Backyard Travel Release New China Tour: In Search Of Shangri-La

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Backyard Travel, Asia’s most innovative travel company, have today released details a new tailor-made tour to China. The ‘In Search Of Shangri-La’ trip takes travelers to visit the modern-day utopia of Zhongdian in the Yunnan Province of Southwest China.

Songzanlin Monastery in Shangri-La

The region is popular for its breathtaking scenery, but with this new tour we scratch further underneath the shiny exterior to investigate the real way of life in this remote utopia

The four-day, three-night tour features several unique ‘Backyard Travel differences’ which sets the trip aside from other tours, painstakingly researched by the company’s Beijing-based team of Travel Experts. For example, travelers will not only see and experience the local beauty and surrounding nature of this utopia, but will have the chance to savor unique experiences, such as learning about the art of thangka at a school in Zhongdian, sample the Tibetan specialty food tsampa in the home of a local family, and enjoy a breathtaking sunrise with a picnic breakfast over the Meili Xue Shan mountain range at the Feilasi Temple.

The tour begins with a stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge on the route to Zhongdian from Lijiang. One of the deepest gorges in the world, the valley separates the Jinsha River from the mountains of Northern Yunnan. Travelers will be able to take a trek (adjusted to their capabilities) around the gorge before continuing on to Baishuitai, a collection of limestone pool formations that resemble a calcified lava flow. The tour will then progress to Zhongdian where travelers can take a tour of the small maze of cobbled streets around the old town before having the quirky chance to join in with a daily dance routine that takes place in the main square.

The following day, travelers will journey to Nixi, a fascinating mountain-side town that nestles on a mountain that overhangs the Napahai Lake. During the morning, a guide will take the travelers to visit a local family to see their home and try the local specialty tsampa, a tasty mixture made from yak’s butter, tea and flour. In the afternoon the tour will continue to Pudaocuo National Park, which is home to over 100 species of endangered animal including the Red Panda and Asiatic Black Bear.

On the third day, travelers will be taken to visit the Songzanlin monastery, a key location for Tibetan Buddhists. The monastery also houses approximately 600 monks, who live in adjoining houses near the Lamuyancuo Lake, and travelers will have the chance to observe them go about their daily duties and soak up the serene atmosphere that surrounds the monastery. Later on, travelers will have the chance to discover more about Buddhism by attending a local school to learn about thangka – the art of painting Buddhist deities or scenes on embroidered silk or cotton. The tour will then continue to Deqin County, which rests 3,500m above sea level, where the travelers will spend their penultimate night.

On the final day, travelers are encouraged to rise early so as not to miss the sublime sunrise over the Meili Xue Shan Mountain range from the viewpoint of the Feilasi Temple while enjoying a picnic breakfast prepared by the hotel. From there, travelers will then cross the Mekong River to the charming village of Mingyong, where there it’s possible to undertake an optional 20km trek to the Lotus Temple to better observe the area and the remarkable Mingyong Glacier and surrounding natural beauty of the area.

“Zhongdian is said to be the modern-day Shangri-La for good reason,” said Backyard Travel’s General Manager Maeve Nolan. “The region is popular for its breathtaking scenery, but with this new tour we scratch further underneath the shiny exterior to investigate the real way of life in this remote utopia. With chances to learn about the art of thangka and to sample local specialty like tsampa for example, Backyard Travel expose a side to local culture that few get to see.”

About Backyard Travel
Bangkok based Backyard Travel is an online travel company specializing in tailor-made tours to Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan, and China. For more information about Backyard Travel, visit or Facebook page

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Maeve Nolan
Backyard Travel
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