Are you looking for an adventure that combines stunning natural beauty, rich cultural diversity, and historical charm? If so, join us on this 8 days northwest Yunnan tour with Nu River and Tengchong, where you will explore the amazing landscapes and cultures of the Nu River Valley, one of the last free-flowing rivers in the world. And explore Tengchong, a city of volcanoes, hot springs, and jade. You will also experience the local cuisine, the traditional crafts, and the friendly people along the way.
2. Marvel at the captivating sights of the Stone Moon and the initial bend of the Nu River, two of the most stunning attractions in the Nu River Valley.
3. Discover the religious tapestry of Bingzhongluo by visiting the Chongding Catholic Church and the Puhua Tibetan Buddhism Temple, showcasing harmony and diversity.
4. Indulge in the soothing and rejuvenating experience of hot spring bathing in Tengchong, renowned as one of China’s top hot spring resorts.
5. Immerse yourself in the blend of traditional culture and contemporary art at the Handmade Paper Museum located on Gaoligong Mountain.
- Day 1: Dali - Liuku (about 4.5 hours’ drive)Liuku
Embark on your journey in the ancient city of Dali, where you'll marvel at traditional Bai architecture and culture. Hop into our air-conditioned vehicle destined for Liuku, the gateway to the Nu River Valley. Traverse picturesque landscapes, passing lush green fields, rolling hills, and quaint villages.
Upon arrival in Liuku, check into your hotel and enjoy free time exploring the town. If you like, you can delight in a unique local dining experience where well-prepared dishes are served on a wide woven-bamboo basket, making your hand the chopsticks.
Accommodation: in Liuku
- Day 2: Liuku - Laomudeng (about 2 hours’ drive) (B)Laomudeng, Laomudeng Church, Zhiziluo town
After breakfast, journey from Liuku to Laomudeng, a quaint village along the Nu River. Marvel at the Nu River's natural beauty, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it winds through deep gorges and valleys.
Visit Laomudeng Church, a 19th-century Catholic church with a simple yet elegant blend of Chinese and Western design.
As the afternoon unfolds, step back in time to the tumultuous era of China's Cultural Revolution by exploring an abandoned village. Once a thriving hub, this village fell silent as residents fled political upheaval and natural calamities. Roaming through remnants of houses, schools, and factories, you'll palpably sense the stark contrast between the village's past vibrancy and its present desolation.
Continue your historical journey by visiting the "City of Memory" in Zhiziluo town—an erstwhile county seat abandoned during the Cultural Revolution. Preserved as a museum, the town encapsulates relics and narratives of its former inhabitants, offering a poignant glimpse into the societal and historical transformations that unfolded in 20th-century China.
Accommodation: in Laomudeng
- Day 3: Laomudeng to Bingzhongluo (about 5 hours’ drive) (B)Bingzhongluo, Stone Moon, first bend of the Nu Jiang
Today's journey takes you from Fugong to Bingzhongluo, the northernmost town in the Nu River Valley. En route, relish the scenic vistas of the river and mountains, with stops at intriguing points of interest.
Among these stops is the Stone Moon, a natural arch resembling a crescent moon on a mountain—a sacred site for the Nu people who believe it houses their ancestors' spirits. Witness the breathtaking "first bend of the Nu Jiang," where the river sharply turns, forming a horseshoe-shaped curve that dazzles, especially when illuminated by the sun.
Bingzhongluo welcomes you with its serene beauty—a town embraced by snow-capped peaks, lush forests, and terraced fields. This haven is a cultural melting pot, home to diverse ethnic groups like the Nu, Lisu, Tibetan, and Dulong.
Your night will be spent in a local guesthouse, where you'll experience the genuine hospitality and warmth of the local community.
- Day 4: Bingzhongluo (B)Chongding Catholic Church, Puhua Tibetan Buddhism Temple, villages of Qiunatong, Zhanatong, and Wuli
Following the breakfast, your day unfolds with a visit to Chongding Catholic Church—a testament to the enduring legacy of French missionaries in the Nu River Valley. Erected in 1909, the church seamlessly blends Gothic architecture with a distinct Chinese influence.
Your journey continues to the Puhua Tibetan Buddhism Temple—a petite yet enchanting sanctuary situated on a hill, commanding a view of the town. Built in 1920, the temple boasts vibrant and intricate decor, featuring statues of Buddha and various deities, prayer flags, and wheels.
In the afternoon, venture into the charming villages of Qiunatong, Zhanatong, and Wuli—renowned for their picturesque charm in Bingzhongluo. Marvel at traditional wooden houses, stone bridges, and ancient trees that paint a vivid portrait of local life. Engage with amiable villagers, gaining insights into their customs and lifestyles. Embark on a moderate 6 km hike through these villages, immersing yourself in the area's natural and cultural splendor.
Accommodation: in Bingzhongluo
- Day 5: Bingzhongluo to Liuku (about 7 hours’ drive) (B)Flying Stone, Flying Across the River
Today marks the return journey from Bingzhongluo to Liuku, tracing the picturesque Nu River route. Revel in the breathtaking gorge scenery and make stops at unique locations.
One of these stops is the awe-inspiring Flying Stone—a colossal boulder seemingly suspended in mid-air. Locals attribute this stone to a divine act, believing a god threw it to block the river. Another highlight is the exhilarating Flying Across the River, a thrilling local activity where you'll traverse a running river on a cable and pulleys, feeling the rush of adrenaline and the wind in your hair.
Arriving in Liuku by evening, check into your hotel, providing a well-deserved rest after a day of driving and sightseeing.
- Day 6: Liuku to Tengchong (about 4 hours’ drive) (B)Tengchong Hot Spring Scenic Area, Heshun Old Town
After breakfast, drive from Liuku to Tengchong, a city steeped in historical and cultural significance in western Yunnan. Renowned for its volcanoes, hot springs, and jade, Tengchong also serves as a gateway to Myanmar, boasting a rich and diverse cultural tapestry.
In the afternoon, explore the Tengchong Hot Spring Scenic Area, a premier hot spring resort featuring over 80 springs with varying temperatures, sizes, and shapes. Some springs are hot enough to boil an egg, offering therapeutic benefits like stress relief, improved blood circulation, and skin healing. Take in the scenic surroundings, including waterfalls, ponds, and flowers.
Following a rejuvenating time at the hot spring, venture to Heshun Old Town—an ancient hub with a 600-year history. Once a thriving trade center and home to overseas Chinese, the town exudes nostalgia and elegance through its old houses, temples, museums, and shops.
Accommodation: in Heshun Old Town
- Day 7: TengchongHandmade Paper Museum on Gaoligong Mountain, bamboo rafting adventure on the Longchuan River
Today's exploration is a blend of tradition and modern art at the Handmade Paper Museum on Gaoligong Mountain. Nestled in a village surrounded by a sea of rape flowers, the museum showcases the history and artistry of handcrafted paper—a skill passed down through generations. Witness contemporary artists utilizing handmade paper as a medium for creative expression.
In the afternoon, embark on a breathtaking bamboo rafting adventure on the Longchuan River, a Nu River tributary. Glide along the serene water on a sturdy bamboo raft, taking in the majestic scenery and peaceful villages along the river—immersing yourself in the harmony and tranquility of nature.
Accommodation: in Tengchong
- Day 8: Tengchong Departure
Your 8-day adventure concludes today. Transfer to the airport for your departure flight, carrying unforgettable memories from this incredible journey. Have a safe and pleasant trip!