10 Days Lijiang and Shangri-La Exploration Tour with Meili Snow Mountain and Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve

Yading Natural Reserve is located in Daocheng, a county subordinated to the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on the southwest border of Sichuan Province. It is noted for its mysterious lamasteries, forests, pastures, snowclad peaks, clear lakes and primitive Tibetan villages. During this 10 Days Lijiang and Shangri-La Tour, you will visit the highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-La city, then move on to enjoy the stunning scenery of Meili Snow Mountain and Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve.


  • Visit the highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-La city such as Lijiang Old Town, Songzanlin Monastery.
  • Enjoy the stunning scenery of Meili Snow Mountain and Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Lijiang Arrival
  • Day 2: Lijiang
  • Day 3: Lijiang – Shangri-La
  • Day 4: Shangri-La
  • Day 5: Shangri-La – Feilaisi
  • Day 6: Feilaisi – Meili Snow Mountain – Derong
  • Day 7: Derong – Daocheng – Riwa
  • Day 8: Riwa – Yading – Riwa
  • Day 9: Riwa – Yading – Riwa – Daocheng
  • Day 10: Daocheng Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Lijiang Old Town, Black Dragon Pool, Dongba Ethnic Museum
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: None

Black Dragon Pool in Lijiang

Arrive at Lijiang airport, picked up by our English speaking tour guide and transfer to hotel. Visit the Ancient town of Lijiang, escorted tour to Square Street. Walk upstream along the Yuhe River from Lijiang Ancient Town Water Wheel to Black Dragon Pool, enjoy the wonderful reflection view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the pool. Visit the Dongba Ethnic Museum and explore the Naxi ethnic culture. At night, join in the singing competition party at the bank of ancient streams which wind through the town.

Day 2 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Yulong Snow Mountain, Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishuihe ARiver, Spruce Meadow, Baisha Old Town and Murals
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

The Glacier Park of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang

Enjoy the sunrise of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lijiang Ancient Town in the morning, drive about 30KM to Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M), you will take the sightseeing bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe River, take the chairlift up to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cableway will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around 1 hour in the original forest in Spruce Meadow(3200M).

Stroll through Baisha Old Town, which is an enchanting traditional Naxi style old town. Visit the Baisha Mural about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997.

Day 3 Lijiang-Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:the First Bend of the Yangtze River,Shigu Town,Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Ancient Town
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

From Lijiang, you’ll drive about 60KM to the First Bend of the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, visit the Iron Chain Bridge, the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in the Shigu town. The town of Stone Drum got its name from a large, cylindrical, marble tablet shaped like a drum. The scenery is magnificent as the road running through the Lijiang valley which is filled with wheat fields and drying haystacks.

Optional Special Experience: the floating tour at First Bend of the Yangtze River

You will have an experience of the floating from the First Bend of the Yangtze River to Longpan Town, after one hour floating, meet the driver and transfer to Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river. Afternoon, you’ll head for Shangri La, the former Zhongdian which is well-known as the paradise destination for every tourist. Upon arrival in Shangri-La, you will have entered the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys. Walk around Dukezong Ancient Town, an important town of the Ancient Tea-horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India.

Day 4 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Songzanlin Monastery, the Bita Lake & Shudu Lake, Tibetan Villages
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit the Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere.

And afterwards you’ll visit the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park. Pudacuo National Park is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. While the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China’s land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species. Then visit some Tibetan villages and families. 

Day 5 Shangri-La-Feilaisi

Sightseeing and Activities:Baimang Snow Mountain Nature Reserve, the Moon Bend of Yangtze River, the Sunset View of Meili Snow Mountain
Accommodation: Feilaisi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

The Moon-shaped Bend of Jinsha River in Deqin County, Diqing

In the morning, drive 8 to 9 hours to Deqin County (3400m altitude) which is 187km away from Zhongdian through Baimang Snow Mountain Nature Reserve, you will be able to view Baimang Snow Mountain if the weather is clear, pass the top part of today at 4292m altitude.

After traversing mountain ranges, you will make a short stop and have lunch at Benzilan town. Take some shots on the first bend of Jinsha(Yangtze) River, Dongzhulin monastery and Baima (white horse) Snow Mountain. The view along the way is fantastic with different kinds of trees, streams down the valley, prayer flags and stupas, and Tibetan villages.

Stay at Feilaisi for overnight.

Day 6 Feilaisi-Meili Snow Mountain-Derong

Sightseeing and Activities:the Sunrise View of Meili Snow Mountain, Mingyong Glacier, Mekong Grand Canyon
Accommodation: Derong
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Lancang-Mekong River Meili Grand Canyon in Deqin County, Diqing

Try to get up early in the morning, enjoy the magic sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain. Then drive another 1.5 hours to Mingyong village, where you will walk on the trails for about 4km to Mingyong Glaciers of Meili Snow Mountain, walk another one or so, you will get to Tibetan Taizi Monastery-another good spot to view the magnificent Mingyong Glaciers. (optional: You can choose to hire a horse to go up to the glacier on your own expense in order to save your energy).
After Mingyong Glacier in Mingyong Village, you will do some easy trekking along the Lancang River Grand Canyon as well as some Tibetan villages. This will be your most impressive part of your trip to Yunnan. Drive back to Feilaisi from the Lancang-Mekong River with a nice view of Meili Snow Mountain and Baima Snow Mountain. Transfer to Derong via Benzilan, visit Ganre River Valley of Yangtze River as well as the Grand Bend of Yangtze River.

