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Tea & Horse Road Expedition from Yunnan to Tibet - Songtsam

Tea & Horse Road Expedition from Yunnan to Tibet - Songtsam - 12 Days

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Shangri-La - Nyingchi - Lhasa
From the centre of the Three Parallel Rivers to the very highest mountain peaks, Tea & Horse Road Expedition From Yunnan to Tibet route is designed for intrepid travellers to discover the region’s living heritage through comfort, authenticity, and an enlightened spirit of adventure.



Attentive guide service

-Well-trained local guides are specialists on Tibet and the local region and will travel with you throughout the trip

Vehicles and drivers

-Travel in well maintained SUVs or MPVs. Experienced Songtsam drivers drive all vehicles.

Hotels and lodges

-Enable guests to experience the different cultures and landscapes inherent in these regions.





-During your journey you will get to try Tibetan cuisine, which includes a good amount of barley flour-based items, such as dumplings and noodles, as well as red meat, such as yak, beef and pork.

-At Songtsam lodges, we provide set menus, which combine Tibetan and Chinese cuisine and include complimentary soft drinks and a glass of wine.



Travel Notes

- Since you will be travelling in a high-altitude area, we do not recommend you join this trip if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, or respiratory disease.

- This itinerary is suitable for ages 18-70.

- Due to the plateau’s strong ultraviolet radiation please prepare 50+ sunblock and sunglasses.

- This itinerary needs to have a signed travel contract and exemption agreement.




Day 1 Shangri-La


- Pick up from Diqing Shangri-La Airport and check into hotel.

- Welcome dinner at the hotel

- Relax to acclimate the altitude

Overnight at Songtsam Linka/Lodge Shangri-La (Altitude: 3,300m)

Day 2 Shangri-La - Meili (by automobile)

breakfast, lunch, dinner

- After breakfast, visit Napa Lake and along the Yangtze River valley to Benzilan

- Lunch at Songtsam Benzilan (1.5-hour drive)

- Afterwards visit 300-years Dongzhulin Monastery to learn about Tibetan Buddhism

- Head to Songtsam Lodge Meili via Baima Snow Mountain (2-hour drive)

- Arrive Meili in the afternoon and visit a local Tibetan family to print traditional Tibetan prayer flags

- Dinner at the lodge

Overnight at Songtsam Lodge Meili (Altitude: 3,400m)




Day 3 Meili - Rumei (by automobile)

breakfast, lunch, dinner

- After breakfast, drive to Meili Snow Mountain to hang up the prayer flags printed yesterday (40-minute drive)

- Pass through the snow-capped mountains and the Mekong River Valley officially entering Tibet (2-hour drive)

- Visit the thousand-year old salt fields to learn about the history and process of ancient salt making

- Savor a bowl of Jiajia Noodles, a local specialty, before crossing the Hongla Mountain and Lawu Mountain in the afternoon (3.5-hour drive)

- Dinner at the lodge

Overnight at Songtsam Lodge Rumei (Altitude: 2,600m)


Day 4 Rumei

breakfast, lunch, dinner

- Visit Maiba Pasture(seasonal) (1-hour drive) to see the rich pasture land, yaks grazing, and the plateau pika

- Lunch at the pasture

- Dinner at Songtsam

Overnight at Songtsam Lodge Rumei (Altitude: 2,600m)

Day 5 Rumei - Laigu (by automobile)

breakfast, lunch, dinner

- After breakfast depart for Rawu (9-10hours in total)

- Reach the highest point of the journey at 5,130m over the Dongda Mountain Pass (2-hour drive)

- Stop off for a picnic at the Bangda Grassland at noon (use local restaurant instead during winter time)

- In the afternoon, travel along the long and winding “Nu Jiang 72 Turns” (2-hour drive)

- Continue to climb the 4,400m Anjiula Mountain Pass and arrive at Songtsam Lodge Laigu at sunset and experience the spectacular sunset on the terrace (2.5-hour drive)

- Dinner at the hotel

Overnight at Songtsam Lodge Laigu (Altitude: 4,200m)


Day 6 Laigu

breakfast, lunch, dinner

- Experience the magnificent sunrise on the lodge’s terrace in the morning

- After breakfast, head to Duosong Tso (a holy and secret lake without tourists) to witness the pristine forest, blue lake, and snow-capped mountains

- Return to the lodge for lunch

- Free leisurely time in the afternoon or if you are feeling active, visit the ancient blue Laigu glacier on foot (30minute drive)

- Dinner at the hotel

Overnight at Songtsam Lodge Laigu (Altitude: 4,200m)



Day 7 Laigu - Bome (by automobile)

breakfast, lunch, dinner

- After breakfast drive to mirror-like Rawu Lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains

- Drive along Palong Tsangpo River and through dense forest to Songtsam Linka Bome (3-hour drive)

- Have lunch at the hotel

- In the afternoon explore the tranquil and vast Guxiang Lake away from the town

- Dinner at the hotel

Overnight at Songtsam Linka Bome (Altitude: 2,700m)


