Tea-horse trail trekking vacation, China

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Tea-horse trail trekking vacation, China


This is a low-impact cultural tour designed to accommodate small groups and private travelers, not a seat-in-bus tour. Your itinerary will see you visit protected areas such as Shaxi, Weishan, Lijiang, Shilin Stone Forest, the Cangshan Mountains, Tiger-Leaping Gorge, and the villages, monasteries and national parks of the Tibetan Plateau, in northern Yunnan Province. Such regions of historical interest and natural beauty are largely dependent on the revenues generated by tourism, meaning your visit will play a small but real role in helping to sustain these areas.

We employ local tour guides who help our guests to travel responsibly through fragile environments and are happy to explain the importance of preserving the environment in these regions.

Of special note is Zhongdian (Shangri-La) and the surrounding villages and national parks. Though not part of Tibet proper, this remote region of northern Yunnan province forms part of the Tibetan Plateau and is rich in Tibetan religious and traditional culture, as well as being a region of great natural beauty. The funds generated by visits for purposes of tourism help preserve the region. This includes your visit to sites of interest such as the Gedan Songzanlin Monastery in Zhongdian, the villages of Bala and the Balagezong Scenic Area, and Tacheng National Park.

Carbon offsetting We provide a monthly donation to the Carbon Neutral fund to partially offset the emissions generated by our business.


Your itinerary will see you visit one of China's most remote provinces, Yunnan. In the highland regions of Yunnan, ethnic minorities still account for a large proportion of the population. Your tour will provide you with opportunities to engage with these communities, visiting remote Naxi, Bai, Lisu and Tibetan settlements during your travels. Few of these settlements are tourist attractions, and may see little in the way of tourism - they are not engaged in "ethnotourism" and locals will not put on a show. They are real, living communities, many of which see few visitors.

As always, it is important to approach indigenous communities in such a way that respects their culture, even as you engage with and show interest in it. This means extending common courtesies such as dressing appropriately when visiting religious sites, not taking photos without permission, and ensuring you do not leave behind litter.

We employ local tour guides who are mindful of local customs and traditions and will guide you on the proper decorum in each situation.

The money generated by your tour through entrance fees, nights spent at locally-owned accommodation such as farmer's guesthouses, tour guide fees and your patronage of local shops and businesses will also help to support the communities you visit.

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