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Yunnan Tea Horse Road Tour - 7 Days

Destination:
Duration: Seven Day
Tour Code:
Transportation: Vehicle
Best Travel Time:All Year
Price From
US$1800/persons
 
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Along the Tea and Horse Road
A fascinating tour along one Asia's oldest trading routes. The Ancient Tea Horse Road was a network of trading routes linking the tea producing regions of Yunnan and Sichuan with the tea consuming areas of the rest of China, but especially with Tibet where the altitude is too high and the weather not suitable for growing tea. In a grueling journey over high mountain passes and raging rivers horse caravans carried tea, sugar and salt from Sichuan and Yunnan to Tibet and brought back colorful local mountain goods and horses. The history of this important ancient trading route can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907).


On this tour we not only retrace parts of this fabled Ancient Tea and Horse Road but travel across some of the most beautiful natural scenery Yunnan has to offer. We will learn more about the Tibetan Buddhism in Zhongdian, as well as the mysterious Dongba religion still practiced by the older people of Lijiang today. The overnight stay in the romantic atmosphere of a 150 year old Bai house in Shaxi will inspire even the hardened traveler.


This 7 day journey allows visitors to see most of the highlights within the Yunnan Province and to get a glimpse of some to the various cultures and ethnic communities.

Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$1800/persons 1800USD/Person

Day 1:   KUNMING - STONE FOREST - WESTERN MOUNTAINS - KUNMING
Early morning you visit the Stone Forrest near Lunan, where years of rain and erosion left behind a bizarre and impressive landscape of limestone pillars which, with a little imagination, indeed resembles a forest. We have a walk through the maze of paths and walkways leading through this natural wonderland and learn more about the Sani people, an ethnic minority populating the area.  Drive back to Kunming where we visit the Western Mountains, from where you will enjoy breathtaking views over the Dianchi Lake and the city of Kunming.

 

Day 2:   KUNMING ¨C ZHONGDIAN (SHANGRI-LA) (FLIGHT: 60 Min)
Flight to Zhongdian, which recently changed its name and is now called "Shangri-La". Zhongdian is situated amongst a stunning landscape on the eastern Tibetan plateau at about 3200 meters above sea level.
Upon arrival you drive to a view point from where you enjoy a breathtaking view over the scenic Napa Lake and the surroundings. Take a stroll through the picturesque old town of Zhongdian. We climb Turtle Hill and spin the world's biggest prayer wheel three times for a good karma.

After Lunch visit Sumtseling Gompa, a 300 year old impressive Tibetan Monastery. Destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, the Ganden Sumpseling Gompa is now again one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in the area.

 

Day 3:   ZHONGDIAN - LIJIANG (170km/4 hrs)
Drive through a magnificent landscape toward Lijiang.  Half way we take a left turn into the impressive ¡°Tiger Leaping Gorge¡±, where the Yangtze waters are squeezed through a narrow, at some places only 15 meter wide gorge. It is the most spectacular during the summer months,  when the water levels of the Yangtze River are the highest. Continue to Shigu village, to see the famous "First Bend", where the Yangtze River is making an abrupt 180 degree turn and flows for several Kilometers, parallel to itself towards the north again.

 

Day 4:   LIJIANG WITH JADE DRAGON MOUNTAIN
A ride in the modern and reportedly Asia's highest cable car brings you up to 4'506 meters above sea level from where one enjoys breathtaking views over the glacier and the surrounding mountains. During the summer month you can take a stroll along the wooden walkway. By cable car we return back down.
Take a 2.5 hours hike in the shadow of the Jade Dragon Mountain through Pine tree forests and beautiful Mountain scenery. Continue to the village of "Baisha", the former capital of the Naxi kingdom. Visit the Liu Li Temple, with its beautiful, well preserved wall paintings from the Ming Dynasty. In the afternoon you stroll through the apparently countless and, on first sight, confusing narrow lanes and canals crisscrossing the old town.
Later in the afternoon we visit the lovely "Black Dragon Pool" Park from where, weather permitting, one has a spectacular view of the "Jade Dragon Mountain".

 

Day 5:   LIJIANG - SHAXI (120km/car 3.5 hrs)
Early morning we leave Lijiang and drive through a beautiful landscape towards Shaxi. Shaxi was formerly an important pivotal stop on the Tea and Horse Caravan Route from Yunnan to Tibet. The village has been renovated with the assistance of the Swiss government.

In the afternoon the car will take you to the Shibao Mountain. The impressive rock carvings of Shibao Mountain are over 1300 years old and are testimony of the spread of Mahayana Buddhism from Tibet in the region. You can either walk back to Shaxi (1,5 hrs) or take the car back to the hotel. Overnight accommodation is at a traditional wooden Bai House with a 150 year old history!

 

Day 6:   SHAXI - DALI (120km/car 3.5 hrs)
Drive south towards Dali. Dali is situated on the eastern shores of the stunning Erhai Lake on the foot of the 4000m high Cang Shan mountain range. During the 9th century Dali served as capital of the once powerful Nanzhao and later the Dali Kingdoms, before the historical town was overrun by the Mongols about 400 years later.
We visit the recently renovated 3 Pagodas of the San Ta Si Monastery from the 9th century. The rest of the afternoon is at your own disposal for the exploration of the picturesque old town of Dali.

 

Day 7:   DALI DEPARTURE
Transfer to the Dali/Xiaguan  Airport or connecting program

 

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