10 Days Yunnan Tibet Highlights Tour
- stone forest
- tiger leaping gorge
- potala palace
- jokhang temple
Be lost in Lijiang’s rickety antique wooden buildings, gushing canals and cobbled streets;
Spend some happy time with the adorable Giant Pandas in Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding;
Get soaked by the remote temples, ancient villages and rugged scenery of Shangri-La;
Make a pilgrimage to Lhasa – the holy city, and envelop yourself in the characteristic nature and feature.
- Itinerary Details
Welcome to Kunming! Upon arrival at the airport or train station, your tour guide will meet you and escort you to your hotel. For the rest of the day you will be free to walk around in the fascinating spring city on your own.
After breakfast, drive about 85km to the renowned UNESCO World Nature Heritage - Stone Forest, a huge collection of grey limestone pillars. Being weather-beaten for millions of years, the stones turn intricate formations and precious geological relics. There are many interesting legends about Stone Forest. The most famous one goes like that the immortals shattered a mountain into a labyrinth when the lovers who were seeking privacy. In fact, apart from stone forests, the whole scenic area presents various views, including karst caves, waterfalls, underground rivers etc. Walking into the maze and feasting on the natural masterpieces, you will have a compulsive desire to make a complement on uncanny workmanship of nature.
After the sightseeing, drive to the airport to take your High-speed train to Lijiang.
Today, your first stop is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain with 13 peaks shaping like a lying jade dragon. It soars to 5596m above the sea and presents breathtaking scenery and pristine glaciers all the year round. On route, you will encounter 2000-year-old Ganhaizi with luxurious sorts of plants. In the mountain, the beautiful Blue-Moon Valley will give you a visual treat by its blue or milky water depending on the weather. For further sightseeing, take the tramway to mysterious Spruce Meadow and get a panoramic view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
After conquering Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, drive to Baisha Town to admire the exquisite Baisha Mural Painting. The mural paintings are an artistic representation of communication between various religion and art sects. It also embodies a kind of life of Naxi people with the satiate structures and abundant colors. Then go to visit the Museum of Naxi Dongba Culture. Built in shape of Naxi quadrangle courtyard, the museum itself is also attractive. In the museum, you will appreciate the cherished relics, and learn more about the attractive folklore & culture of Naxi people. After that, follow your trip to the scenic Black Dragon Pool Park where there are well-proportioned ancient buildings, towers, bridges and arches. These plants in bloom will catch your eyes as well.
Optional Activity: experience the splendid live-action performance Impression Lijiang directed by world-famous director – Zhang Yimou. (12:25, 14:00 in Off Seasons; 12:25, 14:00, 11:10 in Peak Seasons).
Today you’ll be driven to the old town of Shigu (Stone Drum) which is famed for a drum-like stele made by white marble. It enjoys high strategic and traffic significance in China’s history that many troops struggled for. You will take a visit to the Iron Chain Bridge which the Red Army used to cross the river during the Long March in 1930s. Then head to the stunning First Bend of the Yangtze River. Here you can witness the three rivers (Yangtze River, Lancang River and Nu River) traversing through the valleys of Hengduan Ranges, and forming this breathtaking view.
The last place of Lijiang to visit is marvelous Tiger Leaping Gorge - one of the deepest gorge and one of the ten most classic trekking trails in the world. Legend says that it is named after a courageous tiger who jumped across the rushing river to escape from a hunter. Take a little challenging trek to stretch your legs as well as glut your eyes with most naturally picturesque and distinctive landscape.
Later, you’ll drive about 100km to Shangri La. You’ll enjoy the enchanting natural scenes on the way.
1 prepare comfortable b walking shoes, light shirts and warm jackets;
2 bring sun creams to protect you from sunlight;
3 pack with enough water.
Firstly described in the well-known novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton, Shangri-La is a permanently joyous paradise isolated from the earthly world. The people live happily and contently there. Today, you will have a full day to explore its mystery and beauteousness.
