Kham Classic Tibet

Attention: by choosing this selection, you are paying to book a private room on top of what you have already purchased previously (i.e. paying to not share a bedroom with another tour guest).
Live the adventure of a National Geographic photographer (without the pressure) in our Kham Classic Tibet Photo Tour. Explore the unspoiled treasures of Eastern Tibet where the Kham Tibetans live.

A good photo impresses with its beauty and uniqueness. A great photo tells a story. Extravagant Yak takes the photography enthusiast to another world full of stories waiting to be told. Join us to capture (then release!) these tales from one of the highest cultures on the planet. See a religious dance ceremony designed to curry favour with the spirits in the community. Mystery. Encounter a group of Tibetans prostrate on the road on their pilgrimage to Lhasa. Devotion. Observe the life of nomadic yak-herders on the trail. Resilience.

For over a week you will live closer to the sun than you ever have before, with the freedom to capture all that it colors for your camera. Beginning in Chengdu, the hub of western China, a short flight will take you to Daocheng airport – one of the highest in the world. You will enjoy a full day in China’s Yading National Nature Reserve in the shadow of three 6000 meter giants, before turning north again until your journey at last unveils fabled Shangri-La.

A couple days in this land long sought by both explorers and romantics will be truly unforgettable. A leisurely bike ride in the Shangri-la countryside is a popular option or, if you prefer, exploring the Old Town at your own pace is recommended as well. Either way, you’ll find this to be the perfect place to relax. And of course you can capture a few more photos while you’re at it.

After a final night in Chengdu at the Shangri-al Hotel you’ll be well rested to return home with your photographs of some of the world’s most epic landscape and most photogenic people.
10 Days

Dates: Yours to choose

Key Destinations

Daocheng, Yading Nature Preserve, Shangri-La

Starts / Ends

Chengdu (Inc. return flight to Shangri-La)

  • All transport, including airport pick-up and transfers
  • private vehicle and driver with an excellent English speaking local guide
  • Two domestic flights (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

DAY 1 - Arrive in Chengdu

Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel, 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.

DAY 2 - Chengdu

Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel, 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.

DAY 3 - Chengdu to Yading (Flight)

Accommodation: Yi Zhan Hotel, Yading

Leaving Chengdu, today you take a direct flight out of the Sichuan basin to penetrate deep into the mountains that guard the approach to fabled Shangri-La . You pass through a virtual time warp on this one hour flight. Everything becomes new: landscape, climate, cuisine, language, customs, and of course the people, as you do your best to capture it all with your camera. After landing at Daocheng airport - one of the highest in the world - it is on by private vehicle to Yading . Your room for the night is in a comfortable hotel in the quaint village just outside Yading Nature Preserve (2800m). Vehicle distance: 120km.

DAY 4 - Yading

Accommodation: Yi Zhan Hotel, 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. Distance to the park: 40km.

DAY 5 - Yading - Daocheng (Flight)

Accommodation: Blue Moon Hotel, 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. Distance: 95km.

DAY 6 - Daocheng - Xiangcheng

Accommodation: Lianhua Hotel, 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 mountain passes. Distance: 115km.

DAY 7 - Xiangcheng - Shangri-La

Accommodation: Kunluntang Hotel, 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.

DAY 8 - Shangri-La

Accommodation: Kunluntang Hotel, 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.

DAY 9 - Shangri-La - Chengdu (Flight)

Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu

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.

DAY 10 - Depart