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An Incredible Journey from “Hell” to “Heaven”
There is a saying going among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts - “If you don’t go to paradise, then go to Yubeng.” Yubeng Village, about 38 kilometers away from Meili Snow Mountain, is a secret and mysterious Tibetan Village hidden on the pure land at the foot of Meili Snow Mountain. This 7 days Shangri-La tour belongs to the in-depth exploration about all highlights in the earthly paradise with extension to Meili Snow Mountain for golden sunrise and unbelievable trekking trips to Yubeng Village. It takes about 3 to 4 days trekking into, around, out this holy village. The trekking will be tough with some challenges of your body, BUT, it will reward you breathtaking scenery, making you traveling in heaven. It will surely be the journey from “hell” to “heaven”! Dare to try?
Best Time to Do the Trip: To guarantee your safety and comfortable experience, it is suggested to come in spring (April to June) and autumn time (September to November). During these periods, the road will be in good condition and you’ll be more likely to watch the golden sunrise.
Make Shangri-La as the arrival city, then visit the most popular attractions in Shangri-La in one full day - "Little Potala Palace” Songzanlin Monastery, “Real Shangri-La” Pudacuo National Park, ancient Dukezong Old Town...
Drive close to amazing Meili Snow Mountain, where your hiking trip starts. On the way, you won't miss the First Bend of Jinsha River, Dngzhulin Monastery and Baima Snow Mountain!
Take 3 days to hike in the wonderland full of forested valley, Snow Mountains, waterfall, monastery, Ice River and Lake… Finally, drive back to Shangri-La Airport to catch your flight to next destination!
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. Then the guide and driver will transfer you directly to your hotel in Shangri-La by our comfortable private car (non-smoking), and the guide will help you check in. The rest of the day is on your own to discover this earthly paradise.
Arrival Ideas: At present, Diqing Shangri-La Airport has direct flights from/to Kunming, Chengdu, Lhasa, Guangzhou, Chongqing, etc. It is about 6 kilometers (15mins’ transfer) to old town of Shangri-La.
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 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.)
Important Notice: Militang Pasture (弥里塘草场) and Bita Lake (碧塔海) in Pudacuo National Park are 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) is still 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.
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.
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, have your breakfast and you’ll start for today’s hiking trip. First, drive about 1.5 hours from Feilai Temple to Xidang Spring (2,700 meters) to reach trail head. The following hiking is divided into two parts. The first one is from Xidang Spring to Nanzong Pass (3,729 meters) with a distance about 6.1 kilometers which takes about 3-5 hours for hiking. During this section, the altitude will ascend about 1,000 meters which will be a little tough for you and you can recharge yourselves at three resting stops and have some snacks along the way.
The second part is from Nanzong Pass to Upper Yubeng Village (3,160 meters). The distance is about 3.3 kilometers with height descending about 600 meters. You’ll finish this route within 1-2 hours with easy hiking experience. Yubeng Village, a Land of Idyllic Beauty, is situated at the foot of the Niancimu Peak of Meili Snow Mountain with holy attractions scattered around. Regarded as the miniature of mysterious Shangri-La, Yubeng is divided into Upper Yubeng and Lower Yubeng. Today, you’ll stop at Upper Yubeng and have a good rest here.
Important Notes for Hiking:
1) Average Temperature in Four Seasons: 6℃-20℃ in spring, 15℃-26℃ in summer, 10℃-23℃ in autumn, and 0℃-12℃ in winter. Try to come in spring and autumn season. 2) What to Bring: Since your hiking will last for several days, it is a good idea to make full preparation. You need to bring a hiking bag (30-40L), personal clothes, hiking shoes and socks, water, camera, some snacks, alpenstock, kneecap, gloves, small flashlight, sunscreen products, medicines, oxygen tanks, etc. 3) Road Condition: The trail belongs to earth road and sometimes will be muddy. To save your energy instead of hiking, you can rent a horse from Xidang Spring to finish the trail. 4) Altitude Sickness: The hiking to climb the Nanzong Pass is steep, with height ascending about 1,000 meters to 3,729 meters that you should walk slowly to avoid high altitude sickness.
After having a simple breakfast, you’ll start your today’s exciting hiking to Ice Lake. Your hiking is divided into three parts. The first part is from Upper Yubeng to Xiaonong Base Camp (3,623 meters). This hiking route is about 3.7 kilometers long, taking about 1.5-2.5 hours. You’ll stroll through a forested valley and along the river draining from the glaciers in the mountains above. It is relaxing for this part. The second part is from Xiaonong Base Camp to Ice Lake (3,900 meters) for 2.3 kilometers which needs about 1-2 hours.
Ice Lake, the holy lake of Meili Snow Mountain, is an emerald green lake formed by snow water from Meili Snow Mountain. It is the main water resource of Yubeng Village. One side of the lake is the mountain ridge and another side is the vertical cliff and dangling huge glacier. A startling interplay of blue sky and white mountain makes the Ice Lake be more like a paradise. Spend some time resting by the lake and appreciate the holy sceneries surrounded you.
