Code: YUNNAN04

7 Days Yunnan Hiking Tour to Yubeng Village & Meili Snow Mountain

This route covers the essence of Yunnan, from Lijiang to Shangri-La. At the same time, you can experience the classic Yubeng hiking route for a pilgrimage deep into the sacred Meili Snow Mountain. The Yubeng Village, with stunning scenery and rural seclusion, is like a hidden paradise.

► Duration: 7 days (including 4 days of hiking)
► Route: Lijiang Deqin Feilai Temple Meili Snow Mountain Yubeng Village Hiking (4 days) Shangri-La Songzanlin Monastery Lijiang
► Altitude Range: 2,000 to 3,800 m (6,562 to 12,467 ft)
► Note: The physical requirements are not too high, suitable for beginners. Travelers aged between 7 and 60 with good health status can finish it.

Day 1 Day Tour of Lijiang Old Town
Lijiang Old Town
Take a 15-minute morning walk from the Lijiang Old Town to the Jade Spring Park (Black Dragon Pool) in the north which boasts secluded environment with a stunning lake view. You can spend one or two hours here visiting the Suocui Bridge, Temple of Dragon King, Deyue Tower, Wufeng Tower, and Dongba Culture Museum inside, and take a great photo of the Jade Snow Dragon Mountain with its graceful reflection in the lake.

► Opening Hours: 7:00 – 19:00
► Ticket Price: Free with the receipt of Lijiang Old Town Maintenance Fee

Get back and explore the Lijiang Old Town on foot. Being a time-honored World Heritage Site, the old town features intersecting alleyways, busy markets, stylish guesthouses, and a wealth of historic sites.

► Top Attractions & Things to Do: Big Waterwheel, enjoy Naxi music and local dance at Sifang Street, visit the Mu’s Residence, climb up the Lion Mountain, nightlife in the Bar Street...
► Opening Hours: All day long for the town; 8:30 to 17:30 for Mu’s Residence; 8:30 to 18:30 for Lion Mountain
► Ticket Price: CNY 50 for the Old Town Maintenance Fee; some attractions inside require tickets at different prices.

Day 2 Lijiang – Deqin – Feilai Temple
In the morning, you are recommended to take a bus from Lijiang to Benzilan Town.
► Departure Time: 7:30
► Distance: 272 km (169 mi)
► Duration: 4 to 5 hours
► Fare: CNY 100 to 130

When you arrive, take a taxi to the Great Bend of Jinsha River, taking 10 to 15 minutes and costing about CNY 25. On the sightseeing platform, you can see the spectacular scene of the moon-shaped bend of the mighty river.
► Opening Hours: All day long
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 0.5 to 1 hour
► Ticket Price: CNY 230 for a combo ticket of Meili Snow Mountain, including the Great Bend of Jinsha River, Wunongding Sightseeing Platform, Feilai Temple Sightseeing Platform, and Yubeng Village.

After lunch, take a bus from Benzilan to Deqin. There are several buses running from Benzilan to Deqin. For the bus time, you need to consult the staff of the bus station when you arrive at Benzilan.
► Distance: 82 km (51mi)
► Duration: 2.5 hours
► Fare: CNY 25

Upon your arrival at Deqin Bus Station, there are minivans transferring tourists to Feilai Temple area. The 10 km (6 mi) road takes about 20 minutes and cost CNY 5 to 10.

Check in a local hostel. It is highly recommended to choose a room with the view of the Meili Snow Mountain. After a short rest, you can walk to the Feilai Temple Sightseeing Platform to see the sunset over the Meili Snow Mountain.

► This evening, prepare all the things you'll need for the next 4 days of hiking, including: 
1. Luggage bag: Large luggage should be stored before hiking, and you are suggested to travel lightly with a 25 to 30L hiking backpack. Since you will return to the Yubeng Village every day, you do not need to prepare camping equipment.
2. Clothing and climbing equipment: You can bring a climbing pole as an aid. Prepare outdoor jackets and trousers, down jackets, quick-drying clothes, gloves and hats for fall and winter. Thick socks and waterproof hiking shoes are highly recommended, as there is continuous uphill or downhill, with some roads having water or snow.
3. Sunscreen measures: sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hats, etc., because the destinations are at plateau areas with strong ultraviolet rays.  
4. Food: A small amount of high-energy portable food, like biscuits, beef jerky, and chocolate.
5. Other personal items: Identification documents, toiletries, personal medicine, raincoat... 

Day 3 Watch Sunrise & Start Hiking to Yubeng Village
Sunrise at Meili Snow Mountain

Get up early and walk to the Feilai Temple Sightseeing Platform to watch the sunrise. The sunrise times vary between 6:30 and 8:15 depending on the seasons. The Meili Snow Mountain is sacred in the hearts of the local Tibetan people. If you can see its main peak, Kawagebo, it means that the sacred mountain has accepted you. If the weather is good, you will be able to see the magical mountain in golden sunshine, which is rare and represents good luck for the whole year.

Transport from Feilai Temple to Xidang & Yubeng

In the morning, there is a shuttle bus from Deqin, passing through the Feilai Temple, to Xidang, the starting point of the hike of Yubeng Village. The bus costs CNY 20 and takes about 1.5 hours. If you miss the bus, you can ask the hotel staff to help you contact a chartered car to Yubeng, which usually costs CNY 100 to 150. If you share a car with other travelers, it costs CNY 30 per person.

