|Highlights / Route:||Dali – Shaxi – Shi Bao Shan – Shuhe (Lijiang) – Shigu (Yangtze river bend) – Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-la – Jiabe Tibetan Homestay – Shangri-la|
|Character / Style:||Kinderfreundliche Erlebnisreise mit den Schwerpunkten Wandern / Radfahren / Kultur / Tempel / Minoritäten von Yunnan und Tibet/ Familienfreundlich|
|Media:||Celebrating Tibetan New Year in Jiabe Homestay Video|
|Vehicles:||4×4, SUV, Van, Bus|
Experience firsthand the country life of Tibetan families and feel the magic of offbeat locales in this unique escapade to Yunnan. We’ll team up to cook traditional Yunnan dishes, stop by a monkey colony, and adventure into the ancient tea trade route whilst exploring the cultural milieu of Yunnan, a stronghold of southern China’s cultural wealth. A fascinating hike takes us through the depths of Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world, after which we are warmly welcomed by a Tibetan family and taken for a visit to the legendary Shangri-la.
Daily itinerary: Family trip through Yunnan, Shangri-la and cooking class in Dali
|1||Arrival in Dali: Pick up from the train station or airport, and transfer to the hotel, is done. The first night is spent in a child-friendly hotel near the old town. Depending on the time of arrival, a short orientation walk is arranged in the old town.|
|2|| Dali visiting day: In the morning, a visit to the Zongsheng Si 3 pagodas is made. Breathtaking views of the lake can be witnessed from the peak of the temple complex. It was during the era of the Nanzhao Kingdom – 1200 years back – that the pagodas were built. Come late morning, children are invited to take part in a child-friendly cooking course, which begins by escorting the children by foot to an open air meat and vegetable market to buy fresh ingredients. Afterwards, a variety of dishes are explained, prepared, and then eaten together.|
Wase, a quaint fishing village on the lake’s opposite shore, is reached during the afternoon via a boat trip on the Erhai lake. Bai-fishing can be witnessed here in its full glory. The narrow streets and alleys provide a good feel of old-world country living.
|3|| Dali – Shaxi: A drive to Shaxi via Shi Bao Shan is undertaken. Stone chisel work from the time of the Nanzhao Kingdom (dating back 1200 years) adorns the mountain and is considered to be amongst the most stunning in the entire southwest China area. Many tiny temples, partly constructed into the cliff, can be seen on the mountain.|
One of the favorite attractions for children is the visit to the wild monkey colony. If desired, the monkeys may be cautiously fed by the children.
A trip to the ancient town of Shaxi is next on the agenda. Situated on the tea trade route, Shaxi is dotted with lots of historic buildings, an open theatre, and a tea trade bridge as well. The aura of this old town makes you feel transported to the past. A leisurely walk is taken through the ancient town.
|4|| Shaxi – Lijiang (Shuhe): Transfer to Shuhe 10 kilometers north of Lijiang. The walking Tour in the UNESCO world heritage site of Lijiang begins with a visit to the White Horse Dragon Pool, where market vegetables are still washed by the local Naxi minority. Many of the women are still wearing their traditional costumes. The next stop is the Zhongyi Market where locally manufactured metal products are sold. The old market square is also paid a visit. In between we have enough time for photo stops in the fantastic cobble stone old town with its many little alleys and traditional houses.|
After the old town is covered, the Black Dragon Pool (one of the landmarks of Southwest China) is explored. After this, we return to the hotel for a short break. The afternoon is spent relaxing.
