Although this trip from North Vietnam to the base of the Tibetan Plateau in China seems like the ultimate in adventure, curious people of all ages and physical abilities can enjoy this most unusual program. The itinerary certainly takes you off the beaten track, but the trip is not difficult. The travelers you meet, the scenery, and the variety of cultures make this the vacation of a lifetime. Beginning in Hanoi, you will head up north to the hill tribe towns of Sa Pa and Bac Ha in time to visit the villages and enjoy the less visited Coc Ly Market. Then, crossing the border between Vietnam and China by car, you will head to Kunming, stopping in rarely visited villages and visiting the third largest Confucian temple in China. A flight takes you to Dali and on to Lijang, to see the Bai and Naxi of the area. After exploring Lijang, you head north to the Tibetan plateau to Gyalthang, the area aptly named by the Chinese, Shangri-La!

Dates and Land Cost

Starting at $6695.00 per person (based on groups of four or more)

Dates: Thursday, April 17, 2014 - Sunday, May 4, 2014 and Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Sunday, October 12, 2014

Please note: Custom dates and prices available

Trip Concepts

  • Cultures and Crafts

Customized Travel

This is not just a slogan - it's the way we do business.

If this trip itinerary isn't exactly what you want or if the group departure dates don't quite fit your timeframe, we would be thrilled to create a personalized trip that matches exactly what you, your friends or your family wish to do. Since its inception in 1988, Myths and Mountains has been a pioneer in the field of customized and solo travel. We know that there's no such thing as "one itinerary fits all," and we're committed to matching your particular trip to your dreams.

So, go back and look at the itinerary carefully. Check what you like and don't like and give us a call. We'll ask you lots of questions designed to help us understand your travel style, budget, interests, and wishes, and then we'll channel all our global connections, in-depth destination knowledge, and decades of travel planning experience into creating an extraordinary adventure filled with unforgettable experiences. Our custom trips are not just standard "packages" adjusted to fit your travel dates - they're individually tailored itineraries, as unique as you are.

Here's how we will collaborate with you:

1. Read through the itineraries that interest you and think about what you like and don't like, the dates, other places you might want to visit or other activities.

2. E-mail us at or call us at 800-670-6984 to let us know your thoughts.

3. Talk with us about what worked and did not work in the programs you were considering, where you want to go, your timeframe, travel companions, budget, special interests and travel style.

4. We will send a brief sketch and approximate land cost based on our discussion, for you to review that includes the suggested changes we discussed.

5. Based on your feedback of the sketch, we will rework your itinerary according to your guidelines. Should you wish to talk with previous travelers who have asked us for customized itineraries, we are happy to give you references.

6. Review the new program. If it works, we will usually ask for a deposit: 25% of the cost, 50% if you are 120 days out. At that point, we will confirm all of the reservations and guides, send you a full packet of preliminary information and prepare your formal, personalized, detailed daily itinerary.

After all, it's your unique vacation. Invite your family. Bring your friends. Dream big. Then call us and let us make your dream a reality.

Itinerary At A Glance

Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi; Vietnamese Puppet Show
Day 2 Hanoi City Tour.
Day 3 Visit Trang An and Hoa Lu. PM train to Lao Cai.
Day 4 Arrive Lao Cao. Visit Bac Ha Market. Drive to SaPa.
Day 5 Visit the hill tribes of SaPa.
Day 6 Explore more villages including Coc Ly.
Day 7 Drive to Lao Cai; visit Mengze and continue to Jianshui.
Day 8 Tour Jianshui including The Sea of the Learning Lake Temple.
Day 9 Drive to Kunming via Tonghai.
Day 10 Explore Kunming
Day 11 Drive Dali via Dinosaur Museum
Day 12 Dali – choice of activities
Day 13 Drive to Lijang via Xizhou
Day 14 Explore Lijang including Jade Dragon Mountain; Naxi music and dance concert
Day 15 Drive to Gyalthang via Tiger Leaping Gorge
Day 16 Tour Ganden Sumtsanling Monastery and Ringha Temple
Day 17 Drive along the upper Yangtse Gorge to visit Nishi and Gonjo
Day 18 Flight to Kunming; Connect back home

Contact Us

Adventure. Experience. Transform. Let the culture embrace you.

Myths and Mountains is THE adventure travel company for the discerning and inquisitive globe-trotter seeking a hand-crafted, life-changing experience. With more than 25 years of expertise in designing award-winning trips focusing on cultures and crafts, religion and pilgrimage sites, environment and natural history and natural healing and traditional medicine, we promise adventures beyond the guidebooks, excellence beyond expectations, and guaranteed departures.

Want a custom-designed trip just for you and your friends? It's our specialty! Welcome to a remarkable experience - Myths and Mountains style!