China's Natural Beauty: Mountains

I travel to China twice a year for work, but never escape the sprawling cities. I’d like to extend my stay next time, and go hiking, or snorkeling, or mountain climbing—something outdoorsy. Where should I go?

Feb 27, 2013
Outside Magazine
china travel tibet shangrila

Tibet has its own unique culture, architecture and geography.    Photo: Muellek Josef/Shutterstock


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.

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