Find below the details of our program “Upper Mekong Songtsam Tour ”
Daily program: Upper Mekong Songtsam Tour
Day 1 : Arrival in Lijiang – Shuhe ~ 50mn transfer. Altitude 2000m.
Arrival at Lijiang‘s airport or railway station. Welcoming by your English-speaking driver/guide (they will have a board with your name), and go discover Lijiang Old Town and its morning market (according to your arrival time), then head towards the very beautiful Black Dragon Pond, with the mountains in the background reflecting in the clear water.
If you feel like to you can also visit the Dongba Museum so as to immerse yourself into the Naxi Dongba Culture, with 2500 identified exhibits and relics, coming directly from this ethnic minority.
Transfer and check in at the Bivou 4* hotel, which is located in Shuhe, a quiet old village away from the sometimes over-frequented streets of Lijiang, without being too far from there though (6km). We suggest you keep some free time to stroll in the heart of Shuhe old village. Don’t be afraid to get away from the center and go discover the hillside small streets with their vegetable gardens and the shady park (just behind the hotel) where the small rivers mingle with ponds, the water is particularly clear there.
Dinner at your expense and overnight in Shuhe.
Day 2 : Lijiang – Laojun Shan - Tacheng (B ; L ; D) ~ 5 hours drive. Altitude : 2000 m.
Breakfast and departure at 08.30 am.
Road towards Tacheng’s isolated region. During the journey, short stop at Shigu village, where you will see the first curve of the Yangtse River.
Lunch, and detour in the Liming area to discover the exceptional Laojun Shan National Park, with its huge karstic peaks accessible by cable car. This protected area make this park the second most impressive in China for its biodiversity and cultural richness. We can advise you to go down on foot if you have enough time (3km on steps and prepared paths).
Continuation on the road and arrival in Tacheng.
Check in at the superb Songtsam Tacheng Lodge hotel 5*.
Dinner included at the hotel restaurant. Overnight in Tacheng.
Day 3 : Tacheng - Cizhong (B ; L ; D) ~ 4h drive. Altitude 2200 m.
Breakfast and short transfer to Baima Natural Reserve to observe the Yunnan Golden Monkey in its natural environment, a protected species.
Back to the hotel and visit some Naxi Minorities villages on the way, as well as the small town close to the hotel, nicely surrounded by vineyards, and also producing an excellent traditional hotel !
After breakfast at the hotel, go on towards the Mekong valley and the stunning small village of Cizhong, inhabited by catholic tibetan people. Discover the village over the river, its vineyards and its church. First built by French missionaries from Paris foreign missions society in 1867, it was destroyed and burnt during the Tibetan Revolt in 1905. It was rebuild in the heart of Cizhong Village.
Dinner included at the hotel.
Overnight at Cizhong Songtsam Lodge 5*.
Day 4 : Cizhong – Meili Mountain(B ; L ; D) ~ 3h drive. Altitude 3300 m.
After breakfast, early departure on the road along the Mekong River towards Mingyong glacier, located below the Kawa Karpo summit and the Meili mountains. You will reach there with a local shuffle. A beautiful walk is waiting for you, during which you will meet lots of tibetan pilgrims, up to a local temple and to the glacier (about 3 hours walk back and forth).
A picnic will be arranged for your lunch.
Then continuation and check in at Meili Songtsam Lodge 5*, isolated and facing the high summit.
Dinner included at the hotel and overnight in the heart of the mountains, for an authentic nature shower!
Day 5 : Meili – Benzilan (B ; L ; D) ~ 2h30 drive. Altitude 2300 m.
Beautiful sunrise over the Meili mountains and the first sun rays come shine over the Kawa Karpo snowed slopes.
Then road towards Benzilan through the three passes of the White Horse mountains. Crossings at more than 4000 meters ! On the way you will enjoy very beautiful viewpoints on the mountain, then over the Yangtse River. Stop at a local small nunnery.
Lunch. In Benzilan, visit Dongzhulin Tibetan Monastery, located above the Yangtse River. It is a very popular place for local people, reknown to have hosted many “living buddhas”. In Benzilan, you might have the chance to discover a woodcarved pottery workshop in a big and beautiful tibetan house, if the owner is available when you arrive there.
Check in at your lodge, well located in a very tiny protected quiet valley with a very special micro climate.
Dinner and overnight at the charming Songtsam Benzilan Lodge.
Day 6 : Benzilan - Shangri La (B ; L ; D) ~ 2h30 drive. Altitude 3200 m.
Breakfast and continuation of the road with a stop at Nixi village and its pottery craftspeople, the region’s black soil is very famous for its properties.
Lunch on the way, then explore the tibetan countryside before arriving in Shangrila, on the shores of Lake Napa the fauna and flora reserve of the valley. Check in at your lodge late afternoon, at the foot of Songzanlin Monastery, away from the city. Dinner and overnight at Songtsam Lugu Lodge 5*.
Day 7 : Shangri La (B ; L ; D)
For lunch, you will have the opportunity to visit a tibetan family, discover the place where they live, try some yak butter tea, tsampa and of course the famous yak butter cheese, all of which are local specialties and the basis of daily food.
Stroll to the local market with stalls full of local products such as yak cheese and the numerous varieties of mushrooms freshly harvested, then stroll through the old city, notably to the Bai Ji Si temple with nice views over the surroundings and the Shika mountains.
Get to Da Gui Shang small temple, facing a giant tibetan prayer wheel dominating the city.
Back to your lodge to enjoy quietly the end of this day.
Dinner on site and overnight at Songtsam Lugu Lodge.
Day 8 : Shangri La / departure (B) ~ 30mn transfer.
Quiet breakfast and last few moments free until the time of your transfer towards the airport for your flight back or the following of your trip.
End of the Songtsam Tour, above the mountain of Northern Yunnan along the Mekong river.
Note : Your room will have to be freed before noon. Your luggage can be kept at the hotel.
End of our services. Our team wish you a nice way back home with beautiful memories in mind!