A Journey Through Mystical Yunnan

Yunnan is one of the most diverse provinces in China, due to its eclectic mix of people and superb landscapes. Home to dense jungle sliced by the Mekong River, stunning rice terraces in the south east region, and snowcapped mountains as you head towards Tibet, this is one place that’s well worth your time – and more.

The below itinerary is a sample only. All Lightfoot itineraries are crafted to suit client’s interests, time and budget requirements. Please get in touch to speak to a country specialist and start planning your bespoke journey now. 

For more sample China itineraries, please click HERE.

Day 1: Arrive in Lijiang

You’ll be met upon arrival at Lijiang by your local guide who will escort you to your hotel.

The rest of today will be spent at your leisure.

Stay: Banyan Tree Lijiang

Day 2: Lijiang

We’ll start the day with an early rise and a peaceful morning walk through Lijiang, also known as the ‘Big Inkpot’ due to the network of canals flowing through the village. Next, we’ll visit Lion Hill, which offers fantastic views over the village. A quick coffee break will be much needed after your ascent to the top.

Next, we’ll stop by the Mu Palace, named after the Chinese Empire warlords who ruled the region during the Mongol Dynasty (13th century); the local market where the locals still dress in traditional clothing to sell teas, vegetables and fruits; and Black Dragon Pond Park which offers panoramic vistas of the famous Jade Dragon Mountain.

You’ll be free to enjoy the evening as you please.

Stay: Banyan Tree Lijiang

Day 3: Lijiang

Today we’ll venture up Jade Dragon Mountain, which stands majestically to the north of the city, followed by the Yak Prairie. The view from here over the glacier is awesome.

At Yak Prairie you’ll see a colorful performance of the show ‘Impression Lijiang’ which demonstrates the traditions and lifestyles of Naxi, Yi and Bai minorities in the Lijiang area.

The afternoon will be spent at Baisha Old Town, one of the oldest towns in Lijiang, featuring ancient buildings built during the Ming Dynasty. This architectural complex is made up of cultural sites, small stores and houses with a winding stream winding throughout.

Stay: Banyan Tree Lijiang

Day 4: Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge

Today we’ll head to Tiger Leaping Gorge, located around 80km/50 miles from Lijiang. One of the deepest gorges in the world, it separates the Jinsha River from the jagged mountains of Northern Yunnan, and this area has become a playground for walkers from the world.

You’ll have the chance to hike in the gorge for about 3 hours. A reasonable level of fitness is required.

You will spend the evening at a simple guesthouse atop the gorge. Meet fellow hikers who have come from all over the world, sip tea as you watch the sunset and enjoy a good nights’ sleep after your walk!

Stay: Halfway Guest House

Day 5: Tiger Leaping Gorge - Shangri-La

The morning will be spent hiking in the gorge for about 4 hours.

In the afternoon, you’ll be transferred to Zhongdian (or Shangri-La), a major trade route between the Tibetans and Chinese in ancient times. To this day the area is beautiful and heavily influenced by the fascinating culture of Tibet; Shangri La was in the past part of “Historical Tibet”, just as were certain parts of Qinghai and Sichuan provinces.

Stay: Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-La

Day 6: Shangri-La

After breakfast we’ll visit Songzanlin, an important location for Tibetan Buddhism. The glittering golden roofs of the monastery, countless prayer flags and scenes of some 600 monks who stay in the houses adjoining the monastery is quite an insight.

We’ll stop by a school here for a course on Thangka, an art closely related to Buddhism and meditation.

In the afternoon, we’ll witness Napa Lake which is surrounded by mountains and meadow. This is also an opportunity to enjoy a bike tour of the lake.

Stay: Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-La

Day 7: Shangri-La

Following breakfast, we’ll head to the Nixi Village, famous for its pottery (almost 70 of the 100 families living in the village have worked within this craft for over a century). We’ll visit the house of a Tibetan family and try ‘tsampa’, a mixture of yak’s butter, tea and flour.

Lastly, we visit Ringha Temple which is 700 years old and partially destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Today it has been rebuilt and is considered one of the first Buddhist temples in Yunnan Province.

Stay: Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-La

Day 8: Shangri-La - Home

You’ll be met at the hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight home.

 

The above itinerary is a sample only. All Lightfoot itineraries are crafted to suit client’s interests, time and budget requirements. Please get in touch to speak to a country specialist and start planning your bespoke journey now. 

For more sample China itineraries, please click HERE.

Itinerary

Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrive in Lijiang Banyan Tree Lijiang
Day 2: Lijiang Banyan Tree Lijiang
Day 3: Lijiang Banyan Tree Lijiang
Day 4: Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge Halfway Guest House
Day 5: Tiger Leaping Gorge - Shangri-La Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-La
Day 6: Shangri-La Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-La
Day 7: Shangri-La Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-La
Day 8: Shangri-La - Home

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation in selected hotels including breakfast
  • Private English speaking guide
  • All excursions as specified in the itinerary
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle (standard type)
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Standard visa for China entry
  • Travel Insurance (recommended)
  • Tips and Gratuities
  • Drinks/water at included lunches and dinners
  • Accommodation early check in / Late check out
  • Personal expenses

Map

Lijiang Tiger Leaping Gorge Shangri-La

From USD2,250 - USD2,990 per person based on 2 guests sharing twin/double rooms. This price is based on low and peak season price fluctuations.

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant