Discover South China with Shangri-la2024-01-06T11:09:56+01:00

Discover South China with Shangri-la

On this 4×4 Tour we experience the most beautiful places in Yunnan. This includes the old towns of Dali, Shaxi, Baisha and the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lijiang, as well as famous Shangri-la.

We drive along winding country – and mountain roads, passing impressive rice terraces and drive through small traditional Chinese villages. The journey continues through one of the deepest canyons in the world – the Tiger Leaping Gorge – thrilled with its breathtaking views. We pass 5000 meters high mountains and drive over hilly landscapes and Tibetan yak meadows to Shangri-la – the Tibet of Yunnan. A real highlight awaits us near Deqin: we will stay overnight in a small Tibetan village at the shores of the Mekong river and experience first hand Tibetan village life. From there we have views on one of the holiest mountains of Tibet: Kawa Kapo (6.774m). On our way back south we discover the first bend of Yangtze River where it turns 170 Degree on its long way from the Tibetan heights to the East China Sea. In Dali we enjoy one more time a picturesque old town of Yunnan before the journey ends in Kunming.

On Request

On Request

14 days / 13 nights

Overnight stays in hotels and guest houses.

You want to change the tour a little bit?
No Problem!

Contact us

South China …

… is a really beautiful part of China! I haven’t regret booking the tour!

Marius D.

I really …

… like traveling with Tibetmoto. Thank you for the tour, Hendrik!

Ewalt H.

Discover South China with Shangri-la – Itinerary

Day 1: Arriving in Kunming

Airport pick-up and transfer to the hotel. Free time for acclimatization. Dinner with the other participants and your guide.

Day 2: Discover Kunming

After breakfast we start to discover Kunming. We visit Yuantong temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Kunming and a magnet for pilgrims. At the pagodas dating back to the Tang dynasty we can observe local life. In the afternoon we visit the bamboo temple which is located a few kilometer out of the city center.

Day 3: Kunming – Jianshui

The first day on the road will bring us to Jianshui. In Jianshui we can visit the small old town, the city gates and the Confucius temple – the second largest in all of China. Many temples and gates are located in these large garden like grounds. The facility not only served as a temple but as well as a scholarly center for teaching government officials and military personnel in the values of Confucianism.

Day 4: Jianshui – Yuanyang

A short drive along curvy mountain roads with spectacular view and through small minority villages brings us to the Rice Terraces of Yuanyang. From 500 ago the local minority started to expand the terraces from year to year. Now, the terraces belong to one of the largest of its kind in the world. Upon arrival we visit small farming villages and sit for a traditional tea with locals.

Day 5: Yuanyang – Chuxiong

From Yuanyang we head north to Chuxions. In this small district capital we can visit pagodas which are located on a small hill and are overlooking the surrounding countryside.

Day 6: Chuxiong – Weishan

Weishan is a real undiscovered gem of Yunnan. Laid back in the countryside of Dali county not many tourists visit Weishan. The well preserved old town offers city gates and local shops and restaurants and an insight and the feeling of the old China. Here the freshly made noodles are still being dried on the open streets and life goes slow. In the afternoon we visit Wei Bao Shan, a Taoist temple complex on top of Wei Mountain. Here more than a dozen temples were built in traditional Feng Shui style more than 500 years ago. Locals gather here every day to drink tea and play Majiang, a traditional Chinese game.

Day 7: Weishan – Shaxi

Shaxi features one of the best preserved old towns of Yunnan province. The large outdoor theater and its many traditional courtyard houses make Shaxi very worthwhile to visit. At the old Tea Horse Road bridge, which connected Indian and Myanmar with China for tea tradiing, we can get an impression of the life of the tea traders. We follow the old trading route some kilometers into the mountains before walking back into the old town. In Shaxi we stay in a protected traditional courtyard house which is more than 100 years old and once belonged to a rich tea trading family.

Day 8: Shaxi – Baisha (Lijiang)

Baisha is the less touristy pendant to Lijiang and has a small old town with a embroidery center where China wide known masters still teach this almost forgotten art. In the afternoon we visit Lijiang old town, the UNESCO World Heritage site and the Black Dragon Pool – one of China´s most well know landscapes with the 5.500 meter high Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range in the background.

Day 9: Lijiang – Tiger Leaping Gorge

Today we reach the shores of the Yangtze river and follow this stream north into the Tiger Leaping Gorge – one of the deepest gorges in the world overlooked by the 5.500m high Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range which we saw the day before from the Lijiang side. We will not only visit the gorge from the road but see it from the highest point of the high trail where we trek to and manage the winding 28 bends. In the afternoon we will see the Yangtze River from close: we hike into the gorge and take a break on a rock in the middle of the water stream. We stay overnight in a small guesthouse inside the gorge.

