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9 Days Great Shangri-La of Sichuan and Yunnan

9 Days Great Shangri-La of Sichuan and Yunnan

Chengdu--Xiaojin County--Daocheng--Lijiang
Duration: 9 days Departure: All year around
Highlights:
Our spiritual Shangri-La is traceless, but our concrete Shangri-La is nowhere but hidden in mountains and valleys in both Sichuan and Yunnan; we call it the Great Shangri-La which amazes beyond the boundary of provinces and space of imaginations.
DAY BY DAY
D1: Chengdu-Siguniangshan
D2: Explore Mt. Siguniang
D3: Siguniangshan-Xinduqiao
D4-D5: Xinduqiao-Shangri-La
D6: Shangri-La-Derong
D7: Derong - Feilaisi
D8: Feilaisi - Shangri-La
D9: Shangri-La - Lijiang
$ per person

Day1: Chengdu - Dujiangyan City - Siguniangshan Town (220km)

Schedule today:Leave hotel in Chengdu at about 7:30 AM, drive about 1 hour to visit the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project that under the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. This great project was built more than 2000 year ago, now it is the world's oldest no-dam water works still benefiting people today, it's this project brought Sichuan civilization into a new era and made Sichuan "A Land of Abundance". After a quick lunch in Dujiangyan City, drive another 40 minutes to Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base (aka China Giant Panda Garden), it is 20 km east from the old base damaged in the earthquake and 6 times bigger. This base is highly simulated to Giant Panda's natural habitat and hidden deep into mountains. Now there are about 32 pandas living here. After lunch in Gengda Village, we drive 2 hours towards Mt. Siguniang. The road snakes across the beautiful Wolong Nature Reserve, passing by rivers and gorges till it reaches the Balang Mountain tunnel. It's one of the highest mountain in Sichuan, and sometimes on the mountain, one can see vast spreading clouds-sea. When descending at Maobilang Pass at another side of mountain, one can get the best panoramic view of Mt. Siguniang. Stay overnight in Siguniangshan Town.

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base

Day2: Explore Mt. Siguniang

Schedule today:Mt. Siguniang consists of 3 big valleys, namely Shuangqiao Valley, Changping Valley and Haizi Valley; as Shuangqiao Valley is possible to visit mostly by sightseeing bus with some good hiking trails, Changping Valley and Haizi Valley are suitable for enthusiastic hikers, both valleys take one full day to explore by foot, horse-riding service (self-paid) is available throughout those two valleys also. Bring yourself with some water and snack on the way because there is no restaurant inside the valleys. If you choose hiking, today must be a tiring day, but the amazing sceneries on the way definitely pay off at end of the day. Most tourists praise that those 3 valleys plus the peaks compose the most beautiful pictures in western Sichuan. Stay overnight in Siguniangshan Town.

Mt. Siguniang Changping Valley

Day3: Siguniangshan Town - Xinduqiao Town (258km)

Schedule today: Leave hotel in Siguniangshan Town at about 8 AM, drive about 2.5 hours west towards Danba County, there we will visit the famous Jiaju Tibetan Village which was awarded as the TOP of the "China's Six Most Beautiful Ancient Villages" by Chinese National Geography in 2003. After lunch in Danba County, we leave south for Xinduqiao Town, on the way we can also see famous Yala Holy Mountain from its west face. 2.5 hours later, we will firstly arrive at Tagong Grassland which is noted for its stunning nomadic views; a short-time horse riding (self-paid) is possible if you want to try. Afterwards, drive towards Xinduqiao Town that is famed by photographers as the Heaven of Photography, because the autumn color of miles of huge and tall trees on both sides of road in Xinduqiao Town is highly fascinating. Stay in Xinduqiao Town tonight.

Jiaju Tibetan Village Tagong Grassland

Day4: Xinduqiao Town - Shangri-La Town (410km)

Schedule today: After breakfast, leave hotel at about 9 AM, today we're going to Shangri-La Town of Daocheng County where the dreamland Shangri-La core area of Yading Nature Reserve is located. It'll be an 8-hours driving, a total of 410 kilometers on well paved road. Driving along the road above 4500 meters high and looking afar, the distant snow-capped mountains rolling into a white-line. Those are some stunning views worthy of your whole life's memory. Reach Shangri-La Town around 6 PM and rest good for tomorrow's stunning discovery.

