19 Days Beijing Xian Lijiang Tacheng Cizhong Meili Benzilan Shangri La and Shanghai Tour

Whether you yearn for the world-class attractions of China or wish to venture through the less-known routes to trace on the secrets of Shangri-La, this 17 days adventure tour of China will fulfill your dream with incredible travel experiences. As you travel further and higher, you’ll roll by wooden houses, local markets, remote villages and wild, magnificent alpine landscapes. When you finally reach the mystical Shangri-La, you’ll marvel at Kawagebo, Mingyong Glacier, immense Buddhist Temple… and meet with wild Yunnan monkeys.

Trip Highlights

  • Witness the sun rising over the Great Wall
  • Enjoy rickshaw ride through Beijing hutongs
  • Visit local homes of Naxi, Lisu and Tibetan people
  • Natural spectacles of Meili Snow Mountain, Mingyong Glacier and Tiger Leaping Gorge

Customizable Tour Itinerary

Start your adventure in Beijing, China’s capital city since the 13th Century, where you can soak in historical atmosphere and witness China’s rapid development. Be greeted and transferred to your luxury hotel beside the Great Wall. Free at leisure. Alternatively, set out for a hike to Jinshanling Great Wall and capture the amazing sunset view.

  • Hotels: Dhawa Jinshanling
Great WallGreat Wall

Rise very early today to hike up Jinshanling Great Wall before anyone else. So you finally reach this greatest artificial structure on human civilization. At the best sites, wait patiently and quietly for the first sunlight shining upon on the Great Wall. It is a magical moment to remember and cherish. Enjoy hiking Jinshanling Great Wall for 1 – 2 hours, and take cable car down the mountain.

In the afternoon, hop in a vintage richshaw through hutongs – those narrow alleyways are in an intricate layout like a checker-board pattern. For the past 700+ years, hutongs, with its quadrangle complex and cultural sites, have experienced long historical changes and become a unique treasure of Beijing.

Enjoy a tasty local specialty dinner with Beijing Roasted Duck (optional).

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Grand Hyatt Beijing, Beijing Double Happiness Courtyard Hotel, Beijing Fairmont Hotel
Hutong rickshawHutong rickshaw

The second morning in Beijing, visit Summer Palace, the once royal garden of Qing Dynasty kings. It is composed of Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, and set against the background of the peaks of the Western Hill. Walk through the corridors to find the elegance garden complex and enjoy a dragon boat cruise to take in incredible cultural and natural views.

Later you’ll feel journey back Chairman Mao Era as you walk through Tiananmen Square. And walk through the solemn red-painted gate into Palace Museum – China’s largest and best museum was actually the imperial palace of Ming and Qing Dynasty named Forbidden City. Admire its rich collections of relics dating to different historical periods.

To obtain a full picture of Forbidden City, climb up Jingshan Park. It was also right here the Emperor Chongzhen of Ming Dynasty committed suicide at his back garden over 370 years ago.

Tonight you have a chance to watch a real Shaolin Kung Fu show (optional).

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Summer PalaceSummer Palace

Explore Temple of Heaven, which honors the crucial role that worship of heaven activities have played in the life of ancient Chinese kings. Wander around this mysterious holy place to admire its splendid architectures and learn about the history.

Visit a local flea market in Beijing – Panjiayuan Market, which is at its best and busiest at the weekend. With all sorts of secondhand goods from jades, jewels and ancient coins to stamps and furniture, Panjiayuan is praised as China’s biggest “open-air museum”. 

Take a high speed train from Beijing to Xian, where centuries year-old city wall and legendary Terracotta Army await.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel Xian
Temple of HeavenTemple of Heaven

The thousands of lifelike Terracotta Warriors and Horses you meet today were made over 2200 years ago with complicated process, as the burial objects of the great Emperor Qinshihuang. When it was excavated in 1970s, it was celebrated as the "Eighth Wonders of the World". If you like, learn to make a mini terracotta solider yourself, and bring it home.

Explore Muslim Quarter, famous not only for being part of Xian’s Muslim community, but also for its gastronomy scenes. Enjoy yourself with hundreds of street foods at his bustling food center.

Enjoy classical Tang Dynasty Music and Dance at a dumpling banquet tonight (optional).

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Terracotta Warriors MuseumTerracotta Warriors Museum

Silk Road was started in 2BC, but thrived in Tang Dynasty when Xian was the capital of ancient Chinese Kingdom. Therefore, there are many Silk Road sites and ruins in this city, including Big Wild Goose Pagoda. This grand Buddhist pagoda was built by Master Xuanzang who further promoted Buddhism in China after traveling to ancient Indian via Silk Road. Then delve deeper into the Silk Road history and other historical periods of Xian and even ancient China on a visit of Shaangxi Historical Museum.

