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Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas Jinsha River Mekong River Nujiang River Tour - 18 Days

Destination: Three Parallel Rivers Grand Canyons Jinsha River Mekong River Nu River Tour
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The Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas lies within the drainage basins of the upper reaches of the Yangtze (Jinsha), Lancang (Mekong) and Nujiang (Salween) rivers, in the Yunnanese section of the Hengduan Mountains.Originating in the Tanggula Mountain on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Jinsha River, Lancang River and Nu River flow parallel along the Hengduan Mountains for several hundred kilometers. It is a very rare phenomenon that the shortest distance between the Lancang River and Jinsha River is only 66 kilometers (about 41 miles) and between the Lancang River and Nu River the distance is less than 19 kilometers (about 12 miles). Interestingly, their entrances to different seas are thousands of kilometers away. This protected area covers Nu Jiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Lijiang District. The Three Parallel Rivers have spectacular scenery that is composed of the rivers, mountains, rare plants, animals and 16 ethnic groups inhabitation. Although this region has been acknowledged as a natural World Heritage Site, its demographic make-up also is highly interesting as it contains many of the twenty-five minorities found in Yunnan province including the Derung, the smallest of all of China's minority groups. Some of the other minorities found in this region are the Tibetan people, the Nu people, Lisu, Bai, Pumi and Naxi. Many of these minorities still use traditional costumes as their normal daily attire.
Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$3200/persons 3200USD/Person

Day 1 Kunming

Sightseeing: the Green Lake,Kunming City
Special Experience:Enjoy welcoming dinner of Yunnan Flavouring food with crossing Bridge Rice Noodle and Steam Pot Chicken.

You'll begin your journey to the diverse and captivating province of Yunnan from the capital city, Kunming. Upon arrival at the Kunming Airport, meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel. And then, you will take a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings. If time permits, you will have a Kunming city tour. Enjoy welcoming dinner of Yunnan Flavouring food with crossing Bridge Rice Noodle and Steam Pot Chicken/Qiguoji.

Day 2 Kunming-78KM-Stone Forest-Lijiang 
Sightseeing: the Stone Forest, Guandu Ancient Town, Jingang Temple

You will drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. An old local saying says that 'If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.' Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan. After lunch drive back Kunming to visit the Guandu Ancient Town which is a famous historical & cultural town in Kunming; it keeps the main architectural style of Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. Take the nightflight to Lijiang, then you will start your Three Paralel River adventure tour.

Day 3 Lijiang
Sightseeing: Black Dragon Pool, Dongba Museum, Lijiang Ancient Town, Lion Hill, Wangu Tower, Mu Palace
Optional Special Experience:Enjoy Naxi Orchestral and Music performance in Naxi Concert at night.

In the morning, you'll head for the scenic Black Dragon Pool and the Dongba Museum to explore the rich Naxi minority culture. Walk to the top of the Lion Hill behind Lijiang Ancient Town, climb up to the top of Wangu Tower where you will have a panoramic view of Lijiang Ancient Town and New City. Walk down to visit Mu Palace in the afternoon.

In the late afternoon, explore Lijiang Old Town.Lijiang Old Town has a history more than 800 years; it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi ethnic people. After dinner, you will attend the Naxi Orchestral Music in Naxi Concert in Lijiang Ancient Town.

Day 4 Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Nuoyu village
Sightseeing: the First Bend of Yangtze River,Longpan Naxi ethnic Town, the upper Tiger Leaping Gorge, Nuoyu Village
Trekking Duration:6-7hours

Check out in the hotel, drive about 100KM to Qiaotou Tow(Tiger Leaping gorge Town). Drive along the Naxi ethnic villages and the upper Yangtze River, with a panoramic view of the First Bend of Yangtze River on the way. You will start the trekking of Tiger Leaping Gorge, as one of the world's four great gorges, is honored as one of the deepest and most marvelous gorges with 3900 meters in depth.
Start the trekking form the Qaiotou Primary School, after half an hour, arrive in Changsheng Village, pay a visit to Changsheng Hope Primary School. Arrive in Zhong Nuoyu village at noon and have lunch in Naxi Family Guesthouse. After lunch, you will start the most difficult part trekking to the 28 Zigzag Bends trail and reach the top peak at the elevation of 2670m.

You will arrive at Half-Way Guest House to finish today's trekking. There is a nice platform on the roof of Halfway Guesthouse, aftr dinner, you will drink and enjoy the wonderful Jade Dragon Snow Mountain facing to Bendiwan Village.

Note: While you are walking in the gorge, our support t eam will take all of your luggage to meet you at Tina's Inn, so you only need to carry two bottles of water, chocolate and camera on the trip.


