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7 Days Yunnan Paradise Tour to Lijiang, Shangri-La & Lugu Lake

Exploration in Kingdom of Women & Land of Naxi People

1

Paradise is still the most commonly used word to describe "Yunnan", especially the northwestern Yunnan. In one week, you can visit several popular destinations on this incredibly pure land, like Lugu Lake, Lijiang, Shangri-La and Tiger Leaping Gorge.

There are many activities and awesome experience designed in this tour - hike around Lugu Lake and deep into mysterious matriarchal society, throw yourselves in a piece of pure Tibetan land at an altitude of 3450 meters, and in between check out profound ancient towns in Lijiang. Moreover, boating, walking, local ethnic family visiting, bonfire party are covered in this itinerary...Why not come?!

Highlights of this tour

  • Explore unique Ethnic culture in colorful Yunnan and get amazed by Naxi people, Mosuo people and Tibetan people’s charming culture and lifestyle;
  • Lose yourselves in the vast Lijiang Old Town with numerous old alleys, bridges, shop and bar and feel the special charm of a historical town can offer;
  • Be indulged in the breathtaking scenery and Tibetan Buddhism of Shangri-La - the unspoiled earthly paradise.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from $1048
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Lijiang / Lugu Lake / Lijiang / Shangri-La
Travel Length:
7 Days & 6 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-YNLL-07
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Lijiang Arrival

Ni Hao! Welcome to Lijiang, a very impressive ancient city! Upon arrival at the airport or railway station, your guide and driver will meet you at the arrival hall and transfer you to the hotel in ancient town area with a private car which is comfortable, air-conditioned and non-smoking. 

After a short rest, you’ll start a memorable tour in Lijiang Ancient Town (Dayan Ancient Town). Established in the Ming dynasty as a commercial center, Lijiang Old Town is a well-preserved 800-year-old town for Naxi ethnic group, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Walk to the central area of the old town and visit Mufu Palace. A saying goes “there is Forbidden City in the North, Mu’s Residence in the South”. Mu’s Residence was called the miniature Forbidden City. Looked from a far distance, it likes a grand imperial palace and it is famous for the grandness and architectural buildings. Getting into the palace, you can know Tusi’s ruling history and appreciate Naxi people’s brilliant culture and fine arts. Then, wander through the old alleys, old bridges, featured shops and bars to Sifang Street Square, a mingling ground to enjoy lively atmosphere and unwind yourself. If time permits, join the Naxi people and tourists to dance happily in a round. (Optional Activity: Take a leisure walk up to the Lion Hill and climb up the 33-meter-tall Wanggu Tower - the landmark building of Lijiang to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole old town and overlook the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance.)

Arrival Ideas: There’re direct flights from Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lhasa, Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Guiyang, etc to Lijiang Sanyi Airport. Trains are available from Kunming (about 3-3.5 hours), Dali (about 2-3 hours) to Lijiang Railway Station. 

Lijiang Old Town Waterwheel Mufu Palace, the “Forbidden City” of Lijiang
Day 2 Lijiang (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred out of Lijiang Old Town to Yuhu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. 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 go to explore 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. Houses here are arranged on a north-south axis around a central, terraced square. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which depict subjects relating to Buddhism, Taoism and the life of the Naxi people, incorporating cultural elements of the Bai people. (Optional experience: You can have in-depth cultural experience to learn how to make Baisha embroidery instructed by the local masters in Baisha Village.)

Then, it is followed by a relaxing 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. This ancient town is less crowded than Lijiang Dayan Old Town. Take a nice stroll here to explore local cultures, folk customs and traditions over several centuries. 

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. If weather permits, get to the best spot to overlook the snow-capped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and shoot some amazing pictures.

