From Golden Temples to Tibetan Highlights - Laos & Yunnan
From Luang Prabang, To Nong Khiaw, Muang Ngoi, Nam Kat Yorla Pa, Oudomxay, Boten/Moha, Menglun, Jinghong, Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian, - 12 Nights
- Departing from:
- Luang Prabang,
- Nong Khiaw, Muang Ngoi, Nam Kat Yorla Pa, Oudomxay, Boten/Moha, Menglun, Jinghong, Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian,
- 12 Nights
- Private tour with daily departures
- Tour Operator:
- Focus Asia
- Reference Code:
Discover the charms of Luang Prabang and venture to nearby countryside and experience the natural beauty of rural Laos. Be immersed in nature and relax at Nam Kat Yorla Pa. Enjoy the changing landscape overland as you drive towards the China border. See the most impressive and breath-taking landscape such as Shaxi Valley, the colourful town of Lijiang, the scenic Yangtze Valley and the spectacular Tiger Leaping Gorge. Explore the picturesque Zhongdian (Shangri-la) located at the eastern Tibetan plateau.
LUANG PRABANG (ARRIVAL)
Greetings on arrival and transfer to your hotel. Welcome to UNESCO Worlde Heritage Site, Luang Prabang. Get your first impression of this charming former ancient capital with a short orientation walk around the picturesque old town.
(B) Overnight in Luang Prabang
LUANG PRABANG – KUANG SI WATERFALLS
Get a taste of local life with a visit to the Morning Market. Enjoy a leisurely walk around town and visit iconic attractions such as the National Museum (former Royal Palace), Wat Xiengthong and after a small hike up to Mt Phousi. Then in the afternoon, take a short drive to see the spectacular Kuang Si Waterfalls, multi-tiered with a striking turquoise colored water. Take a refreshing swim or relax amidst stunning natural scenery. On our way back visit Free the Bears Rescue Center for Asiatic Black Bears. If time permits, get to see elegant Lao textiles at Ock Pop Tok or visit the famous Buffalo Dairy to sample some special buffalo dairy ice-cream.
(B, L) Overnight in Luang Prabang
LUANG PRABANG – NONG KHIAW – MUANG NOI
Enjoy magnificent landscape as you drive towards Nong Khiaw, a small rustic town amidst limestone mountains on the banks of the Nam Ou River. Hop on board a long tail boat past remote villages, lush mountain terrains and Karst cliffs. Stop by the silk village of Ban Sopcham and after visit Muang Ngoi, a quaint little village amidst breathtaking landscape. Try swimming in the river or attempt Hawk Fishing.
Transfer back to Nong Khiaw.
(B) Overnight in Nong Khiaw
DAY 4 – DAY 5
NONG KHIAW – OUDOMXAY – NAM KAT YORLA PA RESORT
Our journey continues to Oudomxay. Along the way make a stop at Ban Na Nyang, a village known for traditional cotton weaving. Passing Oudomxay you will then reach the Jungle Resort of Nam Kat Yorla Pa where you will stay for the next two nights. The resort is a great base for relaxing or exploring the region and numerous adventurous activities can be booked on site such as forest walks, hiking, zip-lining and mountain biking. Others can choose to simple relax at the pool.
(B) Overnight in Nam Kat Yorla Pa
NAMKAT YORLA PA – BOTE/MOHAN – MENGLUN
Depart from Laos and continue our journey towards the border of China. After Immigration formalities, you will be met by your new tour guide. Continue driving until we reach Menglun. Visit Menglun Tropical Garden spreading over 900 acres and see within a botany museum display. Check in at your hotel for a well-deserved rest after a day of travelling.
(B) Overnight in Menglun
MENGLUN – JINGHONG – DALI
Early morning drive to Jinghong Airport. Around 11h00 we board the plane for Xiaguan. Pick up at the airport and drive to Dali. Dali is situated on the eastern shores of the stunning Erhai Lake on the foot of the 4000m high Cang Shan mountain range. During the 9th century Dali served as capital of the once powerful Nanzhao and later the Dali Kingdoms, before the historical town was overrun by the Mongols about 400 years later. We visit the recently renovated 3 Pagodas of the San Ta Si Monastery from the 9th century. The 3 towers of the “San Ta Si” (3 Pagoda Temple) have been constructed in the 9th century and are a good example of the ancient Bai craftsman skills. They are the only buildings that remain from the once powerful Nanzhao Kingdom. Later in the afternoon we take a stroll through the old town of Dali. In the evening time at leisure. Dinner at own expense.
(B) Overnight in Dali
DALI – SHAXI
A drive through beautiful landscape takes us to Shaxi. The traditional Bai village of Shaxi (Sideng) is located about 120 km northwest of Dali in the stunning surroundings of the Shaxi Valley. Shaxi was formerly an important pivotal stop on the Tea and Horse trail from Yunnan to Tibet. The village has been renovated and is preserved under an award-winning project by the Technical School Zürich. We will take you to nearby Shibao Mountain. The impressive rock carvings of Shibaoshan are over 1300 years old and are testimony of the spread of Mahayana Buddhism from Tibet in the region. You can either take an easy walk back to Shaxi (1.5 hrs) or take the car back to the hotel.
