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You are here: Home » Destinations » Yunnan Tours » 8 Days Shangri-La & Daocheng Yading Tour for “Lost Horizon” Seeking

8 Days Shangri-La & Daocheng Yading Tour for “Lost Horizon” Seeking

Discover the Real Idyllic Peaceful Dreamland

Where is the “land of idyllic beauty” described by James Hilton in his significant novel “Lost Horizon”?

Shangri-La meaning the “Sun and Moon in Heart” and Daocheng Yading praised as the “Last Pure Land on Our Blue Planet” are the place narrated by James, where to easily appreciate the most idyllic landscape of towering snow mountains, dense ancient forest, shimmering alpine lakes, carpet-like flowery meadows, grazing and playing herds of sheep, cows and horses, temples & monasteries, and so forth. All the beauty, brightness, quietness, peace and harmony there is the simple and best thing for your seek of the real “Shangri-La” dreamed by anyone.

Take this 8-day Shangri-La and Daocheng Yading tour to find your own “pure land” and “Shambala kingdom” with the memorable visits to the sacred Sumtseling Monastery, tranquil Pudacuo National Park, mysterious Yading Nature Reserve, and other best essences of both dreamlands.

  • Type : Private Tour
  • Tour Code : CD-SDT-8
  • Price : from $1315
    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.
  • Trip Length : 8D/7N
  • Theme : Nature / Culture / Religion / Minority

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR

  • Get into the Yading Nature Reserve to catch the symbolic ideal sightseeing of the three holy snow mountains, gem-like lakes, alpine meadows, grazing horses, etc. through a classic 2-day scenic trekking exploration;
  • Pay a spiritual visit to the sacred Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-La to admire the grand Buddhist temple cluster in golden and red, feel the local believers’ soul pursuit and find out what is the real “Shangri-La”;
  • Enjoy a visual and mental satisfaction at Pudacuo National Park and feel time frozen with groups of cows and horses eating and roaming around the mirror-like peaceful lakes surrounded by lush grassland decorated by some wild blossoms;
  • Start your tour from the convenient gateway of Lijiang for high altitude adjustment at the comfortable leisure destination with nice sunny weather and interesting ethnic culture to chew.
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Itinerary Day by Day (Can Be Customized)
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Day 1 Lijiang Arrival & Lijiang

Today's highlight: Lijiang Ancient Town

Ni Hao! Welcome to Lijiang, a well-preserved 800-year-old town of UNESCO World Heritage Site! 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 will 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 will see unique stone houses, Naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, kids playing and the 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.

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.

Lastly, return to Lijiang Ancient City to wander through the old alleys, old bridges, featured shops and bars around the 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. Then go to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole old town. If you are interested in learning history and culture of Lijiang Ancient City, you can pay a visit to Mufu Palace(optional).

Accommodate in Lijiang Ancient City.

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

  • Mufu Palace-202301-Rosa's Group from Spain Rosa's Group from Spain visited Mufu Palace in 2023
  • Lijiang Old Town Waterwheel-20190415-Marcin from USA Marcin from USA visited Lijiang Old Town in 2023

Day 2 Lijiang (B, L)

Today's highlights: Yuhu Village, Baisha Mural Paintings, Shuhe Ancient Town, Black Dragon Pool Park

In this morning, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel and escort you to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. The 13 peaks in this mountain area are the sacred mountains among Naxi people. Take the tramway to the Spruce Meadow at 3,000 meters high, and you can both see the fascinating sightseeing and appreciate the gorgeous look of the whole snow mountain at the best place.

After that, you can choose to enjoy the electrifying Impression Lijiang Show (Optional) performed by about 500 local people under the white snow and blue sky with the background of white Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which lasts for about 60 mins. (Note: For the ticket is hard to book in peak season, if you are interested in the show, please tell us your likes in advance.)

On the way back, you will enjoy the charming scenery and the crystal clear water various with the weather in Blue Moon Valley and its White Water River.

After that, 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. (Optional experience: You can have in-depth cultural experience to learn how to make Baisha embroidery instructed by the local masters in Baisha Village.)

