8 days / 7 nights
Start: Lijiang (LJG)
End: Shangrila (DIG)
Level 3: Adventurous spirit with moderate physical fitness, some basic accommodations.
Spend 8 days traveling throughout Yunnan’s Tibetan region wine tasting, feasting on incredible Tibetan and local minority cuisine, and getting up close and personal with some of the highest peaks in China.
From 9,700 RMB per adult based on double occupancy. Single occupancy fees from 1700 RMB per person. Prices may change due to seasonality.
Small groups of 4-10 guests per tour.
All accommodations are clean and comfortable local guesthouses and hotels. As we’ll be off the tourist track for most of this trip, high-end accommodations are not available.
Explore Shuhe old-town in Lijiang, tofu making, remote minority villages with home-cooked meals, Yunnan wine country and wine tasting, Yubeng Village accessible only by jeep plus optional alpine waterfall hike, Tibetan breakfast at a local home, Shangrila brewery tour, explore Shangrila old-town and grasslands, visit Yunnan’s largest Tibetan monastery.
Check out our multi-day trip schedule for a full list of our other destinations.
Private tour requests are always accepted, based on availability.
Our founder Ruixi has personally curated every bite and every meal in this 8-day, food-forward adventure through the amazing landscapes and ancient villages of Yunnan’s Tibetan autonomous region. This tour is recommended to those who enjoy wine, Tibetan yogurts and milk teas, and all manner of rich soups and stews, as the region’s grasslands and canyons create the perfect conditions and appetites for all of the above. You’ll try dozens and dozens of plates, while stopping at wineries and enjoying landscapes and villages that are far off the tourist path.
This tour takes place at high altitude, with elevations ranging between 2500m and 4000m above sea level. This trip is not recommended to those who might be sensitive to high altitudes.
The nature of this trip is remote and off the beaten path, which means it’s perfect for those with an adventurous spirit. It also means longer bus journeys and visits to small, remote villages with fewer conveniences and shopping.
The jeep ride to Yubeng village will be bumpy and also includes a 15-20 minute walk from the jeep to our guesthouse on dirt paths. A small overnight bag/backpack is necessary for this portion of the trip.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed journey with free time exploring Yunnan’s popular ancient towns and villages, then our trip from Dali to Lijiang along Yunnan’s Tea & Horse Caravan Road will be more appropriate.
The local cuisine throughout Yunnan is just as varied and special as the minorities that make it. Try a huge variety of homemade dishes in small villages and homes, like this cured pork and bean stew.
Visit villages far off the tourist track filled with local minority groups that live like they have for generations.
Explore stunning local wineries to taste a variety of locally produced red and white wines and learn about the history behind the winemakers.
Discover Yubeng Village, known locally as "heaven on earth," which sits below Yunnan's highest peak and is only accessible via a bumpy jeep ride over high mountain passes.
Climb up to see the largest Tibetan Monastery in Yunnan at the top of a pedestrian-only village outside of Shangrila that dates back to 1679.
Meet a local Tibetan family in the grasslands outside Shangrila to try Tibetan butter tea, homemade yogurt, and highland barley bread.
Hotel: A boutique guesthouse in Shuhe old-town
* This itinerary is subject to changes and adjustments based on seasonality and local operations.
Our Trip Leaders.
This trip is always accompanied by one of our full-time Lost Plate trip leaders. As the pioneers that curate each Lost Plate itinerary, and each bite, we know the ins and outs of every mile we travel. We work along-side local guides to create a perfectly balanced experience that no one else can offer.
“I took this trip immediately after Lost Plate’s other Yunnan adventure (Dali to Lijiang) and the two are very different, but both fabulous. Highlights included dinner at the winemaker’s house in Cizhong and of course Yubeng, which has views that simply cannot be beat. Even if you’re not a regular hiker (I’m not), consider doing the waterfall hike. When you add up the hotels and transport and tours and personal assistance (especially with those pesky Covid tests and health codes), never mind the unending food and drink, I can’t even believe what a value Lost Plate provides. Unless you are a fluent Chinese speaker, you’re not likely to have a more varied, fun, and delicious time in Tibetan Yunnan than by taking this tour.”
“From food, wine, places to people who live there. Had such a great experience. Food, wine and scenery. The places visited were further apart so be prepared for three hours drive. Believe me the drives between each places are worth it because the views all around you are breathtaking.”
My partner and I loved every single moment of this tour. The itinerary took us through breathtaking scenery off the beaten path, it felt like we went on an adventure! Our guide was incredibly attentive and helpful, and we had a lot of fun spending time with her and the rest of the crew. The food was absolutely delicious and we all looked forward to our next meal despite being still full from the previous one! We’ll definitely join more Lost Plate tours while we live in China.
I had already been on their evening food tours in Chengdu and Xi’an, and these longer trips had come highly recommended by a friend. It absolutely lived up to her hype. This is an off-the-tourist-trail adventure for sure, which might not be for everyone, but was exactly what I was looking for. The food was always delicious and the travel and accommodations were as good as the areas allowed. I would strongly recommend Lost Plate for an uncommon adventure!
If you know anything about Lost Plate, you know that you’ll never go hungry. All meals are included on this trip. You can expect simple yet hearty breakfasts, plus lunches and dinners that offer a huge variety of dishes in large quantities. We often visit families and restaurants that specialize in one type of cuisine or dish, and there’s a reason why we visit every single place. We promise the food will be the highlight of your trip!
