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5 Days Shangri-La & Meili Snow Mountain Pilgrimage Tour

Deep Shangri-la Discovery with Pilgrimage Journey to Meili Snow Mountain


No words can be fully described this trip! In 5 days, it covers the best of Shangri-La, an earthly paradise with incredible scenery depicted in the famous novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton; and it also includes a holy pilgrimage journey to Meili Snow Mountain, which is about 176 kilometers in the northwest of Shangri-La. Meili Snow Mountain has 13 peaks all over 6,000 meters and among them, the highest peak Kawagebo is at 6740 meters, regarded as the most beautiful mountain in the world and it is the “God of Meili Snow Mountain”. What attracts travelers most is the amazing golden sunrise shining upon the snow-capped holy peaks that you should not miss it during your trip. More experience and highlighting attractions are designed into the itinerary...all are worth your time to explore!

Highlights of this tour

  • Spend one full day exploring on the pure land to see grand monastery, emerald lakes, dense forest, large scale of Tibetan houses, yak and sheep grazing...
  • Extend to Meili Snow Mountain in Deqin County to seize the lucky and rare moment to watch golden sunrise over the highest peak in Yunnan Province;
  • Extend to Meili Snow Mountain in Deqin County to seize the lucky and rare moment to watch golden sunrise over the highest peak in Yunnan Province;
  • Explore on the way from Shangri-La to Meili Snow Mountain for a look at the First Bend of Jinsha River and Dongzhulin Monastery.

Basic Trip Information

from $796
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Shangri-La / Deqin / Shangri-La
Travel Length:
5 Days and 4 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Any day you want
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Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Shangri-La Arrival

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.

Day 2 Shangri-La (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your 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 27 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.)

Last, 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.

Mutia's Group from Indonesia Visiting Songzanlin Monastery with China Discovery in 2018 Juan's family from Golumbia visited Guishan Hill in 2023 Shudu Lake of Pudacuo National Park The Panoramic View of Dukezong Old Town Our guest Daniel visit a local family in Shangri-La in 2020
Day 3 Shangri-La - Deqin County - Meili Snow Mountain (B, L)

In the morning, you’ll be transferred to Deqin County from Shangri-La (about 174 kilometers). On the way, you’ll have chance to first visit the First Bend of Jinsha River. It is about 15 kilometers of Benzilan Town of Deqin, the border of Sichuan and Yunnan Province. Jinsha River is the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, the longest river in China. Make a short visit and reach the observation platform to view the U shape turn with either emerald or yellow water flowing through the moon-shaped bend of Jinsha River. (Travel tip: Spring and Autumn are the best seasons to visit the Bend for the clear water. Summer is the rainy season of Yunnan Province and the color of the river is yellow during this period.)

Later, continue your driving to Dongzhulin Monastery, one the 13 great Lama monasteries in China. Built in 1667, Dongzhulin Monastery, its fame just after Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-La. It has a legend that once upon a time, there is an eminent monk traveling here and he saw a pyramid-shaped mountain and regarded it as the embodiment of god. Hence the monastery was constructed. Visit its grand halls and view many precious cultural relics including gilded Maitreya Buddha, statue of master Tsongkhapa, Buddhas of Three Worlds, the ruler of the hell, Manjusri, 18 Arhats statues and Thangka scroll paintings depicting Buddhist stories. Also, you can have a look at other Buddhist stupas and religious instruments and props.

Afterwards, you’ll pass through Baima Snow Mountain and stop at its observation deck to catch the panorama of the 5430-meter snow-capped mountain.

With another 1 hour’s driving, you’ll finally arrive at Feilai Temple Scenic Area in Meili Snow Mountain. Check in your hotel there and take some rest. Meili Snow Mountain, known as Prince Snow Mountain, is one of the most sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism. There are 13 peaks standing magnificently on the ground with altitudes over 6,000 meters, hence being called Prince’s 13 Peaks. The highest Kawagebo peak is rising about 6740 meters, making Meili Snow Mountain the highest mountain in Yunnan. In the late afternoon, go to enjoy the beautiful sunset and see the 13 white Tibetan pagodas.

Meili Snow Mountain sunset First Bend of Jinsha River
Day 4 Meili Snow Mountain - Mingyong Village - Feilaisi - Shangri-la (B, L)

On this day, try to get up early and reach Feilaisi Observation Deck (3,470 meters) to capture the incredible scene of golden sunrise shining upon its dramatic snow-capped peaks. (Sunrise time for reference: 06:40-07:40 in spring, 06:25-06:45 in summer, 07:00-07:30 in autumn, and 07:55-08:10 in winter.)

After the magic time, you’ll drive 1.5 hours to Mingyong Village for Mingyong Glacier. It is a long glacier at Kawagebo Peak, stretching from 6,470 meters to 2,600 meters, with a length of 11.7 meters. At over 13 sq km, Mingyong Glacier is not only the lowest glacier in China but also an oddity - a monsoon marine glacier with tundra, taiga, broadleaf forest and meadow. You’ll take a sightseeing bus for about about 4km to Mingyong Glaciers, and continue your visit to Tibetan Taizi Monastery (2,720 meters) - another good spot to view the magnificent Mingyong Glaciers. (Optional: You can choose to walk along the trail to the glacier which would be a little challenging.)

In the afternoon, we will drive back to Shangri-la for accommodation.

Meili Snow Mountain in bright day Viewing Meili Snow Mountain from Feilaisi Temple
Day 5 Shangri-La Departure (B)

Today is free for you to relax until your driver escort you to catch you flight/train to next destination.

Departure ideas: After Shangri-la, you can catch a high speed train to Lijiang, Kunming and other destinations, or directly take a flight to Kunming, Chengdu, Lhasa, Chongqing, etc.

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