With ancient monasteries, stunning natural sites, time-honored architectures, and magnificent snow-capped mountains coexist, Shangri-la looks like it was plucked from the pages of a mysterious storybook.
If you are drawn to the surreal setting of sunrise, then put Meili Snow Mountain on your list of places to visit in Yunnan. And if you want an ultimate glacier hiking experience, head to Mingyong Glacier with the lowest latitude and elevation of all glaciers in China.
If you want to cover all the above in one trip, this 5-day itinerary should be your ideal choice. Beyond Shangri-la and Meili Snow Mountain, more attractions and sightseeing are included to enhance your tour experience.
Highlights of this tour: *Enjoy a full-day trip in Shangri-la and immerse yourself in the holy land with the grand monastery, verdant forests, meadows, wetlands, rare flora and fauna, and ancient Tibetan dwellings. *Head to Meili Snow Mountain to capture the surreal view of sunrise when the snow-covered peaks are colored in reddish and orange. *Marvel at the Moon Bay where the Yangtze River bends in a magical “Ω” shape. *Enjoy an ultimate glacier hiking experience at Mingyong Glacier.
English speaking tour guide + Driver + Vehicle + Entrance fee
Please make your own way to Shangri-la. When you arrive at Shangri-la Diqing Airport, the local driver will pick you up from the airport by holding a welcome board with your name, and transfer you to a local hotel.
Free and easy on your own for rest of the day.
Note: No tour activities or English tour guide service for today.
After breakfast, head to Songzanlin Monastery. This largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan rises from a hill at over 3300 meters. Being built by imitating the layout of the Potala Palace in Tibet, Songzanlin Monastery is in the traditional Tibetan style with a magnificent atmosphere, so it is also called the Little Potala Palace. The halls and inner walls are filled with spectacular murals, Buddha josses, golden lamps, silver censers, etc. narrating Buddhist history, legends, and former glory.
Next, move to Pudacuo National Park. The first national park in China, it features primitive landscapes with verdant forests, meadows, streams, wetlands, rare flora and fauna, plus minority villages. The main scenic spots here include Shudu Lake, Bita Lake, and Militang Grassland. It is a paradise for photographers and outdoor enthusiasts, and the miles of wooden trails are perfect for strolling and taking in the scenic beauty.
Then, take a leisure stroll around Dukezong Ancient Town. This 1,300-year-old town was once a key stop on the Ancient Tea-horse Road. The traditional Tibetan dwellings, ancient temples, and alleyways with authentic shops and restaurants make a dreamland for those who want to experience the authentic Tibetan culture and customs.
Besides the beautiful souvenirs like jewelry, thangka paintings, incense, you will also meet the Guishan Park where you can have a bird view of the ancient town and see the world’s largest prayer wheel.
After breakfast, drive around 5 hours to Deqin County (3400m altitude). You won’t be bored since there are many amazing views on the way!
You will pass by Nixi Pottery Village which is famous for its long history of pottery-making techniques and well-made black potteries.
Continue driving along G214, you will visit Benzilan, the First Bend of Jinsha (Yangtze) River, and Dongzhulin Monastery.
Benzilan: You will take a break from the hectic driving at Benzilan Town, a beautiful town on the riverbank of Jinsha River. Once an important station on the Ancient Tea Horse Road, Benzilan will catch your eyes with many charming traditional houses and lodges, orchards, and cultivated fields.
The First Bend of Jinsha River (aka Moon Bay): Is is about 20 minutes' driving from Benzilan. Here a viewing platform was built for visitors to enjoy an incredible view of the Jinsha River in a Ω-shaped bend.
Dongzhulin Monastery: On the mid-journey from Shangri-la to Deqin, Dongzhulin Monastery can be dated back to 1667. It’s a treasure house of Buddhist culture with numerous Buddhist statues, Tangkar scroll paintings, Buddhist stupas, and religious instruments.
In the late afternoon, you will finally arrive at Feilai Temple in Meili Snow Mountain. Check in the hotel and have a good rest. A gorgeous sunrise view will be waiting for you the next day.
Get up early in the morning to catch the best highlight of Meili Snow Mountain - the marvelous sunrise view. The amazing moment of sunrise offers nothing short of golden and dramatic views at Meili Snow Mountain. The snow-covered peaks are so vivacious when colored in reddish and orange.
After breakfast, drive about 1 hour to Mingyong Village for hiking and visiting Mingyong Glacier. From Mingyong Village, you will walk about 2 hours to reach Taizi Temple, and what comes with it is a stunning view of the Mingyong Glacier.
Among many glaciers in China, Mingyong Glacier is the one with the lowest latitude and elevation which stretches out like a silver dragon rush to Lantsang River. It contributes to one of the most popular hiking routes in Yunnan.
After the hiking, drive around 4.5 hours back to Shangrila.
Friendly tip: You will hike for around 2-2.5 hours to visit Mingyong Glacier.
The core of our service is excellent travel guides. Over 20 years, we have built up a considerable professional guide team that is knowledgeable, attentive and flexible. The most experienced and reliable guides will be arranged for your unique China tour. Our passionate guide team is full of contagious enthusiasm and keen interest to share culture and history in a pleasant manner. We are always glad at your service to lead you to explore a real China and experience authentic local life in China.
Our Driver and Vehicle
The first mission of our service is to ensure you feel safe and comfortable during your travel. The vehicles we use are air-conditioned, clean and well-maintained. Our drivers are all licensed drivers with many years of driving experience. Moreover, we offer free baby seats for families with little kids.
Food is a very important part of Chinese culture. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to taste the real local Chinese food!
Buffet breakfast will be included in the hotel if you would like accommodation to be arranged by us. Having lunch at local restaurants close and convenient to the attractions you will visit, you would enjoy the local dishes in each city. Chinese style, Vegetarian or Muslim meals are all available. If you have any other diet requirements or allergies, please feel free to let us know, we will try our best to organize it.
For daily dinner, you are suggested to have it on your own when you are exploring each city in your own time, this way would be more flexible for you to choose food as per your interest and preference.