Day 10: Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-la

Today´s destination is the famous Shangri-la. We cross Tibetan grassland scattered with yak herdes and reach finally the Himalayan mountain range. In Shangri-la we visit the old town, the largest prayer wheel in the world and the largest Tibetan monastery of southern China: Tsumtsaling.

Day 11: Shangri-la – Deqin (Tibetan Village Homestay)

On our way further north we enter the Tibetan areas deeper and encounter soon the Mekong river on its way from the Himalayan heights to south east Asia. In Benzilan we visit another great Buddhist monastery of the area. In Deqin we will be guests in a traditional Tibetan farm house and share meals together with the family. A real highlight of the entire trip. The green village is perched between mountains and a welcome contrast to the spectacular but rough Tibetan landscape and the wild Mekong river. The time in the village will give you the possibility of an unmasked insight into Tibetan culture and village life. The farm was built in traditional architectural style and has a traditional spacious living room with Tibetan wood carvings and a ceremonial prayer room. From the flat roof terrace you can see the peak of Mt. Kawa Karpo (6.774m), one of Tibet´s most holy mountains.

Day 12: Deqin (Tibetan Village Homestay) – Qizong

From the village we drive back south along the beautiful shores of the Mekong river. We pass by small Tibetan villages until we reach Qizong. Once we arrived in Qizong we visit a Tibetan Buddhist temple that was finished only a few years ago and shows how the Buddhism is flourishing again. Here we can relax in the garden or have a cup of tea with the monks.

Day 13: Qizong – Dali

Another great day, this time we leave the shores of the Mekong and enter the Yangtze River valley. We take a break in Shigu where the Yangtze turns 170 degree on its way to the East China Sea from its source in the Himalayas. In Dali there is a lot to discover such as the 1200 year old Three Pagodas and the picturesque old town. Dali lays between the Cangshan mountain range (around 4000m high) and the 41 kilometer long Erhai Lake. Other options are visiting small fishing villages near the lake or a short hike up the mountain.

Day 14: Dali – Kunming

The tour will end after breakfast. A bus will pick you up from the hotel and will drive you all the way back to Kunming. Of course, you can stay as well longer in Dali to discover more of this unique destination.

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Book your Tour now! Discover South China with Shangri-la

Since our tours get filled up fast, please book the Discover South China with Shangri-la Tour now to avoid disappointment.

Our Next available tours are as follows:

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Included Services

  • 12 Overnight stays in 3* Hotels and Guesthouses, 1 Homestay,
  • English speaking Tibetmoto Tour Guide
  • Gas, Toll Gate Fees, Driver (self-driving possible)
  • Meals (Breakfast, Lunch), Mineral Water
  • Help with applying a Chinese visa

Questions & Answers

Will every tour take place exactly as described in the tour itinerary?2021-01-08T23:13:47+01:00

All our itineraries give you a good overview what you will experience and discover when booking with tibetmoto. The itineraries are nevertheless best understood if they are seen as a suggestion rather than as a 100% planned and a thousand times done way of traveling. We like to keep every tour, every adventure, every trip unique and special. We are proud to say that we have never done a trip two times exactly the same way. Our team does not like to offer mainstream tourism tours, and we believe that people enjoy their time best when they have freedom and possibilities to choose from. Freedom and flexibility are very good ingredients to cook an exceptional discovery or adventure, to meet unusual people and visit off-the-beaten-track places.

How does camp life look like on expeditions?2020-11-12T18:02:03+01:00

After arriving at the camp ground we pitch up the tents, our team will set up the mobile kitchen, the electricity generator is being started and we can think of having a cold beer. All supplies and the luggage is carried by our supply truck. We do not have always pre-chosen camp grounds which are always frequented by us, since every expedition is different. Depending on the time in the afternoon we start looking for “the perfect spot”. Perfect spots have a water source such as a river or a lake and a flat piece of land for the tents. Some spots we use more frequently since they are so perfect that the location is hard to beat. Camping together with nomads offers an opportunity to experience their way of live, culture and habits. Sitting in the evening together in a nomad tent somewhere on the Tibetan grassland and listening to Tibetan nomads` songs is a truly genuine experience.

