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18 Days Experience to Ancient Tea-Horse Road - Yunnan Part

Destination:  

Kunming-Simao-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri-La-Deqin-Markham-Basu-Ranwu-Bomi-Nyingchi-Lhasa

Tour Type: Private Tour
Tour Code: TCT-Hiking-03
Tour Ratings:
Price from
2-5 persons: on request P/P
6-9 persons: on request P/P
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Tour Map

  • Tour Map

    Tour Map

  • Dali Ancient Town

    Dali Ancient Town

  • Dali Three Pagodas

    Dali Three Pagodas

  • Dali Erhai Lake

    Dali Erhai Lake

  • Dali Xizhou Bai Houses

    Dali Xizhou Bai Houses

  • Lijiang Lijiang Ancient Town

    Lijiang Lijiang Ancient Town

  • Lijiang Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

    Lijiang Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

  • Shangri-la Potatso National Park

    Shangri-la Potatso National Park

  • Meili Snow Mountain

    Meili Snow Mountain

  • Nyingchi Giant Cypress Nature Reserve

    Nyingchi Giant Cypress Nature Reserve

  • Nyingchi Basumto Lake

    Nyingchi Basumto Lake

  • Monks of Sera Monastery

    Monks of Sera Monastery

Summary: The Tea-horse trade between the inner land and the remote southwest area in ancient China gave birth to this road of danger and mysteriousness. Winding across the mountains and forests of Sichuan-Tibet-Yunnan triangle area on the Roof of the World, this road was spreading and connecting the ancient civilizations and cultures at the highest altitude. By this 18 Days Tea-horse Road Tour, we will cover the part of northwest Yunnan and northeast Tibet, along which are the most breathtaking natural scenery and brilliant cultural spots. It's for all the artists, photographers and people who yearning for the ultimate discovery.
Note: Sorry, this tour package is not available this year.
Note: Sorry, this tour package is not available this year.

Day 1

Arrival Kunming    Simao
Arrive in Kunming, your gateway city of this mysterious tour, you will be met at the Kunming airport then be driven to Simao directly. Check-in your hotel for a good rest.
Meals: No meal
Accommodation: In Simao

Kunming is the capital city of Yunnan in southwest China. Located in the middle of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau just north of the Tropic of Cancer, at an altitude of 1,900 meters above the sea level, Kunming enjoys a year-round temperate climate and is often called the 'Spring City'.

Day 2

Simao    Kunming
In the morning, you will be transferred to visit a Tea Garden and can also take a short visit in the Tea Processing Factory. After that, be tranferred back to Kunming in the late afternoon.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Kunming

Simao is possibly the birthplace of Pu Er tea. It is definitely one of the most interesting regions in Yunnan, which is one of the most fascinating and mysterious places on earth. It is home to a dazzling array of diverse ethnic groups and is covered by forest for over a third of its area. Experts believe that tea was first cultivated here, and enormous tea fields cover the hilltops in the shadows of vast primeval forest. As a major nexus along the Ancient Tea Route, Simao served as a meeting point for the cultures of Asia, and a conduit for the exchange of cultural knowledge.
 

Day 3

Kunming    Dali
In the morning, be transferred to the airport for a short flight to Dali, the ancient political, economic and cultural center. Upon arrival, you can take a visit around Dali Ancient Town and Three Pagodas.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Dali

Dali Ancient TownDali Ancient Town is 13km (8 miles) away from Dali City. Its history can be traced back to the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). According to ancient literature, the City was a gateway to the ancient Silk Road in Southwestern China. Because of its history and wealth, Dali Ancient city was surrounded by the wall which is over 6km in length, 7.5 meters high and 6 meters thick. In 1982, the northern and southern city wall towers were rebuilt to offer visitors a glimpse into the ancient wall’s grandeur. The architecture of Dali Ancient City is in the traditional Bai ethnic style and gives the city a very distinct feel. Dali Ancient City is well known for its traditional arts and crafts. It is particularly famous for its marble and hand woven handicrafts.

With a history over 1,800 years, the Three Pagodas is the symbol of Dali, and the witness of the development of Buddhism in the area. The Three Pagodas are at the East foot of the tenth peak of Cangshan Mountains and face the West shore of the Erhai Lake of the ancient Dali Town. They are an ensemble of three independent pagodas arranged on the corners of an equilateral triangle, with the main pagoda 69 meters in height. Three Pagodas together with Zhaozhou Bridge in Hebei Province and Great Wild Goose Pagoda in Xian are known as the three curiosities of Chinese ancient architecture.
 