Enjoy a leisurely biking trip on Ancient City Wall of Xian –an important witness of China’s previous thousand year history, to glimpse the city’s glorious past and see its modern development. When the night falls, the wall will be illuminated by colored lights, creating an extremely beautiful scene.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Xi'an Ancient City Wall bikingXi'an Ancient City Wall biking

This morning, fly from Xian to Lijiang to explore China’s best-preserved ancient town - Lijiang Old Town. Walk through the mazy stone streets and paths to discover traditional elegant Naxi dwellings, with insight into Naxi people’s culture, art, schooling and daily life. Climb up Lion Hill, where the Wangulou Pavilion offers a panorama of Lijiang. Enjoy the peaceful sunset if weather permits.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Banyan Tree Lijiang, Grand Hyatt Lijiang, Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town
Lijiang Old TownLijiang Old Town

This morning, explore the holy mountain for Lijiang Naxi people - Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which offers breathtaking views of glaciers, valleys, alpine meadow and lakes and virgin forests. Besides, here’s your chance to watch the world’s highest open-air live show – Impression Lijiang.

Walk through a big wooden gate complex into the old town of Baisha, where there’re rare tourists so you’ll meet and even chat will local Naxi people. Soak up unique Naxi culture and art on a visit of Baisha Murals, a highest artistic achievement of Lijiang’s diversified religion and art.

Drive back to your hotel after taking a perfect photo beside the Black Dragon Pool.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Jade Dragon Snow MountainJade Dragon Snow Mountain

Today, you begin the journey deep into Shangri-La, driving from Lijiang to Tacheng (3.5 hours’ drive). Stop en route to view the First Bend of Yangtze River and explore Tiger Leaping Gorge. Walk for a while to reach the observation platform to take in the breathtaking views of China’s most beautiful gorge and experience yourself again the magic of nature.

Arrive Tacheng, located in the central hinterland of the UNESCO "Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas", part of the Shangri-La eco-tourism zone, and home to Lishu people.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,
  • Hotels: Songtsam Lodge Tacheng
Tiger Leaping GorgeTiger Leaping Gorge

Spend a full day to discover the beauty of Baima Snow Mountain and explore Yunnan Snub-Nosed Monkey Nature Reserve, where you will see the most human-like animals on Earth. Besides the active wild monkeys, you may also encounter other wildlife from red panda, clouded leopard, bharal, and otter to various kinds to birds.

Hike on the mountain for nature, wildlife and discover a Lisu village named Bazhu. Experience yourself the life of living of Lisu people on this remote place.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,
 First Bend of Yangtze River First Bend of Yangtze River

Today continue your journey into the mountains and on to Cizhong Village. This three and a half hour drive passes through several villages and towns. Stop by a local market in Weixi County, rambling to discover many local specialties, from herbs, mushrooms, meat to daily living goods are for sale.

Drive along a winding mountain path for a special visit of Tongle Village, a truly hidden gem. Hundreds of Lisu families have been living here for generations and established a traditional Lisu village with all-wood Muleng houses that built on the hillside.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,
  • Hotels: Songtsam Lodge Cizhong
Meili Snow MountainMeili Snow Mountain

Cizhong Village is habituated mainly by Tibetan people and known as a “land flowing with milk and honey” in Shangri-La Region. Begin the day with a visit of Cizhong Church, a catholic cathedral but also blending Tibetan and traditional Chinese architectural style. Join the local villagers to attend the mass if it is Sunday.

Your guide will lead you to hike around the village to take in the sublime scenery and discover local traditions.

Drive for about 2 hours to get to Deqin, where sacred snow mountains, glaciers and more secret villages await.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,
  • Hotels: Songtsam Lodge Meili
Meili Snow MountainMeili Snow Mountain

Rise very early this morning to capture the incredible sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain ( Kawagebo ). Some consider it a bucket list experience. One of the most beautiful snow mountains in the world and a holy mountain for Tibetan Buddhists, Meili is shrouded in mist and clouds all year round.

Explore Mingyong Glacier sprawling from the glacierfi tongue at 5500m to Mingyong Village at 2800m, which looks like a huge flying silver dragon. Also visit the Prince Temple at the foot of Glacier.

