Arriving in Kunming
Visit the Bamboo Temple which is a Mahayana Monastery ( from airport to Bamboo Temple 30 min ) Set in the tranquil hills just outside Kunming
, this complex dates back to the Tang Dynasty.It is famous for its 500 life sized carved Arhats or disciples of Buddha . A Special local delicacy Mushroom Hot Pot will be served as your dinner.
to Stone Forest ( 85 km, 1.5-2 hours ) Leave Kunming
in the morning and drive to Stone Forest ( 89 km, 1.5 hours ) An 80 ha site of fantastic limestone formations created during the Permian Era when the sea covered this area. Shilin is in the World Heritage List and managed by the traditional owners the Yi people. It is famous in China and unique in the world. We are planning to visit the Stone Forest for 2.5 hours. Today's lunch is the Yunnan
local flavour Yiliang Roast Duck.
fly to Dali
( Bai minority area, about 45 min flight ) Take flight in the morning from Kunming
to ali. Beautifully sited between the Cangshan ( Azure Mountains ) Range and Erhai Lake the Bai are the inheritors of the famed Nanzhao and Dali
Kingdoms and are justly famous for their wood and stone carvings. In the afternoon visit the spectacular Three Pagodas complex situated on the ruins of Chongsheng Monastry. In evening a stroll through the vibrant Dali
bus to Lijiang ( Naxi minority area, 153 km, 3.5-4hours ) In the morning visit Xizhou ( the largest Bai village ) Mornin g Market. Also Zhoucheng Village, famous for tie-dye craftsmanship, where you can observe how Bai people make tie-dye products at home. Then drive from Dali
to Lijiang ( home to the Naxi minority.153 km. 3.5 hours ). Visit Lijiang Old Town, a lovely traditional town with beautiful wooden houses and crisscrossed with streams of mountain water. Lijiang is one of the best preserved ancient towns in China and is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. A traditional dinner will be served, followed by a presentation of Naxi music performed by very old musicians.
Overnight in Lijiang.
Lijiang Today's journey takes you to the 3,400 meter high Yunshan Meadow and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountains ( cable car round trip ) that is 5,596 meters above sea level. Visit Baisha Naxi Village and Baisha Ancient Mural. All of the 55 murals were masterpieces in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 ). The biggest one is stored in Dabaoji Palace. We walk to the picture postcard Black Dragon Pool Park in the north of Lijiang. It derives its name from the waters which sparkle like jade and are as clear as spring water. Free time to explore.
Overnight in Lijaing.
Lijiang bus to Shangri-la ( Tibetan minority area, 180 km, 4.5 hours ) Drive to Shangri-la, visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world. Subject to conditions, we may visit the beautiful Bai Shui Tai or white water terraces. In the afternoon visit Songzanlin Tibetan Buddhism Monastery, designed as a smaller version of Lhasa's Potala Palace and home to 780 monks of the Yellow Hat Tibetan sect. In the evening visit Zhongdian old town with Tibetan old streets and houses and enjoy the local Tibetan people dancing in the middle square of old town.
Overnight in Shangri-la.
Shangri-la ( Zhongdian ) to Deqin ( 187 km, 6-7 hours ) Today we drive 4 WD vehicle north along the Yunnan
– Tibet Road, part of the way beside the upper Yangtze River and see The First Bend of Golden Sand River ( the upper reach of Yangtze ). It is here that the Yangtze's flow south finishes and it takes an abrupt V turn, continuing on through central China to empty near Shanghai, several thousand kilometers to the East, located in Shangri-la ( another one called “the First Bend of Yangtze River” is located in Shigu Town of Lijiang City ). Then we Visit Dongzhulin Monastery ( 110 km, 3 hours ) first built in 1667, the 6th year during the reign of Emperor Kang Xi of the Qing Dynasty. It was where the Monlam Festival of Prayer for the Emperor's birthday was held. It is one of the most important monasteries in North-west Yunnan
. Then continue drive to Baimang Snow Mountain Pass in the National Nature Reserve Area, 4250 meters above sea level.
Overnight in Deqin.
