10 Days Shangri-La Discovery with Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve

Yading Natural Reserve is located in Daocheng and is noted for its mysterious lamasteries, forests, pastures, snowclad peaks, clear lakes and primitive Tibetan villages. It is so beautiful that the tourists nickname it The Last Shangri-La, The Wonderland of Shangri-La and The Last Pure Land on the Blue Planet. This 10 Days Shangri-La Discovery with Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve will bring you to experience not only the pure Yading but also the city highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-La such as the Ancient Towns and Tiger Leaping Gorge.


  • Lose yourselves in the extremely beautiful sceneries of Yading Natural Reserve.
  • Meet snown mountains, tranquil lakes, shimmering rivers, ethnic villages and rare animals on your way.
  • Visit the top attractions of Lijiang and Shangri-La including the grand Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Lijiang Arrival
  • Day 2: Lijiang-Shangri-La
  • Day 3: Lijiang-Shangri-La
  • Day 4: Shangri-La
  • Day 5: Shangri-La-Feilaisi
  • Day 6: Feilaisi-Benzilan
  • Day 7: Benzilan-Riwa
  • Day 8: Riwa-Yading
  • Day 9: Yading-Daocheng
  • Day 10: Daocheng Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Lijiang Old Town

Arrive at Lijiang airport, pickup by our English speaking tour guide and transfer to hotel.Visit the Ancient town of Lijiang, escorted tour to Square Street. Walk upstream along the Yuhe River from Lijiang Ancient Town Water Wheel to Black Dragon Pool, enjoy the wonderful reflection view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the pool. Visit the Dongba Ethnic Museum and explore the Naxi ethnic culture. At night, join in the singing competition party at the bank of ancient streams which wind through the town.
-Lijiang Ancient Town is a largely Naxi settlement first built 800 years agao, located at the foot of the Lion Hill and completely surrounded by the new city of Lijiang. In December 1986, the State Council designated it a famous ancient historical and cultural city of national caliber. In 1997, UNESCO made Lijiang a World Cultural Heritage Site.

Day 2 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Yulong Snow Mountain,Spruce Meadow, Baisha Village and Murals,Baishui River and Terraces
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy the sunrise of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lijiang Ancient Town in the morning, drive about 30KM to Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M), you will take the sightseeig bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe River, take the chairlift up to visit the Spruce Meadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. You will hike around1 hours in the original forest in Spruce Meadow (3200M).
After lunch, you you’ll visit Yuhu Village and the Former Residence of Joseph Rock who was an Austria-American botanist and explorer, lived in Yuhu village and other places in that region from 1922 to 1949. He was also a naturalist and Photographer, and the first foreign scholar to introduce Lijiang ethnic culture to the western world.

Visit Yufeng Monastery, located at the southern foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, stands about 13 kilometers to the north of Lijiang City. Yufeng Temple is one of the Scarlet Sect lamaseries in Lijiang. The beautiful sceneries around Yufeng Temple are special gifts from the deity. The temple backs onto a snow mountain and faces a meadow. It is surrounded by the flourishing forest and a never-dried river. All this makes it a really good place to visit.

Stroll through Baisha Old Town, which is an enchanting traditional Naxi style old town.  Visit the Baisha Mural about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997.

Day 3 Lijiang-Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:the First Bend on the Yangtze River, the Iron Chain Bridge, the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument, Shigu Town, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Ancient Town
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

From Lijiang, you’ll drive about 60KM to the First Bend on the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, visit the Iron Chain Bridge, the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in the Shigu Town. The town of Stone Drum got its name from a large, cylindrical, marble tablet shaped like a drum. The scenery is magnificent as the road running through the Lijiang valley which is filled with wheat fields and drying haystacks.
Visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river. Afternoon, you’ll head for Shangri-La, the former Zhongdian which is welknown as the paradise destination for every tourist. Upon arrival in Shangri-La, you will have entered the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys. Walk around Dukezong Ancient Town, an important town of the Ancient Tea-horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India.

Day 4 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Sogzanlin Monastery, the Bita Lake & Shudu Lake, Dabao Monastery, Napahai Lake and Tibetan Villages
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere.

