8 days Chengdu, Yading Nature Reserve, Mount Meili, Lijiang overland tour
Drive to Kangding via Ya'an. The ride is comfortable in the morning but will get tougher in the afternoon. You'll pass Erlang mountain-the first pass of the countless high mountains on the Sichuan-Tibet highway. You will arrive at Kangding-the capital city of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. After free explore Kangding city, then continue driving to Xindu Qiao. Cross over the Mt. Zheduo at an elevation of 4300m, Xindu Qiao is known as the paradise for photographing, on the way to Xinduqiao, you will have plenty of time to take photos. Overnight at Xinduqiao.
Today drive from Xinduqiao to our trip highlight- Daocheng via Litang, in the morning pass two 4300m high mountains-the Jianziwan & Kazila mountain. Lunch at Litang . With its 4010m altitude, the county is no doubt the highest city in the world. In addition to its beautiful scenery & spectacular local Tibetan customs, another tourist attraction is the Hose-racing Festival in every August. Therefore, if you are here at the very right time, you'll never miss the chance for the hose-racing & dressing show. Another 146km ride to Daocheng will be continued after the visit to a Tibetan monastery. Daocheng is a county that you will enjoy because of its rich soil & Tibetan culture, and a good place for recharging yourself before Yading. You may relax yourself by bathing at the hot spring & the Tibetan local dancing show.
Morning drive to Yading Nature Reserve, the countryside scenery en route is very charming and the road is perfect, it drives approximately 2 hours to Shangrila town, here you will buy the entrance ticket and take the local sightseeing bus to Zhaguanbeng (about 1.5-2hours), then hike to Chonggu Temple for about 10-15 minutes, see the scenery of Chonggu Temple and holy peak Xiannairi. From Chonggu Temple trekking up to Drolma-la Tso ( Pearl Lake ) about 1 hour per way. Pearl Lake is the best place to view the holy peak Xiannairi. Afterwards, walk back to Zhaguanbeng for about 1 hour and then take the sightseeing back to Yading village for the night. Overnight at Yading village local guest house.
Morning hops on a sightseeing bus to Zhaguanbeng and then hike to Chonggu Temple. After that take the local storage battery bus to Luorong Pasture (about 15 minutes), which is the best place to pilgrim the three saint peaks of Xiannairi, Yangmaiyong and Xialuoduojie. After arriving at Luorong Pasture, you can choose to hike up to Milk lake (4500m high) and Multi-color lake (hike at least 3.5 hours), normally we suggest our clients ride horse to visit Milk lake (about 2-3 hours, costs 300RMB/45USD per person). Afterwards return to Luorong Pasture and then take the bus to Chonggu temple, here you need walk down and take the sightseeing bus to Shangrila Town. Overnight at Yading Shangrila Town.
Today drive from Shangri-la town to Benzilan town via Xiangcheng county, enjoy the beautiful landscapes on the way. Arrive at Benzilan town in the afternoon, a border town between Sichuan and Yunnan provinces on the bank of Jinshang River, it was used to be one important town at Tea Horse Road, here you will see the famous Jinsha River Bend. Overnight at Benzilan town.
Morning set off to Deqin county by passing Snow mountains with roughly 3 hours drive. Feilaisi is only a few kilometers from Deqin, it is the best place to see holy Mount Meili, one of the most sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism. 'Kang Karpo Peak' means the God of Snow Mountain in Tibetan, and is a holy land for worshiping. Local Tibetan pilgrims from Central Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu provinces travel to Mount Meili at the beginning of winter to worship. Thousands of devout pilgrims worship together and encircle the holy mountain, adding even more mystery and loftiness to the mountain. Afternoon if you like hiking, then spend 2-3 hours hiking to Mingyong Glacier at the foot of Mount Meili. Enjoy the brilliant sunset over Mount Meili when has great weather. Overnight at Feilaisi local hotel.
Early morning enjoy the sunrise at Mount Meili, then drive to Shangri-la (Zhongdian) by passing White horse mountains. Afternoon visit the Grand Songzhanlin Monastery, which is belong to Yellow school of Tibetan Buddhism and is regarded the little Potala Palace. Overnight at Zhongdian.
After breakfast drive to Lijiang, the World-class Cultural Legacy by UNESCO for its historical remains of building and culture. En route visit the famous Tiger-leaping Gorges ( Only upper Gorge). The tour will be end once you check in at Lijiang.