China - Yunnan
Yunnan province, in the far south west of China, is an area of rich geographical diversity: mountainous peaks, river valleys, and a vast array of species of flora and fauna. Around 34% of the local population is made up of 25 different minority communities including Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai and Miao.
Taking in high altitude climbs, swift descents and a varied terrain, the redspokes south west China cycling tour begins in Shangri-la (formerly Zhongdian, also known by its Tibetan name Gyalthang). Despite a serious fire in 2014 and modern reconstruction, traditional character remains in the old town where you can wander along cobbled lanes and see the world’s biggest prayer wheel Zhùangjīn Tǒng.
From Shangri-la we cycle through to limestone plateaus and white water terraces at Baishiutai. Then on to the dramatic scenery of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. We have day to enjoy the legendary Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest ravines in the world, before cycling on to historic Lijiang; a world heritage town. We continue from Lijiang to Naxi ancient town Dadongzhen, passing the renowned First Bend of the Yangtse River. We ride on with a scenic downhill ride to Shaxi; renowned trading point on the ancient Tea Horse Road dating back to the Tang dynasty. Following the Tea Horse route our cycling adventure ends at the walled city of Dali, capital of the autonomous Bai prefecture. Traditional houses and ancient temples sit on the shores of Erhai Lake with spectacular views of the Cangshan Mountain Range.
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Day to Day Details
- Shangri-la: Zhùangjīn Tǒng prayer wheel.
- Baishuitui White water terraces: moutain springs.
- Minority culture:Yi, Bai, Zhuang, Dai, Naxi, Miao.
- Lijiang: cobbled streets, ancient waterways.
- Tiger leaping gorge: dramatic river valley.
- Ancient Tea Horse route: 'Silk Road of S W China'.
This map is for illustration purposes only and may not show the exact route taken on this tour.