And afterwards you’ll visit the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park. Pudacuo National Park is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. While the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China’s land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species.
Visit Dabao Monastery on the way back from Pudacuo National Park. Drive around Napahai Lake and visit some Tibetan villages and families. 

Day 5 Shangri-La-Feilaisi

Sightseeing and Activities:Baimang Snow Mountain Nature Reserve,the Moon Bend of Yangtze River,the Sunset View of Meili Snow Mountain
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive 8 to 9 hours to Deqin County (3400m altitude) which is 187km away from Zhongdian through Baimang Snow Mountain Nature Reserve, you will be able to view Baimang Snow Mountain if the weather is clear, pass the top part of today at 4292m altitude at 156km.
After traversing mountain ranges, you will make a short stop and have lunch at Benzilan town, take some shots on the first bend of Jinsha(Yangtze) River, Dongzhulin monastery and Baima (white horse) Snow Mountain. The view along the way is fantastic with different kinds of trees, streams down the valley, prayer flags and stupas, and Tibetan villages. Stay at Feilaisi.
—-Meili Snow Mountain (Meili Xueshan), also called Kawakarpo, is a UNESCO nature site located in Deqin County dividing Yunnan from Tibet, a wonderful place to hike and explore both nature and Tibetan culture. Rising between the Salween River and the Mekong River in the extreme edge of Northwest Yunnan, the Meili Snow Mt. region is part of Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas. Legend says that the Meili Snow Mountain is a god guarding Tibetan Buddhism. With 13 peaks over 6000m in the range, the main peak Kawakarpo (“Kawagebo” in Chinese) is a sharp snow mountain with an altitude of 6740m,which has never been conquered yet.

Day 6 Feilaisi-Meili Snow Mountain-Benzilan

Sightseeing and Activities:the Sunrise View of Meili Snow Mountain,Mingyong Glacier,Mekong Grand Canyon
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Try to get up early in the morning, enjoy the magic sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain. Then drive another 1.5-hyour to Mingyong village, where you will walk on the trails for about 4km to Mingyong Glaciers of Meili Snow Mountain, walk another one your or so, you will get to Tibetan Taizi Monastery-another good spot to view the magnificent Mingyong Glaciers. (optional: You can choose to hire a horse to go up to the glacier on your own expense in order to save your energy).
After Mingyong Glacier in Mingyong Village, you will do some easy trekking along the Lancang River Grand Canyon as well as some Tibetan villages. This will be your most impressive part of your trip to Yunnan. Drive back to Feilaisi from the Lancang-Mekong River with a nice view of Meili Snow Mountain and Baima Snow Mountain.  Transfer to Derong via Benzilan.

Day 7 Derong-Xiangcheng-Daocheng-Riwa

Sightseeing and Activities:Wuming Snow Mountain (4550M), Sangdui Town, blockhouse, Sangdui pasture (3840M), vast poplar garden, Rewu Monastery (Hua Sect), Bowa Mount (4300M), Chitu River Valley
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Sisters Lake of Haizi Mountain between Daocheng and Litang Counties, Garze

Drive to Xiangcheng, visit some Tibetan Villages, Yuangen Mountain and Maan Mountain.Visit Sanpi Monastery in Xiangcheng County.

Coming over the mountain passes from either direction, you will at once spot the beautiful villages scattered amongst wheat-field-paddies in the valley ground. The large cubicle houses look like little castles and with their white-chalked exterior walls give the whole valley a north-African air. Xiangcheng itself consists of an old village paired with a modern Chinese downtown.

Spend a full day driving from Xiangcheng to Riwa(Shangrila Town) via Daocheng. Along the way, you will enjoy wonderful panoramas of barley fields, rushing rivers, expansive grasslands and snow-covered peaks.

Drive to Riwa via Sangdui and Daocheng. En route, visit Maxionggou original forests, Wuming Snow Mountain (4550M), Sangdui Town, blockhouse, Sangdui pasture (3840M), vast poplar garden, Rewu Monastery (Hua Sect), Bowa Mount (4300M), Chitu River Valley, Tibetan villages and Gongga Langjiling Monastery.