After breakfast, pay a visit to the Songzanlin Lamasery – the largest Tibetan Buddhist lamasery in Yunnan. It is reputed as “Little Potala Palace” for its faithful imitation of the Potala Palace. In addition to perfect pattern of architecture, Songzanlin Lamasery also offers fine murals and magnificent Buddhist statues. While prayer flags are fluttering and the bells are tinkling, you will get an otherworldly peace of mind in the lamasery and understand how the simple Tibetan keeps their pure and religious belief in this temporal world.
Later you will drive to Potatso National Park and intoxicate yourself with the primitive landscape, including wetland, meadow and rare flora and fauna. Take a leisurely walk beside the beautiful Bitahai which is the highest lake in Yunnan Province. With captivating snow-mountain, green forest and bluish sky reflected in the water, Bitahai looks like a magical mirror. After feasting on the good views, walk to Shudu Lake where you can see scads many flocks and herds grazing in the field.
In the evening, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family and experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people.
1 dress modestly, behave with good manner and ask for permission if you want to take pictures of monks or pilgrims;
2 the altitude of Bitahai is 3,538m, and avoid strong activity to avoid high altitude sickness;
3 you can choose to take a boat sailing on Bitahai or Shudu Lake for a more relaxed sightseeing.
After breakfast, your local guide escorts you to the airport for your flight to Lhasa (about 2 hours flight). Remember to look out the window! Along the way you'll be treated to breathtaking views of Tibet's snow-capped mountains.
Welcome to the roof of the world! You will be picked up by local tour guide at the airport hall or train station, then be escorted to your hotel in Lhasa city in a private vehicle.
After arrival at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the local areas and acclimatize yourself to the air, temperature and high altitude of Lhasa.
High Altitude Acclimation Tips:
1 go for some leisure walking to acclimate the high altitude but avoid strenuous activity after arrival;
2 you'd better not have bath, in case of catching a cold;
3 drink more water, and have some fruit;
4 have a good rest...
Today we will start off with the fantastic Potala Palace, which historically served as the winter home of the Dalai Lama. It was first used in the 7th century by the 33rd king of Tibet. The most valuable collections in the Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of the former Dalai Lamas and the meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet.
After lunch, we will move on to the Jokhang Temple, which was also founded in the 7th century by the 33rd great king of Tibet to promote the Buddhist religion. Inside you can see the statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni as he was at the age of twelve – this is perhaps the most venerated object in Tibetan Buddhism. Around the temple is Barkhor Street where you can perform the “Kora” (a religious circuit around a sacred building or mountain) with pilgrims and locals. The Barkhor market is also a great place to pick up locally made handicrafts and souvenirs.
Tips for Visiting Potala Palace
1. The number of visitors to the palace is strictly limited to 2,300 per day. Visitors can only visit during the time specified on the admission ticket.
2. Admission tickets to visit the Potala Palace are sold out almost every day, so it is strongly recommended to book your tickets several days in advance.
3. There are many steps at the Potala Palace, so it’s best to take it slowly to avoid possible altitude discomfort.
4. Visitors should respect the rules while visiting. Do not wear hats, wear revealing clothes or step on thresholds as these actions violate local customs.
5. Photography and the taking of videos are forbidden inside the Potala Palace.
6. A security search will take place at the entrance to the palace. Explosives, flammables, knives, lighters and
This morning we will visit the Drepung Monastery – one of the great three Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge, on Tosngkhapa’s main disciples, the Drepung Monastery is home of Ganden Palace, which formerly served as the Dalai Lama’s palace before later moving on to the Potala Palace.
In the afternoon we will move on to see another of the great three of the Gelug monasteries in Tibet – the Sera Monastery. Founded in 1419 by another main disciple of Tsongkhapa, Jamchen Chojey, the main attraction of this monastery is the lively scene of the monks debating Buddhist scriptures in the courtyard behind the monastery in the afternoon.
Want to explore some other features of Tibet instead of the monasteries? Let's take an exciting trip to the holy lake Namtso which is about 5 hours driving from Lhasa City. You will arrive at Namtso Lake around the early afternoon. Take some rest and throw yourself into the incredible landscape of holy lake.
