On the Trail of Pilgrims

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5 Days
Spring, Fall

Venture into the untouched wilderness of Yading Nature Reserve, where a trio of sacred peaks cast their shadow over aquamarine lakes and Tibetan traditions still endure. You’ll visit isolated mountain temples, lamaseries and Tibetan towns in this little-visited region locals know as “heaven on Earth.”

About this Journey

Get into the rhythm of Tibetan life in western Sichuan in an area which locals call “heaven on Earth,” You’ll travel along the Tibetan pilgrimage trails of Sichuan and explore the stunning natural beauty of Yading Nature Reserve, where aquamarine lakes lie in between soaring mountains and foliage changes color with the seasons. Yading is regarded as a holy site by local Tibetan Buddhists, home as it is to three spiritual mountains. While there is an official “Shangri-La” county in Yunnan, those who have been to Yading and nearby Riwa village say that traveling here is like stepping straight into the pages of James Hilton’s Lost Horizon.

What we love
  • Exploring the local trail to Frog Lake, a secret gem largely unknown to travelers
  • Venturing into the home of a local Tibetan teacher, who along with his family will teach you the art of Tibetan calligraphy
Where you're going
Daocheng map

Day 1

Explore the colorful halls of the mountainside Bengpu Temple, the oldest lamasery in Daocheng dating back over 900 years, and gaze upon the famed self-made statue of the founder of the Himalayan Buddhism Kagyu white sect • Deepen your understanding of Tibetan culture by getting to know a Tibetan family in the comfort of their delicately painted traditional home • Enjoy a scenic drive to the Tibetan town of Riwa, buried deep in the mountains and also known as the “new Shangri-La”

Day 2 - 3

Explore Yading Nature Reserve, home to three spiritual mountains which Tibetan Buddhists believe symbolize the compassion, wisdom and energy needed to achieve enlightenment • Wander through the verdant Luorong Pasture which sits between Yading’s three mountains and gaze into the clear green and blue waters of Milk Lake and Five Color Lake •
Hike or travel by horseback to the lesser-known Frog Lake, where you will enjoy a picnic surrounded by sacred mountains

Day 4 - 5

Learn the art of Tibetan calligraphy in the home of a Tibetan teacher as you enjoy traditional Tibetan snacks and yak butter tea with his family • Explore the isolated mountainside Rewu Temple, which boasts more than 600 years of history • Enjoy a traditional Tibetan meal of dried yak meat, baked bread with seasoned fillings and more


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
  • All meals as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water
  • All services of WildChina English-speaking guide(s) and expert
  • 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, health and trip cancellation 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 chauffeurs
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.

2 Reviews
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A & R

Couple Traveller

We had a good trip with NatHab and saw lots of pandas (none in the wild but they told us that would be exceedingly rare) but plenty of cute babies playing and we got to clean some panda enclosures and feed them some carrots. Also, saw the golden snub-nosed monkeys which were very entertaining and the beautiful golden pheasants and lots of Takin and other wildlife.

You and your staff did an excellent job in organizing our trip and we will definitely refer our friends and will contact you again when we return to China.

May 19, 2019


Couple Traveller

As a seasoned traveler who is on the road 300 days out of the year, having WildChina plan our 3-week China itinerary through Yunnan and Sichuan provinces was beyond perfect. Taking into account our preferences around food, lodging, and sights – they were able to put together a customized schedule that matched our interests. Everything from the transfer vehicle, accommodations, and guides were beyond our expectations. There’s simply no better company to help travelers discover the best of China. I can’t wait to return again, knowing that WildChina will have the perfect itinerary ready.

October 25, 2018