Before transferring back to hotel, visit Feilaisi Temple.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,
Meili Snow MountainMeili Snow Mountain

Drive for about 2 hours through the Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve wilderness to Benzilan. Stop en route to visit Dongzhulin Temple of Bkah-brgyud-pa, built in 1667. It processes precious cultural relics including Buddha statues, pagodas, musical instruments for Buddhist events… View the First Bend of Jinsha River, which is so spectacular! Don’t forget to take some wonderful photos. 

After setting into your hotel, hike around the nearby original jungles and Tibetan villages, known for traditional Tibetan lacquer art applied on bowls.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,
Meili Snow MountainMeili Snow Mountain

Drive from Benzilan to Shangri-La, where human and nature coexist harmoniously, and the Tibetan traditions trace back thousands of years. Stop en route to explore Nixi Black Pottery Village nestled in mountains to admire the splendid pottery art. Here the traditional pottery technology has been continuous for more than one thousand years until today. You can observe the pottery making process and make your own pottery ware.

Later visit Napahai Nature Reserve to see seasonal plateau lakes and swamp meadows, which is the winter habitat of black-necked cranes and other migratory birds.

Reach Dukezong Ancient Town. Dukezong in Tibetan language means “a castle built on stone” and the Moonlight City. Set foot on its winding stone path to discover many legends and stories.  

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Songtsam Linka Shangri-La, Songtsam Shangri-La (Lvgu) Lodge, Shangri-La Resort
Napahai Nature ReserveNapahai Nature Reserve

Spend the morning visiting the 17th-century Ganden Sumtsaling Monastery, which makes you feel you are amid an ancient Tibetan castle with golden-topped buildings and artistic decorated chambers. Discover many cultural relics and works of Buddhist art and see lamas live here.

For today’s lunch, if you wish, you will be invited into a local Tibetan home for a local flavor meal.

This afternoon experience the extreme serenity and take in sights at Potatso National Park, boasting a perfect eco-system of virgin forests, alpine meadows and rivers. You may encounter small cute wild animals like squirrels in the middle of the road.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
 Ganden Sumtsaling Monastery Ganden Sumtsaling Monastery

Enjoy the last minute immersing yourself in the heaven-like world of Shangri-La. Fly to Shanghai, China’s most futuristic city. What a dramatic contrast! Shanghai’s dynamic nightlife is a big draw. Enjoy a special dinner at a fancy revolving restaurant, overlooking the sky of Shanghai night.

  • Meals: Breakfast,
  • Hotels: Grand Hyatt Shanghai, Four Seasons Hotel Pudong Shanghai, Grand Central Hotel Shanghai
Shanghai Pudong areaShanghai Pudong area

This morning, your guide will introduce you the cultural and artistic treasures on display in Shanghai Museum. Admire their perfect workmanship and learn about the history and stories. Later visit a typical Jiangnan garden – Yuyuan Garden, a private mansion built in 1559, with more than 40 meticulously-preserved structures and a wide diversity of plants and flowers. And discover the cultural root of Shanghai at the Town God Temple area, where you’ll see many beautiful traditional architecture complexes and Shanghai’s most popular food street.

Take a brisk walking tour of the Bund to trace Shanghai’s colonial history back in 18th-19th Century. See over 50 colonial structures of different classical European styles. Then up Shanghai Tower, on the world’s highest observation deck, to snap photos of Pudong skyline.

After dinner, enjoy a magical acrobatics show that integrates tricks and dizzying effects (optional).

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Shanghai World Financial CenterShanghai World Financial Center

Free at leisure in the morning until you are escorted to Shanghai Pudong International Airport and fly back home. End of your 19 days China Shangri-La adventure.

  • Meals: Breakfast,
Yu GardenYu Garden

Price Includes

  • In-country transportationas noted in the itinerary.
  • Admission fees and activity expenses as noted in the itinerary.
  • Luxury or boutique hotels centrally located.
  • Meals in local restaurants as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water.
  • Your own English-speaking guide service.
  • Your own chauffeur and vehicle service.

Price Excludes

  • International transportation.
  • Chinese tourist visa. (which enquired for most foreign passport holders)
  • Travel and medical insurance.
  • Meals, snacks, alcohol, etc. apart from those included in the itinerary.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Sights, excursions and activities not included in the itinerary.
  • Gratuities to guide and driver.


This tour is tailor-made and we can tailor to meet your reqeusts. Your personal travel consultant will contact you within 24 working hours!


CHINA OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2019 We researched several companies and studied reviews on Trip Adviser before contacting who did a very China Culture Tour with an initial query. Right from the outset Grace who owns the company was excellent. She emailed detailed with pictures information and a suggested…read more details

Karen from US

Ready to Create a Unique Dream Travel?

Create My Vacation