In Daocheng,there are many things to do along the road – leisurely walking to Haizi Mountain to see the incredible world of rocks and stones arraying on rivers, lakes and mountains; visit the 900 years old Tibetan monastery Bangpu; watching Red Grassland leaning close to winding rivers; watching vast forests of birch forest stretching to far distance… Stop for rest or take a walk whenever you want.

After arrival at Riwa, check in your hotel and the rest time is free for you to explore surrounding and acclimate the air and high altitude here.

Day 8 Riwa-Yading Nature Reserve

Sightseeing and Activities:Yading Nature Reserve,Chonggusi Monastery,Luorong Pasture,Milk Lake,the Five-color Lake
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Milk Lake of Yading Nature Reserve in Daocheng County, Garze

Today, you will get up early to have breakfast, and then take park bus to Zhaguanbeng. Get off bus and start the 1-hour hiking to Chonggusi Monastery(3,880m) as a warm-up. Go on your trip from Chongu Monastery to Luorong Pasture(4,150m), which can be done by a 1.5~3 hours’ hiking on plank path or a electro mobile car riding of aobut 20 minutes on a well-paved road. We suggest you take the car riding to save energy and time for coming serious hiking. Stop at the pasture to enjoy the breathtaking landscape – herds of sheep and cows are scattered over the grassland and enjoy the great sunshine and pure lake water. Snow peak, forest, pasture, rivulet, lake, waterfall and wooden house compose a most beautiful picture. Then, hike about 3 hours to Milk Lake, which is located at the foot of Jambeyang Snow Peak, about 7km from Luorong Pasture. The lake surface is bright with many colors, and the mountain’s reflection in the river looks more holy and pure. Keep hiking a half hour from Milk Lake upwards, you will reach the Five-color Lake (4,600m). Under the refraction of strong sunlight, five glaring colors shine on the lake. Looking over the lake, you will see glacier tongue lazily nuzzling to the lake. According to legend, the lake can divine one’s future. From here, you can also have closer magnificent views of three holy snow mountains – Chenresig (Xiannairi), Jambeyang (Yangmaiyong) and Chanadorje (Xianuoduoji). They respectively represent the Bodhisattva of Mercy, Wisdom and Wrath. They are regarded as the sacred mountain which can protect the Tibetan people in Yading.

In the afternoon, you will return back the same way coming. If you feel a little bit tired, you can ride the horse back to Luorong Pasture, then transfer back to the tourist center by taking a electro mobile car. Lastly, transfer back to Riwa for accommodation and having dinner.

Day 9 Yading-Riwa-Daocheng

Sightseeing and Activities:Yading National Park,Chonggusi Monastery,Chenresig Peak (Xianuoduoji 6,032m), Pearl Lake
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Pearl Lake of Yading Nature Reserve in Daocheng County, Garze

Today’s hiking is leisure at your own preferred pace and interest. You will firstly go to Chonggusi Monastery as the same way you taken in Day 2, but will spend some time visit the monastery and learn about its story. Here is also the best location to take photos of Chenresig Peak (Xianuoduoji 6,032m). Continue your hiking to next station – famous Pearl Lake, which usually takes about 1 hour to get to. Pearl Lake shocks your eyes with its fabulous scenery – ancient trees towering to the sky, green lake reflecting surrounding colors like a gem, giant snow peak within walking distance… Many tourists take this lake as the base to watch the breathtaking sunrise and sunset.

Finishing your hiking and transfer back to Riwa, then keep driving to Daocheng County for accommodation and dinner.

Day 10 Daocheng Departure

Sightseeing and Activities:Daocheng Departure

Today, after breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel to the Daocheng Yading Airport to take flight back to Chengdu or other destination. Enjoy amazing peaceful landscape along the road. (So far, you can take flight to Chengdu, Chongqing and Xian from Daocheng Yading).

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Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation with breakfast as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide and vehicle for transfers & sightseeing;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  •  Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • Two bottles of mineral water each day.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • All optional programs;
  • Domestic air tickets fares with airport tax and fuel extra fee based on economy class mentioned in the program.