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Your Shangri-la Found - Yunnan Province, China


In 1997 a picturesque and remote corner of China's Yunnan province was named as the ‘official’ Shangri-la. 

The term Shangri-la refers to the mythical hideaway of great beauty and peacefulness as described by James Hilton in his acclaimed 1933 novel ‘Lost Horizon’. Many say it was this very region that was his inspiration and so, to ensure there was no argument, the Chinese government proclaimed it so. Which brings us to another argument surrounding this region - are you in China? Are you in Tibet?  The answer to that question is equally elusive and may not be answered for many years to come.  However one thing we do know is that it is this very mixture of Chinese and Tibetan culture, set against a spectacular Himalayan backdrop, which  makes for a truly unique experience just waiting to be explored.

The Ultimate Shangri-la Experience

We have discovered two very special hotels which we think encapsulate the true Shangri-la experience.  The luxurious and character-filled Banyan Tree Lijiang and Banyan Tree Ringha make the most of their stunning mountain settings and close proximity to historic towns, the majestic Leaping Tiger Gorge and warm, welcoming locals.

A tailored experience including both properties is recommended to fully experience all this wonderful region has to offer. This is China away from the maddening hustle and bustle of the sprawling cities and makes an ideal extension to any Shanghai or Beijing visit.

Banyan Tree Lijiang

Located near the UNESCO World Heritage town of Dayan and against the spectacular backdrop of mist shrouded Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the Banyan Tree Lijiang is no ordinary spa resort. Thoughtfully designed to capture the spirit and heritage of the local Naxi people and luxuriously appointed to ensure any holiday wish is catered for. Select from a range of beautifully furnished villas and suites all with majestic mountain views and private garden settings.  Indulge in a truly oriental spa experience where you can select from a range of treatment options including Asian healing and relaxation techniques.  Dining here becomes an experience all of its own with choices ranging from a glorious Chinese banquet to a lantern-lit romantic dinner beneath the Moonlight Pagoda.

Banyan Tree Ringha

In contrast to Lijiang, your experience at Ringha is more Tibet than China.  The resort is made up of traditional Tibetan style farmhouses complete with intricate woodcarvings and smoky fireplaces.  Learn the art of tea appreciation at the Tea House or try a traditional Tibetan Hotpot in one of the Banyan Trees idyllic restaurants.  For all you romantics the Highland Romance dining experience should not be missed.  Saddle up for your horseback ride through the Tibetan plains to the banks for the Shudugang River where your four-course dinner awaits.

Duration:  7 days/6 nights + 

Location:  ex Shanghai, Beijing or Kunming, China

Operation:  Year round - the Yunnan looks beautiful in all seasons 

Suggested Shangri-la Inclusions:

  • Three nights accommodation at the Banyan Tree Lijiang
  • Guided Dayan Heritage Town experience including visit to a local Naxi home
  • Trek at Leaping Tiger Gorge
  • Transfers between Lijiang and Ringha
  • Three nights accommodation at the Banyan Tree Ringha
  • Guided local Tibetan village experience
  • Highland Romance dinner 
  • A range of local experiences can be arranged at each destination - call us for more information


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