Follow in the footsteps of countless traders, explorers and pilgrims, as you get to discover one of China’s richest provinces in landscapes, architecture and ethnicities. Find out more about Yunnan's intriguing past and listen to the anecdotes of our local friends. Relive the old ways of exploration in the Eastern Himalayas at 3,000m altitude, encounter relics of an earlier foreign presence and feast on the many cuisines as you travel the old trade routes, which brought prosperity to one of China's most remote corners.
LIJIANG | BEYOND THE JADE DRAGON
Lijiang Valley | visit the former residence of a foreign explorer, who made the last village of the valley his home for 20+ years in the first half of the 20th century, before you continue to the original Naxi capital and learn more about Dongba culture & traditions.
Tiger Leaping Gorge | a natural wonder carved out by the rushing waters of the mighty Yangtze River over the course of millennia. Leave the masses behind and hike one of the lesser known trails criss-crossing the picturesque hillsides.
Laojun Mountain | stop for panoramic views of the Yangtze River at the location that determined the course of Chinese civilization before you head deep into Lisu territory. Go on a wildlife patrol with local forest rangers, learn how to set up infrared camera traps and prepare your own meal over an open fire.
DALI | DESCENDANTS OF THE NANZHAO
Dali Plateau | stroll the daily market at a local Bai community, which also boasts a collection of authentic merchant houses still inhabited by the town's elders. Visit the remains of a once active Christian community in Dali, or go antique hunting at one of our secret spots.
Salt Well Village | once a thriving commercial centre due to its salt extraction, the hillside Bai village rose to modern fame because of its artisan salted ham. Continue along the curves of the Bi River, spanned by wooden or wicker bridges that made trade possible in this remote corner and are still used by local farmers to get their livestock across.
Horse Caravan Town | despite its commercial transformation, this former town still retains some of its original character. Explore the serene valley by bicycle or hike to nearby Buddhist temples and local Bai carvings, which survived the Cultural Revolution thanks to their inaccessible location.
SHANGRI-LA | ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE HIMALAYAS
Tibetan Introduction | visit the rebuilt yet impressive Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan and often referred to as the ‘Little Potala Palace’. Get into the culinary aspect of local culture and have a beer tasting at a Tibetan brewery, followed by a traditional yak hotpot for dinner.
Shangri-La Frontiers | travel to a hidden valley and visit a small Buddhist temple, frequented by local Tibetans who come to pray for their children’s well-being. Look for sacred Buddhist caves and jump in natural hot springs before you circle a nearby lake, where yak, pigs and horses roam the bordering grasslands.
Buddhist Oasis | take the scenic route along the Yangtze River to a lush oasis, sheltered from its brutal surroundings. Hike amidst sacred oaks and prayer flags, followed by a nice picnic next to a gentle mountain stream. Visit a lesser-known Yellow Hat Monastery, founded in the late 1600s, and witness the Tibetan monks chanting their daily prayers or have a quick chat during one of their breaks.
A WORD ON ACCOMMODATION
Our programs include a selection of cosy guest houses and premium boutique lodges. Each hotel comes equipped with all necessities for a comfortable night, has its unique narrative and is run by thoughtful owners we know personally. We want your stay not only to be perfect, but memorable as well.