Dinners include beer, and sometimes wine when available. Non-alcoholic options such as tea, mineral water, and soft drinks will always be available. Drinks like soda water and cocktails will not be available at the restaurants we visit.
We will visit 3 wineries during this trip, and each one specializes in a different type of wine. At each winery you’ll have very liberal pours, and the number of wines available vary at each winery. Each one is definitely worth a visit, in terms of the amount of wine you get and the overall experience.
Keep in mind that these are local wines grown and produced in Yunnan. Staff and winemakers are all local and do not speak English, so your guide will be introducing you to their wines and translating for the group – including any questions you’d like to ask each winemaker. The wines may be different than what you’re used to, but you’ll learn why we have chosen each one.
Bottles will be available for you to purchase directly from the winery if you would like, and they can be shipped within China.
All of our tours have been designed to accommodate vegetarian diets. It is, however, important to note that this region of Yunnan relies heavily on yak and beef, along with cured pork. Meals are typically eaten in restaurants or homes that specialize in one type of cuisine, so please note that there will not always be direct substitutes for everything we eat.
Please let us know when paying your deposit if you have any special dietary requirements.
We’ve rated this trip at a level of 3 out of 4, which means you need to be an adventurous person that is comfortable with a moderate level of physical fitness.
The altitude on this trip ranges between 2500m to 4000m above sea level, and you will definitely feel a big difference when arriving from lower elevations. If you don’t have experience at higher elevations, or have been sensitive to high elevations in the past, we do not recommend this trip. Check out our Lijiang/Dali trip instead!
Parts of our itinerary do include walking with stairs, including our visit to the monastery outside of Shangrila and while visiting China’s largest prayer wheel in Shangrila old-town. Our visit to Yubeng village will also require us to walk about 15 minutes on dirt paths from our jeep to our guesthouse. You will only be able to bring a small overnight bag/backpack for the night we spend in Yubeng.
Hiking on this trip is optional, but for those who would like there is a great alpine waterfall hike available in Yubeng village that will take 3-4 hours at an elevation between 3500-3800m.
Yes, children are welcome to join this trip. However, it is important to know that our Lijiang/Dali trip is friendly for children of all ages.
Aside from the physical fitness details mentioned above, this trip does have some car rides that last up to 3-4 hours and some long afternoons spent at wineries. For this reason we recommend that your child is old enough to handle these situations.
Due to limited capacities on our trips, discounts are not generally provided for children. Contact us with any questions or concerns you have and we will assess each situation individually.
Flights to and from Yunnan are not included. This gives you the flexibility to arrive and depart when you would like, on the flights or trains of your choice.
This trip starts in Lijiang (airport code LJF) which is well connected throughout China.
This trip ends in Shangrila (airport code DIG). It is important to note that direct flights to cities like Beijing and Shanghai are rare. You will likely need to transfer in a nearby hub like Kunming, or take a 4-ish hour direct bus back to Lijiang and depart from there.
Yes! Feel free to arrive a couple days early to acclimate, and/or stay late and spend some more time in/around Shangrila or Lijiang. We are able to pass on our special hotel rates to you so you don’t need to switch hotels as well. Just let us know your dates and we will check rates and availability for you.
Please note that airport pickup and drop-offs to/from the airport are not available for those that arrive before our itinerary starts or depart after it ends.
The minimum number of guests for this trip is 4, and the maximum is 10. All of our trips guarantee a small, intimate group for your pleasure and enjoyment – no big busses and tour guides waving flags here.
Your trip will have one Lost Plate trip leader with you the entire time, one local guide for all or part of the trip, and one driver/vehicle that stays with us for the entire trip.
All of our guides and trip leaders are employees of Lost Plate and trained by our founder. We do not outsource staff like other travel companies.
We do not cross any international borders during this trip and your China visa will be enough for the entire trip. Yunnan’s “Tibetan Autonomous Zone” is located entirely within Yunnan province. You will not need a special Tibetan permit for this trip.
Shangrila and Northern Yunnan is characterized by cold winters and mild (not hot) summers. The high elevation means that the sun is very strong all year long. We do cover a lot of ground, and elevations, during this trip so the weather will change often. We will provide you with a detailed forecast and packing tips for your specific trip.
Temperatures in autumn/winter/spring will be cold and near/below freezing at night. This is dry season so rain and snow is rare but can happen.
Summers are wet and rainy with daytime temps that approach 20c. It can feel warmer when the sun is out but that is rare for long periods of time. While it is rainy season, most days provide plenty of opportunity to get out and see the sights without rain. The deeper we get in the mountains, the wetter and cloudier it will get – expect a wet hike in Yubeng village. The benefit is that the comfy temps provide a nice relief from most of China in the summer.
Yes! All of our trips are available for private groups or families, depending on date availability. Pricing will vary for groups under 8 people, but we always make sure they are reasonable. Groups of 8 or more can enjoy our published price for public tours. Contact us with your request and we’ll let you know specific details and pricing.
Our trips are in high demand and have limited spots. Deposits are non-refundable for any reason, including sickness, unless the trip is cancelled by Lost Plate due to the minimum number not being met. Full payment for the trip is required 7 days before arrival in Lijiang and is not refundable if you need to cancel.
8-day Trip in Shangrila, Yunnan
From 9,700 RMB/person