The Untouched Shangri-La
Shangri-La is a fictional place that first appeared in British novelist James Hilton's Lost Horizon in the 1939. It has become synonymous with any earthy paradise since then. Shangri-La is a vast piece of land hidden in the fame. There are numerous magnificent snow mountains and deep valleys with breath-taking scenery lying inside. No one knows where exactly is the real Shangri-La. So many Counties in that area boasted themselves as the “last Shangri-La” or “the soul of Shangri-La” to connect with this arcane legend.
---Absolute Snow Mountain Adventure
In this epic adventure into Shangri-La, we are going to cross the whole grand Shangri-La area, which covers 4 major snow mountain peaks in Sichuan and Yunnan, to find out the Shangri-La in your dream. With lofty and continuous snowy mountains, endless grasslands, steep and grand gorges, azure lakes and the bucolic villages, we will take you to the untamed Shangri-La off the beaten track to immerse into the purest, wildest, and most beautiful nature scenery.
- •Worship four glorious holly snow mountain. We start with exploring the “King of the Mountains in Sichuan Province” ---Gongga Mountain and its famous low-latitude modern marine glaciers in Hailuogou. We gradually approach to the real untamed paradise --- Mt.Genie in Litang. After visiting "the last pure land on earth" in Yading, we will challenge the highest peak of Mt. Meili. Each of the snow mountains has its strong identity and you will experience a wide range of snow mountain scenery which will always take your breath away.
Mt.Yangmaiyong in Yading
- •Discover untouched pure nature land off the beaten track. The beautiful China is hidden in some unknown places waiting for people to unveil. You will hike in some very remote area which are not well developed as a tourist destination. Mt. Genie is absolutely the virgin land forgotten by the world making it a perfect adventure destination.
- •Explore throughout the grand Shangri-La. We are crossing the expend Shangri-La area from east to the west where inhabited by various minority ethnic groups, from Han to Yi, Hui, GuiQiong Tibet and Kangba Tibet. In this ethnic corridor, you will not only feel the tremendous change of nature scenery, switching from plain to highland, but also feel the change of the colorful minority culture. We have many chance to interact with locals, visiting nomadic tents or chanting in the temple with lama and monks could be an unique experience.
Tibetan old man
- •Diverse landscape scenes and Tibetan nomadic lifestyle. The holly mountains in Shangri-La are always surrounded by grassland, pasture, glaciers, hot springs, alpine lakes, primeval forests, temples, and Tibet-style villages. On the vast grassland lives the Tibetan nomadic families who love singing and riding horses. During summer time, we have chance to join the biggest horse racing festive in the Tibetan world up on the highest city --- Litang.
As a minority from Bai ethnic group in Dali Yunnan, Bella is a big fan of wildlife and her beloved minority ethnic culture. She is also a lover of outdoor activities who has many experiences in Yunnan and Sichuan Province. Bella would love to take people who want to explore the most enchanting landscape in western China and immerse in pure great nature. She think Grand Shangri-La is the best place for adventure in China for its mystery, wilderness and purity. Read more >>
Cory is our wild flower expert. He explored many famous destinations for wild flower watching in southwestern China and photographed more than two thousands of wild plants. He loves to share his findings and stories behind the photos with other nature lovers on internet and became a “flora idol” in southwest China. In this trip, Cory will travel with you and introduce various beautiful wild flowers to you along the way. It will be a treasure haunting journey in the flora kingdom of China! Read more>>
What make adventure with AbsolutePanda excellent?
For lots of travelers, they want to go off-the-beaten paths to see a real China but they hesitate when they think about the local breakfast, poor hotel and awkward guide. Travelling in the wild is not easy, and requires lots of professionalism and knowledge from trip planning, guiding and logistic preparation. AbsolutePanda wants you to have the best enjoyment of the trip and leave with a big smile on the face.
• Explore wild China. Our China Adventure Tours do not just show you the wild and authentic China off the beaten paths. With extensive on-the-ground network of experts and local people, our professional team carefully plans those adventure tours to help you explore some of the remotest areas in China, almost untouched by the western travelers.
• Professional guide. We enrich your adventure travel in China by blending some unique activities which may require more knowledge and professionalism. AbsolutePanda have qualify guides from varies of fields such as photography, birding, flower-watching, hiking, family stay and camping.
