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Best Time To Go

March - May & July - November

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Holiday Length

11 nights

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Price guide

From £5,455pp

The price shown is a guide - based on two people sharing and generally includes economy flights. Your holiday will be tailor-made to suit you and there are many factors that can influence the price, such as standard of accommodation, class of flight and time of year. Ask your travel specialist for more information.
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Holiday type

Tailor-made

Highlights

The Search for Shangri-La

Take a journey to legendary Shangri-La, searching out the fabled land as you experience the natural, cultural and historical wonders of Yunnan. You’ll be stepping right off the beaten track to explore sacred glaciers and to meet the inhabitants of untouched Tibetan villages that are sheltered by majestic mountains. Unearth the secrets of the captivating Songzanglin Monastery as you discover the ethereal beauty of terraced rice fields and lose yourself in the misty peaks of Tacheng. Encounter the unique snub-nosed Yunnan golden monkey in the photogenic Tacheng Nature Reserve but, above all, find those elusive magical mountain environs of Shangri-La.

Trip details

Here's a taste of your next A&K holiday
Interested in exploring this trip in more detail?
View itinerary schedule

UK - Beijing

Don’t waste a moment of precious holiday time. It makes sense to lengthen your stay in China with an overnight flight from Heathrow to Beijing.

Beijing - Lijiang

As soon as you land at Beijing International we’ll be there to help you take the connection to Lijiang. This UNESCO as a World Heritage Site is a picturesque, ancient town, nestled at the foot of the Himalayas. Relax: your hotel is just a short drive away.

Lijiang

A morning drive to the villages of Baisha and Longquan affords you a glimpse of Naxi culture thanks to a series of historic frescoes. Back in Lijiang you can now explore the Venice of the Orient. The quaint Old Town is a maze of narrow streets crisscrossed by canals and ancient bridges. After lunch, a stroll through picturesque Black Dragon Pool Park promises spectacular views over Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Lijiang - Tacheng

Today's four-hour road-trip is an adventure in itself, scaling ever higher and more twisting mountain roads. You’ll have the chance to stop at rural villages to interact with the friendly villagers but your ultimate destination is the picturesque Songtsam Tacheng Lodge. For the next two nights you'll be surrounded by a mountain valley panorama where rice farmers and beekeepers have toiled for generations. The setting is classic Yunnan, a soothing antidote to the bustling Chinese cities.

Tacheng

At the Tacheng Nature Reserve, take an inspirational trek through verdant forest packed with exotic flora and birdlife. The visit also presents you with an unobtrusive way to observe traditional rural life, while keeping your eyes peeled for the unique and elusive snub-nosed monkeys that inhabit the unspoiled uplands. Don't forget your binoculars and camera.

Tacheng - Meili

Another dramatic mountain drive takes you to the village of Mingyong, home to a sacred glacier fed by the pure snow that falls on Mount Meili. Arriving at the Songtsam Meili Lodge, you can't fail to be impressed. Situated at 3,600 metres, this exceptional hotel offers views in every direction over the snowy peaks of the Meili Mountain Range.

Meili

It's worth getting up early to catch the mesmeric sunrise at Kawagebo. Not only is this the highest mountain in Yunnan but also a deeply spiritual place. To experience it in context, you will witness a small religious ceremony, and afterwards follow in the footsteps of the countless pilgrims on an ancient winding path in search of enlightenment. A leisurely picnic lunch affords an opportunity to reflect on your experience.

Meili - Benzilan

You may choose to start the day with a Zen Buddhist meditation session. Having achieved inner calm you’ll set off for Benzilan, the gateway to the glacier of Meili Snow Mountain National Park. A magical journey will take in the snow-capped peaks, lakes and canyons of the Baima Nature Reserve, home to the world’s largest primeval forest. You'll visit the wondrous, gold-roofed Dongzhulin Monastery, built in 1667, before finally heading to your welcoming hotel retreat.

Benzilan

The Songtsam Benzilan, your home for two nights, is tucked away in a tranquil mountain valley. It’s just perfect for walking and longer hikes, absorbing the peaceful ambience of your surroundings. You may choose to head for the nearby village to meet the friendly locals and discover their traditional arts and crafts, or even take part in a lacquer bowl painting workshop.

Benzilan - Zhongdian

Your day begins with a visit to the village of Nixi, where you’ll learn how the distinctive black pottery, unique to the region, is made. Travelling on to Zhongdian, an unforgettable evening awaits. You’re personally invited to dinner in the home of a Tibetan family. It’s sure to be a lively, disarming evening that will leave you with a lasting impression of this charming region.

Zhongdian

Today is all about immersion in Tibetan culture. Expect prayer wheels and towering temples aplenty in the midst of a mountain landscape that is punctuated by flower meadows and serene lakes. Songzanglin Monastery is a real highlight, built under the Dalai Lama in the 17th-century, and still active today. Walk the cobbled lanes of Zhongdian’s Old Town amid ancient wooden buildings and enjoy the evening’s thrilling performance of Tibetan dance.

Zhongdian - UK

It's time to say goodbye to Yunnan as you head to the airport for your flight to Kunming, and on to Hong Kong where you'll connect with your onward flight home.

Asia & Australasia team

From Tokyo's sacred shrines to the snow-capped mountains of New Zealand, our well-travelled team will craft the right itinerary for you
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