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Ancient Caravan Trail to Tibet   Tour Code:YUN006 

The ancient Tea Horse Road was once the primary route for goods traveling from China to Tibet and India. Today, the road remains as a unique natural and cultural opportunity. This trip follows the famed road from Yunnan to Tibet, starting from the China's subtropical jungle in Xishuangbanna, the original source of all tea. Stopping in some of the most untouched and organically beautiful areas of the region. Observe remarkable cultures in their local environments, and savor the spectacular scenery all around you. We will travel from Xishuangbanna to a former trading post, Shaxi, and further north to Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Lijang, we will learn about the variety cultures that inhabit the region, before embarking on the rest of your journey. Drive to Shangri_la, stopping at the spectacular Leaping Tiger Gorge C one of the deepest gorges in the world, and spend the night in the culturally diverse town. Continue your drive along the Yangtze and Mekong rivers, stopping in Deqen and reach Yerkalo, today's last kept treasure of ancient salt making village. Traverse majestic mountain passes and descend into spectacular valleys where we will encounter the existing horse caravan. 

We suggest you take an extension trip to Lhasa and finally reach the trading and spiritual center. Enjoy a few days exploring the historic city at your leisure before heading onward. Dont pass up this opportunity to recreate the mystery trip of trade and pilgrimage of the Tibetan people.

We encourage you to stop at Merishui village and help the local Tibetans to repair their mountain trails and bridges. The trails and the bridges are used by Buddhism pilgrims to circumambulating the holy Mountain KawaKarpo. Trails and bridges are often washed out by summer flood and that causes big problems to both the pilgrims and local residents. This project is funded by ActiveChina and the local tour operators.

Day 1  Xishuangbanna
Arrive in Xishuangbanna; overnight in Jinghong, the capital city of Xishuangbanna.

Day 2  Xishuangbanna
We will start our tea survey trip to search the origin of all teas.

Day 3  Xishuangbanna
Visit ancient tea trees and sample teas. overnight in Jinghong.

Day 4  Xishuangbanna to Shaxi
Fly to Dali, stop at Bai Village and visit it's home factory of fabric making. Drive to Shaxi village, an ancient trading post.

Day 5  Shaxi
We will spend a day in this quiet and lovely village. Visit it's caravan trails.

Day 6 Shaxi to Lijiang
We drive to Lijiang and visit the Dongba Culture Museum.And it's Heritage old town of Dayan.

Day 7 Lijiang to Shangri_la
Morning free in Lijiang. We will leave Lijiang and head north to Tibetan Plateau. Stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge. 

Day 8  Shangri_la
We will visit a Tibetan Monastery and explore the Tibetan town of Gyalthang. This is an  important town of the trading route where it's gateway to Tibet and Kham.

Day 9  Shangri_la to Deqin
A scenic drive to Deqin, enroute stop at houses of pottery maker and wooden bowl maker. Drive through Baima Nature Reserve we will reach Deqin.

Day 10 Deqin to Yerkalo
We will get up early and watch the sun rise on today's highest unclimed peak, KawaKarpo. This is one of eight holiest and most famed mountains in Tibetan World. We will then drive to Yerkalo.

Day 11  Tsakalo
This is a fascinating day to visit this remote town in Tibet. We will visit the ancient salt flats and encounter horse caravan. Multiple religion and culture.

Day 12  Tsakalo back to Shangri_la.
Back to Shangri_la, stop at Merishui and make possible donation to the village. Trip ends after farewell dinner.

Possible extension trip to Lhasa by flight.

--Most meals

--All entry fees and sightseeing

--One flight

--All overnights in hotels and guesthouses with double occupancy

--Tibet Travel Permit

--Private Transfers

--English Speaking guides

--All services not mentioned and all items of a personal nature

--Tipping or gratuities to guides and drivers

--Mandatory international travel insurance

--Excursions other than those specified in trips

--Extra cost if  tour is delayed or changed due to reasons beyond control


        Tea, Horse and Tibet
A route of trade and faith

Trip Leader: Tony
DATES: On demand all year around
GROUP SIZE : 2 - 12
START/FINISH: Jing Hong/Shangri_la
DURATION: 12 days, touring and walking
ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotels, guesthouses,
HIGHLIGHTS: Xishuangbanna, tea plantation, Tai minority,  Lijaing world heritage old city, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Haba moutain, Shangri_la, Sumzanlin Monastery, Yangtze Valley, Shaxi tea horse town. Yanjing Salt Flats
EXTENSION TRIPS: Beijing Extension
Chengdu Extension

Map of this Trip

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