Black Dragon Pool Park Baisha Mural Paintings
Day 3 Ljiang - Lugu Lake (B, L)

Today, you’ll be driven about 200 kilometers (4~5 hours) on the spectacular mountain road to visit the mysterious Lugu Lake , situated on the border of Yunnan Province and Sichuan Province. Lugu Lake is called the mother lake by Mosuo people and this land is considered as “the Kingdom of Women” and “Home of the Matriarchal Tribe”.

Upon arrival, check in your hotel first. After a short rest, you will take a canoe to sail leisurely on the tranquil lake, appreciate the mirror-like lake view and enjoy the whisper of the soft breeze and visit one of the three magical islands of Lugu Lake - Liwubi Island. Go shore excursion to Liwubi Island and explore a lama monastery of yellow sect.

After that, you will enjoy some quiet time to walk along the Luguhu Lake by yourself. Enjoy the sunset wonder of Lugu Lake in Luoshui Village. Later, transfer to Lige Village embraced by water on three sides. In this evening, enjoy Mosuo Bonfire Party with ethnic singing and dancing performance. You will take part in singing and dancing with Mosuo boys and girls around a big bonfire in the outdoor square.

Lugu Lake Zhucao Boats Lugu Lake Mosuo Bonfire Party
Day 4 Lugu Lake - Lijiang (B, L)

In the morning, get up early to enjoy beautiful sunrise over Lugu Lake. After breakfast, you'll first drive to visit Zhamei Monastery. Built in Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), it is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery for Yunnan Mosuo people and Pumi group. You can enjoy the 12-meter-tall Maitreya Buddha, exquisite murals and splendid color-engravings.

Then, continue your memorable trip by visiting around Lugu Lake - appreciating the famous Sweetheart Trees in Nisai Village, exploring the last tribe of Mosuo with only 24 households in Little Luoshui Village. Transfer to visit a Mosuo family to know better about Mosuo people’s matriarchal system, visiting marriage customs, festivals, religion, costumes and daily life. Later, drive to visit Mosuo Museum, the only museum in China to present Mosuo people’s history, culture and folk customs.

After the tour, be driven back to Lijiang.

Lugu Lake Beautiful Lige Island
Day 5 Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Shangri-La (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, drive about 52 kilometers from Lijiang to view the First Bend of Yangtze River. The upper reach of the Yangtze River is Jinsha River coming down from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and when it arrives at Shigu Town, it is obstructed by Hailuo Mountain and forms a V-shape turn. Then it changes the direction and goes to the northeast. You’ll reach the observation deck to catch a panoramic view of the bend, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before your eyes. You’ll have a look at local market and Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in Shigu Town.

Later, be transferred to visit the one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyon in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. It is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site called Three Parallel of Yunnan Protected Areas. This steep gorge is situated between the 5596 meters Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the south and 5396 meters Haba Snow Mountain to the north. Measuring 17 kilometers in length, the whole gorge is divided into three parts: upper, middle and lower gorge and you’ll pay a visit to the maturest section - Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge. Walk about 1,000 stairs along the plank road from the entrance to the Tiger Leaping Rock. Take a moment to enjoy the magnificent gorge view and rolling waves. (Travel tip: This gorge is suitable for most travelers with easy walk. Comfortable shoes are recommended.)

After the hiking tour, you’ll be driven to Shangri-La. With 2 hours' driving, enjoy the enchanting natural scenery along the way. Welcome to Shangri-La (Zhongdian, altitude: 3459meters), the Garden of Eden! Upon arrival, check in your hotel and explore this earthly paradise on your own. 

Sightseeing at First Bend of Yangtze River Tiger Leaping Gorge
Day 6 Shangri-La (B, L)

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

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 23 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.)

Shudu Lake of Pudacuo National Park Tibetan Style Songzanlin Lamasery with Prayer Flags Pudacuo National Park
Day 7 Shangri-La & Shangri-La Departure (B)

In the morning, cherish your time in Shangri-La to explore Dukezong Old Town. 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.)

After the tour, be escorted to the Shangri-La Zhongdian Airport for your flight to next destination. Service ends! 

Dukezong Old Town

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