Marc-Ciel-Yunnan-200x2044 days | Shangri-La, Deqin/Mount. Kawa Karpo, and Benzilan

Tour Highlights:

At over 3,000 m above sea level bordering Tibet, and looking across the river from Sichuan, Deqin is a pure, remote corner of Yunnan. Along the Dian-Tibet Road to Deqin, travelers would admire splendid mountain landscapes interspersed with valleys, jade-like lakes, Tibetan villages, and golden Buddhist Lamasery, so the trip to Deqin is a combination of nature and culture.

Take a short trekking trip to discover the Baima nature reserve famous for the Snub-nosed monkey, enjoy the majestic landscapes of Mount Meili (another name for Mount Kawa Karpo), and visit the Dongzhulin Buddhist Lamasery.


Tips From Ciel Yunnan

When visiting protected parks such as Baima Nature Reserve, travelers had better accompany a guide. In the wild, it is hard to foresee the surprising or aggressive behavior of animals. An experienced guide will facilitate your observations and suggest your actions within necessary safety distances.


  • Drive to Deqin(3h30/4hrs). Go through the valleys of the Yangtze River and gigantic mountains, and you will see the magnificent landscapes of the Tibetan plateau along the way.
  • Visit to the Dongzhulin Monastery, a sacred place for Tibetan pilgrims. It was built in 1667 under the order of the 5th Dalai Lama.
  • Arrive in Deqin, visit the Feilaisi Monastery. The pilgrimage of locals starts from here.
  • Contemplate the Kawa Karpo Mountain, the holiest mountain in the Kham region, where Tibetans do the pilgrim.

  • Get up early in the morning to see the sunrise from the hotel terrace.
  • Drive to the Mingyong Glacier Park (1h30).
  • Climb to the Prince Monastery on foot or by the electric shuttle (3hrs walk/30 minutes by shuttle).
  • Hike along a wooden path, enjoy the splendid landscapes of the glacier.
  • Tips: there is a way behind the Prince Monastery, which leads to the Monastery of Padmasambhava (the founder of the Red Cap).
    Go back to the parking lot and return to the hotel crossing the Mekong River valley.
  • There is a vineyard for wine production on the way, and you can ask your guide if you are interested.

  • Drive to Benzilan(4h30).
  • On the way, visit a unique lamasery for female monks in Yunnan province.
  • From this monastery, you can take a short return hike to a sacred waterfall (1h30).
  • Optional tour: stop at the Moon’s Bend on the Yangtze River if you are interested.

The rates below are indicative, and they may vary slightly depending on the season or hotel availability.
Price per person based on With driver With driver + An English-speaking guide
2 persons 525 $ 852 $
4 persons 405 $ 581 $
6 persons 380 $ 477 $

Price includes

  • The hotels are mentioned in the itinerary (includes breakfast).
  • Transfers by private vehicle with a driver during the whole journey. For the group without a guide, if necessary, the driver will also act as a guide.
  • Accompaniment by an English-speaking guides from the 1st day (if this option has been chosen).
  • For the group without a guide, a smartphone will be given on your arrival. You will always be in contact with our 24-hour service. We are going to offer you restaurants with its locations, you can also try cashless payment anywhere in China (we are using less and less cash in China for payment).
  • Accommodation and meals for your guides and drivers.
  • One bottle of mineral water per day per person.

The price does not include

  • International and domestic flights.
  • Lunches and dinners.
  • Entrance tickets for tours and activities, to be paid directly on site.50% reductions sometimes for travelers over 60, free possible for those over 70.
  • Tips for guides and drivers (It is recommended of 160 RMB / day in total for the driver guide).
  • Accident, repatriation, and health insurance.
  • The visa fees.

Warm Tips:

  • You can also check out our organized small group tours here
  • To facilitate your stay, we suggest that you change your quotes on arrival and departure at the current exchange rate. The formalities to be completed in Chinese banks are particularly tedious

Recommended hotels

For each city, we have recommended two or three hotels for you to choose from below. The first hotel listed has been pre-selected by Ciel Yunnan.

Deqin Once A Time In Meili Hotel Once A Time In Meili Hotel Songtsam Meili Hotel
Benzilan Tulu Lodge LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan Songtsam Benzilan Hotel
Supplement/per / 21 $ 162 $

If you have more days for your trip, it’s possible to add/choose the extensions/excursions associated with this trip.

  • Tacheng (+ 1~2 days): Located on the fertile banks of the valley of the Golden Sands River, the village of Tacheng is best known for being the gateway to the Baima Protected Natural Park, which is home to the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey. The park offers the opportunity for beautiful short hikes but had better accompany a local guide who will know how to do in the event of encounters with wild animals because of their unforeseen behavior.

When to go?

You can visit Deqin all year round except winter. But the best seasons to do a Shangri-La tour are May, September, October, and November. It is cold in this region in winter between December and February. Temperatures rise to 10 degrees during the day to drop below zero at night.

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