• More than comfort. In our China Adventure Tours, we will create a hassle-free travel experience with our knowledge, and professionalism accumulated from our years of experiences of running adventure travel services in China.
• Fully equipped. We have whole set of out-door gears ranging from luxury camping tent, shower tent and dinning tent to sleeping bags so as to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.
•Exclusive Quality & Value Guarantee. We define our quality by unique itineraries, stunning destinations, creative interactions, small group and professional guides. If you can find any other travel company who is able to offer tours of same quality with better price, we are willing to reimburse you with the difference.
Camping in Mt.Gongga
Discover the virgine outdoor destination
Hiking in Gongga
Tibetan girl in Litang
Trip I: Start from Chengdu
Day 1 Chengdu
Upon your arrival in Chengdu, our local guide will meet you at the airport and help you with hotel check-in. If you arrive before 2 pm, we will show you some old parts of Chengdu. There are so many options of the sightseeing in Chengdu. We could visit the historical streets and sites of Chengdu---the capital of Ancient Shu for thousands of years. Sichuan cuisine is among the top four Chinese cuisines, so a food tour will be definitely a highlight. Sichuan opera and the face changing show is also a must see that you don’t want to miss. The itinerary of the city tour will be arranged according to your arriving time and interest. In the evening, we will prepare a welcoming dinner in the local popular typical Sichuan restaurant.
Day 2 Chengdu panda base
We are visiting the Chengdu Panda base early in the morning which is the best time to see panda when they are very active. Chengdu panda base is the breeding center that has the most giant pandas of different ages in the world. In 2015, there are 13 panda cubs born including 6 pairs of twins. Our tour guide will tell you many stories of panda you may not know. You will definitely have an absolute panda experience! Followed by an early lunch, we will head to Hailuogou Glacier and Forest National Park via “rain city” Ya’an.
Overnight: Hailuogou Mingzhu Garden Hotel or same grade.
Day 3 Mt. Gongga & Hailuogou glacier
Depart from Moxi town, today we will hike in the east slope of the great Gongga Mountain and explore the Hailuogou Glacier. We will walk through ancient forests of thousand years, pass by azure lakes by the foot of snow mountains and step on the glacier of lowest-latitude in the world. Cable cars and buses will be used to transfer to different camp sites. In the evening we will drive to Kangding---the hometown of love song for overnight.
[Destination highlights: Located at the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, Mount Gongga is the highest mountain in Sichuan, with the highest peak of 7,556 meters (about 24,790 feet) above sea level, enjoying the fame as ‘King of the Mountains in Sichuan Province’. Along with Mount Everest and other six mountains,Mount Gongga is a famous place opened to climber and explorers around the world.
Mount Gongga is best well-known for its 159 glaciers which cover more than 390 square kilometers (about 151 square miles). The largest is Hailuogou Glacier No.1 at 6 kilometers (about 4 miles) long and 0.4 to 0.7 kilometers (0.25 to 0.43 miles) wide, which is believed to have formed 1,600 years ago. Glaciers in Hailuogou are typical modern marine glaciers, which are rarely found either in low-latitude places or at low altitude.
In the scenic area, there are more than ten plateau lakes some of which are at the foot of glaciers and some are surrounded by forests and all keep their original natural features. Covered by thick forest, it supports 4,880 species of plants and over 400 species of plateau and forest animals, most of which are under special state protection. It is also a wonderful place for wildlife safari.]
Day 4 Driving to Litang via Xinduqiao
[Destination highlights Kangding had been historical border between Tibet and China, from Kangding to the west lies Tibetan civilization where as to the east Chinese cultural centre. Kangding was for many centuries an important trading city along the Tea-Horse road where Chinese brick tea, slat and silk were carried by porters from Chengdu and other centers to trade for Tibetan horses, medicine and wool.] Along the ancient Tea-Horse road, we continue heading west to Litang, en route we will visit Xinduqiao, the paradise of photography. This picturesque small town is famous for plateau pastoral scenery, with spectacular snow-capped mountains, vivid green grassland, tall and straight poplars, crystal streams and dotted Tibetan houses.
Crossing three huge snow-capped mountains above 4500 meters, we arrive Litang (over 4000m), the highest town in the world. Situated high on a grassy plateau, Litang has the feel of a rough and tumble 'Wild West' town. Known as "the Buddhist Shrine in South Kham", Litang Temple is the oldest and largest monastery of the Gelukpa sect (yellow sect) of Tibetan Buddhists in Kham Area.
