Songtsam Offers Hikers Opportunities to Discover the Natural Wonders of Tibet & Yunnan
Songtsam Hotels, Resorts & Tours, an award-winning boutique luxury hotel chain in the Tibet and Yunnan Provinces of China, offers hikers the opportunity to discover some of the world’s natural wonders. These transformational experiences within nature allow for physical, mental and spiritual healing. Wellness is very much an integral part of Songtsam’s brand philosophy.
Nature is the most powerful physical and mental medicine, and when one can relax the mind properly, a deep and pure serenity can be reached. Songtsam provides an environment with positive energy, natural landscapes, and the right state of mind, allowing the bodies and minds of guests to be naturally rejuvenated in the process.
Tibet, a hiking paradise, is also known as the “Roof of the World” with an average elevated altitude of over 14,370 feet. Its incredible natural landscape is home to some of the most scenic hiking trails in the world. Some of these hiking trails are nearby to Songtsam properties, allowing guests to experience some of the best hiking of their life, while enjoying the luxury of staying at Songtsam.
Baima Snow Mountain (White Horse)
Baima Snow Mountain is the Yunnan province’s largest and highest mountain. Apart from snow-capped mountains and lakes, Tibetans also worship the color white. Mountains with the whitest snow are sacred and divine, which is why Baima or White Horse Snow Mountain is revered. Located in southwest Yunnan Province, Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve offers one of the best hiking trails in Tibet.
The Baima Snow Mountain Hike has breathtaking views, scenic landscapes, and rich biodiversity, including some of the rarest flora and fauna species. The best time to experience this hikers’ paradise is in the summer. The warm sun rays melt the snow into crystal-clear water, which flows down the 18,503-feet peak to create a picture-perfect backdrop. Hikers can stay at the Songtsam Lodge Meili and take about a 40-minute drive to Baima Snow Mountain and hike for 4-6 hours on some of the best hiking trails in Tibet. The trail’s level of difficulty is “Medium,” making it ideal for veteran and intermediate hikers.
Tiger Leap Gorge Hiking Trail – One of the World’s Top 10
Tiger Leap Gorge is one of the world’s top 10 famous hiking trails, protected between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain. This hiking trail in the Three Parallel Rivers area goes through an ecological hotspot with rare animals and plants. Tiger Leap Gorge offers the avid hiker a unique opportunity to indulge in an immersive hiking experience with dramatic scenery along the way.
The most popular hiking trail is the High Trail, which includes a well-maintained path above the Yangtze River. Along this trail, hikers will have the opportunity to experience the culture of the local Naxi people and their traditional foods. Tiger Leap Gorge is one of the best hiking trails in Tibet for many reasons. Hikers can stay at Songtsam Lodge Lijiang to access picnic spots and other breathtaking areas guided by Songtsam tour guides. The lodge is about 52 miles or a 2-hour drive away from this hiking trail.
Yubeng Trail & Ice Lake Trekking (Meili Snow Mountain)
Hidden at the foot of Meili Snow Mountain is the remote village of Yubeng. Its unique location has protected its essence of ‘Shangri-La’ and offers two breathtaking hiking trails, Pilgrimage to the God Waterfall and Ice Lake trek. Both trails are beautiful and challenging, which is why they are famous among hikers. But first, one has to get to Yubeng Village, which is a challenge on its own.
Pilgrimage to the God Waterfall strikes a balance between physical challenge and spiritual rejuvenation.
The trail has a slight slope and stretches from Yubeng Village to the God Waterfall, with an elevation of 11,154 feet. According to Tibetan legend, Kawagebo retrieved the holy water from the sky. So, Tibetans offer Meili’s “inner prayer” with loud chants and singing under this sacred waterfall. The round trip from the village to the waterfall and back is about 8.7 miles and can take 5-6 hours to complete. It is one of the best hiking trails in Tibet for intermediate hikers.
