Date: On request
Price: On request
Highlights / Route: Dali – Shaxi – Shigu – Tiger Leaping Gorge- hike – Baisha – Lijiang / Extension to Shangri-la or the Lugu-lake possible
Length: ~ 390 Km
Duration : 7 days – with extension 8-9 days
Style / Character: Active travel experience with a focus on hiking / biking / Culture / temple / minorities of Yunnan / Family Friendly: For families with children
Vehicles:  Four wheel drive, SUV, Van or Bus

On this active travel you will experience the impressive Yunnan .This includes the old towns of Dali, Baisha and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lijiang, and the Taoist Shi Bao Shan monkey mountain in Shaxi. A 2-day hike by foot or on the horseback through the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the original China can be experienced with its minorities, rural villages and one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes of the region.

Google maps only offers a basic overview on the route. Many smaller roads are not documented.

Daily itinerary for Discover Yunnan with a hike through the Tiger Leaping Gorge

Day Route: Description
1  Arrival in Dali: The journey begins in the old town of Dali, the former capital of the Nanzhao kingdom, which was built on the banks of the 42-kilometer Erhai Lake. Airport pickup and transfer to the hotel. Depending on arrival time free time  or visit the 1200 year old Three Pagodas.  
2  Dali sightseeing: Bike tour around the east side of the lake where is little traffic. The road winds through small fishing villages. Break at the Xiao Putuo Island. You can take a rowing boat to the island. On the island is a 450-year-old Buddhist temple. In a fishing village a long path leads into the water and its up to you to go for a swim if the water isnt too cold. The bike tour is 25 kilometer long and takes about 2 hours. Drive to historic kung fu temple on the Cangshan Mountain, where monks still practice martial arts. Drive to the hotel, free afternoon. Alternatively we offer a hike to the Cangshan mountain, where you have a magnificent view over Dali and the lake. For nature lovers: A night in the tent on 3800 meter high is a great experience.  
3  Dali – Shaxi: It takes almost 3 hours to Shaxi passing by Shi Bao Shan . There is an impressive monkey colony. In addition to the monkeys there are Taoist temples that were built on the steep slope. The Buddhist stone engravings which survived the Cultural Revolution unscathed are from the Dali Nanzhao Kingdom. The stone engravings are considered some of the most beautiful of all Southwest China. The style and the quality of handicraft is only comparable with those in Dunhuang or Bezeklik in Xinjiang at the silk road. A short over old ways takes us up the mountain from where you have a great view over the sourrounding valleys and gorges. Shi Bao Shan was once the Taoist-Buddhist center of Yunnan.
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4  Shaxi – Shigu – Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hike Day 1): From Shaxi the road winds up at over 2000 meters altitude. From several points we have a great view of the underlying river and the mountain scenery. We have a stop in Qiaotou for lunch. Before we get to the Tiger Leaping Gorge we take a break in Shigu. Up a small hill theres a spectacular panorama view over the first and famous Yangtze bend. Time for a 3-hour hike along the Yangtze River which flows through farming villages and farmland. Fantastic views of the Yangtze River and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, part of a 5000 mountain chain. We spend the night in a cozy Naxi Family Guesthouse, situated in a small village. All the inhabitants are Naxi, Yunnan mountain people. The guest house has rooms with private bathroom and a hot shower. You only need a small daypack cause the luggage will be carried by the SUV up to the guesthouse.
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5  Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hike Day 2): 6-hour hike through the most spectacular mountain scenery, the canyon has to offer, mostly downhill. After the “Buddha’s waterfall” we take a break. Lunch in a guesthouse in the gorge. We spend another night in the canyon, this time in another guesthouse.  
6  Tiger Leaping Gorge – Baisha (Lijiang): Early in the morning we take a walk down from the guesthouse in the gorge to Tiger Leaping Stone (2 hours both ways). Here you are very close to the roaring waters (this is optional – or drive straight to Baisha). Baisha is the non-touristy counterpart to the Old Town of Lijiang. Here, in the middle of corn fields, the authentic old town can be visited. Small cafes invite you to linger. In the late afternoon or the next morning theres time to visit the old town of Lijiang.
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7  End of the Tour in Baisha (Lijiang): Transfer to the airport.

Day Extension of the Trip
1  Drive from Baisha (Lijiang) to Lugu Lake: Cruise along the Mekong to Lugu Lake. This area is inhabited by the Mosu. The lake shore is lined with small Buddhist temples and some beaches. Coniferous forest surrounds the lake. On the peninsula Lige there are some lovely guesthouses where you can stay overnight.  
2  Baisha (Lijang) – Shangri-la: Drive to the Tibetan Shangri-la in the north of Yunnan. Here you get a sense of Tibetan life. The Himalaya start over here. Shangri-la is located at an altitude of 3,200m. There are a few things to visit like the old town and the Yellow Hat Songzanlin Monastery .  
3  Baisha (Lijiang) – Shitouchen stone village – Lugu Lake: The Stone Village was built in the 7th century on an inaccessible cliff to protect themselves from the marauding Tibetan horsemen. We stay in Wumu, where a hike to the Yangtze can be made. From here you can go on an adventurous boat trip on the azure and green Yangtze to visit the stone village.  


Included Services:

4x4 on the roads of Sichuan

Overnights stays in hotels and guest houses
English speaking tour guide
Accompanying vehicle with equipment
Meals (Breakfast, lunch), mineral water
Help with applying a Chinese visa