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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 > Off The Beaten Track > China Botanical Tours > Plant Hunting in Northwest Yunnan
Plant Hunting in Northwest YunnanTour Name:         Plant Hunting in Northwest Yunnan
Tour Code:          M71D347
Duration:            16 Days & 15 Nights
Destination:        Lijiang, Shangri-la, Tacheng, Weixi, Cizong, Dechen
Features:            Be called as the "Kingdom of Plants", Yunnan boasts a flora over 15,000 species which accounts for nearly half of the total number found within China. Yunnan Province lies in the far south-west of China. Bordering Burma, Laos, Vietnam and TAR, Yunnan contains a mosaic and diverse ethic groups, and its northwestern corner Dian Xi Bei is home to Naxi, Tibetan, Lisaw people. Here in Northwest Yunnan, three great rivers, the Yangtze, Mekong and Salween emerge from the Tibet Plateau carving a path through the soaring Hengduan Mountains. Separated by mountains, the rivers chart a close and parallel course. The Northwest Yunnan is a fascinating corner of China, still relatively less visited by Westerners, and it has a very distinct cultural identity which will add an extra dimension to this botanic tour.
Departure Date:
 From May to August
Tour Price:          From $ P.P

Trip Summary

Detailed Itinerary

Dates & Prices

 Tour Dates


 Tours & Services





Today you arrive in Lijiang, met with and transferred to hotel. N/A Lijiang Wangfu Hotel



Full day visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Xueshan, including round trip cable car up to Yak Terrace and overlook the Snow Mountain), flower observation, driven back hotel. B, L, D Lijiang Wangfu Hotel



One day excursion to Wenhai, a wetland at SW slope of Yulong Xueshan to see alpine plants including Primula bulleyana and Incarvillea lutea etc. B, L, D Lijiang Wangfu Hotel



Drive to Shangri-la (Zhongdian). En route visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, First Bend of Yangtze River. Arrival Shangri-la walking in the ancient town. B, L, D Gyalthang Dzong Hotel



Visit Songsamlin Monastery, Ringha Temple, and local Tibetan family. B, L, D Gyalthang Dzong Hotel


One day tour in Shangri-la for flower hunting at Napa Lake and nearby Zhongdian Alpine Botanic Garden. B, L, D Gyalthang Dzong Hotel


Drive outside to Tianchi Lake to see wild plants. B, L, D Gyalthang Dzong Hotel


Day botanic trip to Tian Bao Shan at Small Zhongdian. B, L, D Gyalthang Dzong Hotel


Head out to Hongshan Village for wild flowers.  B, L, D Camp or Lodge


Drive to Langdu and explore Wudi Lake for alpine plants. B, L, D Camp or Lodge


Visit nearby valley for flowers, driven back Shangri-la. B, L, D Gyalthang Dzong Hotel


Drive along the Golden Sand River to Tacheng. B, L, D Local Hotel


Drive to visit Yunnan Golden Monkeys, head out along the Mekong River upstream to Cizhong. B, L, D Local Lodge


Visit Cizhong Catholic Church, drive to Feilaisi and view mighty Kawa Karpo. B, L, D Local Lodge


View sunrise over the Kawa Karpo, drive to Baima Mountain pass and climb to seek wild flowers. Transferred back Shangri-la. B, L, D Gyalthang Dzong Hotel


Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for your flight to Kunming where you will connect your departure flight.  B  N/A

Day01 Arrival Lijiang
Upon your arrival you will be greeted by our local guide and then transferred to your hotel by a private air-conditioned car. For the rest of the day you will enjoy some leisure time.

Day02 Lijiang (B, L, D)Jade Dragon Snow Mountain,Lijiang,Yunnan
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. On this mountain you may have some botanical stops at the meadows filled with Primula and Rhododendron at roadsides in the woods. Transferred back your hotel in town.

Day03 Lijiang (B, L, D)Primula,Wenhai,Lijiang,NW Yunnan
In the west slopes of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, on the ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Route there is a secluded village by the name of Wenhai. Called Gaggaq in local Naxi language, Wenhai means a village at highland. The same named "Wenhai Lake" is a seasonal alpine lake at the mountain ridge and is extremely beautiful in summer months when cattle are grazing and wildflowers in full blooms on the meadow surrounding it. We drive to the village for botanical explores to the species such as Primula bulleyana, Incarvillea lutea, Roscoe and fields of Primula etc. Later of the day we will return our hotel in town.

Day04 Lijiang - Shangri-la (B, L, D)First Bend of Yangtze,Shigu,NW Yunnan
In the morning set off for Zhongdian (Shangri-la County). You will have 220 kilometer drive along the 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 in Zhongdian and have a walking in the Zhongdian Old Town.

Day05 Shangri-la (B, L, D)Alpine Flowers,Zhongdian,NW 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 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.