Day5 -7 Mt. Genie
Departing from Litang, we are going for a three-day adventure in the Genie Mountain range. We will hike on the grassland by the alpine lakes by the foot of snow-capped mountain and discover endemic flora and fauna in the forests under guidance of local guides.
[Destination highlights: Genie Moutain lies in the southwest of Litang county of Ganzi Prefecture in Sichuan with an altitude of 6204 meters at latitude 29.8°N and longitude 99.8°E. Genie Mountain is covered with snow all the year around. The knife-like ridges, steep and towering, make it varied topographically. Luxuriant alpine forests on the slope of Genie Mountain are followed by grassland, bushes, winding rivers and grassy marshland at the valley and alpine pasture at the farther end. Genie Mountain, a sacred place in nature, a fantastic place for adventure.]
Overnight: Genie and Litang
Leaving Genie Mountain, we are heading south to Yading passing by Daocheng. Daocheng, is a Kham county blessed with a varied and beautiful landscape. From the northern glacial-erosion highland where thousands of lakes and ponds are scattered and crowds of wild animals are inhabited.
Today we will explore the core of the Grand Shangri-La zone---Yading. We will hike in the valley of the snow mountain, walking around the holy lakes and grassland. There are some nomadic tents in the valley where we have chance to meet up with some local nomads.
[Destination highlights: Crystal sapphire-like lakes, beautiful snow mountains and high grasslands, swaying trees and fabulous hot springs — Yading is known for being one of the best-preserved and most primitive natural scenic spots in China. With its pure and amazing plateau scenery, it is called "the last pure land on earth", "the last Shangri-La", "Western China adventure hub" and "the holy land in the sun".
As the core of Shangri-La Ecological Tourist Zone, Yading is a breath-taking place which owns one of the most beautiful snow mountains in the world at an elevation of 3,700 meters above sea level. The gorgeous snow mountains and lakes dotted in between are great companion along the twisted rocky hiking trails. You will feel totally immersed in the pure highland nature while challenging your physical limitation.]
Day 10 Toward Mt.Meili via Xiangcheng
On the way to Xiangcheng, we will spot the beautiful villages scattered amongst wheat-field-paddies in the valley ground. The large, cubicle houses look like little castles and with their white-chalked exterior walls they give the whole valley a very exotic air.
[Destination highlights: Xiangcheng belongs to the ancient Tibetan province of Kham. Being a necessary overnight-stop on the 'Backdoor'-route to Yunnan, the town is a pleasant place to linger or to serve as starting point for excursions into the surrounding mountain areas. After the overnight in Xiangcheng, we continue venturing south to Yunnan Province.]
We are heading Deqin to meet Meili. It will be a long driving day with twisty mountain roads and mount climbing up and down. Our local guides will schedule many terrific stories and explanations to any of the question came up to you to provide you a better understanding of China.
Day 12-13 Mt.Meili
After the long day on the road, the Mount Meili will definitely treat you grandly with her indescribable grace.
[Destination highlights: Known for the grandest view in Yunnan Province, Meili Snow Mountain boasts numerous snow-clad ridges and peaks, thirteen of which exceed 6,000 meters (19.685 feet) above the sea level. The most splendid view is of the Kawagebo Peak, the highest in Yunnan Province rising about 6,740 meters (22,112.86 feet). It is still a 'virgin peak' for no one has ever reached the top. Visitors are treated to spectacular view from all vantage points. The continuous mountain ridges feature snowy peaks and the sun throws golden lights on the low-floating clouds which form various extraordinary shapes, affording yet another splendid view!
Owing to its high altitude, the mountain owns several climatic zones with a diversity of plants, vast expanse of grassland and rich fungi species that are vertically distributed. The types of vegetation here range from the Torrid Zone to Frigid Zone vertically. From the altitude of 2,000 meters (6562 feet) to 4,000 (13123 feet) meters, forests flourish with varieties of spruce. The depth of the forest is an exotic world of rare birds and animals. The meadows surrounding the forests are embellished by countless flowers which add more vitality and charm.]
Day 14 Deqin to Zhongdian
Today we are driving all the day south to our last destination with a name of the theme of this adventure---Shangri-La county in Zhongdian, Yunnan Province. The town is famous for its beautiful snow mountain and grassland nature scenery, and the featured Tibetan folk house and the Giant prayer wheel and the temples. After the long day driving, we deserve a peaceful night in the old town. We will visit a national park at a very high elevation the next day.