|5|| Lijiang (Shuhe): A bike ride is scheduled in the morning. The old town of Baisha (6 km north of Shuhe) is visited. Baisha, a genuine old town situated amongst vast cornfields, is the non-tourist equivalent of the old town of Lijiang. The recently established weaving institute is visited, where many masters of the craft – a craft nearly destroyed during the Cultural Revolution – display the nuances of this almost vanished art that carries themes relating to the world of Naxi gods. After this, a trip is made to the Tibetan Jade Mountain Monastery (established in 1756) which houses the Tree of Camellia that has 1,000 flowers. From there, the journey proceeds on to the little village of Yuhu, situated right below the 5,500 meters high Jade Dragon Snow Mountain chain. Yuhu is a tiny and un-touristy Naxi village, where a local Naxi family welcomes us and invites us to have lunch with them.|
We return by car to Shuhe. As we drive back, we make a quick stop at the Temple of the Naxi, where we gain perspective about the Naxi Dongba culture and religion. Within the temple, revered historical figures are used to recount the intriguing history of the Naxi.
|6|| Lijiang – Shigu – Tiger Leaping Gorge: Drive to Shigu after breakfast. This is the place where the Yangtze River turns an amazing 170 degrees as it snakes its way from the Tibetan plateau to the East China Sea. Shigu is considered to be significant because it is where we have crossed the Yangtze, the Mongols, and the People’s Liberation Army. A narrow path on a bordering hill is selected to walk further to a place from where the vast vista can be admired.|
Next, we travel by car to Qiaotou, a quaint village on the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Post lunch, the hike takes us into the gorge to the Tiger Leaping Rock. Mountain trails take us across cultivated fields, affording us breathtaking scenes of the deep canyon and the flowing Yangtze River. The Tiger Leaping Rock, located in the the middle of Yangtze river, is accessible though a wooden suspension bridge. Via a steep iron ladder (child friendly) the trail leads up to the main road. We stay overnight in a guest house in a small Naxi village that is located in the gorge.
|7|| Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-la: We proceed to Shangri-la by car, where we visit the biggest prayer wheel in the world which is 21 meter high as well as Turtles mountain. After visiting the old town we travel by car to Napa lake where small excursions on horse back can be undertaken. Visit of Songtsenling Monastery, the largest monastery in southern China. Nowadays, 700 monks live and pray inside the vast compounds.|
|8|| Shangri-la – Deqin Jiabe Homestay: During the descent on the way to the homestay near the Tibetan border, we stop for lunch in Benzilan at a height of 1,900 meters. This route leads us to the Yangzte River, from where the road ascends to Deqin. After crossing the Baima Pass (4300 M), we stop for a short respite at Feilai Si, the flying temple. At a height of 3,300 meters above sea level, the viewing platform affords a spectacular view of the Kawa Karpo.|
Serpentine roads lead us down from Deqin to the banks of one of Asia’s greatest rivers: the Mekong. On route, we stop by the stalagmite rocks that are revered by Tibetans and which they surround in a clockwise manner. A cave exists within the rock, where a multitude of butter candles add luminescence to the temple housed therein.
The final part of the journey takes us to a Tibetan homestay on the Mekong River, which affords stunning views of the lunar landscape. We are welcomed for a Tibetan dinner in the kitchen of our host family in Jiabe (a green oasis). An open fire is also arranged, if the season permits. After dinner, home-distilled vodka and homemade wine are offered. An excellent view of the nearby Kawa Karpo’s peak (6.700 M) can be seen from the flat roof. At night, the starry sky can be observed. A number of farm animals (such as goats, chickens, and cows) are owned by the host family as well.
|9|| Deqin Jiabe Homestay – Shangri-la: The first activity of the morning is to drive up cattle with a family member to a hill close by, where kids can observe goats and also watch how cows are milked. After climbing a short distance up the mountain, panoramic views of the region are visible.|
In the early afternoon a return to Shangri-la by car is arranged. Visiting the hot springs in the evening is a good idea.
|10||End of the journey to Shangri la: Transfer to the airport is completed.|
Overnight stays in mid range hotels and guest houses, one overnight stay in a Tibetan homestay (without attached bathroom)
Meals, snacks, mineral water
Help for applying a Chinese visa
Flight booking service