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Retracing China's Ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Trail

12 days from £6,380 for 2023 per person

Upon arrival in Beijing you will have an opportunity to explore some of the famous sites of this city of extremes before flying on to Jinghong, in China’s far south west. You will begin your tour where it all began: at the original source of all tea. Follow in the footsteps of one of China’s oldest trade routes as you journey across the Ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Road. From Shaxi you will travel to the UNESCO World Heritage protected town of Lijiang, before ending your tour in the fabled mountainous Tibetan region of Shangri-La. Next, travel forward in time a millennia and spend a couple of days in the ultra modern metropolis of Shanghai.

Join Jeff Fuchs, the first westerner to have covered the entire 5000km Ancient Tea & Horse Trails route, on his exciting adventure across this lesser visited part of China. Immerse yourself in the local culture, learn about the region’s history and unique way of life - an intriguing taste of a bygone age. This luxury holiday is purely a suggested itinerary. It can be booked as is or alternatively used as a starting point for creating your own ideal tailor-made trip to China. However, please be aware that the dates for this exact guided tour are from 10th – 17th September.

Itinerary details

12 days from £6,380 for 2023 per person

  • Day 1 - Aman Summer Palace - Beijing
    Arrive in Beijing and transfer to your hotel. Spend the afternoon at your leisure or sightseeing. Visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the iconic Jinshanling section of the Great Wall.
  • Day 2 - Yourantai Lodge - Jinghong
    Take a Taiji (Tai Chi) lesson with a master at the Temple of Heaven and walk around the Hutong neighbourhoods before your flight to Jinhong.
  • Day 3 - Yourantai Lodge - Jinghong
    Trek to a nearby Dai minority village. In the evening meet with local handicraft and tea producers.
  • Day 4 - Yourantai Lodge - Jinghong
    Pay a visit to the Menghai Market, a Bulang minority village before reaching the ancient tea tree forest Nannuo Mountain. There is the option of a local village home stay this evening or return to the Yourantai Lodge.
  • Day 5 - Laomadian Lodge - Shaxi
    Morning flight to Dali with lunch in Dali Old Town before continuing on to Shaxi.
  • Day 6 - Laomadian Lodge - Shaxi
    Explore Shaxi's sloping valleys and pick up some local secrets in a private cooking lesson.
  • Day 7 - Banyan Tree Lijiang - Lijiang
    Visit the Shibaoshan Grottos, which provide shelter to an eclectic array of Bai and Buddhist shrines. Transfer to Lijiang.
  • Day 8 - Songtsam Retreat - Shangri-La
    Explore Lijang's Old Town. Pass the mythical First Bend of the Yangtze en-route to Shangri-la.
  • Day 9 - Songtsam Retreat - Shangri-La
    Visit Napahai Lake and the Nixi artisan village. Enjoy your dinner in a traditional Tibetan household.
  • Day 10 - The Peninsula Shanghai - Shanghai
    Transfer to the airport before your onwards flight to Shanghai. Spend the evening at leisure.
  • Day 11 - The Peninsula Shanghai - Shanghai
    Spend the day at leisure or for sightseeing in Shanghai.
  • Day 12 - In transit.
    Morning flight home.
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The Peninsula Shanghai China 16 The Peninsula Shanghai China 16
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Client Testimonials

I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India

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