Day 4

Dali
Today, continue your visit in Dali. You will be transferred to the pier and then take an Erhai Cruise for about 4hours. Erhai Lake is one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China. In the afternoon, you will take a relaxing visit to Xizhou Bai's Houses where you can see what the Bai people's houses like.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Dali

Erhai LakeErhai Lake is the second largest lake in Yunnan after Dianchi Lake, and one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China. On sunny days, the crystal water of the lake and the snow mantled Cangshan Mountain create a beautiful scene described as silver Cangshan and jade Erhai. The surrounding isles, temples and villages of Erhai Lake are also worth visiting. The Golden Shuttle Island and the nearby fishing community of Bai people with Bai culture and lifestyle are charming attractions. You can also enjoy the Three Courses Tea of Bai people on the isles.

You will regret it if you miss Xizhou Bai's Houses 18km north of Dali. Green mountains, winding creeks and fertile land make life here lyrical and carefree. The history of Xizhou dates back to the Sui Dynasty (581-618AD). People nowadays regard Xizhou as a town famous for the Bai culture. The old houses and streets are well preserved and visitors may still find traces of past glory. The houses of are characterized by a traditional Chinese rectangular courtyard with a screen wall facing the gate. On the screen wall usually are four Chinese characters reading 'Qingbai Shijia' (innocent family) or 'Ziqi Donglai' (Auspicious air comes from the East). Around them are landscape paintings and decorations with colors in profusion. The doors and windows are full of grills with auspicious paintings.
 

Day 5

Dali    Lijiang
In the morning, spend about 4hours driving, you will arrival Lijiang. Then, enjoy your leisure visit in this ancient town to walk down the cobblestone streets over 700 years and see the Naxi way of life which changed little over time. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Lijiang

Lijiang Ancient TownLijiang Ancient Town is well-preserved and known as a centre for the Naxi people's brilliant culture. With a history of more than 800 years, the town was built in the interval as the Song Dynasty changed to the Yuan Dynasty, and occupies an area of 3.8 square kilometers. It is built along the lie of mountains and the flow of rivers with the ancient water-supply system which is still in use today, providing a precious example for research on ancient architecture. As a result of selective adoption of ideas from other cultures by the Naxi group, the buildings in town incorporate the best of the architectural styles of Han, Bai and Tibetan, developed into the unique Naxi style. The layout of the town is free and flexible, the houses are close and diverse and the lanes are narrow and meandering. Along both sides of the lanes, there are shops selling superb handicrafts. Here you also have the chance to trace the ancient Tea-Horse Road.

Day 6

Lijiang
In the morning, drive about 0.5hour to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (cable car and green vans available in the scenic area). After lunch, visit Yufeng Temple and Baisha Mural in the ancient capital of Naxi Kingdom in Baisha village.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Lijiang

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Jade Dragon Snow Mountain nestles near Lijiang. It is the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere, consisting of 13 peaks with the highest one, Shanzidou, at an altitude of 5,600 meters. Looking from the town, the mountain resembles a jade dragon laying in the clouds, hence the name. The view of the massif from the gardens at the Black Dragon Pool in Lijiang is noted as one of China's finest views.

Built in 1756, Yufeng Temple is located at the southern foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, 13km from Lijiang. The temple is surrounded by a verdant forest and river with the snow mountain at its back. It displays a harmonious mix of architectural styles of Han Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism and local Naxi Dongba Religion. It is witness to the peaceful coexistence of multinational cultures and religions.  It still plays an important role in local residents' religious life.

Baisha Mural is located at Baisha Villages, 10km north of Lijiang. Although the traditional houses do not look impressive, this was the cradle of the Naxi culture and ancient capital of the Naxi Kingdom. The valuable murals are protected inside Dabaoji Palace and the colored glaze temples. The originality and figures within the murals reflect the different religious cultures and artistic forms of Buddhism, Lamaism, Taoism and local Naxi Dongba religion's development into Naxi School. Each painting includes at least one hundred portraits, which are not only Buddha, but also ordinary people such as bureaucrats, farmers, citizens and even criminals. Many of the scenes and subjects are drawn from people's daily life showing fishing, riding horses, weaving, dancing and casting iron.
 

Day 7

Lijiang    Shangri-la
In the morning, drive another 4hours to Shangri-la, the so called 'Lost Paradise'. It is a place with stunning scenery, the azure sky and the hospitality of unsophisticated people. Take a visit to Dukezong Ancient Town upon arrival.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Shangri-la

Dukezong Ancient TownShangri-La is a primarily Tibetan county in northwestern Yunnan and the capital of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The county was formerly called Zhongdian but in 2001 was renamed after the fictional land of Shangri-La, from the James Hilton novel Lost Horizon. With many miles of beautiful vistas to discover, this region offers unique hiking and horse trekking opportunities to those who make the journey down to Northern Yunnan. At an altitude of 3,200 meters, Shangri-La is the start point of the Tibetan world in Northern Yunnan. The small town once was the frontier trading post on the doorstep of Tibet.

Dukezong Ancient Town, at the southeast corner of Shangri-La, offers sanctuary to all those seeking refuge from the cares of city life. Its authentic Tibetan dwellings, gilded prayer halls and pagodas, and lanterns of various shapes lighting the way along narrow, winding lanes are permeated with the grace and mystique of antiquity that enchants visitors the moment they set foot in. Dukezong means the town of moonlight in Tibetan language. With a history of over 1350 years, it has experienced both the flames of war and prosperity of frontier trade as a key stop on the Ancient Tea-Horse Trail and a focal point for Han-Tibetan exchanges.
 

Day 8

Shangri-la
Ger up early, you can then take a visit to Songzanlin Lamasery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, and Potatso National Park (green vans available in scenic area) after lunch.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Shangri-la

Songzanlin LamaseryNot far from Shangri-La, Songzanlin Lamasery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist lamasery in Yunnan, and one of the 13 large lamaseries in the joint area of Tibet, Yunnan and Sichuan. Constructed in 1679, it took about three years to complete. Built against the mountain with a magnificent appearance, Songzanlin is a faithful imitation of the Potala Palace in Lhasa Tibet. The most famous treasures in the lamasery are the eight gold-covered sculptures of Sakyamuni, bronze sculptures, the Ganzur scriptures hand-written in liquid gold, gold lamps, and many exquisite gilded silver incense burners.

Potatso National Park is located 22km away from Shangri-La, about half an hour driving. As China first national park, it mainly consists of two lakes- Shudu and Bita, the distance between takes about half an hour driving by green van.
 

Day 9

Shangri-la    Deqin
For about 7hours driving, you will reach Deqin. Stay overnight at Deqin.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Deqin

Deqin locates to the very north of Yunnan, a joint point of Tibet, Sichuan and Myanmer.
 

Day 10

Deqin    Markham
For about 1hour driving, you will find the holy Meili Snow Mountain just standing ahead. After the visiting there, you will be transferred to Markham.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Markham

Meili Snow Mountain About 800km from Kunming, Meili Snow Mountain towers over the landscape in the west of Deqin County in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Also known as 'Prince Snow Mountain', it is the most sacred mountain in the world.
 

Day 11

Markham    Basu
Drive from Markham to Basu (270 km). Stay overnight at Basu.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Basu


Day 12

Basu    Ranwu
Drive from Basu to Ranwu, stay overnight at Ranwu.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Ranwu


Day 13

Ranwu    Bomi
Today you will enter the most magnificent spot during the Sichuan-Tibet Road from Ranwu to Bomi. Arrive in Bomi in the late afternoon. The distance between Rawu to Bomi is 129 kilometers.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Bomi


Day 14

Bomi    Nyingchi
Drive from Bami to Nyingchi. It is a paradise with the least human trace on this planet enjoying advantages in natural resources for tourist, scientific research and exploration. Drive from Pomi to Nyichi via Lulang Forest Area. Visit the Gigantic Cypress Natural Reserve in Nyingchi. Stay overnight at Nyingchi.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Nyingchi

Lulang Forest Area The most impressive in Lulang Forest Area is the forest of Tibetan cypresses of about 10 hectares at the Bagyai Village in Nyingchi County at 3,040 meters above sea level.

The Gigantic Cypress Wood in Nyingchi is in the valley of the lower reaches of the Yaluzhangbu River and the Niyang River at the latitude of 3,000 to 3,400 meters. In the Giant Cypress Nature Reserve of the Bajie Township, there scatter hundreds of such huge cypresses only seen in Tibet, which are noted for their huge tree crowns and upright trunks.
 

Day 15

Nyingchi    Lhasa
From Nyingchi, you can drive to Lhasa, via Lake of Basumto.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Lhasa

Basumto LakeCovering 26 square kilometers, Basumto Lake, the pristine waters of the green lake reflect the picturesque snow-capped peaks surrounding. Basomtso lies in Cuogao Village, Gongbujiangda County, Nyingchi. It is in the valley of the upper reaches of the Ba River, 50 km from the Town of Gongbujiangda, 39.6 km from the National Highway No. 318 and 370 km from the Tibetan Capital Lhasa.
 

Day 16

Lhasa
Today, enjoy a whole day tour covering Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery and Norbulingka.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Lhasa

Sera MonasteryTips: When you enter into a temple or monastery in Tibet, please take off your hats at the entrance to show your respects and follow the clockwise direction for visiting. No smoking, do not touch the Buddha statues, turn the Buddhism scriptures or toll the bell.

Located 5 km from Lhasa, the Drepung Monastery is considered one of the three great monasteries in Tibet. It was first built in 1416, and held 7,700 monks in its heyday. In Tibetan language, Drepung Monastery means monastery of collecting rice.

