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Adventure to Shangri-la, Yunnan, China


This winter, we discovered that many of our valued guests are showing great interest in the Shangri-la tour, which holds a special place in our hearts. Typically, during winter, tourists favor the warm cities of Lijiang or Xishuangbanna when exploring Yunnan. It truly is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. However, Shangri-la is a truly unique destination that is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of mass tourism associated with China. From the azure lakes to the snowy mountains, rolling grasslands and incredible gorges, Shangri-La has it all. Its unrivalled beauty and the welcoming nature of its people will make you feel at home. This mountain paradise has so much to offer, providing a fantastic opportunity to experience the Tibetan lifestyle, culture and religion without actually venturing into Tibet itself. However, having discussed with our travel consultant, they explained why now is the ideal time to visit Shangri-la in Yunnan.


Firstly, flight tickets and hotels are more affordable. During the golden week, return flight tickets can soar up to 5000 RMB per person, whereas now they have decreased by over 3000 RMB per person. Secondly, the area is less crowded and boasts breathtaking winter scenery. Due to the cold weather, Shangri-la will be less populated. During this season, visitors can admire the azure skies and crystal lakes while enjoying almost 90% chances of sunny days. Additionally, an appealing reason to visit the area is to experience its unique festivals. Shangri-La is known for hosting the annual Gedong Festival during winter, which is the most traditional event in the region. This exciting festival takes place from the 26th to 29th of December, according to the Tibetan calendar (around February in the Gregorian calendar).


Tiger Leaping Gorge

This is among the world’s deepest gorges and is frequently recognised as China’s top hiking route. If you are keen on hiking and walking, then you simply can’t afford to miss a visit to Shangri-La for this marvel. It is a remarkably picturesque canyon located on the Jinsha River, and you can complete the entire length of the gorge on foot. The elevated pathway, kept and utilised regularly by the Naxi, an indigenous tribe, serves as a hiking route with diverse scenic views and guesthouses for the trekking Tiger Leaping Gorge.



Meili Snow Mountains

None of the major summits in this mountain range have ever been climbed due to high risks of avalanches and various restrictions; nevertheless, they are stunning to behold. These mountains carry great spiritual significance to Tibetan Buddhists, who circle the range to worship during the winter, adding to the range’s magical allure.



Songzanlin Lamasery (Monastery)

This is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple complex in the entire Yunnan Province. Known as the Potala Palace, the government of Yunnan Province listed it as a Key Provincial Protection Unit of Cultural Relics in 1993. Situated at the foot of Fopingshan Mountain, approximately 3.1 miles to the north of Shangri-La, the main hall accommodates up to 1,500 people. In addition to two main temple buildings, Zhacang and Jikang, there are several smaller ones and Chinese-style houses for monks to reside in. A mesmerising destination that provides an unparalleled understanding of Tibetan Buddhism.



Pudacuo National Park

Potatso National Park, also known as the first national park in China to meet International Union for Conservation of Nature standards, boasts breathtaking beauty at every corner. Located in Shangri-La, the park offers stunning views akin to an oil painting. The park is home to the Bita Lake Nature Reserve and the Duhu Scenic Area, so don’t forget to pack your camera to capture the lasting memories this incredible park has to offer. Around 20% of all plant species within the country can be found at Pudacuo National Park, as well as approximately one third of China’s bird and mammal species, including approximately 100 species at risk of extinction.  The park provides ample opportunity to observe everything from magnificent orchids to Black-necked cranes.



Napahai Nature Reserve

Napa Hai, a seasonal lake situated 8km northwest of Shangri-la city, is an intermountain basin sitting at an elevation of 3,266 metres, covering an area of about 3,125 square kilometres. In September, Napa Lake transforms into a haven for aquatic avians. The Bar-headed Geese, Black-necked Cranes, and other rare species migrate here for the winter. Among these birds, the Black-necked Crane is exceptionally rare; it is one of the world’s most treasured crane species.



First bay of the Yangtze River

The “First Bay of the Yangtze River” is not only a geological marvel; it is also a place where nature’s grandeur thrives, enchanting all who bask in its splendour. It exemplifies the unbroken course of the Yangtze River, which is China’s life force, and symbolises the nation’s profound affinity with its environment. For those inclined towards experiencing China’s enchanting amalgamation of its heritage, customs, and picturesque scenery, exploring the “First Bay of the Yangtze River” located in Shigu Town is an unmissable expedition.



Yak Hot Pot

Yak hotpot boasts unique Tibetan traits and is among the traditional delicacies of Shangri-La. The hotpot features the highland yak meat as its prime ingredient, coupled with kelp, garlic, onion, radish, potato, and an assortment of other vegetables, rendering it both scrumptious and nutritious. Hotpot enthusiasts can enjoy different broth varieties, including plain, sauce-flavoured and spicy broths.



Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La

For premium dining, the Hilton Garden Inn Shangri-La provides an opulent option, located a mere 15 minutes away from the airport and 10 minutes from the monastery.  Beautifully furnished, this hotel offers numerous amenities to ensure a stress-free stay.Featuring complimentary WiFi, a bar, restaurant, free on-site parking, and a fitness centre, you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips. The Hilton is renowned for its exceptional service, and this establishment lives up to that reputation. Impeccably clean, welcoming, and tranquil, it’s the ideal selection for lodging in Shangri-La.



Songstam Linka Shangri-La

If you seek world-class patron care and an exceptional top-tier experience, look no further than Songstam Linka Shangri-La. Merely 25 minutes away from Diqing Airport, the hotel provides complimentary WiFi, bathroom amenities, and parking. Positioned ideally just 5 minutes away from Songzanlin Monastery, you’re at the perfect destination. Revel in Tibetan yoga classes, indulge in hiking excursions, or luxuriate in the breathtaking Linka Spa by L’Occitane. Alternatively, unwind in the serene hotel gardens and drink in the exquisite view. There is a bar and multiple restaurants here, daily housekeeping and so much more to ensure your stay is perfect.



LUX* Tea Horse Road

The hotel is situated in the warm valley of Benzilan – a well-known Tibetan town by the Jinsha River. At an altitude of only about 2,000 metres, there is no risk of altitude sickness. The retreat boasts just six rooms and a comfortable communal area. The impressive views of the pale green river below and the mountains are breathtaking.  As is the home cooking, prepared with care by the local Naxi community. This is an ideal spot to unwind before resuming your journey along the Tea Horse Road.



Chat with our travel consultant to book or learn more about the trip to Shangri-La. This destination is the perfect choice for your winter getaway!