Previous Next

Overland Shangri-La

THE FACTS

  • Days: 15
  • Price: $2,850 ¹
  • Single Supplement: $570 ²
  • Key Destinations: Kangding, Litang, Daocheng, Yading Nature Preserve, Shangri-La
  • Starts & Ends: Chengdu (inclusive of return flight from Shangri-La)
  • Transportation: Private 4X4 vehicle
  • Driving Distance: 1,150km
  • ¹ per person, based on group of four
  • ² surcharge for solo travelers who prefer a private room

Our Overland Shangri-La Tour delivers a diverse cultural and scenic experience. After a rich sampling of Sichuan culture in Chengdu, you will head to the gateway town of Kangding perched on the Eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. This historic trading town remains a convergence of Han and Tibetan populations and at 2500m it is the perfect place for acclimatization for the days that follow.

Leaving Kangding and crossing Zheduo Mountain (4200m) officially brings you onto the Tibetan Plateau along with an acute awareness that you have indeed arrived on the Roof of the World. The days ahead will maximize both the cultural and natural aspects of this majestic land and it’s people. You will enjoy a full day on the Litang grasslands visiting nomad settlements as well as a full day in China’s Yading National Nature Preserve before you eventually arrive in the mystical land of Shangri-La.

Before your flight back to Chengdu, a day’s leisure in Shangri-La has been well deserved. A relaxing bike ride in the surrounding countryside is a popular option or, if you prefer, exploring the Old Town at your own pace is recommended as well. Either way, we’re confident you’ll find just what you’re looking for.

After a final night in Chengdu at the Shangri-La Hotel you’ll be well rested for your journey home, or for your onward travels.

 


Route & Itinerary

 

 

Overland to Shangri-La:

  • DAY 1 Arrive in Chengdu. The heart of Western China welcomes you as your driver navigates the throngs of cyclists which mix with the rhythm of a modern city. After a rest at your hotel, you're off to dinner and a visit at China's historical Three Kingdoms era Zhuge Liang Memorial Temple and Jinli Ancient Street.

    Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu
  • DAY 2 Chengdu Your private guide will escort you to the Giant Panda Research and Breeding Center for close up viewing of these curious creatures who are more native to Sichuan than the people themselves. In the afternoon you'll enjoy a stroll into China's past on a visit to Luodai Historic Town followed by an evening's entertainment at the Sichuan Opera.

    Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu
  • DAY 3 Chengdu to Kangding. Leaving Chengdu , today you head out of the Sichuan basin to penetrate deep into the mountains that guard the approach to the Tibet-Qinghai plateau. You pass through a virtual time warp on your six hour journey. Everything becomes new: landscape, climate, cuisine, language, customs, and of course, the people. On the first evening in Kangding (elev. 2600m) you'll visit Ngachu monastery, followed by a community dance (feel free to join in!). Distance: 325km.

    Accommodation: Zhilam Hostel, Kangding
  • DAY 4 Kangding. The first thing you notice the next morning is that everywhere you look goes up! Kangding is perched on the edge of the Tibet-Qinghai plateau. A cable car (or optional walk) to the top of Paoma Mountain look-out will follow breakfast. The afternoon will include a fascinating introduction to this new land you've encountered with a visit to the Tibetan Museum of Cultural History. And a stroll through the markets later in the day will give you an idea of why this town has been a key historical trading center between Tibetans and the Chinese.

    Accommodation: Zhilam Hostel, Kangding
  • DAY 5 Kangding to Yajiang. This morning is up, up, up… and over Zheduo Mountain (4200m) to the renowned nomadic trading village of Tagong (3700m). Weather permitting, along the way you'll see the peak of Gong-ga Mountain (7566m) - the highest peak in China outside of the Himalayas. A visit with the nomads and an optional short horse trek on the grasslands will precede a visit to an Ani-Gonpa (Tibetan nunnery). After lunch its time to continue on (and up… and over again) Gaoersi Mountain (4400m) to Yajiang (2700m). Distance: 150km.

    Accommodation: Yalong Jiang Hotel, Yajiang
  • DAY 6 Yajiang to Litang. Today's journey truly feels like you are flying across the top of the world on four wheels. Along the way, you'll pass countless yaks and sheep, as well as the black yak-hair tents that belong to the families shepherding these animals. It doesn't seem possible that whole families could live in such an extreme climate with such basic provisions. But here they are, and happily too! Today's destination is one of the highest towns in the world - Litang (4014m). Distance: 140km.

    Accommodation: Gaocheng Hotel, Litang
  • DAY 7 Litang. Renowned for more than its high elevation, Litang is also known for its large nomadic population and the vast grasslands that support this way of life. Today will afford the opportunity to visit these communities up close and discover more about their unique customs. The afternoon will also include an historical and cultural tour of the town with visits to ancient temples and other religious sites.

