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Shangri-La Tours

Brief Overview of the Tour

Tour Name: East Tibet
Duration: 10 days
Destinations: Shangri-La and Mingyong Glacier
Trip Designed by: Tibet Eco-Tours
Tour Code: 10DAYSGRLT
Cost:$ 1800 per person (contact for a group price )
Group Size: minimum 2
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Contact

Operator:
Tibet Tours, LLC
Tibet Eco-Tours
Mailing: P.O. Box 32991 Santa Fe,
NM 87594 USA
Phone: 847 772 1430
Email: info@tibetanecology.org
Site: www.tibetanecology.org/tours

Content

| Accommodations | Booking |Brief | Communication | Contact | Culture Shock | Currency Exchange | Departure Date | Emergency Contact | Evaluation | Foundations | Group Size | Health | Important Notes | Itinerary | Laundry | Legal Advice  | Map | Meals | Overview| Papers | Payment | Spending Money | Style & Bonus | Tipping | Transportation | Travel Insurance | VISA |


Your Itinerary 

Shanri-La Itinerary

Day 01: Pickup in Kunming
Meets the guide and driver departure to Dali   
Day 02: Dali
Visit the old town of Dali and the gates also the Three Pagodas of Chong Sheng Temple

 Day 03: Shaxi Village
Shaxi village is where people started ancient tea rout (tea horse trading post)during in year 900s. 
Shaxi Laoma Dian
Day 04:  Lijiang
You are going to visit the old town UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Also you will see Lijiang Old Town + Naxi Ancient Music performance.  
 Day 05 Gyalthang
 After breakfast, drive 3 hours--mostly descending--to Shigu at the First Bend of the Yantze river. After visiting the village, we drive to Samkha (Chin-Qiaotou ) where we have lunch before we drive into the Tiger Leaping Gorge area. It is one of the world's deepeast gorges tucked between Yulong snow mountain and the Haba mountains. Later, we will pass lots of villages for different ethnic group like Naxi, Lisu, Yi along the way. Transfer to the Tsongtsam Hotel , it is around 5KM away from the down town.  
 Day 06 Gyalthang
After breakfast we will visit Sumtsamling Monastery, which is one of the 13 largest Gelukpa monasteries in Kham; built by the Fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century. The monastery currently has about 500 monks who follow the predominant Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. We visit the Grand Assembly Hall (Dratsang), one of the colleges (Khamtsen) where we will meet monks from all over Gyalthang County. We will specially meet a high Lama in his reidence to talk about the monastic life. 

Later we will drive back to the old town to visit the Shangrila Association of Cultural Preservation. Our clients can specially meet the owner Dakpa and the Thangka Master to learn about Thangka history. Then we will drive down to Trinyi village where people still lead their traditional lives based on agriculture and pastoralism. In the evening you'll enjoy a traditional hotpot dinner, made from delicious local ingredients, followed by chatting about the local life. 

Day 07 Gyalthang to Dechen - Namka Tashi( Feilai Si in Chinese ) (191KM) 7-8 hours
After driving out of town, we walk around in the Napha marshlands (The wintering grounds of the black neck crane) and then cross over the Tsebula pass before we get to the district of Nishar whose villages are rich in folklore and arts. And then we descend through some wild landscapes and pay a visit to Gonjo artisan village before we come hit the upper Yangtze gorges. After lunch at Kungzera, we drive up along the Yangtze and then gradually ascend to the Dhondupling Monastery. We will continue our driving to Baima Snow Mountain and gradually to Dechen. We can have a very good view of Khawa Karpo from your hotel weathe permiting.

Day 08 Mingyong Glacier
Morning we will take 2 hours of trekking up to the glacier. Mingyong glacier is sacred to the local people. The glacier is fed by snows which fall on 6,740 m (22,107 ft) Mount Meili , also known as the Meili Snow Mountain . The glacier is located at the lowest latitude and elevation of any glacier in China. In the afternoon drive from Mingyong to Namka Tashi.

Day 09 - Namka Tashi- Gyalthang:  7-8 hours
Today we will drive back from Namka Tashi to Gyalthang. On the way, we will pay our first visit to the Dundrupling Nunnery at Shusong village. This nunnery is located in a peaceful land surrounded by the corn fields. We will meet one of the Nun leaders to talk about their lives and one's own story about becoming a nun. Later we will drive back to Gyalthang. 

