Welcome to Shangri-La (Zhongdian, altitude: 3459meters), the Garden of Eden! Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by our local guide at the arrival hall of the airport who is holding a sign on which says your name. A comfortable vehicle (non-smoking) with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you check in. The rest of the day is on your own to discover this earthly paradise.
Arrival Ideas: At present, there’re some direct flights from/to Kunming, Chengdu, Lhasa, Chongqing to Diqing Shangri-La Airport. It is about 5.4 kilometers (15mins’ transfer) to old town of Shangri-La.
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel. First, you’ll be transferred with 7 kilometers’ driving to Songzanlin Monastery (Ganden Sumtseling Gompa), reputed as the “Little Potala Palace” for it was built according to the complex of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Established by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679, the monastery belongs to Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and it is also the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province with around 700 monks and lamas. Walk 147 steps to get atop of the monastery and pay clockwise visit to the three main lamasery buildings where you can not only see the Buddhism treasures, but also enjoy large number of monks of all ages going about their daily routines, praying, chanting, cooking and resting. It should a nice trip to get in-depth understanding about Tibetan Buddhism. If time permits, take some quiet time to walk around the peaceful Lamuyangcuo Lake and shoot panorama view of Songzanlin Monastery with reflection in the clear water.
Then, drive about 28 kilometers (within 1 hour) to Nixi Pottery Village, the most “Shangri-La” of Shangri-La. Nixi Tangdui Village is a Tibetan village well known for the two-thousand-year-old art - black pottery (also listed as National Intangible Cultural Heritage). Around 70 out of the 100 families in the village are engaged in this traditional art. Pay a visit to a Tibetan family’s workshop and watch how they make different items of black pottery. (Optional experience: If you want to involve in the pottery making, you can follow the local master to make one by your own hands. It takes about 30-40 minutes. After that, you can view the firing process.)
Later, drive back to Dukezong Old Town for further exploration. With a history over 1300 years, Dukezong Old Town is the largest and the best preserved Tibetan community in China. Climb up to the top of Guishan Hill (or Tortoise Hill) to have a panoramic view of both the endless snow-capped mountains surrounded the pure land and the large scale of the old town with countless Tibetan dwellings. Join in the tourists to turn the largest Prayer Wheel in the world in clockwise direction. (Optional experience: If you show interest in making traditional Tibetan Thangka, you can learn at Shangri-la Thangka Institute. Programs here include Thangka painting, chanting, Tibetan language and calligraphy. You can choose your like.)
Evening Time Suggestion: The main square of the Duzekong Old Town has dancing performance organized by the local Tibetan at night between 19:30 and 21:00 which is nice to watch or even join in.
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. Today, you’ll enjoy your time to explore the earthly paradise described in the famous novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton.
In the morning, drive about 23 kilometers to Pudacuo National Park. This 1,300-square-kilometer national park is notable as the first national park in China to meet International Union for Conservation of Nature standards. It is renowned for well-preserved primitive landscape, which is endowed with lakes, wetlands, forests, meadows, streams, brooks, rare plants and animals. Visit the spots by clockwise and throw yourselves into the lush green forest with diverse species of flora and fauna, walk along the plank road to catch the gorgeous scenery of Shudu Lake (hike 3.3 km, about 1 hour). (Note: the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m and you should avoid strong activities. There’s no problem to hike in the park.) Walk along the wooden plank road (1 kilometer for single route, about 50 minutes for a round route) to admire the satisfying alpine meadow with seasonal blossoms and immerse into the verdant scenery of the peaceful Bita Lake (altitude: 3538 meters) which has the highest altitude among lakes in Yunnan and is praised as the “pearl of the plateau”.
Important Notice: Militang Pasture (弥里塘草场) in Pudacuo National Park is closed for tourists due to maintenance from 3th September, 2017. The administrative office of Pudacuo National Park hasn't confirmed when they will be open exactly. Shudu Lake Scenic Area (属都湖) and Bita Lake Scenic Area (碧塔海) are open for tourists. If you want to adjust today’s itinerary, please contact your travel consultant.
After the merry time in the park, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family to experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people and taste some special Tibetan snacks and butter tea.
(Optional Experience: If you are interested in the Tibetan people’s daily drinks, you can follow the locals to involve in the process of making butter tea.)
After the tour, your will be escorted to the airport for your flight (after 17:00) to next destination. Service ends!
After breakfast, you’ll set off for descend. For about 2 hours later, you will arrive at your first stop - Halfway Guesthouse, which marks the halfway point of the entire journey. Make a short stop at their top deck of “Star Lavatories”, where you will feast your eyes with an unbeatable view of surrounding towering snow-capped mountains. Next, wind the path hewed out of cliffs down while taking in the sensational vistas and hugging small waterfalls until you arrive at Tina’s Guesthouse on the main driving road. Then trek the main road for about 1.5km more to Teacher Zhang’s Guesthouse, the vital starting point of goat paths leading down to Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge at the bottom. As you approach the bottom, you will hear a loud sound of the Jinsha River relentlessly pounding giant boulders in its path. The churning river splits the mountain into two towering cliffs, forming a giant gate that seems to welcome you. And finally, you will stand just steps from the raging river with a huge rock in its center. According to legends, there was once a tiger leaping from one side of the gorge to the other side via this rock, thus the locals called it Tiger Leaping Rock and started to call the gorge Tiger Leaping Gorge.
After your Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge visit, trek back to Teacher Zhang’s Guesthouse, where you’ll met by your driver who will escort your to Lijiang to catch your flight or bullet train to next destination. Service ends!
Departure idea: Your trekking tour will be finished at about 15:00pm. However, considering the long drive from Tiger Leaping Gorge to the airport (at least 2 hours to Lijiang Sanyi International Airport), you are suggested to book a flight departing after 20:00pm.
The quotation for this trip is from Request P/P
1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
Professional licensed English-speaking guide;
Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;
Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);
Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;
Domestic flights (economy class) and high-speed trains (second class) as listed in the itinerary;
Airport (and train station) pick up and drop off;
Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;
All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);
Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.
Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;
Single Room Supplement;
Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
Recommended optional activities;
Flights or trains not listed in the itinerary;
Excess Baggage Charges;
Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.
Why choose us?
- Free Inquiry
- Lowest Price
- Expert Guide & Driver
- Downtown Hotels
- A La Carte Meals
- Chinese Family Visit
- Free Cooking Class
- Best Flight Times
- No Hidden Charges