Day06 Shangri-la (B, L, D)Androsace bulleyana,Zhongdian,NW Yunnan
A day tour around Shangri-la for wildflowers and other botanical observations. Drive to Napa Lake is a seasonal lake in north of the town which offers great plants diversity in the summer time. We walk around the lake and on the pasture you can find red Androsace bulleyana, Cypripedium tibeticum, Cypripedium flavum and probably blue Meconopsis. The next stop will be at the Zhongdian Alpine Botanic Garden. The Botanic Garden aims to create a  base for Hengduan Mountains' species diversity preservation and general botany research; to create the conditions for specie reproduction and plant utilization; and to provide Chinese and foreign botanists and horticulturists a place to do research. Some of the wildflowers can be viewed in the garden from June to September are Gentiana forrestii Marq, Androsace spinulifera (Franch.) R. Knuth, Anemone obtusiloba D. Don, Crardiocrinum giganteum (Wall.)Makino var yunnanense, Cypripedium yunnanense Franch. Delphinium yuanum Chen, Pedicularis tricolor Hand, Clematis ranunculoides Franch and Aster vestitus Franch etc.

Day07 Shangri-la (B, L, D)Lilium soulei,Shangri-la,NW Yunnan
Today we drive outside to Tianchi Lake to see wild plants. On the way we can see many Rhodododendron. And on arrival Tian Chi we will enjoy the botanical observations of finding Rheum alexandre, Cremanthodium campanulatum and Lilium soulei on the colorful meadows. Have a picnic lunch today. Later of the day we will head back our hotel in Shangri-la.

Day08 Shangri-la (B, L, D)Rhodododendron,Shangri-la,NW Yunnan
This day we will make a botanic trip to Tian Bao Shan at Small Zhongdian. Tian Bao Shan is a national protected mountain. The focus of today is several highland Rhodododendron growing from altitude of 3,800m upwards. The meadows by the main streams offer botanical stops too. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the mountain. Transferred back hotel later of the day.

Day09 Shangri-la - Hongshan (B, L, D)Delphinium yuanum,Shangri-la
We will start a three-day botanical trip to the villages and mountain gorges in the borderland northeast to Zhongdian. We first drive through local Tibetan villages and fields north to Hongshan. We can have some stops for the plants.

Day10 Hongshan - Langdu (B, L, D)Clematis ranunculoides Franch,NW Yunnan
We start the day and traveling through woodlands and cross mountain passes doted with alpine lakes. On arrival Langdu, we proceed to Wudi Lake for botanical observations. During the walk we will find a superabundance of wildflowers. Tonight we will stay at a lodge at Langdu nearby a cheese workshop.

Day11 Langdu - Shangri-la (B, L, D)Pedicularis tricolor Hand,NW Yunnan
This morning we will walk to nearby valley to explore plants and if weather is good we will try to climb a mountain and find more flowers and other plants. After lunch we will back to Shangri-la on the dirt road. A remote country travel is truly unique for botanical hunters.

Day12 Shangri-la - Tacheng (B, L, D)Aster vestitus Franch,NW Yunnan,China
We leave Zhongdian for a loop to the far northwest of Shangri-la. We drive along the Golden Sand River (Upper Yangtze) through conifer forests and villages of Tibetan and Lisu minority people. Flora stops will be made occasionally.

Day13 Tacheng - Cizhong (B, L, D)Cypripedium yunnanense Franch,Zhongdian
This morning we shall drive to visit Yunnan Golden Monkeys in the protected area. Then we will have a long drive northwards along the Mekong River upstream to Cizong. Photos stops will be arranged. Cizhong is lovely Tibetan village with beautiful vineyards and a nice church built in the late 19th century by French missionaries.

Day14 Cizhong - Feilaisi (B, L, D) Plants,Northwestern Yunnan Province
This morning we will visit the Catholic Church, in which we could witness choruses and hymns being sung and a Bible transcribed in Tibetan. Then we will drive to Feilaisi through the deeply cut Mekong gorge. Enjoy some free relaxed at your hotel that facing the snowy peak of the mighty Kawa Karpo.

Day15 Feilaisi - Shangri-la (B, L, D)Rhodododendron,NW Yunnan
View sunrise over the Kawa Karpo, drive to Baima Mountain pass and climb to seek wild flowers. Then we will head back Shangri-la along the Golden Sand River. Make several botanical stops in the subtropical river valley. On arrival Zhongdian (Shangri-la) we will enjoy ourselves at a fine restaurant with good food.

Day16 Depart Shangri-la (B)
Free and transfer to airport for departure flight (via Kunming). End of the botanical journey to Northwest Yunnan.

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). Botanical trips as stated in the itinerary
06). Daily meals as specified in the itinerary: B denotes breakfast, L denotes lunch, and D denotes dinner (SD signifies special dinner);
07). Services of a local English speaking guide throughout (other languages can be arranged upon request, supplement may apply);
08). Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour;
09). 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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