Please Note:

1. If you want to visit Yak Meadow (with an altitude of 3,500 meters) which offers a good location to appreciate the 13 peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain; or go to Glacier Park (at 4,680 meters ) to see the wonder of the Green Glacier Peaks; please tell your like to your travel consultant to adjust the itinerary. Different tramways have different prices. Please pay attention that it will be difficult to book the ticket of Glacier Park tramway, you need to tell your likes to us or book the ticket in advance. Besides, it takes about 1-2 hours to queue up for the tramway to Glacier Park.

2. For the tickets of Impression Lijiang Snow are hard to book in peak season, if you want to enjoy the show, please tell us your interest and we will help to book the tickets in advance.

3. If time allows today, you can extend a leisure 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.

4. Lunch is not included because the dining options are limited. You can bring some snacks or dine in the local restaurants in the national park.

  • Black Dragon Pool Park-20210316-Carrie from China Carrie from China visited Black Dragon Pool Park in 2021
  • Baisha Mural Paintings-2018-Daisy from Thailand Daisy from Thailand visited Baisha Village in 2018

Day 3 Lijiang - Shangri-La (B, L)

Today's highlights: First Bend of Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Old Town

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: 3459 meters), the Garden of Eden! Upon arrival, you guide will help you check in at your hotel.

After a short break, go 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.

Have a nice sleep in your hotel in Shangri-La!

  • Guishan Hill  - Juan's Family from Golumbia Juan's family from Golumbia visited Guishan Hill in 2023
  • Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge-202010-Ana's Group from Belgium and Mexico Ana's Group from Belgium and Mexico visited Tiger Leaping Gorge in 2020
  • The Panoramic View of Dukezong Old Town, Picture Shared Daisy The Panoramic View of Dukezong Old Town

Day 4 Shangri-La (B, L)

Today's highlights: Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, Pudacuo National Park, Local Tibetan Family Visit

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 be 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. Throw yourself into the lush green forest with diverse species of flora and fauna, walk along the plank road to catch the gorgeous scenery. There are also many hiking opportunities. (Notes: 1) the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m so you should avoid strong activities to avoid high altitude sickness; 2) part of the national park is currently closed for environment protection and recovery.)

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 visiting, be escorted back to your hotel and have a good rest!

  • Songzanlin Monastery - Mutia from Indonesia Mutia's Group from Indonesia Visiting Songzanlin Monastery with China Discovery in 2018
  • Shudu Lake of Pudacuo National Park, Picture Shared by Daisy Shudu Lake of Pudacuo National Park
  • Pudacuo National Park, Picture Shared by Daisy Pudacuo National Park

Day 5 Shangri-La - Daocheng Yading (B)

Today's highlights: Transfer to Daocheng Yading by Private Car

After breakfast, our guide will meet you at your hotel and then transfer you from Shangri-La to Daocheng Yading by our private car by driving for about 7-7.5 hours.

After your arrival, you will be sent to your hotel at Shangri-La Town (2,950m). The rest of the day is on your own to discover Daocheng Yading and the surrounding. Have a good rest for the following hiking experience!

Tips: Since the altitude of Daocheng Yading area is mainly over 3,000 meters, you are highly suggested not do strenuous exercise to release or avoid altitude sickness.

Day 6 Daocheng Yading (B)

Today's highlights: Yading Nature Reserve (Luorong Pasture - Milk Lake - Five Color Lake)

After an early breakfast, start your exploration of Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve, the Last Pure Land on Earth first found by Joseph Rock in 1928 and then be widely treated as the “Soul of Shangri-La” with extremely dreaming wonderland.

Take the sightseeing bus from the tourist center to Zhaguanbeng for about 1-1.5 hours and enjoy the 2-2.5 hours’ hike to Luorong Pasture (4,150m) via Chonggu Monastery (3,900m) (you can also choose to walk 20 minute to Chonggu Monastery and take the 0.5 hour battery car to Luorong Pasture if you want to save energy). Enjoy your relaxing roam at the idyllic pasture with those carefree grazing cattle and goats, layers of multicolored dense alpine forest, clear winding stream, etc. backed by the three holy snow mountains, namely Xiannairi (Mount Chianrezig), Yangmaiyong (Mount Jambeyang) and Xianuoduoji (Mount Chanadorje). You will appreciate the most beautiful appearance of Xianuoduoji snow mountain like a powerful man!