Day 10 Fly out to Kunmming end of tour.


Accommodations

In the larger cities of Lhasa, Shigatse, and Chengdu we use standard two or three-star hotels. In many counties and townships, we use guesthouses for our accommodations. In most places these guesthouses are the best we can find in the remote areas on the Tibetan Plateau.  If camping is in your itinerary, we provide tents, but please bring your own sleeping bag. You can also buy one in Lhasa.  Hot water will be available in hotels and guesthouses.  Please note that you are sharing rooms with other members of the group. If you don’t want share a room, please let us know; we will have to charge you the supplement.

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Booking

Please book your tour one month ahead or at least two weeks before your departure date. To apply for your Tibet Entry Permit and to buy some of your monastery entrance tickets, we need some time for processing. To book your tour, we require a deposit of $200. The deposit is NOT refundable.  Full payment must be complete one week before your departure. Some of the wildlife tours require an 8-week advance booking because of paperwork and scheduling guides and drivers.


Communication

Email:
In Tibet many cities have internet cafés. Some of the guesthouses and hotels have internet access in their business centers.  In most places, you will be able to find an internet source, but it may not be available in very remote areas.  You may need some extra cash to use the internet.
Phone:
You can bring your cell phone but it will be very expensive to use.  Almost every accommodation will have a phone that has international service.  If you need to find a phone or internet, ask your guide for assistance.


Contact

Tibet Tours, LLC
Tibet Eco-Tours
Phone: 847 772 1430
Email: info@tibetanecology.org
website: www.tibetecotours.com
Mail: P.O. Box 32991 Santa Fe, NM 87594 USA


Culture Shock

English is not commonly spoken in this part of the world. Often you will encounter comfort issues like an open toilet. Some of the local customs may shock you, but be aware that you are a stranger to the people in Tibet.


Currency Exchange

The exchange rate changes often. You may want to change money in the Bank of China or in hotels and restaurants that have exchange service. We don’t recommend carrying traveler’s checks because they are difficult to exchange in China.  The best currency we recommend is US dollars and EUR (euro). We recommend you bring $500 USD for personal expenses during the trip. ATMs are available across the country but one thing you must be wary of is the fee for overseas withdrawal.  Every bank or ATM is different.
You may check exchange rates before you depart at: http://www.xe.com/ucc/


Emergency Contact

Please provide your detailed emergency contact in case of an accident or death.  We will give you our emergency agent's contact information after you book a tour with us.
You may consider seeking information about traveler’s insurance independently.


Evaluation

After your trip has ended, we would like to receive your evaluation of the tour and suggestions on how can we improve your next trip. Any comments on our guides, drivers and local agents will be appreciated.

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Departure Date

The departure dates are effective from where your trip begins in China or an airport—NOT your departure from your home country.  Sometimes the departure may change. If so, please contact your agent at info@tibetanecology.org


Tibet Tours, LLC & Tibetan Ecology Foundation

Tibet Tours, LLC was established to promote Tibet Eco-Tours as a Limited Liability Company to support the Tibetan Ecology Foundation. Ten percent of your payment goes directly to benefit the work of the Tibetan Ecology Foundation. TEF is non-profit 501 (c)(3).
Tibetan Ecology Foundation is an environmental education organization that promotes the conservation of Tibet’s natural ecology. Ecotourism is one of our awareness programs, offering on-the-ground exposure to the beauty of Tibet and bringing awareness to the threats to its ecosystems—beyond what you might learn from the news. Tibet Eco-Tours will allow you to experience Tibet firsthand. Our Ecotourism partners are local Tibetan tour companies run by Tibetans, and your participation greatly supports the livelihoods of these individuals and their communities. It will also help TEF to continue our educational programs. Please visit www.tibetanecology.org for more information.

Group Size

The group size will vary. There is no limit on the number of travelers. Please notify us if you are a student or a research group of more than 2 people.


Health

Tibet Eco-Tours require that all the travelers be in good health. You must be physically capable of hiking and handling cold weather. You must enjoy camping and trekking. Additionally, you must be mentally comfortable traveling or working with a diverse group of people. Please be open-minded and respectful of others’ boundaries, beliefs and traditions. People with special heart conditions or respiratory ailments are advised that the Tibetan Plateau lies at an average elevation of 5,000 meters or 16,500 feet.
You may experience altitude sickness for a few days, which is normal. We recommend that you take time to adjust to the altitude before doing any hiking and trekking, even in Lhasa. If you are seriously ill, we will provide transportation to a medical clinic for free, but any other expenses related to your health care will be your responsibility.


