Dreaming of Shangri-La: Yunnan’s Tibetan Valleys

Send Us An Inquiry
Send Us An Inquiry
  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Save To Wish List

Adding item to wishlist requires an account


Have questions?

Don't hesitate to reach out. Our travel designers will be happy to guide you!

+86 10 6465 6602

+1 888 902 8808 (Toll Free)


Follow us on WeChat!

If you use WeChat, scan this QR code to follow our official account, WildChina_Journeys. On WeChat, you’ll have China-travel inspiration at your fingertips and we have travel designers on call 24/7 to answer your questions.

7 Days
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Venture into to the heart of fabled ‘Shangri-La’ on a journey of spiritual and cultural discovery through Yunnan’s Tibetan plateau.

About this Journey

Along the southeastern tip of the Tibetan Plateau lies a collection of humble villages that blend harmoniously into their surroundings. From mingling with shamans and monks to discovering ancient villages and verdant natural spaces, we’ll enjoy life at a slower pace; letting the trip leisurely unfold so the area’s atmosphere and nuances can truly be appreciated. Although the region’s landscapes consistently leave us slack-jawed, it’s the charm of the people you’ll meet along the way that make this journey unforgettable.

What we love
  • Kneading fresh tofu and sharing stories with a local family
  • Sharing views on village life and the modern world with a shaman-cum-chief
  • Chanting sutras with a Lama in Dongzhulin Monastery
Where you're going

Day 1 - 2Lijiang

Begin your journey in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang • Rest up or explore the small paths and canals that weave through Lijiang Old Town • Set out across Wenhai Valley to a remote village where the ‘Bimo’, or village shaman, will share his perspective on local life and his ancient faith.

Day 3 Tacheng

Arrive in Tacheng, located in Yunnan’s most rugged and mountainous northwest region, by way of Lijiang • On the way, take to the tranquil streets of Shuhe Old Town, a peaceful village nestled in a forest bordering the mountainside • Barter with locals at the fresh produce market and look out for local delicacies such as wild honey and rainbow trout • Stroll through the villages and verdant fields near your Tibetan-style lodge.

Day 4Tacheng

Rise early to visit one of China’s rarest and most adorable creatures, the snub nosed monkey • Stop in Kena village, a tiny town in Yunnan’s vast countryside and spend time with a local family, learning about life at altitude • Retrace an ancient Tibetan pilgrimage route to Dharma Cave or learn how to make soy milk and tofu with a local family in Hadda village.

Day 5Tacheng - Shangri-La

Witness monks going about their daily routine and learn about their lives at Dongzhulin Temple, the second largest Tibetan Buddhist lamasery in Yunnan • On the way to Shangri-La, set out for the ephemeral Napahai Lake which recedes into green grassland during dry season, only to be revived by fresh snowmelt • Explore the winding lanes of Dukezong Old Town, filled with multicolored Tibetan prayer flags, outdoor markets and prayer halls.

Day 6 Shangri-La

Wander through the gilded pillars and incense-filled rooms of Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan lamasery in Yunnan • Duck into the foliage of Pudacuo National Park for a chance to escape the crowds as you wander deep into the heart of Shangri-la’s wilderness.

Day 7 Shangri-La

Say zaijian (goodbye) to your local hosts as you transfer to Shangri-La Airport • Your WildChina guide will help you check in for your departure flight and your WildChina journey will draw to a close.

Recommended Hotels

Songtsam Tacheng Lodge

Luxury Boutique

Each room at the Songtsam Tacheng features a large balcony for enjoying views of surrounding river valley.

Songtsam Shangri-La

Luxury Boutique

Located right next to the Songzanlin Monastery and housed in a traditional Tibetan dwelling, Songtsam Shangri-La has made world travelers at home for ten years.


Recommended seasons





What’s Included

  • All overland transfers with private chauffeur and in-transport refreshments
  • All admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water
  • Ground transportation, including airport transfers
  • Services of an English-speaking WildChina guide
  • Private chauffeur service to and from airport at start and end of your trip

What’s Excluded

  • International and domestic flights, domestic trains, plus relevant taxes
  • Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Meals, apart from those included in the itinerary, and alcohol
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Discretionary gratuities for guides and drivers
Why WildChina

We’re on the ground with you

Our team of advisors will design every detail of the trip with you through close consultation, then orchestrate your entire journey while on the ground. We’re in the same time zone as you, so we can fulfill requests and handle issues without a hitch. With over 40 staff in Beijing and an expansive network of operational partners across the country, we have the manpower to ensure your journey is safe, reliable and comfortable from beginning to end.

Your trip, your way

Flexibility is our highest-ranking compliment. We pull off journeys for pioneers with a 6-hour layover to Hollywood’s elite, and everywhere in between. Our team regularly pulls off unprecedented logistical feats; nearly any time frame or budget is within our realm. No matter how you wish to experience China, we are here to bring that dream to life.

We embody passion

WildChina guides are carefully handpicked for their knowledge and charisma, then meticulously trained to maintain our exceptional service standards. They are expert storytellers and passionate natives of the regions where they guide, having the perfect combination of local insights and service know-how to bring you seamless once-in-a- lifetime moments all across China.

The little things, the big picture

Supporting inspired local economies allows you to experience the soul of the destination, while also protecting and cultivating China’s artisanal culture. From watching artisans hand make shoes in Yunnan, to picking organic vegetables for dinner on a local farm in Fujian, our tours are designed to showcase and protect China’s heritage, both natural and human.