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10 Days Yunnan Tibet Discovery Tour from $1776

Exploration on High Plateau

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A marvelous tour takes you to discover two most attractive plateau destinations in western China - Yunnan & Tibet. You will be amazed by both breathtaking landscape and rich cultural experience (diverse ethnic minorities with colorful activities).

Highlights of this tour:

  • Explore at your pace in the Colorful Yunnan by visiting old towns, national parks, lakes, gorges, mountains, stone forests, pagodas…
  • Meet diverse ethnic minority groups – Yi, Bai, Naxi, Tibetan, etc.;
  • Reach the roof of the world – Tibet to feel strong Buddhism atmosphere.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Kunming / Lijiang / Shangri-La / Lhasa
Travel Length:
10 Days & 9 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-YTDT-10
Group Size:
You, your family & friends
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~2 Arrival & Kunming Tour

Arrival in Kunming, the Spring City of China. Explore Western Hill and climb up to Dragon Gate to have panoramic view of Dianchi Lake. Visit Flower & Bird Market to witness Kunming is a city of “flowers”. Take one day to see Stone Forest and minority village of Sani people.

Day 3~4 Lijiang Tour

In the Naxi kingdom, you are going to visit Yuhu Village to the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, see Baisha Mural Painting in Baisha Village, explore freely in Shuhe Ancient Town and Lijiang Old Town. Take one day to see the First Bend of Yangtze River and hike to Tiger Leaping Gorge before head to Shangri-La.

Day 5 Shangri-La Tour

In this earthly paradise Shangri-La, you’ll explore Songzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park (Bita Lake and Shudu Lake), and pay a visit to local Tibetan Family.

Day 6~10 Lhasa Tour & Departure

On the holy land of Tibet, explore Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Norbulingka Park, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Namtso Lake.

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Kunming Arrival

Welcome to Kunming, the Spring City of China! Free until being escorted to the airport for your flight to Kunming. Upon arrival, be met and transferred to your hotel in Kunming. Your guide will help you check in. (Please note: your flight will be arrive in Kunming before 12:00.)

After a short rest, you’ll start the tour to Western Hills, looking like a beautiful young lady lying beside Dianchi Lake. Stop by to see the magic Dragon Gate. There is a saying: If you do not visit Western Hill, you haven't visited Kunming; if you do not come to Dragon Gate, you haven't been to Western Hills. 

After visiting the Dragon Gate, be followed a trip to visit the Flowers & Birds Market to witness Kunming is a city of "flower".

  • Dragon gate Panoramic View of Dianchi Lake from Dragon Gate
  • Western Hill & Dragon Gate Kunming Western Hill

Day 2 Kunming - Lijiang (B, L)

After breakfast, drive 85 km to the typical Karst landform - Stone Forest. Walk into the Greater Stone Forest, marvel at groups of gray-black stone peaks and climb up to have a panoramic view of the intricate stone forest. Visit the Lesser Stone Forest and listen to the legendary story of “Ashima”. It will be a real treat to visit the extraordinary natural stone forest.

Later, it is followed by a trip to a minority village of Sani People to admire their colorful minority costumes and exotic tradition culture. If visit in lunar June 24, you could attend the grand Torch Festival and enjoy some exciting activities with the local ethnic group.

After the sightseeing, you'll be driven back to Kunming to catch your flight to Lijiang. Upon arrival, your local guide and driver will meet you at the arrival hall and take you to the hotel.

  • Stone Forest Stone Forest
  • Lesser Stone Forest Lesser Stone Forest

Day 3 Lijiang (B, L)

After breakfast, drive 20 km to Yuhu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. When walking into this authentic Naxi Village, you’ll see unique stone houses, Naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, kids playing, a tranquil Yuhu Lake…explore leisurely around the village and then get to the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, who was an Austrian-American Botanist came to Lijiang and stayed in Yuhu Village for 27 years and made huge research work on Naxi minority.

Later, head to Baisha Village and appreciate the ancient Baisha Mural Paintings. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which is a combination of Tibetan Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Then, it is followed by a trip to Shuhe Ancient Town - one of the earliest settlements of Naxi people as well as the well-preserved stop of the Ancient Tea Horse Route. 

After that, transfer to Dongba Culture Museum where more than 10,000 Dongba cultural relics show mysterious Dongba culture of the Naxi people. Take a gentle walk to Black Dragon Pool Park to enjoy gorgeous view and peaceful surroundings.

  • Black Dragon Pool Park Black Dragon Pool Park
  • Baisha Mural Paintings Baisha Mural Paintings

Day 4 Lijiang - Shangri-La (B, L)

After breakfast, drive 45 km to view the First Bend of Yangtze River, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before you. Visit Iron Chain Bridge in Shigu (Stone Drum) Town.

Later, transfer to visit the one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. It measures 16 km in length and is a giddy 3900m from the waters of Jinsha River to Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It is divided into three parts:  Upper, Middle and Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge. You’ll hike the upper part (the narrowest section of the gorge) and walk about 2.6 kilometers along the plank road from the entrance to the Tiger Leaping Rock. Take a moment to enjoy the magnificent gorge view and rolling waves.