(B) Overnight in Shaxi
SHAXI – LIJIANG/SHUHE
After breakfast drive to Lijiang/Shuhe. Check in at hotel. For those who find Lijiang too much of a tourist place, Shuhe might be just the right place to visit. Located 10 minutes’ drive north of Lijiang, this laid back, sleepy Naxi village is a good place to hang out for an afternoon. Shuhe was once an important trading post on the “Tea & Horse Road” for tea on the way from Southern Yunnan to Tibet. An idyllic river runs through the middle of the cobble stoned village, and many of the old buildings where carefully renovated and turned into tastefully decorated restaurants, bars or guesthouses. Walking tour around Shuhe. By rental bicycles you ride to Baisha (5km). The Baisha village used to be the capital of the once powerful Naxi Kingdom. Pay a visit to the Liuli temple with beautiful wall paintings from the late Ming Dynasty, which, miraculously, survived the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution. Cycle back to Shuhe. Overnight accommodation is at Shuhe.
(B) Overnight in Lijiang
By public bus or by taxi you head for Lijiang old town. You stroll through the apparently countless and, on first sight, confusing narrow lanes and canals crisscrossing the old town. You also learn more about the secrets of the mystic Naxi-Dongba culture. An earthquake destroyed most of the city in 1996, and after its reconstruction, Lijiang was listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site. You climb Lion Hill and enjoy a panoramic look over the roof tops of the old town of Lijiang. You pay a visit to the lovely Black Dragon Pool Park with lovely views of the Jade
Dragon Mountain. The rest of the afternoon is at your own disposal. You can head back to Shuhe together with your guide or explore Lijiang a bit longer by yourself.
(B) Overnight in Lijiang
LIJIANG – TIGER LEAPING GORGE – ZHONGDIAN
Today’s drive offers spectacular views over the Yangtze valley. We first visit Shigu village, to see the famous “First Bend”, where the Yangtze River is making an abrupt 180 degree turn and flows for several kilometres, parallel to itself towards the north again. Continue to the impressive “Tiger Leaping Gorge” (Hu Tiao Xia), where the Yangtze waters are squeezed through a narrow, at some places only 15-meter-wide gorge. Truly spectacular and noisy scenery, especially from July to September when water levels of the Yangtze River are the highest. We walk down into the gorge to enjoy this fascinating scenery. Later we continue to Zhongdian which recently changed its name and is now called “ShangriLa”. Zhongdian is situated amongst a stunning landscape on the eastern Tibetan plateau at about 3200 meters above sea level.
(B) Overnight in Zhongdian
Take the public bus to visit Ganden Sumtseling Gompa, a 300 year old impressive Tibetan Monastery. From a historical point of view the Ganden Sumtseling Gompa is very significant to the region because it was inaugurated personally in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama. Destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, the Ganden Sumpseling Gompa is now again one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in the area. After that you head back to the picturesque old town of Zhongdian. You climb Turtle Hill and spin the giant prayer wheel three times for a good karma. Time at leisure to explore the ancient town of Zhongdian on your own. Overnight accommodation in Zhongdian. Tonight’s dinner takes place in a traditional, 200 years old Tibetan house in the centre of the old town. (own cost)
Optional cycling tour for the afternoon: Make a cycling tour around the beautiful Napa Lake. Napa Lake is a natural lake located on the outskirts of Zhongdian. During the winter month (September to March) many black-necked Cranes can be found around the lake. These rare birds come to Napa Lake in-order-to escape the cold winter months of the northern parts of China. You will come across several Tibetan villages with their traditional Tibetan houses build out of compressed earth and wood. Cycle back to Zhongdian. (Cycling tour: 34km mostly flat / easy / two minor climbs at the beginning and the end of the tour. Cost for bicycle rental ca. USD 12 per person)
(B) Overnight in Zhongdian
ZHONGDIAN – KUNMING
Early morning transfer to the airport and flight to Kunming. Possible to connect to TG flight to Bangkok or Flights to Hong Kong, Beijing or Shanghai.
All described sightseeing as in program above
Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation in hotels with daily breakfast
English-speaking local guides
Admission fees to indicated sights
Meals mentioned in the itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Domestic gov’t tax and service charge
International air tickets Flights & visa fees
Travel Insurance in all kinds
Meals not mentioned in itinerary
Drinks during Meals
Tip, drinks, any personal expenses
Early check-in and late check-out
Entrance fees, bike rental on day 12
Electric cart at Menglun Botanical Garden (USD10)
Accommodation in hotels is subject to availability. If the listed hotel is fully booked, alternate accommodation will be booked within the same hotel category without surcharge/reduction. If no hotel in same category available, we preserve the right to forward surcharge for any higher category respectively reduction for any lower category. In case you request the quotation with specific hotels, rate may change. All hotel ratings are according to the local accreditation authority.