Namtso Lake is the highest saltwater lake in the world with an altitude of 4718 meters, also the second largest saltwater lake in China (after the Qinghai Lake). It’s quite common for tourists who are awestruck at the Namtso at the first sight. With the snowy mountains in the background, the crystal-clear dazzling blue water, Namtso is stretching to the horizon. In clear days, the lake looks like a beautiful turquoise surrounded by magnificent snow-capped Tanggula Mountains, and the lakeshore is green, wide and open, dotted with tents, yaks and sheep of local nomads. For travelers, Namtso is the ideal place for photography, while for Tibetans, it is a scared and magical lake for pilgrimage.
Lastly, drive back to Lhasa for accommodation.
Tips of today:
1 the altitudes of Namtso Lake region is about 5, 000 meters, so you should be fully prepared for high altitude sickness. Do remember to keep warm all the time and avoid strenuous activity;
2 if you want to spend longer time and watch sunset and sunrise, you can also accommodate at Namtso for a night, but the accommodation condition is very basic, so is the food supply.
Today is free for you until your tour guide transfer you to the airport in time for your flight or drop you off at Lhasa train station.
Tips of Today:
1. please pack your luggage carefully, especially for small things like camera charger, power adaptor, mobile phone, phone charger, wallet and towel;
2. If your flight is arranged in the afternoon, please make sure you check out the hotel before 12pm.
- Tour Cost
The quotation for this trip is per person
1. This price is based on a group of 2 adult travelers who will take our private tour and share one standard rooms in regular local 4-star hotel in lower seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
- Service Included
All necessary Tibet travel permits.
Private professional English-speaking tour guide.
Private vehicle and Luggage Transfers.
All accommodations, based on double-occupancy. Medium standard accommodation with attached bathroom on twin sharing basis.
Meals, as noted in the itinerary.
Admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary. Service Charge (the planning, handling, operational and communication charges) & government taxes.
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
China visa, all air tickets and train tickets to and from Tibet.
Sightseeing not listed in the itinerary.
Meals not listed in the itinerary.
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Gratuities, tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc.
Excess Baggage Charges.
Single room supplement.
- Trip Notes
1.Tibet Travel Permit;
You will need a Tibet Entry Permit. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for your permit once you book a Tibetan tour with us. In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.
We’ve selected heritage hotels in the more traditional area of Lhasa, near Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street, so that travelers can experience more of the local life and culture. If you prefer to stay in a hotel with special oxygen supplies, other hotels in Lhasa are recommended (as above).
The accommodation in Dingri is poor (see above).
Our English-speaking guides are natives of Tibet with good knowledge of Tibetan culture, history, and Buddhism. Most are trained to offer Western-standard service.
Enjoy local Tibetan, Western Chinese and Nepalese food on the tour.
You will have standard western hotel breakfast in Lhasa, and specially prepared breakfasts outside of Lhasa: including butter, bread, coffee, tea, etc.
After the first day, lunch is included every day. Your guide can recommend some good local restaurants for dinner. Outside Lhasa, we suggest you have dinner in the hotels where you are staying.
Before your trip, ask your doctor for any suggestions in relation to altitude sickness and bring some medicine just in case. The most popular altitude medicine among foreigners is Acetazolamide/Diamox.
We recommend that during the first two days after arriving in Tibet, visitors should keep warm, not take a bath, not smoke or drink alcohol. Drink plenty of water (>4 litres per day) before going and at altitude, and eat lots of vegetables and carbohydrates. Slow down, even if you feel energetic. Moving slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness.
If you don’t feel well after entering Tibet, go and see a doctor as soon as possible. There are doctors in major hotels in Lhasa, and you can call your tour guide for help at any time. We offer a free oxygen bag in the car.
6. What to Pack
Seek medical advice about altitude effects and pack any medicine you might need. Sunglasses, snow glasses, hats, lip balm, sun block, walking boots, and down jackets are all recommended.
Comfortable private cars/vans with experienced drivers will be arranged for you. All our vehicles meet the requirements of the Tibet Tourist Bureau, and are equipped with GPS and speed-limiting equipment.
Take into consideration the time you need to apply for your Tibet Entry Permit. It’s best to book a tour with us at least 30 days before your tour starts.
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