When you start exploring Tengchong, it will slowly dawn on you. This historic corridor is one of the richest places to taste and experience the amazing variety and diversity of Yunnan province. The amazing food, the fantastic hospitality of the people, the potent hot springs, amazing primary forest, the great weather, sprawling birdlife, phenomenal Ming-dynasty architecture, old trading routes zigzagging through the hills and the plethora of stories they carry with them. With a one of a kind overland tour program that culminates in Weishan, one of the biggest undiscovered old towns in the province, this is a real deep-diving into the soul of upland Southeast Asia!
Map | Destinations (Illustrated) | Price
This is what the standard (4-day) version of this itinerary looks like this:
DAY 1 – Arrival in Tengchong
Arrive in Tengchong by flight in the morning/afternoon. Depending on your arriving time, we’ll take you into Tengchong to explore the comprehensive history museum about the Japanese invasion, the war cemetery and the only urban waterfall of China.
DAY 2 – Tengchong
Visit the Erhuai factory (local rice-made cake and noodles) after breakfast. Then visit a nice local market, to see the flush of wild vegetables and herbs the Gaoligong Mountain had provided. We’ll cook the most famous dish in Tengchong for lunch. Visit a tea plantation for some interesting knowledge of Yunnanese tea and taste their special “Thunderclap tea”. Tengchong has the best hot spring in China, we’ll take you to a nice local spot if you want!
DAY 3 – Tengchong
Visit the old trading village in the morning, discover some amazing local stories. Then check out an ancient wooden bridge. After this, we’ll visit a special village. They still produce the paper with the traditional method.
DAY 4 – Tengchong – Lujiangba
Transfer to Lujiangba after a relaxed breakfast, we’ll visit a Dai village and learn something about their culture. Then the very local Dai food and coffee awaits! We’ll check out an ancient bridge which is very crucial in WWII.
* We hold the authority to make minor changes to the program depending on the conditions.
The rainy season here is from June to September. Rain is usually considered positive, as we have had to cope with some drought in recent years, and it can get pretty dusty and hazy towards the end of the dry season. The rain clears the air and results in incredibly vibrant greenery and an abundance of wild mushrooms and herbs. But do bring some rain gear if you visit in these summer months!
We will walk as much as possible but take a ride wherever we need.
Apart from the city walking, the villages exploring such as tea plantation and Baihualing can be filled to the brim with either hiking or cycling or both. We can take care of the bicycle rental and arrange all the necessary gear to make this tour very active!
We can also organize the full day hiking from Tengchong to Baihualing.
The activity level for this tour can be 100% customized.
In Lujiangba, we’ll stay the night in a coffee farm in Baihualing. Our host is a fabulous cook and she will take care of us very well, although the standard of lodging is of course not up to 5-star standards.
For single travelers or couples, we will arrange an SUV or spacious sedan with a driver-guide if available.
for 3-4-5 guests, we will use a Buick GL8 or Chinese brand “DaTong”.
For 6 guests and up, we’ll be traveling with an 18-seat officially registered tourist van, operated by one of the best drivers in Yunnan, Dali local Yin Guangtao.
The restaurants in each destination are also the high lights of this tour. We’ll start our tour with a fantastic welcome meal in one of the most beautiful restaurants in the entire province. It is located in one of the villages adjacent to Tengchong, and the location is the renovated home of a rich trader who used to have his basis there during the Qing dynasty. The kitchen is very professional, and the dishes will be a nice representation of the local produce.
The farm-to-table restaurant will be another choice for us in Tengchong.
In the valley of Lujiangba, we’ll try the most authentic Dai food, hand grab feast.
We’ll also have the chance to try the normal type of Dai food!
Jingpo food is amazing in this region. They use lots of wild herbs in the dishes!
PICTURE OF A MAP
War Museum and War cemetery and urban waterfall
There is no better way to get an insight into the local diversity than at this market, which is held every 5 days. People from all around Tengchong will come to town to buy and sell things ranging from massive candles to wild bananas to herbal concoctions. We will enjoy ourselves not only because of the endless stream of wild or cultivated vegetables that we have never seen before, but also appreciate the market as an important social event, a traditional custom that has held strong throughout the decades. The Tengchong market is one of the most interesting county town markets in Southwest China.
Tengchong is known for the best Ersi in Yunnan.
Pu’er tea plantation
forgotten wooden bridge built in the Qing Dynasty
It’s a former trading town just south of Tengchong which is utterly forgotten by all the other tourists visiting Tengchong. What’s amazing is that they have a stunning cultural palace from the Ming dynasty which might be the best-preserved of its kind in China and a beautiful antique library which you barely have seen in any other villages!
On the way to Baoshan, we’ll find a Dai village in the valley of the Nu River. The first thing here will be a traditional Dai meal which is called: “Hand Grab Feast”. The food will be served on banana leaves and we’ll use our hands to scoop up the scrumptious sub-tropical delicacies. After the feast, we’ll be investigating some local interpretations of coffee processing, catching up the village daily life and enjoy the traditional coffee!
The ancient hanging bride over the Nu River has been here for centuries. It has allowed traders over the centuries to continue their road over the Southern Silk Road and it has played a crucial role during WWII.
2 PAX: $ 290 USD
4 PAX: $ 177 USD
6 PAX: $ 148 USD
8 PAX: $ 129 USD
We wanted to take an extended trip through Yun‘Nan and knew we could not plan it on our own. We received a recommendation for Zouba Tours and contacted them. Frank and Anna did a wonderful job of planning our trip and creating the most wonderful experiences tailored to our likes and wants. It was a trip that we will never forget! From the time we arrived at the airport until we departed, we were well taken care of. We visited and experienced parts of the Yun’nan province that most people can only dream of seeing. Beautiful people, beautiful country, and the most delicious food! Our driver, Dahua, and guide, Leo, were excellent and so attentive. They ensured we were always comfortable and enjoying ourselves. They did their best to show us many of the hidden gems of the region and provided us with so many interesting facts and information as well as introducing us to the lovely local people. We made some wonderful memories. Now, we are just wondering how soon we can get back and take another tour.
My family has known Frank for a while, but this was my first time going on a tour with Zouba and it exceeded expectations.
My new husband and I knew almost right away that we wanted part of our honeymoon in China to be with Zouba Tours exploring the Yunnan area. Frank and Anna took our request to heart and came up with the best-of-the-best (in our opinion!) tour around Kunming, Dali, Weishan, and Tengchong.
Each day was filled with something new: from hiking up a mountain to a hot spring, to exploring and tasting food at local markets, to visiting Daoist temples. Anna comes from a family of farmers, so she spent much time identifying the plants that we saw along the way. Frank has also spent time studying Chinese history and culture, and taught us so much about religion, traditions, etc.
The food was also outstanding!! I still dream of the hand-pulled noodles that we ate every morning, and the local mushrooms, bamboo, and lotus that were prepared in ways we’d never seen before. I feel like no other tour company can offer such an interesting and diverse look at this wonderful country.
I want to go on another tour ASAP!