China Shangri-La Tour
Shangri-La in China's northwestern Yunnan province, is known for its beautiful scenery and Buddhist monasteries. Formerly known Zhongdian, its old town is beautifully preserved with Bitahai Lake as one of its major attractions. Song Zanling Monastery, also called the Little Potala Palace, is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple complex in Yunnan Province. Lake Napa Wetlands, is renowned for the endangered black-necked cranes seen here from September to March. Many snow-capped mountains surround Shangri-la.
Begin in Beijing and visit its historical and heritage sites. These includes the massive Tiananmen Square, splendid Forbidden City, magnificent Summer Palace and Jingshan Park. In Xi’an, the famous Terra Cotta Army Warriors and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Shangri-La, Yunnan is a beautiful part of the country. Famous for its beautiful Black Dragon pool, the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the old town of Zhongdian. Finish in Shanghai, with a cruise on the Huangpu River.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 14-DAY CHINA’S YUNAN REGION…
And, discover a beautiful countryside that could be the mythical Shangri La!
There is no better way to see a new destination than by walking. You absorb more, get time to talk to locals and take home great pictures and unforgettable memories. Trekking on the Great Wall, one of the greatest wonders of the world provides one such experience. But your greatest walk could be across the beautiful countryside of Zhongdian, thought to be the mythical Shangri La described in James Hilton's novel "The Lost Horizon".
Begin with a comprehensive tour of Beijing, the ancient imperial capital of China. With your private guide and driver, tour imperial masterpieces such as the Ming Tombs, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and take a day’s excursion to the Great Wall of China. Dine on traditional specialties at favourite family-run restaurants, and enjoy dining in Beijing’s most acclaimed restaurants.
Next, we travel to Gubeikou, a strategic fort for our 2-day trek on the Great Wall. This section of the wall meanders through the countryside and mountains, and you will be rewarded by the scenery along both the Gubeikou and Jinshanling sections.
After an interesting trek, fly to Xian, once the hotspot of the ancient Silk Road, linking the East to the West. Today, it is one of the most important cradles of ancient Chinese civilization. Here we will see the widely acclaimed, the eighth wonder of the world, the Army of Terracotta Warriors.
Next, travel to Lijiang, known for its beautiful river scenery. The interesting countryside with Naxi and Yi minority villages forms and interesting countryside for walking or bike riding. Travelling north, we arrive at Zongdian – the Shangri-La country. The natural scenery of snowy mountains, grasslands, lakes and virgin forests makes it a perfect country; a trekker would hope it to see.
The tour ends in Shanghai, China’s most stylish and modern city. During private touring, learn about Shanghai’s history through the architecture of the Bund and its museums. Visit up-and-coming neighbourhoods filled with art galleries, design shops and stylish new restaurants. But explore the old town to sample local specialities and take a walk down its narrow longtangs to experience its soul.
China Shangri-La Tour
Trek the Great Wall of China before travelling across the beautiful countryside of Zhongdian, thought to be the mythical Shangri La.
Beijing, Xi’an, Lijiang, Shangri-la, Shanghai
(14 Days. Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive China
Beijing Meet your private guide and driver on arrival at the Beijing International airport who will escort you to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Peninsula Beijing Hotel (Nil)
Day 2 – Tour
Beijing Take a private guided tour of the sacred and architecturally unique Temple of Heaven that has come to symbolise Beijing. Continue on to the magnificent grounds of the Summer Palace to view the Long Corridor, the graceful 17 Arch Bridge on South Lake and the temples and pavilions of Longevity Hill.
Then, walk through the Tiananmen Square and on to the splendid Forbidden City where you will view the concubine’s quarters, Emperor’s chambers and the numerous decorative halls. Spend time in Jingshan Park and stand at the Pavilion for some of the best views of the Forbidden City. Later take a rickshaw ride through the Hutong’s – the fascinating old laneways of Beijing around the Drum Tower.
Peninsula Beijing Hotel (B)
Day 3 – Tour
Beijing We drive outside Beijing, to one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section. Built over 2,000 years ago, the Great Wall stretches 5,000 kilometres from Shanhaiguan Pass on the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west. Take time to walk along the wall and capture the scenery on camera.
Then visit the Ming Tombs, also known as the “13 Tombs”, burial site of 13 of the 17 Ming Dynasty emperors. The best part of the Ming Tombs is the road there. Walk along the Sacred Path leading to the necropolis and Giant Tortoises, with bizarre, mythical stone monsters standing guard. Return to Beijing in the mid-afternoon.
Peninsula Beijing Hotel (B, L)
Day 4 & 5 – Trek
Beijing Trekking route: first day walk from Gubeikou-Jinshanling; Second day from Jinshangling to between Jinshangling and Simatai.
Your travel guide will be with you at all times during your Great Wall hike, ensuring your safety while also imparting you with his/her vast knowledge of the Great Wall. In addition, all heavy camping materials and provisions will be provided (such as tents when sleeping on the Great Wall). The parts of the Great Wall we will encounter are often empty, allowing you to have some quality time on the world's greatest wonder. This trip is perfect for families and outdoor enthusiasts who live to challenge and try something new. This is the perfect way to explore the Great Wall of China!
Picnic lunch on the way, picnic dinner or dinner at local Chinese restaurant
Jinshangling hotel or tent (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Transfer
Xi’an Take an early morning transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Xi’an. The city of X’ian is known for the Terra Cotta Army Warriors, the most significant archaeological excavations of the 20th century. About 6,000 life size terracotta warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum.