After the hiking tour, you’ll be driven to Shangri-La, about 2 hours. Enjoy the enchanting natural scenery along the way. Upon arrival, check in your hotel and feel free to explore Shangri-La on your own.

  • First Bend of the Yangtze River First Bend of the Yangtze River
  • Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge

Day 5 Shangri-La (B, L)

Today is a full day to explore the earthly paradise described in the famous novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton.

You’ll first visit Songzanlin Monastery, reputed as the Little Potala Palace. Established by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679, the monastery belongs to Gelug sect of Buddhism, and it is also the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan. Walk 143 steps to get atop of the monastery and pay clockwise visit to the major lamasery buildings and get in-depth understanding about Tibetan Buddhism. If time permits, take some quiet time to walk around the peaceful Lamuyangcuo Lake and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this pure land.

Later, drive to the first national park in China - Pudacuo National Park. 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 hr) and Bita Lake (hike 4.2 km, about 1.5hrs ) and seek for a real paradise in this natural wonderland. (Note: the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m and you should avoid strong activities. There’s no problem to hike in the park.) After the merry time in the park, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family and experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people.

Optional Activity: You could take a boat sailing on Shudu Lake or Bita Lake to save energy and time instead of walking all the way.

Importance Notice: Militang Pasture (弥里塘草场) and Bita Lake (碧塔海) in Pudacuo National Park are closed for tourists due to maintainance 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) is still open for tourists. Please contact your travel consultant to adjust your itinerary.

  • Shangri-La Songzanlin Monastery Outside Scenery Shangri-La Songzanlin Monastery Outside Scenery
  • Songzanlin Monastery Songzanlin Monastery
  • Pudacuo National Park Pudacuo National Park

Day 6 Shangri-La - Lhasa (B)

Today is free for you to have fun until your flight to Lhasa. Once arrival in Lhasa Airport, your tour guide will be pick you up at the airport, then escort to your hotel in Lhasa city at the comfort of your own private vehicle. During the hour long drive to your hotel in the city, enjoy the breathtaking view along the Yarlong Tsangpo River. Tibetan features can be seen along the way, including Big Buddha engravings on the hill near the road, colorful prayer flags and friendly Tibetan people. Overnight at Lhasa.

After you arrive at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the local area and become acclimatize to this high altitude city at the top of the world.

  • Yarlong Tsangpo River Yarlong Tsangpo River

Day 7 Lhasa (B)

After breakfast, start an incredible day of exploration in Lhasa city. The grandiose Potala Palace is the first site to discover. Having gone through more than 1300 years of historical changes, the colossal Potala Palace still dominates over the skyline of Lhasa city. Climb up the sacred steps to get inside the Red Palace and White Palace to explore the marvelous interior which is full of exquisite Thangkas, numerous Buddha statues, vivid wall painting and other works of Buddhist art.

In the afternoon, firstly visit the holiest Buddhist temple in Tibet – Jokhang Temple where the 12-year-old-like Shakyamuni statue is consecrated. As the spiritual center of Tibet, Jokhang Temple attracts hundreds of devoted pilgrims to worship. Outside the door of Jokhang Temple is the famous pilgrimage circle – Barkhor Street. Join the faithful Tibetans in colorful attires in walking the circle around Jokhang Temple.

  • Tibet Potala Palace Visit Potala Palace
  • Jokhang Temple Jokhang Temple
  • Meet Tibet Locals Meet Tibet Locals

Day 8 Lhasa (B)

After breakfast, we start our day with a visit to the summer palace of Dalai Lamas – Norbulingka Park. The luxuriant trees and flowers, cool ponds and comfortable palaces make Norbulingka the best place for summer retreat. Then drive about 5km westward to Drepung Monastery. The monastery used to play a crucial role in Tibet Buddhism as the school of Dalai Lamas. In its heyday, there were more than 10,000 monks living and study in the monastery. As you walk further, immense temples, chapels leap to your eyes one after one.

We will then go to visit another featured Sera Monastery. This six hundred year-old monastery is famous for its grand ceremony of Buddhism debating apart from its beautiful temples with sensational icons, murals and history.

  • Monks at Drepung Monastery Entrance Monks at Drepung Monastery Entrance
  • Norbulingka Norbulingka Park
  • Monks Debating at Sera Monastery Monks Debating at Sera Monastery

Day 9 Lhasa - Yangpachen - Namtso (B)

Today, you’ll be driven to visit the Namtso Lake, the second-largest saltwater lake in China. It is over 70km long and reaches a width of 30km. In clear weather the water is a miraculous shade of turquoise and there are magnificent views of the nearby mountains. The wide open spaces, dotted with tents of local nomads, are intoxicating.

Optional: It would be a nice choice to overnight at guest house beside the Namtso Lake. Watching amazing sunset at nightfall and sunrise in the next morning will be unforgettable experience for your Tibet tour. Of course, this arrangement needs you add one extra day to your tour.

  • Namtso Lake Namtso Lake

Day 10 Lhasa Departure (B)

Today be free until you are escorted to the airport or train station.

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