Tibet to Shangri-La
10 days / 9 nights
Shangri-La is a fictional utopian place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Some believe that the Shangri-La story owes a literary debt to Shambhala, a mythical kingdom in Tibetan Buddhist tradition
Day 1 Fly to Lhasa. The rest of the day free to acclimate to the high altitude.
Day 2 Potala Palace was originally built in the 640's. The Potala is full of elaborate artwork and frescos including ornately decorated statues, sculptures and Tibetan painting. Walk to Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet. Many pilgrims worship in the temple. The roof is covered with gilded bronze tiles and offers wonderful view of Lhasa. Across from Jokhand Temple is Barkhor Street with its many shops and stalls.
Day 3 Norbulingka, or 'Jeweled Garden', was the site of the Dalai Lamas' summer palace. From the mid-18th century, each successive Dalai Lama moved to the park during the summer season. The New Summer Palace, built by the 14th Dalai Lama, is in the center of the Norbulingka. Sera Monastery is one of the largest monasteries in Lhasa, well-known for the vast collection of Buddhist statues, sutras and frock. It is said that there are more than 10,000 Buddhist statues in the monastery.
Day 4 On the way to the airport, visit a family and try the Tibetan butter tea. Fly to Shangri-La in Yunnan Province.
Day 5 Bita Lake in Tibetan means the lake of peace and tranquility. Like a green diamond, the crystal Bita Lake is embraced luxuriant trees and green mountains. From May till July azalea petals float on the water attracting plenty of fish and it seems that the fish are all drunk having eaten too many petals of azaleas. Bitahai Lake and Shudou Lake form two holy lakes for the local Tibetan inhabitants. The stunning natural beauty of the landscape enhances our sense of beauty and the imagination. Returning to Shagri-La visit Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province., constructed in traditional style it is known as the miniature Potala Palace.
Day 6 On the way to Lijiang stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge believed to be one of the deepest gorges in the world famous for the steep and narrow valley, turbulent current and splendid scenery. On to the First Bend of the Yangtze River where the running river suddenly takes a big turn of 120 degree to the shape of “U”. Stone Drum Town is named after the drum-shaped marble stele in the town.
Day 7 Visit Baisha Village and the well-known Baisha murals. These murals combine the Han, Tibet and Naxi cultures, they are a wonderful art form of minorities in west Yunnan, vividly unfolding the life of the minority people. Visit the 900-year-old Shuhe Village a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight enjoy a Naxi Classical Music Concert.
Day 8 Explore Lijiang Old Town, the ancient tow known as one of the four best-preserved ancient towns of the country, is the only one which has no city wall.
Day 9 Fly to Kunming by air. Visit Stone Forest, where various shapes of karst formations create countless labyrinthine. Visit the Flowers and Birds Market. Kunming is known as the “Spring City” because of its mild climate all year round and also a city of flowers. You can find various kinds of flowers from all over the world in the market, as well as lovely golden fish.
Day 10 Depart Kunming and continue to your next destination.