After lunch, drive back to the city and visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Located in the Da Ci'en Temple, it is the best-preserved Buddhist temple complex of the Tang dynasty and the city’s most distinctive and outstanding landmark.
Sofitel Xi’an on Renmin Square Hotel (B)
Day 7 – Transfer
Lijiang Take a flight to Kunming and connect flight to Lijiang. Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel. The Lijiang region is one of China’s cities of historic and cultural significance. It is famous for ancient towns, magnificent mountains and rivers, and ancient, unsophisticated customs. Yunnan is considered a fairyland blessed with fresh air, clean streams and a beautiful landscape inhabited by friendly people.
Crown Plaza Lijiang Ancient Town Hotel (B)
Day 8 – Walk n' Explore
Lijiang The ancient town of Lijiang is famous for its magnificent mountain scenery but it is also home to the Naxi tribes, whose Dongba hieroglyphs are among the very few still used in the world. Take an excursion to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and visit the Jade Peak Monastery, once the capital of Naxi Kingdom. The Shigu (Stone Drum) village, overlooking the “first bend” of the Yangtze River, is worth a photo-stop but the Tiger Leaping Gorge is truly heart-stopping.
A great way to explore the local countryside and visit the Naxi and Yi minority villages is to take a bike tour around the lake. In the afternoon visit the Yuhu village with interesting houses made of a unique stone called “monkey stone” by the locals. Fascinated by the beautiful scenery and local customs, Dr Joseph Rock of the United States lived here for over 27 years, studying the Naxi culture and is known as the “Father of Naxiology”.
Crown Plaza Lijiang Ancient Town Hotel (B, L)
Day 9 – Walk n' Explore
Shangri-La This beautiful part of the world is famous for the beautiful Black Dragon pool park. En route we will visit the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world and continue to see the "first bend" of the Yangste River at Shigu before travelling to Zhongdian (Shangri La). This stunning picturesque village is believed to be an inspiration for the mythical Shangri La described in James Hilton's novel "The Lost Horizon".
M Gallery Songtsam Shangri-la Hotel (B, L)
Day 10 – Walk n' Explore
Shangri-La Today we will visit the jewel of Tibetan cultures, Ganden Songzanglin Temple, built by the 5th Dalai Lama. This monastery follows the architecture of the Potala Palace in Lhasa and hosts a community of 700 monks. Later go to visit a Tibetan family and stroll in Zhongdian Old Town. Lunch at local Chinese restaurant and dinner on your own account
M Gallery Songtsam Shangri-la Hotel (B, L)
Day 11 – Walk n' Explore
Shangri-La This is a place to explore, to walk, to commune with nature. Our local guides know the area and will take you on some interesting walks that offer panoramas of the ShangriLa valley with alpine flowers and green pastures. Meet locals and visit a local Tibetan home to experience their life and culture.
Visit the beautiful Napa Lake, surrounded by the largest meadow in China. In spring and summer the area becomes a marshy wetland and attracts countless flocks of birds, such as the bar-headed goose, the common mallard, the Himalayan griffon, the egret and the white-tailed eagle. The rare and endangered black-necked cranes spend the winter here during late October to mid February.
In autumn, the prairie begins to dry out, changing into a golden hue, and flocks of yaks, horses and sheep can be seen grazing here. Lake Napa is one of the most majestic places in the world for horseback trekking during the dry season. Many locals will offer their horses for hire at a reasonable rate – it is a great way to take in what, at this time of year, has become a grassland instead of a wetland.
M Gallery Songtsam Shangri-la Hotel (B, L)
Day 12 – Transfer
Shanghai Flight to Kunming and then connect flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival, meet and transfer to the hotel. Evening free at leisure.
Pudong Shangri-la Hotel (B)
Day 13 – Tour
Shanghai The tour ends in Shanghai, China’s most stylish and modern city. During private touring, learn about Shanghai’s history through the architecture of the Bund and its museums. Visit up-and-coming neighbourhoods filled with art galleries, design shops and stylish new restaurants. But explore the old town to sample local specialities and experience its soul while walking down its narrow longtangs.
Pudong Shangri-la Hotel (B, D)
Day 14 – Depart
China Free at leisure before transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Make this your holiday
Getting There Beijing Capital International Airport, about 12 miles (19 kilometres) northeast of the city centre, is served by numerous international carriers from the UK. Taxis at the airport are plentiful; the ride into town costs about $20 and can take anywhere from half an hour to an hour and a half, depending on traffic. For the adventuresome there's also a train that whisks you in 23 minutes to a fairly central station in Beijing from which you can cab it to your hotel.
When to go The best time to visit China is during autumn (September to early November) when the skies are clear and the weather is at its comfortable best. The days are warm, sunny and dry with clear skies and pleasantly cool evenings. Local Beijingers describe this short season as tiāngāo qìshuǎng (literally ‘the sky is high and the air is fresh’).
The second-best time is spring, late March to mid-May, when winds blow away the pollution but also sometimes bring clouds of scouring sand for a day or two, turning the sky a livid yellow (great for pictures). From May onwards the mercury begins to surge well over 30°C until the rains arrive. The months of July and August are sultry and humid.
Passport/Visa Visas are required to enter, exit or transit through Chinese territories. The most common is a single entry 30-day visa. Multiple entry, 60-day and 90-day visas are also available. Passports must have a minimum of six months validity. Enquiries should be directed to the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate.