China's Forgotten Himalaya: The Songtsam Circuit
11 days tour from £2850
Introduction - China's Forgotten Himalaya: The Songtsam Circuit
Soaring more than five vertical kilometres above valley floors carpeted in larch and oak forest, the snow-capped Hengduan Mountains of China’s Yunnan province form one of the least explored, but most spectacular regions of Asia. Until recently, its ice peaks and pristine woodland were glimpsed only by the most intrepid trekkers. Now, however, thanks to a chain of luxury lodges set up by a local Tibetan company called Songtsam, it is possible to experience the region’s magnificent landscapes and vibrant minority cultures in high style.
Our tour, which starts and ends in the regional capital of Shangri La, covers all the main highlights of Yunnan’s far north, including the UNESCO-listed Songzanlin Monastery and the first great bend of the Yangtze River. It’s bookended with Chengdu, capital of neighbouring Sichuan Province and the region’s principal gateway.
Possible extensions include trips to the world-famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, the ancient city of Lijiang and nearby Shaxi Valley, where Ming-era villages and the local Bai way of life remain remarkably unaffected by the rapid modernization seen elsewhere. In short: a perfect trip for anyone looking for a taste of off-track China, with oodles of local colour framed by a backdrop of wild Tibetan ice peaks.
This tour can also be taken as a private tour on a departure date of your choice. Please speak to us for more details.
You travel in a small group accompanied by an English speaking guide. Transport is by plane and air-conditioned car.