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Trips China

Yunnan Shangri La - Daocheng & Yading

North-western Yunnan was once part of the Tibetan Empire and still remains very much culturally Tibetan. This overland adventure will appeal to those who love all things Tibetan as the journey brings one through the southern part of Kham ( or East Tibet ).

This is a beautiful mountainous region with numerous snow-capped peaks, jade-green lakes, a strong Tibetan influence and great ethnic diversity. The western Sichuan hinterland’s thundering rapids, snowy peaks, and yaks signal the cultural as well as the geographical border with Tibet. Indeed, this region’s remarkable mix of culture, nature, and adventure is one of China’s best kept secrets.

On this adventure, we will travel through the heartands of the Tibetans on wheels & foot. It's a tough journey as much of the travel are on high altitude grounds over high mountain passes and remote mountain areas. It's an overland taken by very few travellers to this part of China but a very exciting journey for the few who had.

This is an overlander that is packed with enough sights and adventure that you'll remember long after the journey is over.

  • Activities: Overland drive, nature sightseeing, trekking and / or horse-trekking, visit to alpine lakes, hotspring visits.
  • Hiking at Yading Nature Reserve - the 'Lost Shangri-la'
  • Beautiful Daocheng and Zhongdian ( the 'official' Shangri-la )
  • Visits to some splendid Tibetan monasteries
  • click to see our last trip's
Full accommodation arrangement
Full transport arrangement & airport transfers in both mini-bus / van with driver

Horse / porter fees for baggages ( not personal rides ) at Yading Nature Reserve

Either Chinese or English speaking guide service
International airfares between Singapore & Kunming
* Internal flight, if any
* All airport taxes
* All meals during tour

Horse / porter fees for personal riding at Yading Nature Reserve

* Tipping & gratuities to guide & local staff
* Personal travel insurance & pre-trip medical immunizations
* All expenses of a personal nature

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Duration: 12 days

Group Size : minimum 2 persons

Maximum Altitude
4,600-m alpine lake ( hike )
4,900-m mountain pass ( drive )


Group Size
Land Price
10 persons or more  
06 - 09 persons  
04 - 05 persons  
02 - 03 persons  
* Price above is land cost only and does not includes international return and domestic air fares

Day 1
Singapore - Kunming
Day 2 - 11

From Kunming, we drive to Dali ( lunch ) and onwards to Lijiang. Then continue to Zhongdian ( Shangri-la ) into Sichuan province to Daocheng.

At the county of Daocheng, you'll find some of the most beautiful scenery in China. The next few days will be spent at the stunning Yading Nature Reserve ( the 'Lost Shangri-La' ) where we'll do the Death Valley Hike. Here in Yading, the scenery easily rivals that of national parks of the west such as Yellowstone and Yosemite in terms of spectacular, pristine mountain scenery.

After Daocheng we proceed southwards back into Yunnan to Lijiang where we visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Our adventure ends at Kunming.

Day 12 Kunming - Singapore

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Some parts of Yunnan and Sichuan we are travelling through are very remote and road conditions in the mountains can be bumpy which demand better quality vehicles and experienced drivers, all of which add to the cost. Many of the places ( such as Yading Nature Reserve ) we're passing through only see a handful of foreigners each year so the amenities in some of these places can be pretty basic. Accommodation for the most part will be in local Tibetan guesthouses with shared rooms taking 3-4 or more persons per room and built-in private washrooms. Most meals are included but on certain days, such as the hiking days, may be more bland in taste and in packed form due to the contraints of time.

Beware that this trip may be tough and cannot be done by unprepared people looking for a comfortable holiday. The drives will be long and over rugged mountain terrain and remote regions so all participants must travel with an open mind and positive attitude. For the trekking part of the trip, the Yading kora trek will be physically taxing as the hiking will be done at high altitude of 4000-m and above.

All participants are strongly advised to join our weekly GCS to tune up their fitness for this trip.

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