Nature and outdoors

How to Plan a Trip to Shangri-La

We've crafted the perfect itinerary for where to explore, shop, drink and stay in Shangri-La, within China's southwestern Yunnan province. Paradise awaits

STAY

The Hidden Valley Resort

Shangri-La’s first glamping resort is conceived as a home away from home. There are five luxury tents located on the property’s grassland, with a further nine rooms situated in a traditional Tibetan house that was the former residence of a village chief. The resort is all-inclusive, so meals, activities and transfers during your stay are taken care of. Activities include horse riding, hiking and landscape painting, while personal guides can take you to all of the region’s natural and cultural sights.

SEE

Potatso National Park

This is one of the country’s most revered national parks for a reason. Built around two lakes – Shudu and the currently closed Bita – it has all the spectacular nature one would expect: vast grasslands complete with roaming yaks, Instagrammable reflections and flowers galore. It’s also a base for more intensive hiking into the surrounding mountains and forests.

Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery

Built in 1679, this imposing centre of Tibetan Buddhism is often compared to Lhasa’s Potala Palace. It remains a functioning monastery with different areas dedicated to monks from various regions of Yunnan.

SHOP

Norlha

This boutique in the ancient town of Dukezong is an offshoot of the high-end brand that started in Gansu, specialising in yak wool products such as shawls, scarves, blankets and more.

Prime Library

Don’t be fooled by the name: this is more teahouse and snack shop than library. It’s minimal and hip, and sells cool pre-packaged Yunnan treats and teas, including their own blends.

DRINK

Shangri-La Highland Craft Brewery

A visit to this brewery provides an insight into the brand’s vision for sustainable developent and all-local ingredients – water from the mountains and a distinctive highland barley – as well as an opportunity to try the six beers they produce.

Yunnan Arabica Coffee

Yunnan coffee is all the rage, and this chain – utterly third-wave – arguably does it better than anyone. There are two outlets in Dukezong and they are ideal spots for a rest in the high altitude.

Cathay Dragon flies to Kunming from Hong Kong seven times a week

Cathay Travell Book

ABOUT

Discovery online brings together all the inspirational travel writing from our two inflight magazines, Discovery and Silkroad. Be sure to look out for the print editions when you next fly with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon.
Discovery Book Silkroad Book