Important Notes=Paper

Before you enter Tibet (Tibetan Autonomous Region) we will need to acquire your Tibetan Entry permits and border permit. Also, some areas require applying for a special permit. Please send us copies of both your passport and Chinese visa. If you are entering Tibet through Nepal, you will need a few copies of a passport-sized color photo. The Nepali border officials will ask for this when you apply for a Nepali visa at the border, whether entering or exiting the country.


Itinerary

The itinerary on the site is final. The trip will proceed according to the itinerary, barring unforeseen obstacles due to nature or government policy. Otherwise, your guide will not deviate from your itinerary. You may print out the itinerary for yourself. Changing your itinerary during the course of the trip will not be possible. To extend your trip after your booking, please contact us before starting your permit process.  


Laundry

Often, there will be a laundry service for a fee available in the hotels where you will be staying. You may need to change currency (Chinese Yuan/RMB). Sometimes, a laundry business will be available near the hotel.  Most of these businesses are not self-serve and your laundry will be taken and returned to you. 


Legal Advice

Illegal drug use is prohibited. Drug offenses will be subject to the Chinese court process. It will also put the entire group and travel agency at risk. Marijuana, opium and other drugs are culturally unacceptable. Also, political expression against the Chinese Government is strictly prohibited. We will not be responsible for violation of these rules.

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Map

Names of the locations on our trip maps are based on National Geographic maps and Google maps. You may find different spellings on different websites. Most of the maps we use show locations that you will pass throughout the trip but are not necessarily where you will stay overnight.


View Shangri-La in a larger map

Meals


Payment

Your payment must clear one week prior to your departure. You may pay by check, credit card and cash. If you are writing a check, please make it payable to the Tibet Tours, LLC. For cash, please do not send by mail, but hand deliver it to a representative of Tibet Tours or Tibetan Ecology Foundation.
Tibet Tours will donate 10% of your payment to Tibetan Ecology Foundation. If you would like to deduct that money from your taxes, please speak to a representative about making two separate payments—one to Tibet Tours, LLC and one to TEF.


Spending Money

We suggest that you bring some spending money for shopping, bars or entertainment. Some may want to make an offering to the local monastery and having extra change on hand is a good idea.


Style and Bonus

The tour style is customized by the Tibetan Ecology Foundation in order to share an inside look at traditional life among wild nature, snowy mountains, great rivers and their sources. Tibet Eco-Tours also organizes tours to the northeast of the Tibetan Plateau to visit people living off the land in a traditional way—a lifestyle that has changed little over millennia in spite of modernization. It is also a chance to see the ancient architecture of cities and monasteries and a variety of art forms and folk crafts. Tibet Eco-Tours will invite you into an exotic and inspirational world of life and culture. 
Mostly, we will let you have ample time to arrive at your destination, take pictures, and write notes. We limit your travel time to no more than 8 hours or 500 kilometers a day. This way, your trip will be safer and more comfortable. If you are a writer or blogger, we invite you to share what you have learned about Tibetan ecology or culture with us. We offer a refund of 5% of the tour payment to anyone who writes an article relating to Tibet’s ecology. 

We would like to know what you think about Tibet, its culture, people and its natural and built environments.


Tipping

Usually tipping is not customary in this part of the country, but in the tourism business it is. Please feel free to tip, but please do not tip less than ¥1 (20 cents). We suggest a minimum tip of ¥5 for a hotel porter, restaurant waiter or waitress. You may tip your local guide and driver more than ¥10 a day. You may tip your trekking cook and assistant at the end of the trek. 


Transportation


Travel Insurance

We recommend you buy International Travel Insurance if you don’t already have it. We cannot be responsible for accidents, injury or death. We cannot be responsible for loss of personal valuable items, cash, camera, laptop, phone, etc. Insurance agreement form


VISA

Please apply for a Chinese visa from your home country or nearest Chinese embassy. For further information, please visit http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/t84246.htm  For your Tibet Entry Permit, please send a copy of your Chinese VISA to us so we are able to apply for your TAR permit ahead your arrival.

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