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Hiking China’s Ancient Tea Horse Road to Lhasa

Rivers, Villages & Peaks of Tibet

Best time to travel
May – Jan
Ideal length
16 Nights
Perfect for
Couples

At a glance

  • International flights from Dublin to Lijiang and home from Chengdu.
  • All private transfers, domestic flights and guiding requirements.
  • 16 nights’ hand-picked accommodation in Chengdu, Lijiang, Meili, Rumei, Laigu, Bome, Nyinchi and Lhasa.
  • Enjoy exciting day tours to local villages, historic churches and monasteries, and partake in prayer ceremonies.
  • Test your physical limits with hiking adventures to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Tiger Leaping Gorge.
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Introduction

From the centre of the Three Parallel Rivers to the very highest mountain peaks, the Songtsam Yunnan to Tibet route is designed for intrepid travellers to discover the region’s living heritage through comfort, authenticity, and an enlightened spirit of adventure. Extended across dramatic altitudes within the Tibetan plateau, the area is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the demographic contains Tibetans and most of the twenty-five ethnic monitories found in Yunnan province, many of who still follow ancient traditions and customs.
For centuries people have been fascinated with the idea of Shambhala, a mythical kingdom and Buddhist pure land. It is rumoured to have inspired British author James Hilton who published the 1933 novel Lost Horizon in which Shambhala is called Shangri-La, a paradise on Earth hidden in a Tibetan valley.

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Trip Overview

Depart from Dublin to Lijiang.

Your private driver will be waiting to transfer you to your luxury accommodation where you will spend three nights enjoying stunning views of the old town, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lashi Lake. We’ve arranged a guided walking tour to take you to the highlights of Lijiang’s old town.

Transfer to Shangri La.

During your one-night stay, hike through the rugged rocky landscape of Tiger Leaping Gorge. Visit Shaxi, a historic market town renowned for trading tea and horses during the Tang Dynasty. Continue to Napa Lake before arriving in Meili. Check into your luxurious lodge before a visit to the architecturally magnificent Dong Zhu Lin Monastery.

Tiger leaping Gorge bridge
Learn to make traditional Tibetan prayer flags.

A one-of-a-kind experience, the following day, wake up to the sunrise over the sacred Mount Kawagebo. Partake in a traditional Tibetan Ceremony using traditional prayer flags. Journey to the Mekong River Valley to officially enter Tibet. Spend two nights in a wonderfully remote lodge surrounded by farmland.

Tibetan Prayer Flags
Depart for Rawu

Arrive at your beautiful cliffside property where you will then transfer to Duosong Tso, a holy and secret lake where few tourists go. Laigu Glacier is your next stop, a collection of icy masses that have formed a fascinating landscape.

Laigu Glacier
Visit the mirror-like Rawu Lake as you journey to Bome.

Check into your accommodation before a visit to the vast Guxiang Lake, one of the most well-known freshwater lakes in Southeast Tibet. You’ll also visit the Zhuxi Glacier, 400-year-old Pulong Temple and trek through the Linzhi Spruce Forest.

Linzhi Spruce Forest
Depart for Nyingchi.

Break up the journey to your luxury accommodation with a hike into Zhanxigang Village, admiring incredible views. Then, depart for Lhasa and visit the Basong Tso holy Lake, an alpine lake with clear blue water surrounded by forests, creating idyllic scenery comparable to Swiss and Canadian lakes.

Lhasa City view
Take a short boat ride to Tsozong Gongba Monastery.

Sitting on Tashi Island, in the centre of Draksum-tso lake, explore this unique monastery. Next, spend two nights in Lhasa, where you will visit Potala Palace, the highest palace in the world, Jokhang Temple and the vibrant bazaar on Barkhor Street.

Potala Palace
Transfer to Chengdu for the final leg of your journey.

Completely unwind and relax at a luxury spa resort in Chengdu. Indulge in relaxing massages and other holistic treatments which will send you home feeling serene and rested.

Chengdu sunset
Privately transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Arrive in Dublin.

Tailoring your holiday

OROKO Itineraries are created with you in mind and no two are the same. These can be used to help plan your trip - or we can design a completely different itinerary to suit you.

Let's plan your trip!
Accommodation

Where to rest your head

Looking for the best accommodation? We've got the contacts

Songstam Linka Lijiang

Songtsam Linka Lijiang

Songtsam Linka Lijiang is located in a Naxi village called Ciman. This charming boutique property allows guests to experience Tibetan culture and its traditions first hand.

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Songstam Linka Shangri La

Songtsam Linka Shangri La

A cosy cultural retreat, the Songtsam Linka Shangri La is comfortably situated in a small Tibetan village close to Sonzanlin, a sacred monastery.

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Songstam Lodge Meili

Songtsam Lodge Meili

Sitting at an altitude of 3600m, Songtsam Meili has incredible views of the Meili Mountain Range and the Yunnan region.

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Songstam Lodge Rumei

Songtsam Lodge Rumei

Located next to the northern village of Zhuka, Songtsam Lodge Rumei is a calm oasis surrounded by farmland. The beautiful landscape creates painting-like views from each window.

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Songstam Lodge Laigu

Songtsam Lodge Laigu

Built at an altitude of 4200m, the impressive Songtsam Lodge Laigu is the highest property in the area and boasts incredible architectural features, deemed almost impossible at this altitude.

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Songstam Linka Bome

Songtsam Linka Bome

Songtsam Linka Bome boasts a unique aspect over Guxiang Lake with a backdrop of dense forest as far as the eye can see.

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Nyingchi Tingyard Hotel

Nyingchi Tingyard Hotel

Nyingchi Tingyard Hotel is a luxurious waterfront property located in Nyingchi country. The hotel was newly opened in 2017 and offers all modern amenities.

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Songstam Linka Llasa

Songtsam Linka Lhasa

Songtsam Linka Lhasa is a beautiful boutique property built into the hillside. The quiet retreat offers views of the nearby Potala Palace and features incredible architectural features of its own.

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Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain

Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain

Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain is a quiet and relaxing resort located at the foot of the Qing Cheng Mountains. The area known as Dujiangyan is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a joy to explore.

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What people are saying

“We have found OROKO Travel brilliant. No request is ever too much.”

Hazel & Robert – Lucca, April 2018 | Siena, June 2018

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