Travel the ancient trade routes, which brought prosperity to one of China’s most remote corners and explore one of the nation’s most diverse regions in terms of landscapes, architecture, cuisine and ethnicities. Learn more about forgotten kingdoms, holy mountains and reminders of an earlier foreign presence, as you unravel Northwest Yunnan’s vibrant story on this family-friendly classic.
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 remnants 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 and wicker bridges that boasted trade 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 caravan town still retains some of its original character. Explore the serene valley or hike to nearby Buddhist temples and local Bai carvings, which survived the Cultural Revolution but are now taken over by cheeky monkeys…
SHANGRI-LA | GATEWAY TO TIBET
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.
Shangri-La Frontiers | travel to a secluded valley to visit a small Buddhist temple, frequented only by local Tibetans who come to pray to be blessed with children. Explore the nearby grasslands, try out natural hot springs and perhaps visit sacred caves before you gather round a traditional yak hotpot with locally brewed beers for dinner.
Buddhist Oasis | visit an artisan incense maker before you head out to 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. Go for a pleasant hike in the forest and look for a sacred Tibetan waterfall.
A WORD ON ACCOMMODATION
Our programs include a selection of charming guesthouses, boutique hotels and cosy homestays. You can sleep on both ears, as each type of lodging comes equipped with all necessities for a restful night, has family-friendly amenities, and is managed by helpful owners and staff we know personally.