Day 15 Pudacuo national park- Shangri-La
As the first national park in China, Pudacuo qualifies as a natural wonderland according to any standard. It contains endemic species of fish found no where else in the world, rare and beautiful orchids, black-necked cranes, and taxus yunnanensis, a yew whose extracts are indispensable to the creation of many cancer-treating drugs. Nestled in the mountains of Southwest China, the park is an integral part of the Three Parallel Rivers Scenic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are going for hiking in this beautiful highland park and track some wildlife at the same time.
Day 16 Flying back home via Shangri-La county
Trip II: Same trip start from Shangri-La!
We love travel and our mother earth! To make the most use of energy and be environmentally friendly, we organize a trip traveling the same route back to Chengdu starting from Shangri-La!
We can customize this trip so as to better meet your timing, budget and interests or arrange a private extension to explore China as you wish. Please contact us for more information.
Trip I ( start from Chengdu): June 22- July 07, 2017,2018
Trip II (start from Shangri-La): July09 - 24, 2017,2018
Date & Price notes
1. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and are given in US Dollars. Fees may be different due to different seasons.
2. The hotel and vehicle could be customized.
3. Dates may change and could also be customized.
4. The price for Trip I and Trip II is the same.
1. How is the weather in Sichuan and Yunnan in summer?
Chengdu: it is quite hot and humid in summer, the temperature is between 25-32℃
Mt.Gongga: the elevation of Hailuogou glacier is around 2850m. It is very cool inside, the temperature difference of day and night is bit high, so please bring some layers with you, as well as sunscreen and rain jacket.
Genie: the elevation of Litang and Genie is about 4014 to 6204m. It is quiet cool in summer but the sun could be very strong. Temperature is between 5-20℃.
Yading: the elevation is from 3000 to 4500m. the climate is also typical highland climate as above.
Mt. Meili: the elevation of Deqin county is from 3000 to 4500m. The climate is also typical highland climate as above.
Shangri-La county: elevation is 3200m. Temperature is between 15-26℃ during the sunny days, while it is around 10-18℃ when it rains.
2. What kind of vehicle will be used?
Group size 3-5 people ---7 seats business van
Group size 5-8 people --- 17 seats bus
Group size 9-12 people --- 19-23 seats coaster
3. What kind of food will be provided?
One of the principle of AbsolutePanda is dine at local and stay with local. We want to share the benefit with local people and enjoy the authentic local gourmet. We will choose popular local restaurant and try as much as different flavor as you want. We will prepare western breakfast for you or you can certainly choose to try the Chinese style. All we desire is that you can enjoy the food along the trip.
4. What kind of lodging will we stay at?
We will choose featured local guest houses or four-star hotels run by local people. It is a great chance to experience local hospitality and their culture by staying with the lovely people.
I had 24 hrs between meetings in Shanghai and Kunming, so I decided to stop in Chengdu for a panda experience. I lucked out by finding Absolute Panda, and from the moment their representative met me at the airport, things just kept getting better. It was Father's Day, and when my broadly smiling guide stuck out his hand and said "hi, I'm Leo, I had to laugh out loud. That was my Dad's name. Leo turned out to be the best part of the trip, so knowledgable and warm and engaging, and a veritable treasure chest of information about everything from politics to wildlife, and of course, the pandas. The panda experience was also, a once-in-a-lifetime joy fest,,,,,which including joining other travelers from all over the world in cleaning the panda habitat,,,feeding the pandas, and then of course, the piece de resistance,,,,,sitting on a bench, and "shooting the breeze" with a fluffy, cuddly panda. And on my departing trip to Kunming the next day, even though I assured Leo that I was an expereinced solo traveler, he insisted on having Lily, his girlfriend and also an Absolute Panda guide, accompanying me and making sure I got checked in. I travel, all over the world, all the time,,,and I can assure you, this agency, Absolute Panda, is absolutely perfect.
“Amazing local company- the best and most reliable”
---Bruce from US
I have worked in china as international tour escort for ten years and with a multitude of companies and these guys are in a league by themselves. They have long track record of success for 7 years, have the best connections and the best guides. I can't say enough about them. They can also organize the best local guides for anywhere in china, and are logistical wizards all around.
---Brad J from US
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——by Ian H