Storylines

In order to help you with the best possible tour product, the majority of our journeys are tailor-made. Let’s start designing right away. We have summarized our different routes below. You’ll see that each route has its own storyline. Also, we’ll provide logistical information in terms of amount of time needed, in which season to travel, and which means of travel is most suitable. Please hit the contact button if you are interested in a specific route, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

SHORT EXCURSIONS

Destinations: Dali – Kunming – Xishuangbanna



Although we won’t recommend coming to Yunnan for just 1 day, we do offer tailored day tours out of the Yunnan’s major towns. These tours are for people who are passing through already and are looking for an extension of a tour or activity they have already planned in those places.


Highlights: Old Kunming, Water Buffaloes, Ancient Kingdoms, Tea Mountains, Wooden Mosques, etc.
From Dali, we’ll take you hiking on a holy Daoist mountain, explore the Erhai valley or visit a unique Muslim community.
In Kunming, we’ll show you some fabulous old parts of town and show you the most exquisite foods of Yunnan. One of our most popular day tours is to the hidden parts of the Stone Forest.
In Xishuangbanna, we climb out of the Mekong valley onto the Nannuo mountain and meet the Hani people who have been harvesting tea with their tea trees in the middle of the forest, some centuries old.


Amount of time needed: 1 day.
Most suitable time of travel: Year-round.
Most suitable means of travel: Touring car, Cycling, Hiking.


Most of our day programs are specifically suitable for cycling. Please let us know the preferred activity level and we will adjust it to you!


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SUB TROPICAL VALLEYS

Destinations: Xishuangbanna – Burmese Borderlands

Convenient to combine with trips to Laos.



Highlights: Remote Minority Communities, Subtropical Barbeque, Burmese Border, Jungles, etc.
This part of Yunnan features a structure of lush subtropical valleys, structured around mountains about 2000-3000 meters tall. The Dai tend to occupy the valleys, but the hill tribes are different—Lahu and Wa, the latter of which practiced headhunting as recently as the 1950s. The region’s infrastructure has improved greatly in recent years, but the region still lags behind much of the rest of the province in development, and thus offers visitors a chance to travel back in time and see a land where many traditional lifestyles still persist, and where influences from across the border in Burma are significant.


Amount of time needed: 4-14 days.
A shorter tour will stay around Xishuangbanna, but if you have a week or more, you can venture into the remote Burmese Borderlands of western Pu’er and Lincang, and even connect to Tengchong.


Most suitable time of travel: September – March.
Year-round travel is possible, but we warn our guests for the hazy dry season from April to June and the height of the rainy season from July to August.


Most suitable means of travel: Touring car, Cycling.


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RED RIVER

Destinations: Kunming – Stone Forest – Red River – Hani Rice Terraces – Xishuangbanna

Convenient to combine with trips to Vietnam.



Highlights: Ancient Rice Terraces, Animist Culture, Wild Herbs and Vegetables, Markets, etc.
At the heart of our Red River storyline sit the elusive Ailao mountains, with its ancient rice terraces tirelessly carved into the mountains by the Hani people. Attractions include hiking or cycling down along the terraces, from lush forests on top to the panoramic stretches down into the valley. We’ll have plenty of contact with the warm locals who join us to the town’s market or out hunting for wild mushrooms.


Amount of time needed: 4-10 days
The shortest loop from Kunming to the Red River we are able to plan is 4 days. We do recommend to have at least a week in order to traverse all the way down from the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau into lush and subtropical Xishuangbanna.


Most suitable time of travel: Year-round.


Most suitable means of travel: Touring car, Cycling.



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WEST-NORTHWEST TRADING ROUTES

Destinations: Tengchong – Dali – Shaxi – Lijiang

The classic destinations of many Yunnan tours. We do prefer to approach them in a progressive way. Convenient to combine with the Red River route or the Subtropical Valleys.



Highlights: Ancient Kingdoms, Sublime Architecture, Major Rivers, Trading Towns, etc.
One of our major gateways into this part of the province is Tengchong. While many clueless travelers struggle to recognize its charm, if you dive into the place in the right way, you’ll be confronted with an amazing depth and pureness both in terms of nature and culture, which is so exemplary for the Yunnanese story overall. From Tengchong, we’ll traverse in eastern direction, crossing both the raging Salween river and the Mekong.
Dali lies in historically the most important “bazi” of Yunnan. Therefore, they have a long history of being right at the center of an ancient kingdom called Nanzhao. Apart from the mesmerizing landscapes and the modern tourist cultures, there are plenty of hidden gems that we will introduce you to. From Dali, we’ll visit holy mountains and classical trading towns all around the northwest of Yunnan. It goes without saying that we preferably do this by organizing a mule team to really relive the local story.


Amount of time needed: 4-21 days
4 Days would give you just enough time to visit either Tengchong or Dali. 5 Days op to a week would mean you’re able to paste 2 destinations together (Tengchong – Dali or Dali – Lijiang). Tengchong to Lijiang takes 10 days. A mule caravan will obviously slow you down significantly. We do organize them starting from 5 days, but a traverses from one trading town to another would take at least 9 days.


Most suitable time of travel: Year-round.
Rainy season from July to September might complicate certain aspects of the logistics, but it doesn’t make it less interesting to say the least!


Most suitable means of travel: Touring car, Cycling, Hiking.
On this route, we are the most versatile in terms of car availability. High quality bicycles are also best to come by. Our hiking gear is absolutely top-end and expedition organization is tried and tested for over years.


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HIGH MOUNTAINS

Destinations: Yunnanese and Sichuanese Tibet

Beyond the Jade Dragon and Haba Snow Mountains northwest of Lijiang, you are will ascend the Tibetan Plateau. It goes without saying that it is a lot easier for foreign travelers to visit Yunnanese and Sichuanese Tibet instead of Tibet proper. But not many people know that apart from the obvious advantage of being able to move freely without travel restrictions and an officially appointed government guide, these Yunnanese and Sichuanese Tibet are actually really stunningly beautiful, full with Tibetan cowboys and ruffians from the old days, winding trading routes along towering holy mountains, high altitude forests and the most mesmerizing highlands you can find in any part of the world.



Highlights: Mule Caravans, Snow Mountain Peaks, High Altitude Forests, Tibetan Culture, etc.
Our journeys in these regions we will try to include as much integration with Tibetan culture and nature as possible. That means fabulous mountain vistas, steep forest trails, magical alpine lakes and slurping lots of yak butter tea. The easier you can adjust to altitude and move yourself over these landscapes, the more in-depth we can go.


Amount of time needed: 7+ days
We can practically organize some shorter itineraries, especially if you are planning to move by car. But we do advise our guests to calculate some extra time to get used to the altitude and choose for a slow way of moving forward.


Most suitable time of travel: Year-round
Summer is very wet and winter is quite cold, so the options will be somewhat limited during these seasons.


Most suitable means of travel: Touring car, Hiking.
Again, the best possible experience in our belief is organizing a good-old mule caravan, crossing the mountain ridges into the next valley, yak field or wetland. If you don’t envision yourself walking the trails, we do offer in-depth journeys with 4×4 vehicles and their weathered Tibetan drivers.


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