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We had a wonderful time in Tibet. We have learned a lot about this unique destination because of the wonderful guide Degyi who is so knowledge and always available towards our tours. We stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa, and we would never imagine a Tibet travel could be so nice and amazing without the help of Degyi.

Also, thanks a lot to our Tibetan driver Mr.Wongdun for his safe driving and a good sense of service along the way.

We shall return Tibet in the near future!

P.B. and A. A - Europe
Tibet Travel

June 2018 (Private Tibet Journey from Kathmandu)

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  You are here: Home > China Theme Tours > China Photography Tours > Along the Lost Horizon
Along the Lost Horizon Tour Name:         Along the Lost Horizon
Tour Code:          M90D818
Duration:            15 Days & 14 Nights
Destination:        Chengdu, Ya'an, Danba, Tagong, Jiulong, Litang, Yading, Shangri-la, Lijiang
Features:            This expedition takes you to Sichuan and Yunnan, two of China's most diverse and beautiful provinces. Starting from Chengdu, traversing Tibetan villages in Danba and Tagong, you will get to Litang, the oasis at the Sichuan - Tibet Highway, and a traditional post house at the ancient Tea and Horse Caravan route, afterwards you visit Yading Natural Reserve, that is believed as part of the real world "Shangri-La" according to the "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton, then following the track of the ancient Tea and Horse Caravan you get to "Shangri-la" whose Tibetan name is Gyalthang from where you will head for Tiger Leaping Gorge before arrival Lijiang, an ancient town of the local Naxi Minoritty. A splendid photo odyssey to the less-visited places.
Departure Date:
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Tour Price:          From $ P.P

Trip Summary

Detailed Itinerary

Dates & Prices

 Tour Dates


 Tours & Services





Arrive in Chengdu, be met and transferred to hotel.  N/A

Buddha Zen Hotel



Leave in the morning for Ya'an to visit giant pandas at Ya'an Bifengxia Breeding Base. B, L

Hongzhu Hotel



Drive to Danba, en route visit local Cathedral at Dengci Valley, on arrival Danba, take photos at Blocked Towers at Suopo Village, homestay at Jiaju Tibetan village.  B, L




Visit Jiaju Village and photo shot at sunrise, leave for Xinduqiao and explore Tagong Monastery. B, L

Local Hotel


Xinduqiao - Jiulong

Take photos at Xinduqiao, then transferred to Jiulong. B, L

Local Hotel


Wuxu Lake - Xinduqiao

Taka a whole morning at Wuxu Lake, an idyllic scenic spot, transferred back Xinduqiao later of the day. B, L Local Hotel

Xinduqiao - Litang

Drive to Litang on the national highway 318, photo stops at several high mountain pass. Visit Buddhist Litang Monastery in Litang. B, L Highland Hotel

Litang - Riwa Village

Head for Riwa Village near Yading Natural Reserve.  B, L Local Hotel


Full day tour inside Yading Natural Reserve, photo shoot at alpine lakes, forests, snowy peaks, grazing castles and temples. Back to Riwa before dinner time. B, L Shengting Yading Hotel

 Yading - Xiangcheng

Drive to Xiangcheng and visit a local temple in Xiangcheng. B, L Local Hotel


Xiangcheng -  Shangri-la

Transferred to Shangri-la County in Yunnan. Have photo stops en route to shoot Golden Sand River and local vineyard. Have a walk in the ancient town of Zhongdian (Shangri-la). B, L

Gyalthang Dzong Hotel



A day tour in Shangri-la to visit Songsamlin Monastery, Dabao Temple, Napa Lake and local Tibetan family. B, L Gyalthang Dzong Hotel

 Shangri-la - Lijiang

Leave for Lijiang. En route visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, First Bend of Yangtze River. On arrival Ljiang have a trip to the Black Dragon Pool in the ancient Town.  B, L Lijiang Wangfu Hotel


Full day visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (including round trip cable car up to Spruce Terrace and overlook the Snow Mountain), Baisha Village  Yufeng Temple, Dongba Culture Museum. B, L Lijiang Wangfu Hotel


Transferred to airport for your departure flight. Trip ends.  B  N/A

Day01 Arrival Chengdu
Today you arrive in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. Greeted and received by your local guide and escorted to your hotel in downtown Chengdu. The rest of day is at your own disposal.

Day02 Chengdu - Ya'an (B, L)Giant Panda at Bifengxia Gorge,Ya'an,Sichuan
Leave in the morning for Ya'an. It's a leisure drive through rustic landscapes. In the afternoon you will visit Giant Pandas at Ya'an Giant Panda Breeding Centre. Most of the pandas at Ya'an Base were moved from Wolong Preserve after the earthquake in May 2008. You will have a walking in the gorge. 

