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Lijiang and Gyalthang Mid-Trip Extension

Naxi and Tibetan Cultures, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Ancient Monasteries

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $2285  
Length: 4 days
Arrive: Guiyang, China
Depart: Beijing, China
Lodging: 3 nights hotels (with optional upgrades in Lijiang and Gyalthang)
Meals: Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Wildlife & Natural History, Walking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Walking tours, light optional hiking, and cultural exploration
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Visa Requirements

A visa is required for U.S. citizens visiting China. Your visa must be obtained prior to arrival.

Our Trips using this Extension


China Private Journey

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

Enjoy extended cultural interactions on this mid-trip extension to ancient Lijiang and Gyalthang in the eastern Tibetan highlands. Lijiang, a World Heritage Site, is the cultural capital of the Naxi, a unique minority descended from Tibetan nomads who settled here in the 10th century. Their language, style of dress, and cuisine are distinct from both the Tibetans and the Han Chinese. In centuries past, Gyalthang, the capital of China’s Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, was a stopover on the tea caravan route between Yunnan and Tibet. Today it is still the heartland of the Khampa Tibetans, with their age-old traditions as swashbuckling horsemen and caravan traders.

Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-7
China Private Journey

Days 1-7 follow the China Private Journey itinerary

Day 8
Guiyang / Lijiang

Transfer to Guiyang for your flight to Lijiang, a beautiful and ancient city nestled below the inspiring form of Jade Dragon Mountain, an 18,000-foot snow peak. This afternoon, enjoy a stroll in Lijiang’s Old Town, a world of narrow cobblestone streets criss-crossed with narrow canals unchanged since the Ming Dynasty when the town was founded. Later, visit The Nature Conservancy exhibition center to see how natural resources in this region are being protected...BLD 

Day 9
Yuhu / Xuehua Yi

A World Heritage Site, Lijiang is the cultural capital of the Naxi, a unique minority descended from Tibetan nomads who settled here in the 10th century. Visit the traditional stone-built Naxi village of Yuhu, where legendary Harvard “plant hunter” Joseph Rock lived on his botanical expeditions to China in the early 20th century. Later, visit Xuehua Yi, a delightful village of some 30 families, where you are greeted by the Bimo, a shaman of the Dongba animist religion of this region who will offer insights into the importance of the Dongba religion in the daily life of this village. After lunch at the Bimo’s home, return to Lijiang. Dinner this evening is with a local Naxi family...BLD 

Day 10
Shigu / Tiger Leaping Gorge / Gyalthang

A scenic drive brings you to the Naxi village of Shigu, where local life has remained unchanged for centuries. Then, descend on roads hugging sheer cliffs into one of the world’s deepest gorges: Tiger Leaping Gorge, which roars with 34 rapids of the Yangtze River. Enjoy a walk to a viewpoint with stunning vistas of the gorge. Returning to the main road and continue through pastoral scenery of wheat fields to Gyalthang, set at 10,800 feet in the eastern Tibetan highlands. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and forests of pine and spruce, the historic trading town of Gyalthang is the capital of China’s Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. In centuries past, it was a stopover on the tea caravan route between Yunnan and Tibet. Today it is still the heartland of the Khampa Tibetans, with their age-old traditions as swashbuckling horsemen and caravan traders...BLD 

Day 11
Songzalin Monastery / Pudacuo National Park

Short morning hike to Songzalin, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Monks will guide you through the monastery’s kitchens, rooms, and other areas normally off-limits to visitors. Afternoon visit to Pudacuo National Park, the first national park in China, which The Nature Conservancy helped China establish. Located in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world, the 500-square-mile park contains more than 20 percent of China’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species, and almost 100 endangered species. The evening is spent with a local family in a Tibetan village, with a traditional Tibetan dinner, including yak-butter tea and yak cheese, and an evening of Tibetan song and dance...BLD 

Day 12
Beijing

After breakfast, fly to Kunming and connect with a flight to Beijing (Day 8 of the China Private Journey). Days 13-14 follow the remainder of the China Private Journey (Days 9-10).

Extension Cost

Prices are for 2015
$2285 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement: $415
Internal airfare: $1270 (subject to change)
Optional Private Naxi Concert (per group): $260

Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

Extension Cost Includes:

Accommodations as noted, meals as noted, admissions and entry fees for activities as noted, private guides and other staff, land transport, water, coffee, and tea during meals, drinking water and snacks in the vehicles, airport transfers, sightseeing as noted.

Extension Cost Does Not Include:

Airfare, gratuities for drivers, guides, and support staff, expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Zen Garden Hotel

Zen Garden Hotel

Days 8 to 9 (2 nights), Lijiang, China

The Zen Garden Hotel, an atmospheric small inn with a lovely open-air central courtyard, garden, and fishponds, is located in Lijiang’s Old ...
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Songtsam Hotel

Songtsam Hotel

Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Gyalthang, Tibet

Set at the foot of Songtsam Lama Temple in Gyalthang, the Songstam is a Tibetan residence that has been renovated into a cozy boutique hotel. Each ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.