Yunnan, shangri-la, and also the tea horse road

Join famous National Geographic professional photographer Michael Yamashita, and worldwide adventure travel guide and professional photographer Jock Montgomery, on the photo taking search for a UNESCO natural heritage site having a unique history over 1,000 years of age.

Draining the southeastern area of the Tibetan plateau, a trio of rivers run in parallel: the Yangtze, Mekong, and Salween. From lush valleys of wheat and corn to arid mountain tops grazed by yaks, el born area is among the most biologically and culturally diverse on the planet.

You will walk along alpine tundra with vistas of jagged snow-capped peaks, stand alongside thundering rapids at the end of massive gorges, and walk into the lives of indigenous individuals vibrant traditional dress. It wouldn’t be any sort of accident in the event you question should you have had in some way arrived in Shangri-La.


This photography tour concentrates first of all on assisting you see and shoot in exciting and new ways. Michael Yamashita and Jock Montgomery will personally help you define your composition, creating compelling content, which help you see the sunshine. While you work at nurturing your shooting style, become familiar with how you can personalize breathtaking moments that vary from sweeping natural scenery to colorful human activities.

Every second day, we’ll gather to examine each other’s work.  Michael and Jock will personally critique your photos and supply expert consultancy for improvement and growth. Upon conclusion from the trip, each participant will get certificates of completion signed by Michael and Jock.

Trip Highlights

  • Receive personal assistance with creating compelling photographs from two worldwide recognized photographers.
  • Follow part of the Tea Horse Road and visit Shangri-La with National Geographic professional photographer Michael Yamashita, the professional photographer and author from the book Shangri-La: across the tea route to Lhasa.
  • Notice a UNESCO natural heritage sight featuring massive gorges with thundering rapids and towering mountain tops with low altitude glaciers. The extension will feature the UNESCO culture heritage site of Lijiang.
  • Visit protected areas and photograph endangered Yunnan snub-nosed apes.
  • Amazing views of Kawagarbo Mountain, among the most sacred peaks in Tibetan Buddhism.
  • Travelling Baima pass at (4,335 meters), to view grazing yaks, colorful wildflowers, and countless prayer flags set amongst sweeping all downhill meadows.
  • Visit and photograph indigenous people like the Naxi, Lisu, Tibetan, and Bai at home and workplaces.
  • Remain at the Songtsam lodges, champion of Travelers’ Choice Award for 2013 and something of Tatler’s 101 Best Hotels on the planet.

Detailed Itinerary

First Day, 10/18: Arrive Lijiang

The majority of you’ll get to Lijiang airport terminal via Beijing or Shanghai having a stopover in Chengdu, coming within the late mid-day.

We remain in an attractive hotel built with traditional methods in Naxi architectural styles. In the first evening Michael and Jock can give an excursion briefing, adopted with a welcome dinner at our hotel. (This is our first meal together.) 

Day 2, 10/19: To Tacheng

Each morning we drive northwest and on the way we stay in the city of Shigu to understand more about sacred stupas and find out the truly amazing Bend within the Yangtze River. Came from here we still Tacheng and on the way we visit villages where grain, wheat, and grapes are grown inside a traditional manner.

Within the mid-day we go to the small farming village of Tacheng where we’ll possess the chance to create impromptu appointments with traditional homes. Typically, these have wooden floors, a gompa room for prayer and sleeping, a Buddhist shrine, along with a wood stove employed for heating and cooking. These intimate visits might also pay the chance to consider portraits.

Throughout the remainder of our tour we remain at five different Songtsam lodges. They offer excellent accommodation, and scrumptious organic meals, offering dishes which are both Western and traditional.

Day 3, 10/20: Layover Tacheng

Drive towards the Golden Monkey Park and research center. Make close-up observations photos of golden apes within their natural habitat (also referred to as Yunnan snub-nosed apes). With less than 2000 within the wild, this is among the most endangered primates on the planet.

Within the mid-day, we’ll have a downhill, three-hour scenic walk past a stream dotted with prayer wheels towards the Tibetan village of Bazhu noted for the perfume it creates from rose petals.

We’ll go back to our lodge for free time or walk-through Hada village where one can share a mug of tea having a local Naxi family. Don’t miss the apparently 1,000-year-old auspicious gingko tree near our lodge.

Day 4, 10/21: To Cizhong

A morning drive will require us in to the mountain tops and across a minimal pass. We’ll then descend in to the valley from the Mekong, the center of the 3 parallel rivers. We’ll stick to the Mekong upstream on a sizable highway that’s somewhat desolate aside from the wintertime several weeks. The atmosphere will end up drier once we rise in elevation.

We’ll go to the Tibetan village of Baima. Since ancient occasions, el born area is a fertile supply of traditional medicines, including ginseng, saussurea, and caterpillar fungus. They are harvested yearly to be used in Tibetan medicinal practices.

We’ll mix the Mekong towards the village of Cizhong, where a classic Catholic church.

Day 5, 10/22: Layover Cizhong


Shangrila: Timeless Beauty of Yunnan Province – Assorted Time Lapse Shots