After some rest, it is time to trek back to Upper Yubeng and spend another 30-40 minutes hiking from Upper Yubeng to Lower Yubeng (3,090 meters). It is about 1.6 kilometers in between with complex road. Upon arrival at Lower Yubeng Village, take a good rest at your hotel there.
After breakfast, you can enjoy the beautiful sunrise with golden light illuminating the peaks. After that, you’ll enjoy your last full-day hiking journey to Sacred Waterfall (3,657 meters).
Compared with the hike to Ice Lake the day before, today’s hiking is easier and shorter. The views at the start of the trek are immediately stunning - a ridge of craggy peaks standing snow-capped and brilliant against an azure sky. At the mouth of the valley and the end of the village, a Tibetan Buddhist temple basked in the glory of its surroundings. The way to the falls is never in question, as huge strings of prayer flags are stretched from point to point along the valley floor and up its sides. When you reach the top, the Sacred Waterfall will take your breath away. This hiking lasts about 6 kilometers, taking about 1.5-2.5 hours for single way. It is said that Yubeng waterfalls are the holy water that God of Kawagebo gets from heaven, which can tell the fate of people and eliminate disasters. Hence, numerous Tibetan pilgrims come to bathe in the waterfall to purify their spirits. Walk around the waterfalls for 3 circuits and spend some time gazing up from beneath them before turning back to Lower Yubeng.
Stay overnight at Lower Yubeng Village.
Have a comfortable breakfast this morning. This will be the last day to hike out Yubeng Village and get back to Shangri-La. In this morning, you need to hike around 18 kilometers from Lower Yubeng Village to Ninong Bridge (2,060 meters), which takes about 4 hours. If weather is fine, it will be a very enjoyable journey to finish the hike. Altitude descends with Yubeng River and and scenery changes along the way. After arriving at Ninong Bridge, you’ll be picked up there and be transferred back to Shangri-La (about 5 hours).
After the tour, your will be escorted to the airport for your evening flight to next destination. Service ends!
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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.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2021.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.95. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
You need to pack some personal gears, such as light and comfortable walking shoes, outdoor coat and pants. You'd better also pack sun cream, sun glasses.
1. A valid passport, a valid China visa and Tibet Permits are necessary documents for traveling in Tibet.
2. In Tibet, we suggest you avoid strong activity; do not take shower at the first day; drink more water and avoid of alcohol; better not to take oxygen if your AMS symptoms are mild. Always remember that if you have any problems or feel uncomfortable, please tell your guide immediately or contact our travel consultant.
3. A windbreaker, a pair of durable and comfortable shoes, a down jacket (better with hat), sunscreen cream, sun block, skin cream and lip balm, sunglasses, medicine for urgent use.
Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding is only available to see giant pandas. If you are interested in giant panda volunteer experience, please extend to Dujiangyan Panda Base, Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base or Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Base instead.
Taking high speed train to travel around China will be unique and special experience for you. Instead of taking flight, you can take high speed train from Beijing to Xian/Xian to Beijing, Chengdu to Chongqing, Yichang to Shanghai/Shanghai to Yichang, etc. All are within comfortable traveling time to reach the destinations. If you are interested, please feel free to ask our travel consultants to arrange high speed train for you.
Vegetarian food in Chinese cuisine culture is usually divided into 3 categories: the Monastery Vegetarian Food, the Court Vegetarian Food and the Folk Vegetarian Food. And the main ingredients are: soybean, taro powder, mushrooms, fresh vegetables and tofu (bean curd). It will be easier to find the vegetarian restaurants in big cities of china, such as: Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, HK, etc.
We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.
The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join the meal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.
Yes, you will. There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants, if you are interested in local food tasting. But remember, some local snacks may not match your stomach, so ask your guided for more information before eating.
In China, there are myriads of souvenirs for visitors, and each city has its own specialty.
Some of the best buys are:
Bargains are not acceptable in big supermarkets and department stores. But in some night markets or tourist shops, you can bargain for a lower price, since the vendors always ask for very high price for a certain item. You’d better ask the opinion of the guide first, and then the guide will tell you the real value and quality of the item. Please note that when the bargain is processing, the guide will be hesitate to help as it may annoy the bosses. Just try to let the guides know you will bargain in advance.
If you do not need something from them, just do not ask for price. Some of the venders are very persisted, and if they keep selling things to you, you can simply say “No, thanks.” (Chinese pronunciation: ”Bu, XieXie”). If they do not give up, you just keep silence. Silence is sometimes useful to handle this situation.
Call your guide, or if you can’t find your guide, call your travel consultant or our office immediately. All the phone numbers include in our confirmation letter. Keep the letter with your during your trip.
Note: As our Beijing office is using the different guide arranging system, so we will not be able to provide the Beijing guide information until the day before you arrival, but once we have it, we will email you immediately.
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.
Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!
After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.
We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.
Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.
Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.
Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!
Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!
Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.
Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!
In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!
The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.
If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.
Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.
We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!
[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >