Seasonal expeditions

We have designed thematic expeditions in which we think the cultural and natural depths can resonate in the best possible way. Feel free to inquire about join-in possibilities, but keep in mind that on request, they can be organized privately!

When it comes to high quality tours, the devil is in the details. The further you can zoom in, the easier it becomes to find a genuine connection. We’ve selected some of our absolute favorite areas and used them to design some of the nicest journeys possible.

The true beauty of nature is best experienced step by step. You’ll cross mountain ranges from valley to valley, traversing ancient trading routes. To optimally relive history, we find support from traditional mule and horse caravans and set up camp in the most pristine spots.

Although thoroughly hands-on, these experiences are all operated with the most high-end camping gear and safety standards. Seasonality is the key to anticipating weather patterns and local festivals and markets. Expeditions can be joined, but also booked privately!

Expedition calendar

The finest expeditions in southwest china on a time line

The perfect itinerary is strictly seasonal. You want us to consider not only the weather, but also the local markets and festivals. That’s why we have designed an expedition calendar in which we will publish a few really special set-date expeditions at least half a year in advance.

2019

22 November – 5 December 2019

22 November – 5 December 2019

The Long Table

Every year at the end of November, there is a unique chance to experience one of the ultimate expressions of the colorful Yunnanese minority culture from up close. This trip takes us into the midst of the southern Yunnanese jungles and mountains, rice fields and villages. Groups of Yao, Dai, Yi and Hani people outnumber the Han Chinese by far. Settlements are remote and hidden away from big developments. People still live in traditional fashion and are very happy to welcome foreign guests. This tour takes us to the heartland of the Red River Hani people, who celebrate their New Year Day on November 30th. It will allow us to celebrate the Hani New Year by participating in a famous festival which features a 3000-table long feast.

 

2020

3 February – 13 February 2020

3 February – 13 February 2020

The Southern Tea Road

The Ancient Tea Horse Road is a series of trading routes crisscrossing Southwest China. This tour explores the southern section of the Tea Road, namely, the prefectures of Puer and Xishuangbanna in Yunnan Province (straddling both sides of the Mekong as it exits China into Laos). This is the zone of tea production where most of the tea was grown. The tea was harvested, processed, steam compressed into ‘cakes’ and transported by horse and mule caravan on long-distance journeys over countless rivers and mountains to places as far away as Lhasa and beyond. The tea is still grown arboreally as trees in large groves. Many are several hundred years old and not a few have been dated to over 800 or even a 1000 years. The local trees are used to make a distinctive kind of tea called ‘puer tea’. The tea groves are tended by a diverse array of ethnic peoples, some of whom are probably among the first peoples to ever harvest, cultivate and enjoy tea as a beverage. As an item that binds a diverse array of different people into a shared culture tea is thus an integral and rich part of the social life and history, and indeed future, of Yunnan.

 

18 April – 1 May 2020

18 April – 1 May 2020

The Azalea Adventure

The Laojun Massive is hidden away from visibility right in the heart of the province’s northwest. Every spring, we organize a Rhododendron viewing expedition around the mountain in a clockwise fashion, properly honoring the fabulous natural surroundings. Although this hiking expedition is relatively accessible, we will be camping on outstretched Yak fields, alpine lake shores, and deep old growth primary forests. The trekking portion is 6 days and 5 nights, and the rest of the time we will use to explore the amazing cultural heritage of the Dali-Lijiang area, all in the periphery, away from the masses.

 

6 June – 19 June 2020

6 June – 19 June 2020

The Holy Lake

We have excavated some excellent trails on the old roads from Lijiang to Shangri-La. These routes were by no means the primary roads, but the ones that evaded groups of bandits active on the more well-traveled roads. These lands on the brink of the Tibetan plateau are mostly controlled by the Yi, and we will traverse the Celestial Heaven Mountains with our skilled Yi caravaneers. We have designed the most stunning mule trekking route possible, through the site of one of the most pristine alpine lakes in the province. Tasting the elements, moving along winding mountain paths with a deep history, through high altitude old-growth forests where bandits used to roam, practically getting from one old trading town to the other, we will have the feeling we are truly reliving the times of China’s Wild West.

26 July – 15 August 2020

26 July – 15 August 2020

The Khampa Supertour

This is an all-out Kham Tibetan adventure. We’ll take you from some of the world’s most spectacular horse racing festivals up the mountain to stunning alpine lakes, to holy snow peaks, home stays with Tibetan families, ancient temples, wild hot springs to life on the high plateau with herding nomads. In this trip, you’ll get to experience just about everything western Sichuan has to offer.