Expansive, magnificent Yunnan Province in the southeast—containing half of the country’s plant and animal species—is known for its diversity of landscape, ranging from rainforests to sprawling plains. But its greatest beauty arises from its Himalayan peaks, feeding the three great rivers—the Yangtze, Mekong, and Salween—that run through it. The village of Shangrila in the Diqing Autonomous Prefecture is embedded into the mountains at 10,000 feet, near Tibet.
WHERE TO STAY: Kevin’s Trekker Inn guesthouse above Old Town is clean, inexpensive, and will help arrange hikes in the outlying countryside. Rates start at $10 a night. For high-end luxury, stay in one of the remodeled Tibetan mountainside farmhouses that make up the world-class Banyan Tree Ringha resort. Rates start at $431 a night.