Day 5 Halfway Guesthouse -Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangrila
Sightseeing: Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge, Guanyin Waterfall, Walnut Grove Gargen Village, Baishuitai Terrace, Dongkezong Ancient Town
Trekking Duration:4 hours

Get up in the early morning, hiking down to Tina's Guest house passing a small but high waterfall on the way. The trail from Halfway Guesthouse to Guanyin Waterfall is much easy but very small ,but you will have a nice view of the middle gorge from the cliff. After the Guanyin Waterfall, you will walk down and through the Bamboo Forest, then arrive at Tina's Hostel.

Note: It is an option to hike down to the Middle Rapids of Tiger Leaping gorge, because it is very steep, verticle and a challenge hiking down to the river. Actually you do not have time to hike in the middle rapids, because you will continue the trip to Baishuitai and Shangrila.

You will have an option trekking further down to the Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge and back,it will take you about three hours, you will firstly trek from Tina's Guesthouse down to Teacher Zhang's Guesthouse, where you can have a nice view fo the middle gorge looks like a big gate.It is quite steep trail from Teacher Zhang's Guesthouse down to the Middle Rapids.

From the Middle Rapids,there are two small trails back to the road, the first is climb the Tianti or ¡°Sky Ladder¡± to the Sky Ladder Guesthouse about 200KM away from Tina's Guesthouse, this is a challenge, vertical and dangerous climbing. Usually we choose the lower trail and trek to the Walnut Grove Garden, this is a nice trekking along the Yangtze River. Take the minibus for a short driving back to Tina's Guesthouse for one night stay, because Tina's is the best location to enjoy the scenery of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Drive to White Water Terrace at the foot of Haba Snow Mountain Guesthouse , where the Naxi culture originated. The name of the Baishuitai Village comes from the white rock formations shaped like small rice terraces located just above the town. Another 3-4 hours drive west and reach Shangri-la, the former name "Zhongdian", a small town on the Tibetan Plateau at 3300 meters above the sea level. In Dukezng Ancient Town, around 7:00 at night,some Tibetan people and tourists will dance around Sifang Square in Dukezong Ancient Town,you will be warm welcomed by local people.


Day 6 Shangri La 
Sightseeing: Sogzanlin Monastery, Bita Lake & Shudu Lake, the largest prayer wheel and the Guishan Park
Optional Special Experience:Enjoy the bonfire party in a Tibetan family with butter oil tea and Tibetan snacks.

In the morning, visit the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias - 'the little Potala Palace ', so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere. Walk around Songzanlin Monastery.

And afterwards you'll visit the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park Pudacuo National Park is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. While the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China's land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country's plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species.

In the late afternoon, walk around Dukezong Tibetan Ancient Town which was an important town of the Tea-horse Trade Road from Yunnan to Tibet and India for the tea trading.Climb up to the top of Tortoise Hill, you will see the largest Prayer Wheel in the world, have a panoramic view of Jiantang Town and Dukezong Ancient Town as well as some white pagodas,tibetan colorful prayer flags and monasteries. Finally, you will visit a Tibetan's family to experience the local life in the bonfire party with Tibetan dance and music and you will try Tibetan home-made yak and cheese.


Day 7 Shangri La - Feilaisi in Deqin 
Sightseeing: the Moon Bend of Jinsha River, Jinsha River Grand Canyon, Baima Snow Mountain, the sunset of Meili Snow Mountain and the 13 white pagodas

In the morning, drive 6 to 7 hours to Deqin County (3400m altitude) which is 187km away from Shangri-La. The view along the way is fantastic with different kinds of trees, streams down the valley, prayer flags and stupas, and Tibetan villages. From Shangri-La, after half an hour driving, you will have a panoramic view of Nixi Pottery Village; drive town to the river valley, continue the nice scenery along the Jinsha River to Benzilan Town where you will have lunch.

After lunch, drive uphill to the Dongzhulin Monastery which is located in Shusong Village, Benzilan District, Deqin County, and 105km from the seat of Zhongdian County. The Yunnan-Tibet Road passes behind the temple and cars can get straight to the temple. The Dongzhulin Monastery was built in 1667, the sixth year of the Kang Xi Period in Qing Dynasty.  Visit the First Bend of Jinsha River or Moon Bend, which is the boundary between Sichuan and Yunnan. This is different from the First Bend of Yangtze River in Lijiang City. The bend in Shigu Town changes the flow direction of the Yangtze River but in Benzilan, the Moon Bend is just a grand bend between the mountains with an impressive scenery. Visit Baimang Snow Mountain Nature Reserve, you will be able to view Baimang Snow Mountain if the weather is clear, pass the top part of today at 4292m altitude at 156km.

Arrive in Feilaisi in the late afternoon, you will have a nice sunset view of Meili Snow Mountain from the Sightseeing Platform, where you can see the 13 white pagodas meaning of the 13 peaks of Meili Snow Mountain over 6,000 meters (19,685 feet) above sea level, known as the "Prince's 13 peaks".

