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Yunnan Three Parallel Rivers Region Tour - 26 Days

Destination: Yunnan Three Parallel Rivers Region
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In the northwest area of Yunnan Province, there are three rivers flowing parallel from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to the south, but never converge. This is the 29th project of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage in China, Three Parallel Rivers in Yunnan Protected Areas.

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.

In this protected area, you can see the typical topographic feature of Yunnan, comprised of the wonderful view of the parallel rivers, high mountains and deep gorges. The height of snow-covered mountains in this area varies from 2,000 meters (about 6562 feet) to 6,000 meters (over 19,600 feet), and there are over 100 snow-covered mountains higher than 5, 000 meters (over 16, 400 feet). Among them, the most famous one is the Meili Snow Mountain, which is regarded as a Holy Mountain by the local Tibetan People.

Correspondingly, the gorges are very deep. Nu River Gorge, Lancang River Gorges and Jinsha River Gorges are particularly famous. The average depth of Nu River Gorge is 2,000 meters (about 6562 feet) and it was so named 'the Oriental Grand Gorge'. The famous Tiger Leaping Gorge , which is a part of Jinsha River Gorge, is the deepest gorge of the world. The gorge bottom consists of the subtropical climate, dry and hot, while half way up the mountains it is cool and pleasant. The summits of the mountains are covered with snow all year round. Within the height of several thousand meters, the climate and natural landscape change greatly.

Due to vertical climate differences, there are 20% Higher Plants and over 25% more animals in this area. Some rare plants and animal can also be found here, such as Yunnan golden monkeys, antelopes, snow leopards, Bengalese tigers and black necked cranes.

The protected area of the Three Parallel Rivers is also a region inhabited by 16 different ethnic groups. It is a peculiar place where multi-ethnic groups, different languages, various religions, cultures and manners and customs co-exist. The place where the Naxi Dongba Religion culture originated, Baishui Tableland and the Lijiang Old Town , as well as the Mosuo People which has the characteristic of a matriarchal society attract numerous visitors from all over the world.

Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$6900/persons 6900USD/Person

Day 1 Kunming Arrival
Arrive in Kunming City, our guide will pick you up and transfer to hotel for rest.
Overnight in Kunming.


Day 2 Kunming - Baoshan - Liuku

Sightseeing: Yuhuang Ge Pavilion, Taibao Mountain,Gaoli Gongshan Mountain, Nujiang River

In the morning, take the flight to Baoshan City, visit Yuhuang Pavilion in Taibao Mountain. After lunch, drive about 4hours from Baoshan to Liuku(120KM), the county seat of Nujiang Lisu and Pumi Nationalities Autonomous Prefecture.

In the afternoon, you will walk around Liuku Town, visit Nujiang River and Nujiang River Bridge.

-- The Nujiang River is China's important river flowing from north to south. It has its source on the southern slope of the Tanggula Mountain Range in Tibet Autonomous Region, flowing across the Tibet Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province, with a total length of 2,816 kilometers and a drainage area of 324,000 square kilometers.

The name of the river is changed into the Salween River after flowing into Burma from China, and it finally empties into the Andaman Sea of Indian Ocean at the Moulmein. The upper reaches of the river are known as the Naqu River in Tibetan. The river is called Anurimei by the Nu ethic minority, Anu is the name of the Nu people called by themselves, the Rimei means the river, so Anurimei means the river dwelled by the Nu people.

Overnight in Liuku.


Day 3 Liuku-248KM-Gongshan

Sightseeing: the Nujiang Grand Canyon

Drive from Liuku to Gongshan. On the way you can enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Nujiang Grand Canyon with Laohutiao Gorge, the Flying Stones and the Stone Moon.

The 247-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.

--The Dulong (also known as Drung) ethnic group is one of the smallest ethnic groups in China. With a total population of about 5,816 (data from the census in 2000), the Dulongs mainly live in the Dulong River Valley in the Gongshan Dulong and Nu Autonomous County in north-western Yunnan Province. There are also a small number of them, about 10 percent of the total, distributed in the areas along the Nujiang River in the north of Gongshan County.

Overnight in Gongshan


Day 4 Gongshan-Kongdang 

It is 96 kilometers and 7 hours driving today with the rough road in the virgin forest.

--The Nu ethnic minority, numbering some 27,123 (by 1990), live mainly in Yunnan Province's Bijiang, Fugong, Gongshan and Lanping counties, which comprise the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture. Others are found in Weixi County in the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The Nu people are mainly engaged in agriculture, but also hunt and gather wild plants. Their main crops include corn, buckwheat, barley, potatoes and beans. Some Nu people support themselves through cottage industries such as weaving, wine brewing, iron forging, etc.

Both men and women like drinking. They are especially adept at brewing wine. When a distinguished guest comes, they always entertain him with good wine. If they regard the guest as a bosom friend, they ask him to drink the "one-heart wine". Face to face, mouth to mouth, one hand on the other's shoulder, the host and the guest are to share the same cup of wine. The "one-heart wine" is a symbol of the Nu people's profound sentiments of friendship. A guest becomes their real friend only after he has drunk it.


Day 5 Kongdang-Bapo-Maku-Qinlangdang
Drive about 30 kilometers southward to Maku Village. Leave the car in Maku Village and start a fantastic trekking trip to Dulongjiang River Region. You will see the Haba Waterfall from Maku Pass and then trek  along the virgin forest down to Qinlangdang Village. Arrive in Qinlangdang Village in the afternoon and trek about 1 kilometer to arrive at Haba Waterfall, here is the only way to Myanmay from Dulongjiang River.

Note: There are lots of leeches in the virgin forest in summer, so you should take some medicine to keep them away.