Hiking from Xidang to Upper Yubeng Village

► Hiking Distance: 11 km (6.8 mi)
► Hiking Time: 6 hours

Walk from Xidang Hot Spring into the mountains and here you’ll start the 4-day Yubeng Village hiking tour. Today's hiking is relatively simple, but requires endurance, especially when you might face altitude sickness. Perseverance and patience with slow steps would help you overcome the difficulty. First, take a gentle ascent of 1,200 m (3,937 ft) from Xidang to the Nanzheng Pass at 3,700 m (12,139 ft) above sea level. There are several rest stops along the way, where local Tibetans sell butter tea, instant noodles and other fast food. After lunch break, make your way downhill to Upper Yubeng Village before evening, where you can see a cluster of distinctive Tibetan houses. Stay overnight here.

► Note: If you want to save physical strength, you can choose to take a car from Xidang into the Yubeng Village, costing about CNY 200 per person.

About Accommodation in Yubeng Village

With lagged economic development, Yubeng has limited accommodation conditions. A light sleeping bag is recommended for those who are keen on cleanliness. In the local Tibetan-style inns, the basic living conditions are generally fine, with free WIFI service, but sometimes the water or power may be cut off. The rooms are usually equipped with solar water heaters, so be prepared for overcast days when there would be no hot water for bathing. In fact, in order to reduce the risk of altitude sickness, it is not recommended that you bathe in the Yubeng Village, especially on the first night.

Day 4 Yubeng Village – Xiaonong Base Camp – Glacial Lake
► Hiking Distance: 14 km (8.7 mi )
► Hiking Time: 7 hours

Today's destination is the Glacial Lake. It is suggested that you start from the Upper Yubeng Village at about 8:00 in the morning. Go through the sea buckthorn forest at the village entrance, enter into the primeval forest and walk all the way to the Xiaonong Base Camp, where was originally the camp of the Sino-Japanese joint mountaineering team climbing the Kawagebo Peak.

After a simple lunch here, continue to hike to the Glacial Lake and enjoy the white frozen world.  Stop for a while, and then return the same way, and get back to the Yubeng Village before evening.

Today's trip is somewhat difficult, with a full day of hiking at high altitudes, from the Upper Yubeng Village at 3,160 m (10,367 ft) to the Glacial Lake at 3,800 m (12,467 ft). You need to be especially careful due to the possible altitude sickness and also the challenge of slippery mountain trails covered by snow.

Day 5 Yubeng Village – Primitive Forest – Sacred Waterfall
► Hiking Distance: 14 km (8.7 mi)
► Hiking Time: 7 hours

Today's destination is the Sacred Waterfall. In the morning, start from your hostel at the Upper Yubeng Village, cross the Yubeng River and pass through the Lower Yubeng Village, which is located at 3,090 m (10,138 ft) above sea level. Enjoy the green mountains and clear water along the way, hike through the secluded virgin forests and alpine pastures, and climb up to 3,800 m (12,467 ft) to see the Sacred Waterfall, which cascade from the cliffs south of the main peak of the Meili Snow Mountain. In summer, the water splashing is spectacular, while in winter it is like a white long belt, solemn and holy.  

After visiting the waterfall, our pilgrimage is complete. Finally, follow the original road back to your hostel in the Yubeng Village for a good rest.

Day 6 Yubeng Village – Ninong Grand Canyon – Shangri-La
Ninong Grand Canyon
► Hiking Distance: 18 km (11.2 mi)
► Hiking Time: 5 hours

Today you will walk out of the mountains and finish your hike. Leaving in the morning, you can follow the Yubeng River all the way downhill to find the Ninong Grand Canyon. Entering the mouth of the canyon, you will find deep valleys, verdant mountains, streams and wildflowers along your way. There are rest stops where you can eat and rest and send postcards. This path is relatively narrow, with many rocky sections, and you should pay special attention to safety during hiking. What’s more, it’s downhill all the way, which requires more strength in the legs and knees.

You are expected to arrive at the parking lot of the Ninong Village by noon. From here you can take a car to Shangri-La. There is no shuttle bus service, so you have to hire a car. When you hired a car from the Feilai Temple to Xidang and Yubeng Village, you could leave the driver's phone number and ask him to pick you up at the exit of the Ninong Grand Canyon on time. It takes about 4 hours and costs CNY 500 to 600 to reach Shangri-La. If you don't mind, you can carpool with other tourists to save money. Upon arrival, check into a pre-booked hotel in the Dukezong Ancient Town in the evening for a good rest.

Day 7 Shangri-La to Lijiang
In the morning, take a walk in the Dukezong Ancient Town and feel the charming Shangri-La culture. At the Moonlight Square, you can join other tourists in turning a giant prayer wheel to pray for yourself and your family. After that, you can visit the Songzanlin Monastery, which is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan and known as the ‘Little Potala Palace’.

► How to Get There: A taxi from the Dukezong Ancient Town to the monastery takes 15 minutes and costs CNY 20. Or you can walk 2 minutes north from the North Gate of the ancient town, take bus line 3 from the Jiantang Police Station to the monastery in 30 minutes at a cost of CNY 2.
► Opening Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 hours
► Ticket Price: CNY 90

It is advised to finish touring the monastery at noon and return to Shangri-La Bus Station at around 14:00. Here you can take a bus back to Lijiang.

► Bus Hours: 8:00-18:00
► Frequency: every 30 to 120 minutes
► Distance: 176 km (109 mi)
► Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours
► Fare: CNY 75

You will get to the Lijiang Old Town before dark. Rest to relieve the fatigue of the 7 days' journey, or if you have energy, you can enjoy the colorful nightlife of the old town.