Day03 Ya'an - Danba (B, L)Danba,Sichuan
Today you will drive to Danba. A side trip to the old local Cathedral at Dengci Valley offers you more information on the story how the giant pandas were known to the West. Danba is 1900 m locates at the east end of the Tibet Plateau. The local people are called Jiarong (Gyarong) Tibetans. It is said that they are the descendants of the people of the ancient Xixia Kingdom, who merged with the local people after they fled from Gansu and settled here. Danba has long been acclaimed as the Kingdom of Thousands of Ancient Blockhouses. Upon arrival Danba you will take photos at Suopo Village. They were made of clay and block and look fine from outside with solid thick walls. This night you will stay at a local Tibetan's home at Jiaju Village.

Day04 Danba - Tagong - Xinduqiao (B, L)Jiaju Tibetan Village,Sichuan
In the morning take sunrise at Jiaju Village. Jiaju, 10 kilometers away from the county city, is one of the rare places in China that has preserved complete Tibetan style residences. More than one hundred buildings keep the same architectural style with a complete and unique character of Jiarong (Gyarong) Tibetan residences. Under the blue sky, the Tibetan residences decorated in red, white and black are strewed at random but also in order from the bottom to the middle slope of the valley. Leave Danba and drive along the Yak River to get to Tagong where you will visit the Lamasery Lhagong Monastery. If weather is good you could have chance to take a good photo to the holy mountain Yala from a higher terrace at Tagong. Later of the day drive to your hotel in Xinduqiao.

Day05 Xinduqiao - Jiulong (B, L)Road Along Sichuan - Tibet HWY at Xinduqiao
Take photos at Xinduqiao. Then you will drive out for Jiulong, a fascinating melting pot of Tibetan, Pumi and Yi cultures as well as a few Han Chinese. On the way you will have photo break at Rekulu grassland dotted with wild flowers, running brooks, wetlands, woods and wild birds.

Day06 Jiulong - Wuxi Lake - Xinduqiao (B, L)Wuxu Lake,Sichuan
Drive to Wuxi Lake. About 25km North West of town, Wuxu Lake is an idyllic scenic spot, flanked to the south by a long range of grey peaks called the 12 Sisters, and with an expanse of paddock leading down to the unspoiled waters edge. On the opposite side of the lake (reached by a track on the eastern), the valley continues up to be lost in the snowy peaks. It's all very Shangri La. The lake is especially scenic if it is a sunny morning without wind. The reflections on the lake are just perfect. It is also possible to walk/ride up the surrounding forested hills to various lookout points, popular with professional photographers, with great views over the lake and mountains. Later of the day drive back Xinduqiao.

Day07 Xinduqiao - Litang (B, L)Minya Konka,Sichuan
Head out in the morning for Litang along the national highway 318 (the Sichuan-Tibet South route). Enjoy nice views of the highland in the course of driving, have lunch at little town Yajiang. Arrive in Litang in the afternoon after cross over three high mountain passes. Visit Litang monastery lying in the western suburbs of the city. The monastery was originally under the control of the Bon religion but converted into a Gelug Sect monastery in 1580 in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) by the third Dalai Lama. During the first week of August (01/08 - 07/08) in every year, a grand horse-racing festival takes place on the vast Maoya Grassland here. Besides, make a trip to the local market.

Day08 Litang - Riwa Village (B, L)West Sichuan Scenery
In the morning we drive to Daocheng via Mt. Haizi Shan, a right place to study the structure of terrain and the formation of glacier. On the way visit the Bangpu Si, the oldest temple in Daocheng, which has over 900 years history. Then drive to visit Gongga Langjiling Temple near Yading, the largest Gelugpa Order temple in Daocheng. Late in the afternoon we reach Riwa village near Yading Preserve.

Day09 Yading Natural Reserve (B, L)Yading Natural Reserve,Sichuan
Drive approx. 30km to Longlong Ba, the gate of Yading Preserve. From the reserve entrance we will traverse a beautiful wooded pathway leading to a valley set at the foot of the spectacular Mt. Chanadorje. We'll pass piles of mani stones by the side of the pathway and at the base of the Reserve's most stunning vistas. We'll also visit Tshonggo Gonpa (Chonggu Si in Chinese) - a small Tibetan temple, which Joseph Rock nicknamed 'Bandit Monastery.' (Joseph Rock, a botanist and explorer, conducted extensive explorations to NW China and Tibet for Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology and National Geographic in 1924.) We will continue our hike to the foot of Mt Chenresig, where we'll ascend a small but steep hill to view a beautiful mountaintop emerald green lake. Local lore has it that this magical lake can reveal your future if you spend a few moments in quiet contemplation by its side. Continue to hike to the Luorong pasture (4,100 m). On this vast valley alluvium, yaks and horses enjoy eating their grass. The red firs and poplar on the hill are extremely beautiful with the help of their bright color. After exploring the areas nearby Luorong pasture we hike to Longlong Ba, get picked up by our driver and transfer back hotel.

