Day 1 Fly to Kunming
Arrive at Kunming airport and meet our local guide in Kunming and transfer to hotel. After check in, enjoy tea in a tea house by Green Lake and make orientation of this trip. With time permitting, visit the Bird & Flower Market.Overnight Green Lake Hotel
Day 2 Kunming to Dali
Morning short flight from Kunming to Dali, an old town with beautiful landscape and long history. Dali was once the ancient capital of the Nanzhao Kingdom as well as an important trading town on the South Silk Road. Afternoon we take a short cruise on Erhai Lake and explore the local Bai villages and markets on feet.Overnight Regent Hotel.
Day 3 Dali to Lijiang
Drive to Lijiang via Shaxi. Shaxi was a bustling trade station on the Tea & Horse Caravan that linked Yunnan and Tibet with Southeast Asia for tea and horses trading. The World Monuments Fund has listed Shaxi as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world because of its historical importance as the only surviving example of a Tea & Horse Caravan trade center.We will arrive in Lijiang in later afternoon, get refreshed and enjoy free time to explore Dayan old town.Overnight Grand hotel.
Day 4 Lijiang
Lijiang was name given by Kublai Khan in 1254 and the old town is nice to explore around. The canals in the town is really a uniqueness and the local people block water to wash the ground in the town everyday and this had been started once the town was established. Through the old town, we come to visit the Black Dragon Pool Park and photograph Jade Dragon Snow Mountain with a bridge and peaceful lake in the park. the Museum of Naxi Culture (or Dongba Culture) is also worthy going. Then, we drive to the bottom of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to Xuesong Village which is such a tranquil place with the majestic snow mountains behind and fertile lands around. Xuesong Village is also the former residence of Joseph Rock, an American Austrian sociologist & botanist lived in Yunnan over 30 years. After picnic lunch, we hike around the village or even up to a monastery behind.In later afternoon, we drive back Lijiang and enjoy our dinner in a nice local restaurant in the old town of Shuhe or Dayan.In the evening, come to enjoy a concert of ancient Naxi music. Overnight Grand hotel.
Day 5 Lijiang to Tiger Leaping Gorge
Drive 1.5 hours to Qiaotou town, start hike to Half way. Right from Qiaotou, we ascend up to the Haba Mountain which forms the Tiger Leaping Gorge with the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain facing it. The height gap of the Yantze River and the top of the mountains are almost 5,000 meters. It says a Tiger could leap over the River with a step on the rock in the middle of the river.The trail uphill is very steep, particularly on the 28 benches, followed which we can take a glimpse of the River at the bottom of the gorge like a thin line.
Then, we continue hike to Halfway, a hostel nestles on a small piece of land on the mountain slope.The hike today is about 5-6 hours.Overnight Halfway guest house.
Day 6 Halfway to Gyalthang
From Half way hostel, we start our one hour of descending to Tina’s guest house which is located by the road along the gorge. Then we continue ascending down into the middle gorge. The trail was extremely steep and we have to take the side trees to keep balance. The half an hour descending is breathtaking before we get down into the river. The white water flushes away and the voice is echoing in the gorge.Then, we start ascending on a slowly going up trail to the road and walk another 2 hours to Xincun village where we meet our vehicle and drive to 3 hours to Gyalthang via Baishuitai, the white water terraced. Overnight Gyalthang Hotel.
Day 7 Gyalthang (Zhongdian)
We take a morning visit to Songzanlin Monastery and join morning prayers with the monks and in the monastery, and afterwards visit picturesque Shudu Lake. The alpine lake is surrounded by alpine meadows and wildflowers on one side with a temperate rain forest on the other. Take yak butter tea and participate in Tibetan dances in the home of a local Tibetan family. Overnight Gyalthang Hotel.
Gedan Songzanlin Monastery, or 'Lesser Potala' is affectionately known as a spiritual place with mystery and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Since the 5th Dalai Lama chose the site through divination in 1679, the monastery has grown into the most important community of its kind in Yunnan. And today Songzanlin once again houses more than 700 monks and lamas though it was destroyed during the culture revolution and rebuilt in 1980's.
Day 8 Gyalthang to Feilaisi
Today, we drive 6-7 hours from Gyalthang to Feilaisi. Short out of the town, we will drive pass Napa lake and then ascend up to the mountains. Over the mountain pass, we go downhill on the breathtaking benched road down to the upper Yangtze River Valley. After the lunch stop down in the valley, we start to go uphill to Baima Snow Mountain which is shining under the sunshine.Once we get up to the Baima Snow Mountain, we could see Mt.Kawa Karpo in distance. Then we go downhill to Mekong River valley till we get to Feilaisi.In later afternoon, we get to Feilaisi and shoot Kawa Karpo over sunset.Overnight Mingzhu hotel.
Day 9 Mt.Kawa Karpo
Kawa Karpo, the most known holy mountain among Tibetan Buddhists, with the pagodas near Feilaisi, the deep valley, and the Tibetan villages scattered on the mountain slopes is absolutely breathtaking picture in your life, if weather permits. And it is a unconquered mountain.After morning shooting, we drive down to the valley to the glacier of Minyong Glacier of Mt. Kawa Karpo.Overnight hotel Mingzhu hotel
Day 10 Feilaisi to Gyalthang
Different days, different scenery of Kawa Karpo. This morning, we shoot Kawa Karpo before have breakfast.Then we drive back Gyalthang today and visit Dongzhulin Monastery en route. Dongzhulin Monastery is located in the middle of a steep slope. The ruggedness of this monastery will enhance the impression of power of religion or belief. In later afternoon, we get back Gyalthang. Overnight Songtsam hotel
Day 11 Depart Gyalthang
Take morning flight back Kunming then end of service.