13 Days Three Parallel Rivers Circle Adventure with Tiger Leaping Gorge and Yubeng Village Hiking Tour

Originating in the Tanggula Mountain on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Jinsha River, Lancang River and Nu River flow parallelly along the Hengduan Mountains for several hundred kilometers. For this tour, you will visit the highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-la. And you will have two trekking experience: Tiger Leaping Gorge(the most famous and must-visit attraction in Yunnan Province) trekking and Yubeng Village( a welcomed fairyland in Shangri-La) trekking.

Highlights:

  • Visit the highlights of Lijiang and Shangri-La include Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Songzanlin monastery, etc. 
  • Experience two unforgettable trecking tour: Tiger Leaping Gorge Trekking and Yubneg Village Trekking.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Lijiang Arrival
  • Day 2: Lijiang
  • Day 3: Lijiang – Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Day 4: Tiger Leaping Gorge – Baishuitai – Shangri-La
  • Day 5: Shangri-La
  • Day 6: Shangri-La-Benzilan-Feilaisi
  • Day 7: Feilaisi-Xidang-Yubeng
  • Day 8: Yubeng
  • Day 9: Yubeng-Ninong-Cizhong
  • Day 10: Cizhong-Weixi-Tacheng
  • Day 11: Tacheng-Shigu-Lijiang
  • Day 12: Lijiang
  • Day 13: Lijiang Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Lijiang Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities:Arrive in Lijiang
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals:None

Airport-hotel transfer.

Day 2 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishuihe River, Spruce Meadow, Impression Lijiang Show, Baisha Old Town and Mural
Accommodation:Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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). After lunch, you’ll visit the Impression Lijiang Show

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-Tiger Leaping Gorge

Sightseeing and Activities: hiking
Accommodation: Halfway Guesthouse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

At 6:00, drive to Qiaotou Town, which will take 2 hours on the trip.  Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking tour is one of the most beautiful trekking tour of Yunnan Province. Your hiking trip starts from Qiaotou. About two hours trekking in the Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge, you will arrive at Naxi Family and have lunch there. It is an easy trekking from Qiaotou to Naxi Family, but with beautiful scenery.
 
After lunch, a trekking from Naxi Family to 28 zigzagging turns will be a challenge for you. From the top of “28 turns” on the high path further uphill to a place of altitude above 3000 m, you can have a view of the panorama of the entire Gorge.  Then go pass Tea Horse Guest House (5 hours) and arrive at Halfway Guesthouse (2500m) to finish today’s trekking. The total trekking route is 26 km, and it takes about 6-8 hours.

Day 4 Tiger Leaping Gorge-Baishuitai-Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Tiger Leaping Gorge, Baishuitai, Dukezong Ancient Town, Guishan park
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the early morning, continue hiking to Tina’s Inn (2 hours) after another hour walking down the steep cliff to the bank of Jinsha River to the Middle Gorge (Middle Hutiao or Middle Rapids), worship the dangerous shoal of “Starriness”, the most narrow part of the gorge, where a tiger can easily jump over the Jinsha River. Drive to Baishuitai to see the beautiful terrace, then drive to Shangrila. After arrive at Shangrila, you’ll visit Shangrila old town and Guishan park.

Day 5 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Songzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park
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.

Day 6 Shangri-La-Benzilan-Feilaisi

Sightseeing and Activities:Benzilan Town, Dongzhulin Monastery, The First Bend of Jinsha River, Feilaisi Temple, Sunset of Meili Snow Mountain
Accommodation: Feilaisi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, we drive toward Feilaisi (5-6 hours, including lunch and stops); en route,  you will be able to see The First Bend of Yangtse River, Which looks like a flying dragon down the vast and deep valley of Wakha region. We have a local lunch in Benzilan Town; visit Dongzhulin Monastery-a Gelupa sect and the First Bend of Jinsha River, get to Feilaisi Temple and enjoy the Sunset of Meili Snow Mountain.

Day 7 Feilaisi-Xidang-Yubeng

Sightseeing and Activities:Yubeng Village Trekking
Accommodation: Yubeng Village
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early in the morning , we could enjoy the golden mountain, on top of which the sunrise touches its snow capped peak. After breakfast, we drive along Mekong River to reach trail head; hike up to and over a mountain pass to Yubeng, with picnic lunch (5-7 hours, with several steep sections). Arrive in Yubeng village; dinner at a traditional Tibetan living room, followed by lively singing and dancing with local villagers. Overnight in Yubeng. 

Day 8 Yubeng Village

Sightseeing and Activities:Yubeng Village Trekking
Accommodation: Yubeng Village
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we enjoy breakfast with breathtaking views of Mt. Kawagebo, if weather permits. We then hike to Yubeng waterfall and enjoy picnic lunch on the way (5-6 hours roundtrip, steep hike). Visit sacred sites, such as the local Tibetan Buddhist temple, then return to the village. In late afternoon, sip traditional Dri (a female YAK), butter tea with a farmer in Upper Yubeng village, while chatting about local life.

Day 9 Yubeng Village-Ninong-Cizhong

Sightseeing and Activities:Trek along the Ninong Grand Canyon
Accommodation: Cizhong
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Trek along the Ninong Grand Canyon from Yubeng Village to Mekong River, then drive to Cizhong.