Next, take the challenging 5 km’s hike for 3-3.5 hours up to the fabulous Milk Lake (4,600m) (horse riding is available to Milk Lake and needs extra payment) and marvel at the unbelievable charm of such a holy lake like a precious blue gem that even can move one to drop tears. Continue to walk another 0.5 hour to visit Five Color Lake (4,500m) 0.3 km away to savor the impressive sightseeing with beautiful snow rock mountain in white, grey, silver and chocolate, blue and green water, various alpine plantations, clear sky backdrop, etc. particularly like an world-class oil painting.

After the visiting, walk down and take the car and bus back to the entrance. And our guide and driver will send you back to your hotel at Shangri-La Town. Have a good rest!

  • Yading Milk Lake (4,600m) Yading Milk Lake (4,600m)
  • Yading Luorong Pasture Yading Luorong Pasture
  • Yading Five Color Lake (4,500m) Yading Five Color Lake (4,500m)

Day 7 Daocheng Yading (B)

Today's highlights: Yading Nature Reserve (Chonggu Monastery - Chonggu Meadow - Pearl Lake - Poplar Forest - Benbo Monastery)

Today after breakfast, go to Chonggu Monastery as the same way on Day 2 by sightseeing bus and hike. Have a stop at the temple to admire the sacred Gelug Buddhist temple architecture in white, red, yellow and black and learn the interesting story about the temple and Joseph Rock’s stop by. From such unbeatable location, you will easily take the excellent photo of the brilliant temple and the three pure white holy snow mountains. After some short walk, embrace the lovely Chonggu Meadow (4,020m) that can be paralleled with the fairyland on earth. Stroll on the vast grassland like a thick and soft carpet in yellow and green in each season. Play along the particularly appealing transparent chanting river with clearly visible little stones like countless grains of gold sank to the bottom. Do not miss the best angle to admire the Xianuoduoji snow mountain like a powerful man.

Then, continue to hike for 30 minutes to visit Pearl Lake (4,120m) that is super fascinating to admire the picturesque landscape of surrounding snow peaks, green and orange dense forest, iridescent prayer flags, and their dazzling reflection in the shimmering clear lake. Also, it is the best location to admire the holy Xiannairi snow mountain.

After that, go back and be transferred to Bang River to appreciate the ten thousand acre of poplar forest (3,740m) from the best location. The wide spread of poplar trees are so charming in pure green in spring and summer and orange and golden in autumn under the frequent azure sky in Daocheng. Then, go to visit Benbo Monastery (3,940m) to have a close look at the striking claret-red Kagyu Buddhist temple cluster of over 900 years old, learn the interesting story of its establishment and the creator, and feel the sincere Buddhist pursuit and persistence of local Lamas.

After the visiting, our guide and driver will send you to your hotel in Daocheng County (3,700m) and help you check in. Have a good rest!

  • Chonggu Meadow Chonggu Meadow
  • Yading Pearl Lake & Mount Chianrezig Yading Pearl Lake & Mount Chianrezig
  • Yading Chonggu Monastery Yading Chonggu Monastery
  • Yading Poplar Forest Yading Poplar Forest

Day 8 Daocheng Yading Departure (B)

Fly off Daocheng Yading

After breakfast, your local guide and driver will send you to Daocheng Yading Airport for your flight to Chengdu or other destinations. Tour ends.

Departure Idea: Daocheng Yading Airport has direct flights to Chengdu, Chongqing and Xian, and very few connecting flights to Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Kunming.

The quotation for this trip is from $1315 Per Person

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, 2025.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1=RMB 7.00. 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.

What's included?

  • 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.);
  • Accident insurance;
  • Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

What's excluded?

  • China visa;
  • Personal expenses;
  • 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.

Check What our delighted customers are saying about our services

Hi dear Vivien,

our journey is about to end. We are on our way to Guilin airport. It has been an awesome trip indeed. Each destination was well chosen and everything went smoothly. I am super happy for my sister and me to be able to experience such a wonderful travel through the most stunning landscapes in China. Thank you for the perfect organization. And thank you for the nice gift we got in Guilin. Really appreciate it.

My sister with her fan. We also got a beautiful stamp and ink. Thank you very much!