Day 8 Feilaisi-Lancang-Mekong Grand Canyon-Cizhong 
Sightseeing: the sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain, Lancang-Mekong Grand Canyon, Mingyong Glacer,Mingyong Village,Xidang Village,Cizhong Catholic Church
Trekking Duration:Around 4 hours.

Early in the morning, you will enjoy the magnificent sunrise view of Meili Snow Mountain from Feilaisi, then drive to Mingyong Village. Hike from Mingyong village to Mingyong Glacier (2600m) which is the low altitude glacier of the lowest latitude in the world.

After lunch in Mingyong Village, you will trek down directly to the edge of Meikong River(2,050m/6,724ft) . Walk along the Mekong Grand Canyon and arrive in Xidang Village(2,200m/7,216ft) where you can visit some scattered Tibetan houses in the village. Drive to along the Lancang-Mekong River to Cizhong Village in Yanmen Town.
Drive south along the Mekong Grand Canyon to Cizhong Village in Yanmen Town with some Tibatan villages en route, here you can see the different hoses from Shangri-la. Visit the Tibetan Catholic Church built by French missionaries in 1867, the church is used by Tibetan, Naxi and Lisu people. They still have the grapes planted by missionaries and old the traditional way of making wine.

Day 9 Cizhong ¨CKangpu-Zhonglu-Weideng
Sightseeing: Lancang-Mekong River, Naxi and Lisu ethnic villages
Drive further south along the Mekong gorge to Weideng Township, you will drive through these Lisu and Naxi ethnic towns with Badi Town,Baijixun Town,Yezhi Town, Kangpu Town,Zhonglu Town in Weixi LisuAutonomous County of DiqingTibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and finally arrive in Weideng Town and stay one night there. All of these towns are located at the bank of Lancang River with a wonderful view on the driving.

Enjoy the landscape of the Mekong with mountains, terraces, villages on the both sides of the valley, and we will make stops to visit Naxi and Lisu villages and a church en route, people here live in the traditional houses built with wooden walls and tile roofs. As the road construction work is going on here, we may need to wait sometimes.

Day 10 Weideng -Zhongpai-Yingpan- Biaochun 
Sightseeing: Lancang-Mekong River, Bai ethnic Villages, Lisu ethnic villages

Drive further south along the Mekong River to Biaocun Ethnic Township. A nice day driving again with the upper Mekong River through Zhongpai Town, Shideng Town,Yingpan Town,Tuer Town in Lanping County of Nujiang Prefecture,; finally arrive in Biaocun Lisu ethnic Township for one night stay which is located in Yunlong County of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture.
You will stop to visit Lisu, Bai and Yi villages on the way. Biaocun Lisu Ethnic Township is located at the bank of Lancang-Mekong River in Yunlong County. You will have a great view of the Mekong gorge. Visit the cable suspension bridge of Lancang-Mekong River as well. The villages here are faraway from the road for a long time, so they keep more traditions than the people of the same ethnic groups from the other places.

Day 11 Biaochun ¨CLaowo- Liuku 
Sightseeing: Lancang-Mekong River, Bai ethnic Villages, Lisu ethnic villages, the Nujiang-Salween River, Nujiang Grand Canyon

Drive south along the Mekong to Laowo(ÀÏÎѺÓ) River and turn to the west direction in Mofang. Drive over Laowo Mountain, and arrive in Laowo Bai Ethnic Township heading for the Salween River to the Salween Grand Canyon at Liuku Town.You will walk along the Nujiang River in Liuku Town in the late afternoon.

Day 12 Liuku-248KM-Gongshan 
Sightseeing: the Nujiang Grand Canyon, the Suspension Bridges, Nu Ethnic Villages

Drive from Liuku to Gongshan. On the way you can enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Nujiang Grand Canyon. You firstly drive north along the Salween to Fugong, visiting Laohutiao(ÀÏ»¢Ìø) where you can walk through the huge rocks in the Salween and feel the water of the Salween. You will enjoy the dramatic landscape of the gorges along the way with visits to villages as carrying on.Arrive in Gongshan County in the late afternoon.

The 316-kilometer-long Nujiang River Gorge is flanked by two 4,000-meter-high mountains. The mountain peaks on the two sides have an average altitude of over 3,000 kilometers. The gorge is located in Yunnan Province in southwestern China, an area rich in ethnic minority culture. It is now a first choice for many domestic and foreign travelers.Overnight in Gongshan.

Day 13 Gongshan- 44KM- Bingzhongluo 
Sightseeing: Bingzhongluo Village, Nujiang River (Salween River), the First Bend of Nujiang River

One full day excursion to Bingzhongluo, sightseeing includes the first bend of Nujiang River (Salween River), the stone house of the Nu Nationality, Peach Island, the Tibetan Puhua Temple. You will then have the chance to visit a minority household and experience the life of the local people.