If one is looking for the best hiking trail in Tibet to push your physical strength to the limit, look no further than Meili Snow Mountain Yubeng Trail. The Ice Lake hiking trail consists of two legs, from Yubengshang Village to Xiaonong Base Camp and from the base camp to Binghu Lake. Hikes can take 3- 4 hours from the village to the base camp. Hikers can rest for a few hours, and then complete the second leg within 1-2 hours to reach Binghu Lake. This lake’s elevation is around 12,860 feet and was formed by melting water from glaciers in the surrounding mountains. The trail is 9.3 miles from Yubengshang Village to the Ice Lake and back. It is rated “Difficult” and requires hiking experience to complete the round trip within 5-7 hours.
Located in Yubeng Upper Village, Songtsam Glamping Yubeng gives guests access to both the hiking trails as well as popular religious events in Tibet held in Yubeng village.
TIBET – LHASA AREA
Ganden to Samye Trail
The stretch from Ganden Monastery to Samye Monastery allows visitors to combine sightseeing and hiking. If touring Tibet’s Lhasa city, one can stay at Songtsam Linka Lhasa and start the hike from the ruins of Ganden to Samye Monastery. It is a popular trekking and hiking route in Tibet due to its proximity to Lhasa city and connection with the two famed monasteries.
The stretch from Ganden to Samye is around 50 miles and includes several passes like Chitu La and Shug La that exceed 16,000 feet. It is difficult and requires a long-distance hiking experience to complete. On the other hand, this hiking trail is scenic and goes through beautiful lakes, snow-capped mountains, meadows, and lush alpine forests. The breathtaking panoramic views along the way can motivate avid adventurers to conquer this challenging trail.
Sera Monastery to Pabonka Hermitage Hike – Best for Beginners
Located about five miles from Lhasa, Sera Monastery is a popular destination for tourists and hikers. Pabonka (Pha Bong Kha) Hermitage is part of Sera Monastery, with a short but scenic hiking trail connecting the two sites. One can hike from Sera to the ancient royal palace in Pabonka for one and a half hours. This hike is short, easy, and ideal for novice hikers and tourists seeking leisurely nature walks. If visiting Songtsam Linka Lhasa visitors can include this hike in their Tibetan tour itinerary. Hikers can take a short bus ride from Lhasa to Sera, then hike to Pabonka Hermitage through a small Tibetan village and around ancient ruins. Pabonka sits on the mountainside and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the scenic Lhasa Valley including the backside of the famous Potala Palace. It is one of the best hiking trails for beginners in Tibet.
Songtsam (“Paradise”) is an award-winning luxury collection of hotels and lodges located in Tibet and Yunnan Province, China. Founded in 2000 by Mr. Baima Duoji, a former Tibetan Documentary filmmaker, Songtsam is the only collection of luxury Tibetan-style retreats within the wellness space focusing on the concept of Tibetan meditation by combining physical and spiritual healing together. The 12 unique properties can be found across the Tibetan Plateau, offering guests authenticity, within the context of refined design, modern amenities, and unobtrusive service in places of untouched natural beauty and cultural interest.
Songtsam Tours, a Virtuoso Asia Pacific Preferred Supplier, offers curated experiences by combining stays at its different hotels and lodges designed to discover the region’s diverse culture, rich biodiversity, incredible scenic landscapes, and unique living heritage. Songtsam currently offers two signature routes: the Songtsam Yunnan Circuit, which explores the “Three Parallel Rivers” area (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the new Songtsam Yunnan-Tibet Route, which merges the Ancient Tea Horse Road, G214 (Yunnan-Tibet highway), G318 (Sichuan-Tibet highway), and the Tibetan Plateau road tour into one, adding unprecedented comfort to the Tibetan travel experience.
Songtsam’s mission is to inspire their guests with the diverse ethnic groups and cultures of the region and to understand how the local people pursue and understand happiness, bringing Songtsam guests closer to discovering their own Shangri-La. At the same time, Songtsam has a strong commitment to sustainability and the preservation of the essence of Tibetan culture by supporting the economic development of the local communities and the environmental conservation within Tibet and Yunnan. Songtsam was on the 2018, 2019 & 2022 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List.
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