Francesca

Francesca‚ Germany, March 31, 2024

Hi Vivien,

just want to record our thanks to you for your good planning, coordination and arrangement for our recent holidays to Dali, Lijiang and Xianggelila. The tour guides and drivers were warm and friendly and we felt safe, and enjoyed the trip very much.

All the best to you.

Janet/Richard/Claire

Janet‚ Malaysia, March 27, 2024

Hi Phoebe,

1. Yes - questions were promptly addressed to my satisfaction. Excellent service overall.

2. The local guide is knowledgeable and has good command of English. He's also patient, considerate, and takes good care of his customers.

Hee

Hee‚ Singapore, March 27, 2024

Hi Samantha,

Sunrise was very nice and checked us in to a nice room at 8:30 am. It’s been a while since we were in Shanghai, and it is a wonderful, clean city that’s very vibrant. It has been sunny and warm the last four days.

Jordan

Jordan‚ Canada, March 26, 2024

Dear Wing Zeng,

My family and I have now arrived safely back at home in Bangkok. We had a wonderful time on the cruise, and we would like to thank you very much for assisting us on the whole process, from booking the cabins to arranging transportation from Jingzhou to Maoping port. We are very impressed with your service.

As for your questions, here is my response:

1A: Wing Zeng always responds to our emails very promptly. At the beginning when I planned to book the cruise, Wing Zeng has been very patient to respond to all my questions about the cruise itinerary and the cabin types. I am very happy with her service.

2A: With Wing Zeng's help, our tour arrangements were very smooth. Our family travel with one senior and one small child, so we were very careful about transportation to and from the port. On the day of embarkation, Wing Zeng helped us book a van transfer directly from our hotel in Jingzhou to the port, which made the embarkation process very smooth and enjoyable.

3A: Definitely. I highly recommend your service to anyone who wants to take the Yangtze cruises.

4A: I'm very satisfied with your service. Our travel consultant is very helpful and professional.

5A: It would be nice if you could give a little warning that the water level in Chongqing might be too low around this time of year. Originally, our cruise was scheduled to end at Chongqing Chaotianmen port. But because of the low water level, we had to disembark somewhere else and took a 2-hour drive to Chaotianmen. The cruise arranges the transfer smoothly and it worked out fine in the end. But if this is something that happens usually around this time of year, it would be nice to be given a little warning beforehand.

Sira

Sira‚ Thailand, March 26, 2024
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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.

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Photo gallery of this trip

  • Mufu Palace-202301-Rosa's Group from Spain Mufu Palace-202301-Rosa's Group from Spain
  • Lijiang Old Town Waterwheel-20190415-Marcin from USA Lijiang Old Town Waterwheel-20190415-Marcin from USA
  • Black Dragon Pool Park-20210316-Carrie from China Black Dragon Pool Park-20210316-Carrie from China
  • Baisha Mural Paintings-2018-Daisy from Thailand Baisha Mural Paintings-2018-Daisy from Thailand
  • Guishan Hill  - Juan's Family from Golumbia Guishan Hill - Juan's Family from Golumbia
  • Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge-202010-Ana's Group from Belgium and Mexico Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge-202010-Ana's Group from Belgium and Mexico
  • The Panoramic View of Dukezong Old Town, Picture Shared Daisy The Panoramic View of Dukezong Old Town, Picture Shared Daisy
  • Songzanlin Monastery - Mutia from Indonesia Songzanlin Monastery - Mutia from Indonesia
  • Shudu Lake of Pudacuo National Park, Picture Shared by Daisy Shudu Lake of Pudacuo National Park, Picture Shared by Daisy
  • Pudacuo National Park, Picture Shared by Daisy Pudacuo National Park, Picture Shared by Daisy
  • Yading Milk Lake (4,600m) Yading Milk Lake (4,600m)
  • Yading Luorong Pasture Yading Luorong Pasture
  • Yading Five Color Lake (4,500m) Yading Five Color Lake (4,500m)
  • Chonggu Meadow Chonggu Meadow
  • Yading Pearl Lake & Mount Chianrezig Yading Pearl Lake & Mount Chianrezig
  • Yading Chonggu Monastery Yading Chonggu Monastery
  • Yading Poplar Forest Yading Poplar Forest

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