Drive north along the Salween to see the changes of the Salween Gorge and visit villages, hopefully you will see the locals cross the Salween by a rope, that's the way people crossing the Salween for hundreds of years and still do the same today. The further we drive the better of the landscape we see, we can walk cross a bridge and visit a Lisu village with wooden houses. Visit the First Bend of the Salween before arriving Bingzhongluo.Overnight in Bingzhongluo.


Day 14 Bingzhongluo-Gongshan-110KM-Fugong
Sightseeing: Nujiang River (Salween River), Bingzhongluo Village, Nu ethnic village.

Today you take our time to the villages and the churches around Bingzhongluo. The villages here are nicely located near the Salween on a slope with terraces and high mountains around them. It's only 30km to Tibet, before the road to Tibet was built, many Tibetans would come to the market here to shop with their horses. Today, Tibetans still come but use trucks instead of horses. We also drive a few kilometres further into the Gorge to visit Shimeng Guang, and walk up to visit a village of Nu people living in the wooden houses.

Leave Gongshan and drive 110 km through the fascinating mountain areas to Fugong. Sightseeing includes a visit to a suspension bridge and a glide cable. Special Lishu food will be served during dinner. In the evening you will take part in a party with the local people.Overnight in Fugong


Day 15 Fugong-135KM-Liuku-Tengchong
Sightseeing: Nujiang Grand canyon, Laomudeng Village, Gaoli Gongshan Mountain,Heshun Ancient Town

Return to Liuku along the Salween via Gongshan and Fugong. The same road as you came along the Salween River. Enjoy your last day at Nujiang Grand canyon and visit Laomudeng Village and the bathhouse of Lishu Nationality. It is a tradition to welcome new year that all people take a bath together in the open hot springs by the banks of the river.

After lunch in Liuku Town, you will continue the driving to Tengchong County. Drive south along the Salween. As it's hot and humid in the gorge here, Dai people who live here use big banyan trees to surround the villages, Tropical plants are grown here such as papaya, pineapple, banana and coffee. The famous Yunnan Coffee is grown in this area near the Salween. Arrive in Heshun Ancient Town in Tengchong County in the late afternoon, you will be free in Heshun Ancient Town and enjoy the relax life after the wonderful Three Parallel River Grand Canyons adventure tour.

Day 16 Tengchong 
Sightseeing: Heshun Ancient Town,Heshun Library, the Archway, Dragon Pool,the Wanlouzi Museum of Native Residence,the Museum of Yunnan-Burmese Anti-Japanese, Rehai Hot Spring Park
Optional Special Experience:Enjoy the natural hot spring about three hours in Rehai Hot Spring.

After breakfast drive to Tengchong County, visit Nujiang River Bridge in Lujiang Basin, drive along the Gaoli Gongshan Mountain and arrive in Tengchong at noon. After lunch, you will visit Heshun Ancient Town including the Museum of Yunnan-Burmese Anti-Japanese War,Heshun Library, the Archway, Dragon Pool,the Wanlouzi Museum of Native Residence, Wenchang Daoist Palace, Clothes-washing Pavilions,Yuanlong Daoist Pavilion,the Philosopher Ai Siqi's Former Residence, Guanyin Ancient Spruce Trees an so on.


Day 17 Tengchong 
Sightseeing: the Graveyard of the National Heroes, Dieshuihe Waterfall Park,Tengchong National Vocanic Mountain park,Beihai Wetland
Optional Special Experience:Enjoy the Lisu Ethnic Show and Lisu Family visiting in Jade Spring Garden at night.

Visit Liafeng Mountain National Forest Park in the early morning, climb up to the half  mountain, pay a visit to Laifeng Temple bult in Tang dynasty; Climb to the top of the mountain, visit Wenbi Pagoda and the panoramic view of Dianyue Town of Tengchong County.

Visit the Graveyard of the National Heroes, and Dieshuihe Waterfall Park in the Tengyue Town, then drive to Tengchong Volcano Park. It is a well known young volcanic geothermic area in China and a national geology park. Tengchong volcano cluster is well known in the world for complete types, large scale, intensive distribution and complete reservation, named as a "natural volcanic geology museum". With plenty of landscape, the main scenery of volcano includes Dakongshan, Xiaokongshan and Heikongshan, with the typical characteristics of Tengchong volcano.

Visit Beihai Wetland Park, you will take a small boat to the lake for a nice view. At night,you will enjoy the Lisu Ethnic Show and Lisu Family visiting in Jade Spring Garden at night. You can dance and sing with Lisu ethnic people as well have some snacks.


Day 18 Tengchong
Transfer to Tengchong Airport for departure.Tour ends.


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