Haizi Mountain Red Grassland

Day5: Explore Yading Nature Reserve

Schedule today: Enter the Yading Nature Reserve in the morning and explore it a whole day. The reserve was listed onto the World Man and Biosphere Reserve Network by the UNESCO in July 2003 and seen as the core area of Shangri-La. The most stunning view is the three snow-clad peaks that connote three doctrine-defended supernatural peaks in Buddhism. Their beauty and magnificence comes from the nature and their spirit comes from the god. A legend says in 800AD that Padmasambhava extended his blessings and power to these three peaks and named the mighty east peak Guardian, the graceful north peak Avalokitesvara and the tall and nice south peak Manjusri. So these three peaks are white sacred peaks respected by local people. At their foot are vast meadows with clean streams flowing. The dense forests, alpine willow trees on the bank of rivers, valleys unified with the precipitous cliffs around exist harmoniously in this quiet world. Stay in Shangri-La Town tonight.

Yading Nature Reserve Yading Nature Reserve

Day6: Shangri-La Town - Xiangcheng County - Derong County (340km)

Schedule today: Leave early at about 8:30 AM, drive north back to Sangdui Town and then turn southwest towards Xiangcheng County where we will have our lunch here. The most attractive thing to see in Xiangcheng County is its extremely characteristic White Dwellings made of only mud and woods, the White Dwellings on the green highland barley fields like sparkling pearls scattered in a dream land. Afterwards, drive 160 KM to Derong County and stay overnight there.

Xiangcheng White Dwellings Xiangcheng White Dwellings

Day7: Derong County - Deqin County - Feilaisi (160km)

Schedule today: Since there will be not too much to drive and see on the way today, so we leave Derong late at about 9:30 AM after breakfast, drive south to Benzilan Town and then turn west towards Deqin County, on the way, we will firstly visit the Big Bend of Jinsha River, the big bend is in a very stunning U-shape. Here, we have to buy the tickets for both the Big Bend and Mt. Meili because they are sold together as a package. Mt. Meili in Deqin County with an altitude of 6740 meters is the highest mountain in Yunnan Province, and also it is one of holy mountains in Tibetan area that never been climbed so far. Visit Feilaisi Monastery and stay in a hotel nearby, ready for tomorrow's breathtaking sunrise view over the Mt. Meili, but all depends on weather.

Big Bend of Jinsha River Mt. Meili

Day8: Feilaisi - Shangri-La County (170km)

Schedule today:Get up early to view the sunrise over Mt. Meili, it is cold outside and make sure you put on warm clothes when take stunning pictures. After breakfast, drive to Shangri-La County; after lunch there, visit the Geden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery of Yellow sect in Yunnan. The monastery is reputed as 'the little Potala Palace '. Stay in Shangri-La County.

Sunrise ove Mt. Meili Geden Sumtseling Monastery

Day9:Shangri-La County - Lijiang Ancient Town (178km)

Schedule today:Leave hotel in Shangri-La at about 9AM, it takes 4 hours to reach Lijiang Ancient Town. After lunch in Lijiang and check-in, we will drive 10km north to Baisha Ancient Town which is much less touristy and commercial compared with current Lijiang. Today's Baisha Ancient Town is like what Lijiang Ancient Town liked about 10 years ago, and Yulong Snow Mountain is just behind this well preserved ancient town. The murals there in Baisha are the most famous. Drive back to Lijiang Ancient Town about dinner time and experience the bustling night life of Lijiang. The bars and restaurants in Lijiang will not close until about 11 PM.

Baisha Ancient Town Lijiang Ancient Town 

Day10: Depart Lijiang by air

Schedule today:We can explore Lijiang Ancient City more this morning and book a flight leaving Lijiang in the late afternoon. It takes around 40 minutes by taxi from ancient town to the airport in Lijiang. If you want to spend one more day here, we recommend you Shuhe Ancient Town and Tiger Leaping Gorge.

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