Deqin to Yanjing ( 108 km, 4-5 hours ) Departing Deqin, we travel along the north of Mekong River valley into Tibet. Along the way, we may be able to see the peaks of Kawagebo Mountain range on a good day. Mt. Meili ( 6,740 m/22,113 ft ), which straddles the border of Yunnan
and Tibet, and is the highest peak in the province. And it has never been climbed. Once into Tibet, our first stop will be in the town of Yanjing, which was once the main source of salt for the Kham Tibetan area, ranges from northwestern Sichuan down into Yunnan
. We will visit the Salt Fields, followed by a stop at the hot springs, and enjoy a natural hot bath overlooking the Mekong. Certainly the best way to relax for the adventure ahead!
Overnight in Yanjing.
Yanjing to Zuogong ( 265 km, 9-10 hours ) We cross two high passes in this section of the drive, one at around 3,900 m ( 12,795 ft ), the other at 5,008 m ( 16,430 ft ). Driving through high mountain country with Tibetan houses scattered round the feet of snow-capped peaks.
Overnight in Zuogong.
Zuogong to Ranwu ( 290 km, 10-11 hours ) We will drive along the deep valleys of the Nu River ( the Salween River ), which is a long and tough journey, but it has its rewards: the scenery is stunning and is dotted with Buddhist monasteries and our destination, the Ranwu Lake ( 3,900 meters ), is a spectacularly crystal blue lake set in pristine wilderness and dominated by snowy peaks.
Overnight in Ranwu.
Rawok ( Ranwu ) to Bomi ( Tramog ) ( 127 km, 4.5-5 hours ) We will drive along the Poto-chu Valley at Tramog ( 2,743m/8999ft ), located deep in the thickly forested gorge of Parlung Tsangpo with glacial waterfalls streaming from the mountain sides. It is one of the most stunning drives in China. We then descend several hundred meters in altitude as we reach the lowland jungle settlement of Tang-me where the Tsangpo and Parlung Tsangpo rivers meet.
Overnight in Bomi( Tramog )
Tramog ( Bomi ) to Bayi ( 232 km, 8-9 hours ) Subject to weather conditions you will have an unobstructed view of the majestic Nam Jiabawa peak. At 7,755 meters, it is the highest peak in eastern Tibet. After a long 9 hours drive, we will arrive in Bayi, a large Tibetan town.
Overnight in Bayi.
Bayi to Basong Lake ( Gongbujiangda Town ) ( 159 km, 6-7 hours ) Today we drive along with the nearby town of Bayi, with its famed Buddhist Buchu Monastery and Lamaling Temple. It is a temple of the Red Sect and is the most important place for the Tibetan Buddhism in Nyingchi. We finally arrive at the crystal clear waters of the Basong Lake ( Basum Tso Lake ), another place you would be reluctant to leave.
Overnight in Basong Lake.
Basong Lake to Lhasa ( 310 km, 10-11 hours ) Leaving the lake after breakfast, we arrive at Gongbujiangda in time for lunch. The afternoon will be left open for you to take a walk or explore the nearby glacier. Then continue our drive. After the 9-day-long challenging overland trip, you will understand why Tibetans regard the journey to Lhasa as one of the most sacred of pilgrimages.
Overnight in Lhasa.
Full day tour in Lhasa visiting Drepung Monastery. The Drepung was once home to 8,000 monks, who were taught in the traditions of Vajrayana, Mahayana and Sutrayana, the three vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism. We will also visit the lively Barkor Bazaar in Lhasa, a colorful place where Tibetan merchants meet and then visit the Sera Monastery which was founded in 1419, a monastery of the Gelugpa ( Yellow Sect ) order. Its many white buildings, which sit at the base of a rocky hill, have roofs graced with gilded, bell-shaped gyamtschen ( like a “Bell” and are symbolic of flourishing Buddhism ) and the former Dalai Lama’s Summer Palace Norbu Lingka, a richly decorated complex located in a beautiful garden setting, has been the traditional summer palace of the Dalai Lamas. This is the very place from which the Dalai Lama fled to exile in 1959.
Overnight in Lhasa.
Full day tour in Lhasa, visiting the world famous-Potala Palace. The 13-story Potala Palace, reputed to contain 1,000 rooms, is one of the world's most remarkable buildings. The palace, which covers the mountain it sits upon, contains hundreds upon hundreds of magnificent Thangkas, frescoes and images built in an era when religious art was created anonymously as a means of gaining merit for future lives. Then we visit the oldest temple in Tibet-Jokhang, which originally built in the 7th century and known for its large gold image of Sakyamuni Buddha. It is the principal Buddhist temple in Lhasa.
Overnight in Lhasa.
We drive you to GonGa Airport for departure.