Dinner is being served in a large dining tent where we have tables and chairs to comfortably sit together, eat and drink. The separate, smaller, sleeping tents are designed to accommodate each two people, but if you choose the “single room” option (you will find that option below each expedition itinerary) you will have your own tent. Our tents are army tents where you can almost stand upright. The sleeping “hard wear” is a foldable army field bed, which puts your body about knee height away from the ground. We provide you with the entire hard wear, plus blankets and insulation mats. The only item you should bring along is your personal sleeping bag. If you don´t want to bring your sleeping bag all the way to China we can provide you with a new sleeping bag for a reasonable price.

Which documents do I need?2020-11-11T22:35:03+01:00

You will need your passport, a pass picture, national driving license, international driving license and flight ticket. Please be sure to make photocopies of all of your important travel documents and carry them separately. They can be invaluable in an emergency.

We also need a scan of the Chinese visa six weeks before the tour starts.

All scanned documents should be sent to us on an A4 sheet of original size

What can I expect from an overnight stay with a tibetan host family?2020-11-12T18:01:15+01:00

A home stay is an opportunity to get access into another culture by joining the host family for dinner and breakfast and sleep under their roof, as their guest. Most families live together in a several generation house, from children to old grandparents. A lot of home stays are semi-farms with at least a few cattle such as chicken and cows around the house. Often are fields attached where family member go to work after breakfast. Here, local family and work life can be experienced as it is instead of “only” observing it from the outside.
We believe that joining a home stay is on of the best ways to get in touch which what surrounds you in a foreign country.

How well do I have to be able to ride a motorcycle?2020-11-11T21:59:51+01:00

You should be able to ride a motorcycle safely, especially on winding mountain roads. An uncertainty is common, but you quickly get used to the local traffic. Our tour guide will give the group useful and good tips on riding in China. Before the start of the Tibet and China Motorcycle Tour, there will be an introduction to road traffic behavior.

Do I need a driving license?2020-11-11T21:57:31+01:00

For the Tibet and China motorcycle tour you need a valid national and international driver’s license.

What is the currency in China?2020-11-11T21:56:01+01:00

In China, the currency is the CNY (Chinese Renminbi). The exchange rate is around 1€ to 7.56 CNY (as of 05/2020). The CNY is not a freely convertible currency, so you cannot get it at every bank in Europe. The exchange rate, which is determined by the Bank of China, can be observed under the following link:

However, we recommend withdrawing a larger amount of CNY from an ATM with all major credit cards or debit cards after arriving in China. Our on-site tour guide is happy to help. Due to the often very poor exchange rate for the CNY in Europe, it is not worthwhile to exchange significant amounts of CNY in Europe. There are also many ATMs in Lhasa where you can withdraw money. Our experience shows that the majority of our participants spend around 20€ a day.

What about my luggage? Where can I transport it?2020-11-11T21:51:45+01:00

The luggage will be transported in the support vehicle. Don’t forget that on domestic flights, the pastries usually cannot exceed 20 kg!

What clothes should I pack?2020-11-11T22:26:29+01:00

For a motorcycle tour you should bring motorcycle clothing including a helmet. Of course you also should pack warm clothing (as layers or as undersuit). It can get cold! You should also bring gloves and a rain suit.

How is the Road Condition?2020-11-11T21:45:13+01:00

The roads on the motorcycle tour are mostly paved (with a few exceptions). Due to the new asphalting of road sections, it can temporarily lead to a poor condition of the road. The paved roads are mostly in good condition. However, there may be isolated potholes or gravel lying on the ground. The route on the motorcycle tour also includes sections with new asphalt, on which you can enjoy European standards or even better. These routes are wonderful to ride! Due to moisture and the difficult to see oil or diesel traces, however, extreme caution is always required!

What is the deposit for renting a motorcycle?2020-11-11T21:42:45+01:00

Deposit for a rental motorcycle (partial cover):

The following cash deposits are required:

Shineray X5 400: EUR 500
BMW G 310 GS: EUR 1,000
BMW F 800 GS: EUR 1,500

If the participant/motorcyclist causes damage during the Tibet motorcycle tour, the deposit is the maximum amount.

Do I need a chinese visa?2020-11-11T21:39:18+01:00


All participants in the Tibet and China motorcycle tours require a visa to enter China. The passport must be valid for another six months. You have to apply for the visa yourself at a service center, the Chinese embassy or on behalf of an agency. Due to frequent changes in the application procedure, we recommend that you use an agency. This is slightly more expensive than filing your own application, but it saves you a lot of work and time.

We will apply for all of the necessary Tibet permits for the motorcycle tour.

Tour Concept by RC Hendrik

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