Essentials - 11 days

Private Journey

Price from

$3,445 per person

$313 per day

Private travel departures daily

Your journey will be a private customized travel experience, based on your individual schedule, interests and budget

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Walking China: Footpaths to Shangri-La

Mist-shrouded limestone peaks flanking tranquil, winding rivers. Emerald-green rice terraces reaching ever-skyward. Soaring, snow-capped mountains rising above wildflower-filled meadows. The ethereal beauty of China’s Guangxi and Yunnan provinces has captivated painters and poets for centuries ­– and will surely inspire you, too. From Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to Tiger Leaping Gorge, we’ll delight in the natural splendours of Yangshuo, Lijiang, and Shangri-La. We’ll also enjoy an intimate look at Chinese life and culture, whether sharing a meal with a family in their home, meeting charming young students at a rural school, or spending time with novice monks at serene Buddhist temples.


Day 1 Sydney-Guilin

Today we join our China Southern flight to Guilin via Guangzhou.


Day 2 Guilin-Yangshuo

Upon arrival at our Yangshuo hotel, our Trip Leaders will provide a briefing about what to expect during the week ahead. Then we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.


Day 3 Yangshuo

Stepping outside our hotel this morning, Yangshuo’s imposing karst mountains are sure to make an impression. Today’s walk - the first of our tour - will take us along the Yulong River. As we make our way through fragrant orange groves and past small villages, we’ll stop and chat with local farmers about their seasonal crops. We arrive at our lunch stop, the Yangshuo Cooking School, we’ll prepare our own lunch with the help of a local chef. After lunch, we float down the Yulong River on a bamboo raft.


Day 4 Yangshuo

Today our trail takes us downhill, from the Yangshuo countryside to the Li River, and we’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the river below as we journey. We arrive at our hotel late in the afternoon.


Day 5 Lijiang

After breakfast this morning, we bid adieu to Yangshuo and transfer to the Guilin airport for our flight to Lijiang. From the Lijiang airport, we transfer to our hotel (a journey of approximately 30 minutes), which is centrally located in the pedestrian old town of Shuhe - a smaller village on the outskirts of Lijiang. This afternoon, enjoy time at leisure. You may wish to relax in our hotel’s serene courtyard as you acclimate to our elevation (approximately 7,900 feet), or explore the surrounding pedestrian streets of Shuhe and the town’s many small bridges.


Day 6 Lijiang

After breakfast, we shuttle into the hills above Lijiang to the Alpine Meadow (a journey of approximately an hour), where we’ll begin today’s walk. As we hike over mostly flat terrain, and through wildflower-filled meadows, we’ll likely encounter some local villagers and their grazing animals. On our drive back down, we’ll stop at Fuguo Temple and small town of Baisha before returning via shuttle to our hotel.


Day 7 Tiger Leaping Gorge/Shangri-La

Today, we’ll transfer overland from Lijiang to Shangri-La (a journey of approximately 5 hours). Along the way, we’ll stop along the banks of Yangtze River for an invigorating walk to the fabled Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest river canyons in the world. After lunch, we’ll continue driving through the scenic mountains, stopping along the way to take photos of this breathtaking, terraced landscape. We arrive in Shangri-La in the late afternoon.


Day 8 Songtsam Monastery/Dabao/Raingha Monastery

We’ll acclimate to Shangri-La’s higher altitude (3550 meters) with a short, flat walk to the breathtaking Songtsam Monastery. One of the largest monasteries east of the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, this temple is home to more than 500 monks. After lunch at your own leisure.


Day 9 Napahai Lake/The Pottery Village

After breakfast, we’ll shuttle out of Shangri-La to one of the Pottery Village. As we drive, we pass by expansive Napahai Lake - a giant reservoir that’s home to many migratory birds. It also serves as a watering hole for the yaks, cows, and pigs of local nomadic farmers. Upon arrival in the village, we’ll walk through the village and visit a local family. We return to Shangri-La in the early afternoon, and the remainder of the day is at leisure.


Day 10 Shangri-La-Sydney

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home via Guangzhou.


Day 11 Sydney

Our adventure concludes with a morning arrival into Sydney. Clearing of customs and immigration, and time to say a quick goodbye to fellow travellers. Our journeys is complete but the amazing memories will remain.