Tour length: 11 days
Suitable season: April • May • Juni • September • October • November
Maximum amount of participants: 14
We rate this as our most emblematic Mule Caravan trekking in Yunnan: an accessible yet challenging trek between two key points on the old Tea and Horse Trail, taking in probably the best highland scenery south of the Tibetan Plateau. We’ll start our trek down in the valley of the remarkable old Bai town of Shaxi, possibly the best-preserved example of a Tea and Horse Trail caravanserai in Yunnan. We’ll embark on a two-day hike along a little used trail that takes us past isolated homesteads belonging to members of the Yi ethnic group. From there, we’ll make it down to the shores of lake Cibi, which we will eventually cross by boat to make it to the stunning Fengyu bazi (plain). Above Fengyu we’ll embark on some fine stretches of trekking through the wild and lovely high altitude “flower valleys” of Mt. Cangshan. Finally, we’ll hike through pine and rhododendron forest down to the Dali plain overlooking the Erhai lake.
Upon arrival, we’ll stay in a comfortable boutique hotel. We’ll take you to the last real authentic Naxi restaurant. After visiting the old residence of botanist-explorer Joseph Rock, we’ll be on our way to Shaxi where we stay in a lovely courtyard hotel, explore ancient Buddhist carvings on a holy mountain, experience unique cultural performances and integrate in local life.