as well as “Re Ba” of Tibetans and customs of Lisu Nationality. Samage Nature Reserve has hundreds of Black Snub-Nosed Monkeys, a national Grade I protection animal in China. Living in the deep remote forests of southwestern China, this human-like species are becoming one of the most endangered primates on Earth because of the habitat loss and illegal hunting. We will have the unique experience of watching the feeding of the snub-nose monkey and taking photos closely.
    Then drive 1.5 hours to Liming. Liming is featured by the red sandstone karst mountains landscape (Danxia Landform), where Lisu people inhabit the deep valleys. These beautiful layered peaks are some of the highest of their kind in China and are especially mystical because they are said to create the rising and falling of the sun 3 times in one day at certain times of year. Ths is actually caused by the angle of the earth and your view of the 3 peaks which block the sun throughout the day, hence creating 3 additional sun rises and 3 sets. We will visit a Lisu village on the way and take a 4 hours hike around the beautiful Danxia Landform. You might take off your shoes to feel the red sandstone during your hiking.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BL


    After breakfast, we will drive to Lijiang via the Stone Drum Town or Shigu Ancient Town where you can enjoy the grand First Bend of Yangtze River. The name of Shigu comes from the drum that commemorates a 16th-century Naxi victory over a Tibetan army. Visit the Irion Chain Bridge. Drive further on to Lijiang.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Distance driving:67km

    • Meals BL

    • Time driving: 2h

  • Lijiang/ Home

    Transfer to the airport. End of an incredibly memorable experience!

    • Meals B


The tour cost includes:

·         Local transportation: A private vehicle will accompany us for the entire tour. While we are trekking, our vehicle will transfer our food and luggage to the appointed site or hostel and wait or meet us at the end of the trekking tour.

·         Equipment as required: Horse to carry the luggage during the trek if needed, water (2 liters per person per day), compass , first aid kit, GPS

·         Leader: Experienced English-speaking tour leader and one or more service persons along the trip as needed.

·         Entrance fees: All first-entrance tickets to the tourist spots mentioned in the itinerary.

·         Accommodation: 3-star hotels in Lijiang, Shangri-La, twin-share clean hostel in the small counties or villages, occasionally private home if indicated.

·         Meals: All meals as indicated in the itinerary (14 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 8 dinners), with some simple picnic lunches while trekking.

·         Extra supplier of staff (only needed when the area we will trek to is non-residential and not accessible for any vehicles): horse to carry food and all supporting equipment, and cook to prepare fresh food when necessary.

·         Travel agency liability insurance.

The tour cost does not include:

·         Personal gear required: hiking boots; It may different from the area, we will provide you the exact information when you confirm a tour. Raincoat; cap; camera; sun-cream; sun-glasses; pocket knife; day-pack, etc.

·         Expenses of a personal nature: favorite snacks, soft drinks, laundry , local or long-distance calls, etc.

·         Tips to tour guide and driver, and other service staff like cook, horsemen (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.

·         Any service persons to carry personal belonging while trekking (although this can be arranged, it should be unnecessary - participants should find that trekking with a single day-pack for personal items should suffice.)

·         Single supplement costs (for those who want accommodation on a single basis)

·         Visa to China

·         Domestic and international flights and related airport taxes not listed in the itinerary

·         Supplementary trips, entrance fees and services not mentioned, and extra costs due to unforeseen circumstances


Holiday Information

Enough films and batteries, Sun-cream with the protection index of 40-60, sunglasses with a sun protection factor of 15, the lip creams and balms with SPF rating, towel, toothpaste, electric torch, Snack foods.

Cloth that you bring must be warm enough and can be removed easy enough according to the weather, including Jacket, hat, Cotton underwear, Socks, Long-sleeve Shirts, T-shirts and Pants (Shorts are not appropriate at any time while hiking), comfortable shoes, rain gear (long rain coat is better).

In addition to the normal medications for traveling, just like the Aspirin and medicine for diarrhea, siriasis,sunstroke and carsickness.

US$ is acceptable only in a very limited range, e.g. tips. However, for convenience, Chinese currency is the best choice. If you want to change US$ to Chinese currency in the tour, you can change it in the Hotel you stay or in the Bank of China. You could draw cash only from Bank of China in the big city, the ATM there doesn't always work properly and the bank is not easy to find. Please bring some cash at hand to use.

a) Eating is an important part of your China experience. Generally breakfasts are included in the itinerary and offered by hotels. China Highlights recommends local Chinese restaurants that are popular with local people for lunch. You can order dishes with the help of your guide. We usually leave dinner for your own choice — Western food can be found in most large cities.

b) We have tried to arrange various food in different cities. But you may still think the food is simple and not as delicious as in the big cities especially while trekking in the mountains and villages. If you have any priority of the food (eg. If you are vegetarian or you are allergic to MSG, peanut oil, fish and peanut, etc) please inform us early, we will try to alternate the food accordingly. At the same time please prepare some of your favorite snacks and substitution food in case of need.

c) Meals in the home stays will be different from the cities but clean, which leave you a good chance to experience the ethnic minority culture. We will pack a breakfast for you of cold cereal, milk, toast, fruit, and jam for the home stay. d) It is very important to drink a lot of water and eat enough fruit in your tour especially while trekking in the mountains and villages. You are advised not to drink tap water.

Hotels in China are bound by Government laws which mean that air conditioning is switched on nationally in May and the central heating in November (this may vary slightly depending on the region).

In some remote areas, sometimes shower maybe not available in the home stay. A married couple is not allowed to share a room in the Miao's home-stay due to the local customs.

It is customary to tip service providers in the travel industry in Asia, depending on the service. Tipping is expected — though not compulsory — and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Recommendations for tipping drivers (3 USD per person per day as a guideline) and local guides (8 USD per person per day as a guideline) would depend on the quality and length of the service.

We use comfortable sedans or vans with air-conditioning. The comfort and safety of our customers is of utmost importance, so we ensure that all of the vehicles we use are well maintained and always very clean. Our drivers take pride in their vehicles.

It is a must before going, please provide us the confirmation of insurance company when sign up.

In some provinces with many minorities (like Guizhou, Guangxi, Tibet, Xinjiang and etc.), the customs and habits of local people are different from place to place. The local guide will inform you what should care. Respect the local customs and religions. The people are very kind and hospitable. You can feel free to talk with them. But there are some rulers you should go by! 
a. Do not photo them without getting the permit, please show the respect to them! 
b. Don't talk the sensitive topics like the political and the religion matters!

When you sign up for the trekking tour, you acknowledge that there are risks involved in trekking in high altitude and confirm that you are fully aware of and accept these risks. It is customer's responsibility to determine whether the tour he/she choose is suited to his/her physical condition. Customers are responsible for the cost of any medicines or medical care they may require during the trip for any reason. Please make sure you have adequate personal medical insurance to meet any medical emergency which might arise. In some cases, if you need medical care during the tour, you may be required to pay for it at the time it is rendered and seek reimbursement from your insurer after you return home. Please check with your medical insurer for details. In the event of a medical emergency, we will make every effort to assist you in obtaining necessary care. Also, please tell us in writing if you suffer from any allergies or other physical conditions which might affect you during the tour (if you hasn't tell us in writing before going, you are supposed to be healthy enough to take the tour). Finally, please check with your doctor to find out what inoculation may be recommended for the areas you will be visiting. It is your responsibility to obtain all necessary inoculations. We reserve the right to decline to accept any person as a member of the tour, or to decline to retain any person, if such person's physical condition, mental well-being or behavior interferes with the operation of the tour. There will be no refund in such cases.


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