Welcome to Shangri-La (Zhongdian), the Garden of Eden! Clear the customs and retrieve your baggage by yourself upon arrival, be greeted by our tour guide in the Arrival Hall who is holding a sign on which says your name. A comfortable vehicle (non-smoking) with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you check in. The rest of the day is on your own to discover this earthly paradise.
Day2 Shangri-la After breakfast, you’ll be driven about 5 km to visit Songzanlin Monastery, reputed as the Little Potala Palace. Established by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679, the monastery belongs to Gelug sect of Buddhism, and it is also the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan. Walk 143 steps to get atop of the monastery and pay clockwise visit to the major lamasery buildings and get in-depth understanding about Tibetan Buddhism. If time permits, take some quiet time to walk around the peaceful Lamuyangcuo Lake and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this pure land.
Later, it is followed by a trip to Nixi Pottery Village, the most “Shangri-La” of Shangri-La. Nixi Village is well known for the century-old art, making pottery. Around 70 out of the 100 families in the village are engaged in this traditional art. Visit a Tibetan Family and watch how they make pottery at home.
After the tour, drive to Dukezong Old Town with 1300-year-old history. Climb up to the top of Guishan Hill (or Tortoise Hill) to have a panoramic view of the old town and Shangri-La County and join in the tourists to turn the largest Prayer Wheel in the world. (Please note: In Jan.2014, a huge fire broke out destroying most of the town. Now you could visit the area around Guishan Hill.)
Day 3 Shangri-La (B, L)
Today is full day to explore the earthly paradise described in the famous novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton.
In the morning, drive to the first national park in China - Pudacuo National Park which is mainly comprised of Shudu Lake, Militang Grassland, Bita Lake. Shudu Lake is a famous pasture, herds of yak and goat grazing beside the lake. Militang Grassland is located between Shudu Lake and Bita Lake with lush grass in meadow. Bitahai Lake, regarded as a pearl of the Plateau, is an intact natural attraction with outstanding landscapes.
Visit the spots by clockwise and throw yourselves into the lush green forest with diverse species of flora and fauna, walk along the plank road to catch the gorgeous scenery of Shudu Lake (hike 3.3 km, about 1 hr) and Bita Lake (hike 4.2 km, about 1.5hrs), stand at the viewing spot to enjoy Militang Grassland stretching to the horizon and seek for a real paradise in this natural wonderland. (Note: the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m and you should avoid strong activities. There’s no problem to hike in the park.)
After the merry time in the park, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family and experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people.
Day 4 Shangri-La Departure (B) On this day you will be free until your tour guide escorts you to the airport for your flight to your next destination.