    Accommodation: Gaocheng Hotel, Litang
  • DAY 8 Litang to Yading. Turning South toward the alpine regions on the way to the Yunnan border, today's landscape will be rich with ecological diversity. This includes passing through Haizi Mountain National Nature Reserve on your way to Doacheng (for an optional dip in a natural hotspring), eventually tucking in for the night in a quaint village (2800m) outside Yading. Distance: 195km.

    Accommodation: Yi Zhan Hotel, Yading
  • DAY 9 Yading. This full day in China's beautiful Yading National Nature Reserve will be a welcome opportunity to stretch your legs on the well kept trails beneath the three 6000m peaks that are packed into this stunning area. As much or as little walking as you like, the presence of electric transport ensures there will be no limit to what your eyes (and camera) can take in.

    Accommodation: Yi Zhan Hotel, Yading
  • DAY 10 Yading to Daocheng. This morning you enjoy a relaxed stroll in the village before a scenic drive to Daocheng and an optional dip in a natural hot-spring. After dinner you'll mingle with the local Tibetans at their community dance (feel free to join in!), before settling in to a comfortable home-stay for the night.

    Accommodation: Blue Moon Hotel, Daocheng
  • DAY 11 Daocheng to Xiangcheng. Heading back North for a spell before turning further west and south, the highlight to today's travels will be the contrasting lush vegetation at the lower elevations as you descend a thrilling highland canyon to Xiangcheng (2800m). The Tibetan farms in this river valley offer a distinct difference to the livelihood of the nomads back on the grasslands. Distance: 115km.

    Accommodation: Lianhua Hotel, Xiangcheng
  • DAY 12 Xiangcheng to Shangri-La. After following the Shuoqu River as it continues to carve through the surrounding mountain canyon, today includes your last mountain pass of your trip before descending to fabled Shangri-La (3200m). Quaint villages and farms dot the landscape on the approach as you imagine explorers like Joseph Rock mounting expeditions through these areas almost 100 years ago. Distance: 205km.

    Accommodation: Kunluntang Hotel, Shangri-La
  • DAY 13 Shangri-La. The romance of Shangri-La's Old Town feels as if a full day would not be enough to capture all there is to see and do (and eat!). The competing option of an afternoon of cycling in the Tibetan countryside outside town causes you mild anxiety that you consider treating with a glass of wine at one of the many cafes along the Old Town's cobbled streets.

    Accommodation: Kunluntang Hotel, Shangri-La
  • DAY 14 Shangri-La to Chengdu (flight). Today is your reluctant departure from Shangri-La. The one comforting thought before you is that Shangri-La is also waiting for you back in Chengdu! That's right, there is no better preparation to be had the night before your onward travels than a restful night at the Shangri-la Hotel, Chengdu, including a farewell banquet and trip celebration. Flight time: 1hr 15min.

    Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu
  • DAY 15 Depart.

 


 What’s Included:

  • all transport, including airport pick-up and transfers
  • private vehicle and driver with foreign guide, plus an excellent English speaking local guide
  • one domestic flight (per the itinerary)
  • all meals, including complimentary bottled water enroute (with wine served at dinner)
  • complimentary use of a cell phone with local number for the duration of the trip
  • all accommodation based on double occupancy
  • all activities and entrance fees enroute (per the itinerary)

Not Included:

  • international airfare
  • medical, travel, and trip interruption insurance
  • passport and visa fees
  • activities not included on the trip itinerary
  • souvenirs, laundry, items of a personal nature

 

For those who prefer a different destination on the plateau for your overland adventure, we can arrange that too. Begin the conversation here.

Inquiry Form

Fill out the form below and you'll hear back from us within 24 hrs.

Sending

OVERLAND SHANGRI-LA SCHEDULED TOURS

  • July 2 - 16, 2017
  • Oct. 10 - 24, 2017
  • Private tour? Tell us the dates!
LEARN MORE or JOIN
an upcoming tour!
Click on the yak to begin your journey

THE FACTS

  • Days: 15
  • Price: $2,850 ¹
  • Single Supplement: $570 ²
  • Key Destinations: Kangding, Litang, Daocheng, Yading Nature Preserve, Shangri-La
  • Starts & Ends: Chengdu (inclusive of return flight from Shangri-La)
  • Transportation: Private 4X4 vehicle
  • Driving Distance: 1,150km
  • ¹ per person, based on group of four
  • ² surcharge for solo travelers who prefer a private room
Fill in this form and you'll hear back from us in 48 hrs!
First Name:
Last Name:
Number in my party:
I am interested in the following tour:
Scheduled tours:
Preferred Date:
I want to know more about this tour by:
Send me the Extravagant Yak Photo-of-the-month.
My location:

(for time zone purposes)
My number:
Do you have any specific requests or questions?

^ Back to Top