In China, few provinces can compete in combining the most astonishing range of landscapes, people, culture and wilderness lodges. Yunnan is one of them. From the Tibetan high plateau to the tropical forests bordering Laos and Myanmar, Yunnan delivers an incredible landscape that takes your breath away.
Longitude 80 will be focusing on a series of expeditions over the next 4 years aimed at further exploring this province where 45% of China’s minority groups live. And more surprisingly, Yunnan is probably one of the best provinces to combine a network of luxury boutique accommodation allowing us to design itineraries where your comfort will be ensured.
One of Yunnan’s most incredible itineraries is the Tea Horse Route (when China exported tea to Tibet in exchange for horses) along the Tibetan border, where in one single day we drive along the Yangtze, Mekong and the Salween - three of Asia’s longest rivers. Bike and hike across Shangri-La and remote villages, stop and experience prayer flag making, yak tea butter and visit Tibetan monasteries. The Tea Horse Trail is not as popular as it's older "sister" the Silk Road, but, in our mind, easily competes with its incredible hardships and feat to human endurance. What people did for money never stops to amaze. The lodges we stay in link the major historical outposts and in the near future will continue all the way to Lhassa. Comfortable rooms, local food and the promise of a fireplace and a bar with stunning views over snow cap foothills of the Himalayas allows our travellers on this 10 day journey to fully appreciate the Yunnan mountain spirit.
Further south, we trade high altitude mountain passes for tropical bamboo forests, where our upcoming photography trip allow our travelers to capture Yuanyang rice terraces at sunrise and hill tribe villages during daily treks. We also take a full day to capture the beauty of Xishuangbanna Tropical Garden, the largest botanical garden in Asia covering 1100 hectares! All of this while retreating each evening to a gorgeous luxury resort hidden in the forest. But that's a different story, one that only this rich province can offer.
Yunnan has it all!
A full Yunnan trip could be 10-16 days depending on your interest.
WHERE DOES IT START?
Fly in and out from international airport of Kunming with many daily connections.
The best months are April/ May OR September/ October.
DID YOU KNOW?
Yunnan means Southern Clouds.