Day 8 Bome

breakfast, lunch, dinner

- After breakfast drive to Zhuxi Glacier and visit the 400-year old ancient Pulong Temple

- Have lunch at the hotel

- Take a leisure hike to the Spruce Forest in the afternoon (1.5-hour hike)

- Dinner at the hotel

Overnight at Songtsam Linka Bome (Altitude: 2,700m)



Day 9 Bome - Nyingchi (by automobile)

breakfast, lunch, dinner

- After breakfast drive to Lulang via the Tongmai Bridge where used to be a natural barrier

- Stop off at Artel Poly Hotel for lunch

- Hike into Zhaxigang Village situated at the foot of Jialabailei Summit (1-2 hours)

- Pass by Lulang’s immense forest to see the snow-capped mountains, meadows, cattle and sheep. Arrive at Nyingchi via the Nyingchi Sejila Mountain pass, and check into the Tingyard Hotel or equivalent level of hotel

- Have dinner at the hotel

Overnight at Nyingchi Tingyard Hotel (Altitude: 2,900m)

Day 10 Nyingchi - Lhasa (by automobile)

breakfast, lunch, dinner

- After breakfast visit the Basongtso holy lake and Tsozong Gongba Monastery on the island (2-hour drive)

- Stop off for lunch at a local restaurant in Bahe Town.

- Follow the G318 highway to Lhasa (4-hour drive)

- Check into the hotel and have dinner

Overnight at Songtsam Linka Lhasa (Altitude: 3,700m)

Day 11 Lhasa

breakfast, lunch, dinner

- Visit Potala Palace after breakfast, the highest palace in the world. Return hotel for lunch.

- Visit Jokhang Temple, the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest destination for all Tibetan pilgrims

- Afterwards go to Barkhor Street to experience the most vibrant bazaar in Lhasa.

- Enjoy farewell dinner

Overnight at Songtsam Linka Lhasa (Altitude: 3,700m)


Day 12 Lhasa


- After breakfast, airport transfer to Lhasa Gonggar Airport

Service ends.

Hotels and lodges


Songtsam Linka Shangri-La

Hidden in the city’s peaceful and green valleys between Tibetan villages and Himalayan barley fields, our hotel is located a short distance away from the Songzanlin Monastery. Tibetan-style rooms, dining facilities, spa, and other modern amenities are housed in lovingly hand-built stone structures spread over 21 acres of hillside surrounded by snow-capped mountains.




Songtsam Lodge Meili

Built in an unspoilt village away from any tourists and overlooking the majestic Meili mountain range. Rooms are furnished with large comfortable beds, sofas, and timber flooring, providing a warm atmosphere that combines rustic charm with modern comforts. Most of the rooms come with a cosy fireplace and a stunning view of Meili Snow Mountain.



Songtsam Lodge Rumei

Located in a valley next to Zhuka Village in the north and vast farmland in the south. The lodge’s rooms all face Lancang River, ensuring views of the natural stream outside and the green terraces nearby. The lodge embraces bright colours such as green, yellow, white, and peacock blue, mirroring the colours of the sky and surrounding snow-capped mountains, rivers, and fields



Songtsam Lodge Laigu

Our highest property set on a cliff side facing glaciers and nestled among the area’s snow-capped mountains and lakes. The lodge also uses state of art oxygen concentrator technology to achieve a 24-hour closed oxygen supply. The floor heating is imported from Denmark and the floor-to-ceiling triple-layered vacuum glass windows provide warmth and UV protection whilst at the same time offering breathtaking views of Rawu Lake.



Songtsam Linka Bome

Bome lies in the neighbouring area between the Himalaya and Nyenchen Tanglha mountain range of east Tibet. Also known as the “Swiss Alps of Tibet”, Bome is a paradise with its weather being warm in the winter and cool in summer. The area features primeval forests, snow-capped mountain ranges, stunning rivers and holy lakes and splendid glaciers.



Songtsam Linka Lhasa

Built on the edge of an old park our retreat offers spectacular views of the nearby Potala Palace located only 5 kilometers away. From the hotel’s slaked lime coloured walls to the indigo carved windows and fish-fin shaped facade, all of these architectural details pay great respect to traditional artisans, Tibetan culture, and ancient wisdom. Rooms exhibit a unique combination of modern and traditional Tibetan aesthetics that are elegantly decorated with wooden floors, wall tapestries, and handcrafted copperware. Each room is also fully equipped with oxygen concentrators to relieve AMS and ensure good rest.


Tour Includes :

- All land transfers on well-maintained local transportation indicated in the itinerary.

- All admission fees and activities as indicated in the itinerary.

- All accommodation based on double occupancy.

- All meals starting from dinner on the first day to breakfast on the last day.

- Drinking water and snacks throughout the trip.

- Complimentary soft drinks, coffee, tea, and drinking water at all Songtsam hotels, lodges, and contracted hotels.

- Service of local guides

Tour Excludes :

-Medical, travel insurance or evacuation insurance plans.

-Domestic or international airfare.

-Personal telecommunication.

-Excursions and activities not included in itinerary.

-China visa.

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