Shangri-la Mei Li Snow Mountain Cycling Trip – 14 Days

Shangri-la Mei Li Snow Mountain Cycling Trip

14 Days Cycling Adventure

Designed for fit people who are interested in nature, this trip will take you through fascinating culture and dramatic scenery to the highest point in Yunnan. The tour starts in the old Tibetan town of Shangri-la. We’ll be heading north for the first couple days through a route with a stunning view of the White Horse and Mei Li mountains, then turning south along the Mekong River. This region was made a protected area by UNESCO in 2003 due to its incredible diversity of plant and animal life and striking land formations. Passing the shores of the Yangzi river we arrive at the Golden Haired monkey reserve. One of China’s most endangered species, only around sixty are still alive. We stay overnight at a village with a hundred year old Christian church and taste local wines. The wine making tradition was introduced by French missionaries. Our tour will end at the old Naxi town of Lijiang, a popular destination and enjoy a celebratory meal in town .

Tour Details

Route Description

Daily itinerary

1Flight to Shangri-la: Dinner Meeting – Introductions – Briefing – Explore Shangri-la old town. Shangri-la old town, called “Dukezong,” is located in the southeast section of the county and has a history dating back over 1300 years. Unforuantaly, in 2014, Dukezong was almost entirely destroyed in a fire. It will be interesting to see how the locals rebuild it.
2Shangri-la – Napa Lake – Songzanlin – Shangri-la: our warm-up day leads us around the Napa Lake where we can see herds of yaks and small villages and to Songzanlin Monastery. First constructed in 1679 during the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), its culture and architecture are the essence of Tibetan Buddhism. It’s the largest monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in Yunnan Province. 65 KM
3Shangri-la – Benzilan: our ride starts on a long fault road around a nature reserve, where we will see plenty of birds, horses, sheep, and Tibetan villages. We’ll tackle a 6 km uphill ride before lunch and do another 5 km uphill after, then have a long, long downhill ride through grassland and into a river vally. From there, we’ll ride through humid, oxygen rich air and beautiful golden wheat filds. We end the day at a small farming town called “Benzilan,” with the Yangzi river nearby. 93KM
4Benzilan – Dongzulin Monastery: Dongzulin Monastery (“Gadan,” or “a temple benefit others and oneself” in Tibetan) was first constructed in 1667, in the late Qing Dynasty. . The monastery has housed over 700 lamas and 10 living Buddhas. 32 KM
5Dongzulin – Deqin: this ride, a long uphill taking us to over 4300m in altitude, will be the toughest of whole trip, but it’ll be worth it for the incredible Baima Snow Mountain views. Overnight, we will stay at a guesthouse with a view of the Mei Li Snow Mountain. Sunrise from Mei Li Mountian will be absolutely stunning. 75 KM
6Hike to Yubeng village: Yubeng is a small, secluded Tibetan village tucked away at the foot of the Mei Li Snow Mountain in Deqin county. It is only accessible by foot, horse, or mule. The village offers a fabulous view of the Mei Li Snow Mountains. Hiking distance: 10km
7Hike Yubeng – Deqin – Cizhong: Cizhong village is famous for its church and wine production. The church is an interesting mixture of traditional Chinese , European Gothic, Tibetan, and Yunnan style architecture. Built in 1909, the church services around 600 Chinese Catholics. We will stay at a local family’s house, eating fresh vegetables from their garden and drinking wine made locally in the style taught to them by a former missionary. Hiking distance: 15 KM – Cycling distance: 45 KM
8Rest day in Cizhong: On your free day your options include Taichi in the morning, Yoga or exploring Cizhong’s church. Some history: French missionaries came to Cizhong and found the soil and climate conditions perfect for cultivating grapes. Along with Christianity, they brought grape seeds and the techniques for making wine. For the past five hundred years, most Cizhong families have grown Rose Honey grapes and produced wine.
9Cizhong – Kangpu: On the way to Kangpu, we will visit the UNESCO ecological cultural village, Tongle. On extremely steep fields, the village grows corn, nuts, fruit, buckwheat, potatoes, herbs, and vegetables. At harvest time, they have to tie themself to trees to harvest their crops. 75 KM
10Kangpu – Weixi: This ride will be on smooth roads with just a few short uphills. There are three tunnels along the way. At night, we will stay at the Naxi minority city “Weixi,” which has plenty of shops and restaurants. We’ll have a chance to explore local market the next morning, after breakfast. 70 KM
11Weixi – Tacheng: in Tacheng, we will have a chance to visit the golden haired, or snub nosed, monkey reserve. They are one of China’s most endangered species, with only around 60 currently protected. 70 KM
12Tacheng – Laojunshan: Today’s ride is another highlight of our trip, with rides through many Naxi and Bai minority villages and farmland. People are super friendly and the views are fantastic. 94 KM
13Laojunshan – Shigu: Shigu is at the frist turn of the Yangzi river. Here, the river turns 180 degrees, from south-bound to north-bound, and flows towards to Shanghai. We’ll have lunch at Shigu then drive to Lijiang.Our tour ends at the old Naxi town of Lijiang, a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists. 40 KM
14Departure day: Have a drink or two and relax. You deserve it!

Duration: 14 days
Cycling days: 9
Rest days: 1
Hiking days: 2
Total cycling distance: 659 km Group size: Min 1 / Max 12

Included service:
13 overnight stays Meals:Breakfast/ Lunch Mineral water and snacks Entrance fee tickets to sights Tour leader
Quality, well-maintained mountain bike
Airport pick-up
Bike tools and spare parts
Support vehicle and driver
Support organizing your trip to China
Support with your Chinese visa application in your country
Price: 1980 EUR p.p. in a group of four. Prices for smaller / larger groups on request.

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