Day 10 Cizhong-Weixi-Tacheng

Sightseeing and Activities:Catholic church in Cizhong
Accommodation: Tacheng
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Visit Cizhong Catholic church and the villages around. Drive to Tacheng.

Day 11 Tacheng-Shigu-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:wild Yunnan golden monkeys, the First Bend of Yangze River, Stone Drum Town, Lijiang Ancient Town
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, explore wild Yunnan golden monkeys, one of the most endangered primates in China. Then drive to Shigu Townvisit the First Bend of Yangze River, Stone Drum, then drive to Lijiang.

Visit Lijiang Ancient Townwhich is perfectly adapted to the uneven topography of this key commercial and strategic site, has retained a historic townscape of high quality and authenticity. Its architecture is noteworthy for the blending of elements from several cultures that have come together over many centuries. Lijiang also possesses an ancient water-supply system of great complexity and ingenuity that still functions effectively today.

Day 12 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Yuhu Village and Joseph Rock’s Exhibition, Black Dragon Pool, Dongba Culture Museum, Lion Hill and Wangu Tower
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, pay a visit to Yuhu Village and the Former Residence of Dr. Joseph Rock at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, who traveled to Lijiang in 1922 and was known for his study on Dongba culture of Naxi minority group. Then continue the tour to Black Dragon Pool Park and the Dongba Cultural Museum. By visiting this museum, learn more about Dongba culture preserved by Naxi People. The last stop is Lion Hill and Wangu Tower.

Day 13 Departure from Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Departure from Lijiang
Accommodation:None
Meals: Breakfast

Hotel breakfast, then you will be dropped to Lijiang Sanyi Airport to end the service.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostel
Cizhong Songtsam Cizhong Lodge Xuelong Meili Yiju Hotel

Kawagebo Hotel

Yubeng impression boutique Inn
Feilaisi Deqin Regalia Resorts & Spa Songtasm Feilaisi Hotel Guanjing Tiantang Hotel Juesedianxiang Youth Hostel
Lijiang Pullman Resort Hexi Hotel Liwang Hotel Baisha Holiday Resort
Shangri-La Paradise Hotel Zhaxi Dele Hotel Moon City Hotel Wu Fu South Yunnan Boutique Inn
Tiger Leaping Gorge / / / Tina’s Hostel
Yubeng / / / Longmen Hostel

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 and vehicle for transfers & sightseeing;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • Two bottles of mineral water each day;
  • Horse fee for luggage while Yubeng trekking.

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.

Travel Tips:

Tips of Yubeng Village Trekking Tour

  • 1. Ensuring you will have enough time. The round trips from Hot Spring to Yubeng village needs two days at least, three days or four days are better.
  • 2. We suggest that you choose trekking as far as possible because you can control your time and your pace and it is more convenient to take pictures. It takes some time to reach your destination by riding horse because horse needs to rest en route either, and riding horse is not cheap.
  • 3. About equipment is mainly about clothing and shoes. It is humid in Meili area with plenty of rain, so you should pay attention to rain and moisture. And you have better prepare some insect repellent medicine to protect yourself from Tibetan louse.
  • 4. About food, we suggest you to bring some chocolate and processed meat product, for example, you can buy some yak jerky in Lijiang and Zhongdian because it is difficult to eat fresh meat in Yubeng village, and daily foods are potatoes, vegetables and eggs. But physical consumption is high; vegetables cannot meet your needs.
  • 5. There is signal from Xidang Hot Spring and Nazongla Pass, but after Nazongla Pass will remain off the hook. Therefore, Nazongla Pass is the last station you can keep contact with outside world.
  • 6. Respect the local custom: in some places of Yubeng village, there is polygamy, that is women can be married to more than one people. When you communicate with Tibetans, you must pay attention to their subtle relationship.
  • 7. Most of villagers of Yubeng have no regular education, they can’t read in general. And they speak Tibetan language; women and children can’t speak Mandarin in the most situations, so it is easier to talk with men.
  • 8. Draw lots for the horse: if there are two people or more wants to ride horse, you need draw lots to decide to ride which horse. No matter what you get, you cannot change your horse by your own; otherwise you possibly rent no horse and cause troubles. This rule made by Tibetans is their own way to ensure fairness and it is useful in many places of Tibet.

Tips of Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour

Photography Tips

  • High Path – you can take photos with Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
  • Naxi Family G.H. (纳西雅阁) and Tea-horse G.H. (茶马客栈) – best places to take photos of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
  • Note: along the route, some good viewing points will be charged RMB 3 – 5. 

Best Time to Hike

  • Avoiding Jun to Sept because it is the rainfall season which is dangerous and unsafety of the hiking route. 
  • Taking enough cool-proof clothes if you hike there after Oct.
  • Note: Tiger Leaping Gorge weather can take the one of Lijiang as reference. Lijiang Climate & Weather page for information you need.

Packing List for Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking

  • Quick-dry light clothes
  • Jacket
  • Old antiskid shoes
  • A bottle of mineral water
  • Alpenstock
  • Torch
  • Small bag
  • Food such as chocolate, sliced dried beef etc.
  • Note: along the hiking route there are many guesthouse or small stores to supply and rest.