Lijiang to Shangri-La: Yunnan must-sees

From 860€ / person 8 Days

Naxi and Tibetan cultures

Discover the special cultures and gorgeous landscapes of north Yunnan, for one week from Lijiang to Shangri-La. In Lijiang, open the doors of an ancient city stamped by its Naxi ethnic minority culture. The Naxi have a strong particularity: their Dongba writing system, which is the only pictographic writing system still in use in the world, although it's been mostly replaced by Chinese language nowadays. Exploring the local countryside villages surrounding this touristic city, you'll learn more about the traditional arts and crafts and the local lifestyle. After a stop and a hike at the famous and stunning Tiger Leaping Gorge, you'll make a step in Shangri-La Tibetan culture. In Shangri-La, Songzanlin monastery is still standing high, like a shield around Buddhist faith. Taste the local tea, still prepared with salted yak butter. Come and explore this front door to Tibet!

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Located between the Dragon Jade Mountain (5596m) and the Haba Mountain (5396m), the Tiger Leaping Gorge is famous for its 16km length and its depth: the abrupt escarpments along the river canyon are sometimes up to 2000m high. We suggest you to hike for a day and a half, ascending along the gorge. This path will offer you spectacular views on the river and mountains!


Spend a few days in Lijiang and its surrounding villages, before reaching Shangri-La, Yunnan front gate of Tibet, with a stop and hike at the Tiger Leaping Gorge.


Day 1: Lijiang Arrival – Shuhe

Upon arrival at Lijiang airport, your driver will welcome you and take you to the small village of Shuhe. You’ll check-in at your charming countryside hotel.

Day 2: Shuhe – Lijiang – Shuhe (B)

This morning, your driver will take you the old town of Lijiang. Explore it on foot with your guide. You’ll walk around the Black Dragon Pool, and visit the Wangu Pagoda, on top of which you’ll have an amazing view on the old town and its famous roofs. Then you’ll walk down through the old Mu Palace, an old centre of Naxi power. You’ll wander through Lijiang market, in order to discover the special tastes of this part of Yunnan. Finally, you’ll visit the Dongba museum, where you’ll learn more about the Naxi history and customs.

Day 3: Shuhe (B)

Today, you’ll roam around the countryside by car with your driver. Explore Lijiang surroundings: you’ll visit the Naxi villages of Baisha and Yuhu, at the foot of the Dragon Jade Mountain. You’ll have many possibilities to stop and visit villages on the way, in order to discover the rural lifestyle around Lijiang. Back to Shuhe, you’ll meander across this bucolic and festive old village.

Day 4: Shuhe – Tiger Leaping Gorge (B)

Today, let’s go to the stunning Tiger Leaping Gorge, that are among the deepest in the world. Down the gorge, between the Haba mountain (5396m) and the Dragon Jade Mountain (5596m), runs the famous Yangze river. At the entrance of the gorge, you’ll meet your local guide who will take for this day and a half walk. Enjoy the spectacular views along the hike, while you ascend at the side of the mountain. In the evening you’ll stop in a guesthouse for the night.

Day 5: Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-La (B)

This morning, you’ll end your beautiful hike with a few more steps, and meet your driver. He will take you to Shangri-La, where you can freely wander across its city centre for the afternoon. In the evening, if you like, you can witness and maybe join the spontaneous dances on the city’s main square!

Day 6: Shangri-La (B)

Today after breakfast, you’ll visit the beautiful Songzanlin monastery: built three centuries ago, it is still home to 600 monks. It is also the biggest Tibetan monastery in the south-west of China. After your visit, you’ll meander across the old town and reach Bai Ji Temple that offers a great point of view on Shangri-La surroundings and the Shika Mountains. In the afternoon, your driver will take around the city so that you can discover the Tibetan mountains around and maybe take a walk.

Day 7: Shangri-La (B)

Today, you’ll meet your local guide to explore Shangri-La countryside by foot. According to your preferences, several hikes and itineraries are possible. Moreover, who knows, you could meet a Tibetan family who will suggest you to join them for a traditional yak butter tea.

Day 8: Shangri-La Departure (B)

Enjoy a few last hours in Shangri-La; then your driver will take you to the airport and you’ll take your flight back.


  • Hotels and guesthouses with breakfast (B)
  • Driver
  • Local guides on days 2, 4, 5 & 7
  • Visa
  • International and domestic flights
  • Other meals
  • Entrance fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to the driver and guides
  • Travel insurances
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