Stay at Qinlangdang Village.


Day 6 Qinlangdang Village-Maku Village
Trekking Distance: 15KM

Trek along the big slope in the virgin forest back to Maku.


Day 7 Maku-Bapo-Kongdang-Bukawa 

Drive along the rough road around 36KM to Kongdang.

Visit the scenery of Dulongjiang River, explore the Dulong ethnic culture in the villages, where you can see the last tattoo women in Dulong ethnic villages.

Visit Bukawa Village, a Dulong ethnic village.

Stay in Bukawa Village.


Day 8 Kongdang-Xianjiudang-Longyuan-Kongdang

Drive about 30KM to Longyuan Village, visit the original villages as well as the old tattoo women, if you want to take photos for them, you have to give the tips.

Come back to Kongdang.


Day 9 Kongdang-Gongshan

Drive 96KM back to Gongshan Derung and Nu Autonomous County.

It is also a long driving but with beautiful original forest.

--The Dulong (also known as Drung) ethnic group is one of the smallest ethnic groups in China. With a total population of about 5,816 (data from the census in 2000), the Dulongs mainly live in the Dulong River Valley in the Gongshan Dulong and Nu Autonomous County in north-western Yunnan Province. There are also a small number of them, about 10 percent of the total, distributed in the areas along the Nujiang River in the north of Gongshan County.

The Dulongs are animists and believed that all living creatures have souls. Believing evil spirits exist everywhere and can bring calamities to people, they often hold various rites to expel evil sprit at all costs.

Now, some Dulong people are believers of Christianity.

Kaquewa Festival is the only New Year Festival of the Dulong ethnic group. It is held during the eleventh and twelfth lunar months. The exact date varies with the location and the duration of the celebration often lasts as long as the food does.

The most exciting activity during the festival is killing and sacrificing an ox. At the beginning of the ceremony, a sacrificial ox will be fastened onto the sacrificial pole by the presider. Then women will put a newly-woven carpet onto the back of the ox, hang a string of beads on its horns and say to the God of Hunting: "We present this ox to you and hope you will bestow us many, many animals". Everybody dances around it. A young man whose parents are both alive will be elected to kill the ox with a spear. The ox will be roasted after being killed. Everybody present at the festivities has a share. The celebration usually continues throughout the whole night and people will not leave until they enjoy themselves to their hearts' content.

Stay in Gongshan County.


Day 10 Gongshan- 44KM- Bingzhongluo 

Sightseeing: Bingzhongluo, Nujiang River (Salween 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.

Overnight in Bingzhongluo


Day 11 Bingzhongluo-Liuku 

Sightseeing: Nujiang River (Salween River), Nujiang Grand canyon, Laomudeng Village

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.

Return to Liuku. 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.
Overnight in Liuku

Day 16.Liuku - Tengchong
Drive from Liuk to Tengchong.Afterwards, head to Heshun Overseas Chinese Village. Wandering through alleys there, you can admire the folk buildings and experience local custom..
Overnight in Tengchong

Day 17. Tengchong - Lijiang
In the morning, visit Volcano Park at Mazhan town. Located in one of the main earthquake territories in China, the park characterizes itself by 20 big and small volcanoes. Afternoon take fight to Lijiang.Transfer to Hotel in Lijiang. Free Leisure by yourself.
Overnight in Lijiang

Day 18. Lijiang 
Morning depart for Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, round trip by cable car.
Then transfer to see the Impression Show Lijiang, Baisha Fresco and visit the Naxi Minority village to experience the everyday life of the farmers.
Overnight in Lijiang.

Day 19. Lijiang 每 Tacheng
Morning pick up to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge. You will spend about 2 or 3 hours' walking there. After sightseeing, depart for Tacheng. (around 4.5hrs driving)
Overnight in Tacheng.

Day 20. Tacheng 
Morning visit Yunnan Golden Monkey National Park. Lunch served at local restaurant. In the afternoon, hike to Bazhou Village.
Overnight in Tacheng.

Day 21. Tacheng 每 Benzilan
Morning drive to Benzilan (around 2hrs' driving).Take an easy hike to original forests and hunt for mushrooms. Lunch will be served at local restaurant. Visit pristine Tibetan villages, where the lodge is located, see the traditional water mills and yak bell workshop.
Overnight in Benzilan.

Day 22. Benzilan 每 Meili 
Early morning climb up a little hill to hang up your prayer flags and burn incense for a great journey ahead. Drive to Meili (around 3.5hrs driving) and visit Dongzhulin Monastery on the way. Arrival at Meili Lodge, relax or visit Tibetan village around the lodge.
Overnight in Meili.

Day 23. Meili 
Morning start the day hiking, about 8hrs with a 3hrs up hill. Enjoy a picnic lunch and scenic location. The hike could be difficult given the high altitude.
Overnight in Meili.

Day 24. Meili 每 ShangriLa 
Enjoy the view of Meili, then drive to Shangri-La.(around 5-6hrs driving).Lunch served at Songtsam Benzilan. On the way, join a handicraft workshop at Gonjo village for lacquer bowl painting and visit the traditional handicraft village of Nixi for Black Pottery Making.
Overnight in Shangri-La.

Day 25. ShangriLa 
Morning pick up to visit Songzanlin Monastery.Afternoon experience Horse riding at Napa Lake. , visit Little Shangri-la and have a cup of tea with local family.Evening, have a dinner in the old town.
Overnight in ShangriLa.

Day 26. ShangriLa Departure
Flight: ShangriLa - Kunming - Elsewhere
Time at leisure until transfer to the Airport for the flight to your destination via Kunming. 


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