Day 7 Derong-Xiangcheng-Daocheng-Riwa

Sightseeing and Activities:Wuming Snow Mountain (4550M), Sangdui Town, blockhouse, Sangdui pasture (3840M), vast poplar garden, Rewu Monastery (Hua Sect), Bowa Mount (4300M), Chitu River Valley
Accommodation: Riwa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive to Xiangcheng, visit some Tibetan Villages, Yuangen Mountain and Maan Mountain. Visit Sanpi Monastery in Xiangcheng County.

Coming over the mountain passes from either direction, you will at once spot the beautiful villages scattered amongst wheat-field-paddies in the valley ground. The large cubicle houses look like little castles and with their white-chalked exterior walls give the whole valley a north-African air. Xiangcheng itself consists of an old village paired with a modern Chinese downtown.

Spend a full day driving from Xiangcheng to Riwa(Shangrila Town) via Daocheng. Along the way, you will enjoy wonderful panoramas of barley fields, rushing rivers, expansive grasslands and snow-covered peaks.

Drive to Riwa via Sangdui and Daocheng. En route, visit Maxionggou original forests, Wuming Snow Mountain (4550M), Sangdui Town, blockhouse, Sangdui pasture (3840M), vast poplar garden, Rewu Monastery (Hua Sect), Bowa Mount (4300M), Chitu River Valley, Tibetan villages and Gongga Langjiling Monastery.

In Daocheng, there are many things to do along the road – leisurely walking to Haizi Mountain to see the incredible world of rocks and stones arraying on rivers, lakes and mountains; visit the 900 years old Tibetan monastery Bangpu; watching Red Grassland leaning close to winding rivers; watching vast forests of birch forest stretching to far distance… Stop for rest or take a walk whenever you want.

After arrival at Riwa, check in your hotel and the rest time is free for you to explore surrounding and acclimate the air and high altitude here.

Day 8 Riwa-Yading Nature Reserve-Riwa

Sightseeing and Activities:Yading Nature Reserve,Chonggusi Monastery,Luorong Pasture,Milk Lake,the Five-color Lake
Accommodation: Riwa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, you will get up early to have breakfast, and then take park bus to Zhaguanbeng. Get off bus, travel to Yading Nature Reserve and start the 1-hour hiking to Chonggusi Monastery(3,880m) as a warm-up. Go on your trip from Chongu Monastery to Luorong Pasture(4,150m), which can be done by a 1.5~3 hours’ hiking on plank path or a electric mobile car riding of about 20 minutes on a well-paved road. We suggest you take the car riding to save energy and time for coming serious hiking. Stop at the pasture to enjoy the breathtaking landscape – herds of sheep and cows are scattered over the grassland and enjoy the great sunshine and pure lake water. Snow peak, forest, pasture, rivulet, lake, waterfall and wooden house compose a most beautiful picture. Then, hike about 3 hours to Milk Lake, which is located at the foot of Jambeyang Snow Peak, about 7km from Luorong Pasture. The lake surface is bright with many colors, and the mountain’s reflection in the river looks more holy and pure. Keep hiking a half hour from Milk Lake upwards, you will reach the Five-color Lake (4,600m). Under the refraction of strong sunlight, five glaring colors shine on the lake. Looking over the lake, you will see glacier tongue lazily nuzzling to the lake. According to legend, the lake can divine one’s future. From here, you can also have closer magnificent views of three holy snow mountains – Chenresig (Xiannairi), Jambeyang (Yangmaiyong) and Chanadorje (Xianuoduoji). They respectively represent the Bodhisattva of Mercy, Wisdom and Wrath. They are regarded as the sacred mountain which can protect the Tibetan people in Yading.

In the afternoon, you will return back the same way coming. If you feel a little bit tired, you can ride the horse back to Luorong Pasture, then transfer back to the tourist center by taking an electric mobile car. Lastly, transfer back to Riwa for accommodation and having dinner.

Day 9 Riwa-Yading-Riwa-Daocheng

Sightseeing and Activities:Yading National Park,Chonggusi Monastery,Chenresig Peak (Xianuoduoji 6,032m), Pearl Lake
Accommodation: Daocheng
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s hiking is leisure at your own preferred pace and interest. You will firstly go to Chonggusi Monastery as the same way you taken in Day 8, but will spend some time visit the monastery and learn about its story. Here is also the best location to take photos of Chenresig Peak (Xianuoduoji 6,032m). Continue your hiking to next station – famous Pearl Lake, which usually takes about 1 hour to get to. Pearl Lake shocks your eyes with its fabulous scenery – ancient trees towering to the sky, green lake reflecting surrounding colors like a gem, giant snow peak within walking distance… Many tourists take this lake as the base to watch the breathtaking sunrise and sunset.

Finish your hiking and transfer back to Riwa, then keep driving to Daocheng County for accommodation and dinner.

Day 10 Daocheng Departure

Sightseeing and Activities:Daocheng Departure
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast

Today, after breakfast, your guide and driver will transfer you to the Daocheng Yading Airport for your departure flight. Enjoy amazing peaceful landscape along the road. (So far, you can take flight to Chengdu, Chongqing and Xian from Daocheng Yading).

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostel
Lijiang Pullman Hotel Wangfu Hotel Liwang Hotel Baisha Holiday Resort
Shangri-La Shangrila Hotel Shangrila Old Town Hotel Moon City Hotel Wu Fu South Yunnan Boutique Inn
Feilaisi Deqin Regalia Resorts & Spa Songtasm Feilaisi Hotel Guanjing Tiantang Hotel Yunling Guesthouse

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.