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Northwest Yunnan is the richest area in China in terms of biodiversity, boasting unique flora and fauna. This is the original location of the world's gardens: in spring and summer, the surrounding hills are blanketed with rhododendrons and camellias. The Victorians collected and brought these to the Western world. The temperate forests and lowlands contain over 3,000 species of orchids and more than 200 of the world's 400 species of rhododendron. In summer time, strikingly blue irises are in blossom along the mountain paths.

Bird watching and cycling bring travellers in close proximity to all kinds of migrant birds at their winter haven around Napa Lake, including the black-necked crane - the holy bird for Tibetans. High in the forests between the Mekong and Yangtze River lives the rare Yunnan Golden monkey (Rhinopithecus biteti), one of the world's most endangered primates - fewer than 2,000 are now found in the wild. These monkeys live at the highest altitude (3,000-4,500m) of any animal primate.

Shangri-La county is a primarily Tibetan county in north-western Yunnan province. Shangri-La means a place of good fortune and luck in Tibetan. Located in the midst of three rivers, Shangri-La is a sacred scenic region blessed with majestic mountains. Located in a wide valley surrounded by soaring snow-capped peaks, primeval forests, and pristine lakes, the region is characterized by traditional villages with white walled and richly-decorated buildings. The town itself, located at an altitude of 10,500 feet above sea level, was formerly an important staging stop for trading caravans, and retains the rich cultural heritage of the Kham, the local people of Tibetan origin. 

Tibetan women do much of the farm work, and throughout the day, they can be seen working in the fields, their bright fuchsia-coloured head scarf's popping out from the dark green backdrop. Every family raises its own livestock, including pigs, chickens, sheep, horses, and yaks, an animal that plays an extremely important role in Tibetan culture..

Experience Northern Yunnan travel and tours with Abercrombie & Kent to have an unforgettable and highly personalised holiday to China.


Useful info

china-map

Best time to be there

While there are differences in the climate according to the region in China, it is best to travel in Spring and Autumn when the weather is not too hot nor freezing cold. But we also pay attention to festival periods and special occasions.

Fly to

Beijing/Shanghai/Hong Kong (British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Virgin)

flying time

11 hours 20 minutes non-stop

time difference

GMT +7 hours

Visas

Visa required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow Fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area

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Holidays Click to change

Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:

Luxury Small Group Journeys - The Ancient Silk Road with Sujata Raman

Nights: 9 | from £6,395pp

The ancient Silk Road was a network of overland trade routes that linked China with the Mediterranean. For a thousand years or so, merchants made the... Find out more

Holiday type: Group departure

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Classic Tibet

Nights: 10 | from £4,286pp

Tibet feels like a real-life Shangri-La, a time-warp realm hid-den in the Himalaya and swirled by incense and an air of mystery. In ten days you can explore... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

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A Taste of China

Nights: 7 | from £2,807pp

Panda bears, a picture-perfect river and the Paris of the Orient – this chock-full week in China com-bines the lot, mixing relaxing cruising with explo-rations... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

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Landscapes of Yunnan

Nights: 11 | from £4,880pp

Get under the skin of the beautiful mountainous province of Yunnan on this 11 night itinerary which uncovers the province’s key sights and cultural highlights. Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

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Luxury Small Group Journeys - China & The Yangzi 2017

Nights: 9 | from £4,800pp

Stay at two of the finest hotels in China — Four Seasons Hotel Beijing and the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund Find out more

Holiday type: Group departure

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Below are some of our suggested places to stay:

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Banyan Tree Ringha

One of the most secluded hideaways in the world, Shangri-La is a remote paradise hidden in a Tibetan valley. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Banyan... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

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Songtsam Benzilan

Located in a small green valley is Songtsam Benzilan. The villagers who live in these villages are very friendly and live by their traditions. The town... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

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Songtsam Meili

Songtsam Meili overlooks the majestic Meili Mountain Range. Most of the rooms have a stunning view of Meili, a memorable experience for every guest who... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

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Songtsam Shangri-La

The Songtsam Shangri-La is a boutique lodge with 75 rooms and suites, each decorated with traditional Tibetan carpets and antiques. Some of the rooms... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

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Songtsam Tacheng

The lodge has a wonderful location to explore the beautiful area that is Tacheng. A small and intimate property beautifully designed to make the most... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Beijing to Bangkok

Nights: 18 | from £6,250pp

Uncover Asia’s rich tapestry of varying cultures and dynasties. From the ancient and modern wonders of China’s frenetic cities to the scenic beauty of... Find out more

Holiday type: Group departure

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Annie, Brandon, Debbie, Margaret, Vicky Hamlin, Vicky Smith and Rachel - are experts in designing travel experiences across the region to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of every hotel and resort featured in our Orient, India, Australasia and Indian Ocean portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout these areas, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.

Read about our lastest experiences in our Travel Blog pages.

To find out more about our Orient team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 704 or enquire online


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