Glamping in the Himalayas: Group departure November 2018
Join a group of like-minded travellers in a luxurious caravan journey through the mountain passes and valleys of Yunnan.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
A High Start
Arrival in Shangri-La. This remote enclave in the Chinese province of Yunnan is where your adventure begins… over 3,000 metre above sea level. The altitude is no joke, but as you walk among the narrow streets, you begin to adapt and remind to yourself: this is my dream. After you meet the crew and your fellow travellers, you transfer to Xiang Chen. Travelling in the winding roads, the remoteness becomes present. The looming mountains are colossal and catch the tints of dusk in their peaks. You arrive in town and visit local houses, where you are warmly welcomed. You stay for the night in a beautiful Tibetan house. It is something out of a legend, something out of an explorer’s journal.
Houses from Another Era
There is another transfer in store for you. From Xiang Cheng you travel to Xiang Yi, where all the preparations will be made for the caravan’s departure. After you make sure everything is ready and packed, you get a second glimpse of Tibetan culture as you visit local houses and taste of local hospitality. As you settle down for the night, you can hear your heart pounding from time to time. It’s not the altitude, but the excitement. Tomorrow the caravan adventure starts. Read more
Preparation is Key
The horses are packed, and everyone is ready to get started. You begin your trek out of Xiang Yi, and cross an easy mountain pass. Only 3,700 metres above sea level! As you descend into the valley and let the beauty of the mountain lakes and the towering peaks sink in, it’s time for lunch. The local guides set and prepare a frugal yet fortifying meal of salad, dried fruits and rice. After the morning’s effort, it is quite delicious, to say the least.
On the Rocks
Travelling with the caravan brings to your mind scenes of ancient traders, adventurers and explorers. You are walking over 4,000 metres, every step takes its toll, but because of it, the journey is all the sweeter. Earlier today, as you were traversing a forested pass, a light snow fell and the mountains came to life. You stop for an aperitif: pastries and drinks. You down your whisky and feel the spirit warm you up. This is positively glamourous, in such a remote place.
Every evening, the crew pitch the tents. These are bell tents in the traditional exploration style. They fit four people comfortably, and are heated. The caravan has a tented sitting room, a tented kitchen, and other necessary tented facilities. It is nippy outside but the group got a fire going. You sit down close to the fire, drink in hand, and watch as the stars begin to paint the black sky with their glittering charm. The tents, lighted from within, contrast with the surrounding darkness. It is a scene of beauty.
After a hard day of trekking in wild country, you wouldn’t expect a delicious three-course dinner to be server in a timely and most welcome manner! But as you delight in the meal and join stimulating dinner conversation, you wonder if this is normal for caravans, and if so, why did we stop travelling in this fashion at all.
You have crowned the trek at nearly 5,000 metres. You have witnessed amazing nature, engaged with interesting people, made lifelong friends and created precious memories. You have grown stronger, more focused, and more appreciative in the last few days of caravaning in the Himalayas. There is a spiritual component as well. The sacred mountains of Yading have been your companions as well. As you get closer to them, and learn of their genesis, in the Tibetan tradition, you become aware or a deeper relationship with nature. The peaks are the emanations of Bodhisattvas, those who have seen enlightenment.
Bonds of Friendship
The caravan journey is drawing to a close. Today, at midday, a car will drive you back to Xieng Chen. You carry with you the wind, the snow, the rain, the sun. It is all engraved in your spirit. As you settle down in the Tibetan house, you exchange impressions with your fellow travellers. Was it worth it? Not only that. It was transformative.
Sore Legs, Happy Heart
You journey back to Shangri-La, and from there you make your way back home, with the knowledge that you have walked in the high valleys, amid sacred mountains. Your legs protest. They need some rest before heading out on the next adventure.