Day10 Riwa - Xiangcheng (B, L)Yading Natural Reserve,Daocheng,Sichuan
Today you will get to Xiangcheng, a little border town in Sichuan near Yunnan Province. On the way you could take photos to the river valley passing through and the swamp land flanked by roadside colorful birches and white poplar trees near Daocheng. On arrival Xiangcheng you will visit a local temple only a few hundred meters away from the main street in town.

Day11 Xiangcheng - Shangri-la (B, L)First Bend of Yangtze,Yunnan
Drive along the Golden Sand River to Shangri-la (Zhongdian) in Yunnan Province. En route you will see the river separates Sichuan and Yunnan. There are couple of local vineyard that shows the local people can brew wine. In the afternoon you will arrive Zhongdian and have a walking in the Zhongdian Old Town.

Day12 Zhongdian (Shangri-la) (B, L)Shangri-la,Yunnan
A full day guided tour in Zhongdian. You will visit Songzanlin Monastery, which was created in AD1679 by the Fifth Dalai lama. Often called Ganden Sumtseling Monastery or Guihua Monastery, is located at the foot of Foping Mountain near Shangri-La County in Yunnan Province. The monastery was built on a hillside and looks like an ancient fort. The Songzanlin Monastery is often called as the little Potala Palace because of its traditional Tibetan architectural style. Then you will visit Napa Lake and have some time in the home of a local Tibetan family. Afterwards you will have some nice walking to the Ringha Temple, also been called as the "Temple of the Five Wisdom Buddha". The temple still remain the mysterious, it keeps an essential place in the Tibetan community that they consider there as the one of the five most important Tibetan monasteries among Yunnan. Date back for at least 700 years; the temple was visited by the 5th Dalai Lama. While the principal buildings were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), the villagers raised the funds to rebuild the principal lobby, with a simple and modest structure. Today there are three small original statues in the temple. Driven back your hotel after the walking.

Day13 Shangri-la - Lijiang (B, L)Tiger Leaping Gorge,Yunnan
In the morning set off for Lijaing. You will 220 kilometers along Jinsha Jiang River (Golden Sand River), the upper reaches of the Yangtze River (the longest river of China, 6380 km). The Tiger Leaping Gorge, itself is tucked neatly between the Yulong Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain, which surround its two sides, as the turbulent water of the Jinsha River is forced by Hailuo Shan standing in its way to turn abruptly 100 degrees northeastwards and thus gives birth of the "First Bend of the Yangtze River". In the afternoon you will arrive Lijiang and visit the Black Dragon Pool located in the northern foot of the Elephant Hill. The summits of the snowy mountain nearby are clearly reflected in this pond.

Day14 Lijiang (B, L)Lijiang Ancient Town,Yunnan
You will have a wonderful day in Lijiang. First of all you will proceed to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (including round trip cable car up to Spruce Terrace and overlook the Snow Mountain), then you get to Baisha Village to see the ancient fresco painting and visit lama temple Yufeng Si where grows the "king of camellia". Located 15 km north of Lijiang old town, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain stretches 35 km from north to south with 960-square-kilometers of snow-capped area. Experts say that it has the southernmost glacier in the North Hemisphere. Of all the 13 peaks on the mountain, Shanzidou is the highest with an altitude of 5,596 meters above sea level. Looking from afar, you can see that the mountain just looks like a huge dragon lying in the cloud. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is the holy mountain - 'God of Sanduo' of Naxi people. Transferred back your hotel in the old town. On your way back to your hotel you will learn more about Lijiang and the Naxi people at the Dongba Culture Museum.

Day15 Depart Lijiang (B)
Your guide and driver will transfer you to airport according to your flight schedule. End of your amazing journey.

Tour costing varies upon group size, travel season and hotel accommodation levels etc. For price details please email us at info@splendidchinatours.com.

Price inclusions:
All accommodations based on two persons sharing one room (single occupancy is subject to supplement);
02). China internal flights with airport tax or train as stated in the program;
03). Round-trip transfers between airports or railway stations, hotels, and scenic spots in each city by private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced licensed drivers;
04). All admission fees and activity expenses as listed in the itinerary;
05). Daily meals as specified in the itinerary: B denotes breakfast, L denotes lunch, and D denotes dinner (SD signifies special dinner);
06). Services of a local English speaking guide in each city (other languages can be arranged upon request, supplement may apply);
07). Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour;
08). Governmental taxes and fees.

Price excluded:
01). International airfare to/from China;
02). Chinese Visa fees;
03). Expenses of personal natural such as laundry, telephone, drinks, mini bar etc;
04). Personal shopping, optional activities and excess baggage charges;
05). Gratuities for local tour guides, drivers and hotel bellboy etc;
06). International travel insurance;
07). Services and activities that are not mentioned in the itinerary.


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