The Sera Monastery is the last of the three principal Yellow Sect monasteries built in Lhasa. The setting itself is very beautiful with cobbled alleyways, temples and colleges. The highlight of visiting Sera Monastery will be watching monks debating inside the shady courtyard behind the main temple. Every day, hundreds of red-robed monks assemble in small groups and practice their debating skills.

Norbulingka means Jewel Garden. First built in 1751, it borrowed architectural style from the inland areas of China while maintaining local ethnic and religious features. Norbulingka served as a traditional summer palace and residence starting with the 7th Dalai Lama, and now it is the largest garden in Tibet.
 

Day 17

Lhasa
A trip to Lhasa could not miss a visit to Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street. So, thoday, just indulge yourselves in this spiritual tour.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: In Lhasa

Barkhor StreetThe awe-inspiring Potala Palace, perched high above much of Lhasa, is the landmark of the city. The palace which consists of the Red Palace, the White Palace and some attached buildings was a complex of political and religious function. Now it is a huge treasure house for materials and articles of Tibetan history, religion, culture and arts.

Located at the center of the old Lhasa, Jokhang Temple is the spiritual center of Tibet. Built in 647 by Songtsen Gampo, it has a history of more than 1,300 years. The temple is the fine product of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architecture techniques. Visitors will be treated to the sight of various exotic and sacred sculptures. Jokhang Temple also houses many invaluable cultural relics. Every year, the Great Prayer Festival is held here. 

Barkhor Street is a famous commercial and commodity-distributing center in Lhasa, consisting of more than 120 handicrafts shops and more than 200 stalls. It is a good choice that should never be missed by tourists coming to Lhasa, for you can buy anything Tibet-related, from sacks of incense, chunks of yak butter to monk outfits. Barkhor is the road that pilgrims tramped out around Jokhang Temple through centuries. When walking along Barkhor Street, you should move in the clockwise direction.
 

Day 18

Departure Lhasa
Transfer to the airport and depart from Lhasa for your flight home.
Meals: Breakfast
 
Service Ends

Note: Sorry, this tour package is not available this year.

Full price of this tour (per person in US$):

  • JAN, FEB, DEC
  • MAR, JUN, JUL, AUG
  • APR, MAY, SEP, OCT, NOV
Group Size Using Economy Hotel
★★★
Using Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
Using Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
1 person   -   -   -
2-5 persons - - - - - -
6-9 persons - - - - - -
10 persons & above - - - - - -
Group Size Using Economy Hotel
★★★
Using Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
Using Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
1 person   -   -   -
2-5 persons - - - - - -
6-9 persons - - - - - -
10 persons & above - - - - - -
Group Size Using Economy Hotel
★★★
Using Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
Using Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
1 person   -   -   -
2-5 persons - - - - - -
6-9 persons - - - - - -
10 persons & above - - - - - -

Full price of this tour (per person in US$):

  • JAN, FEB, DEC
  • MAR, JUN, JUL, AUG
  • APR, MAY, SEP, OCT, NOV
Group Size Using Economy Hotel
★★★
Using Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
Using Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
1 person   -   -   -
2-5 persons - - - - - -
6-9 persons - - - - - -
10 persons & above - - - - - -
Group Size Using Economy Hotel
★★★
Using Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
Using Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
1 person   -   -   -
2-5 persons - - - - - -
6-9 persons - - - - - -
10 persons & above - - - - - -
Group Size Using Economy Hotel
★★★
Using Comfortable Hotel
★★★★
Using Deluxe Hotel
★★★★★
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
Double
Occupancy
Sole
Occupancy
1 person   -   -   -
2-5 persons - - - - - -
6-9 persons - - - - - -
10 persons & above - - - - - -

Recommended Hotels:

City Economy Hotel ★★★ Comfortable Hotel ★★★★ Deluxe Hotel ★★★★★
Kunming Kunming Jinjiang HotelKunming HotelKaiwah Plaza International Hotel Kunming
Dali Landscape HotelDali Gurong HotelDali Gurong Hotel
Lijiang Lijiang Sanhe HotelLijiang Wangfu HotelLijiang Guanfang Hotel
Shangri-LaShiner Hotel Shangri-LaGyalthang Dzong HotelParadise Hotel Shangri-La
Shangri-LaShiner Hotel Shangri-LaGyalthang Dzong HotelParadise Hotel Shangri-La
Lhasa Lhasa Shangbala HotelLhasa Xinding HotelLhasa Hotel VIP 5 Star Building

Optional Local Specialties & Night Shows:

City Local Specialties Nights Shows
Kunming Bridge-crossing NoodleYunnan Impression Show - Dynamic Yunnan

Notice:
Due to the uncertainties of this tour, such as special conditions locally, the changes of accommodation rate and etc, the tour should be tailor-made and its price is on request. Please tell us in advance your group information inclusive of departure date, number of pax, and other individual needs, which will be helpful to work out a fit program and the right price.

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