Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China

Photography and cultures in Yunnan

Start dateEnd dateDays
Prices from
Single SupplementTour ExpertGroup SizeStatus
07/05/22 16/05/2210 days £3,995 ex. flights £425George Chan10 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Forbidden city in Beijing, China 1

Explore China's capital

Spend time in Beijing exploring Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and The Great Wall

Tiger Leaping George, Yunnan 2

Beautiful landscapes

Photograph Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from Lijiang Old Town

Golden Monkey, China, Paul Craven 3

Captivating wildlife

Walk in the Yunnan Monkey National Park in search of the Golden Monkey

Tibetan Monk walking in Songzanlin Monastery, Shangri La, Yunnan, China 4

Stunning architecture

Explore Gyalthang, or Shangri-La, the best-preserved example of Tibetan architecture

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2


  • Day 3

    Great Wall of China

  • Day 4

    Beijing to Lijiang

  • Day 5


  • Day 6

    Lijiang to Tacheng

  • Day 7

    Tacheng to Shangri-La

  • Day 8


  • Day 9


  • Day 10


Day 1


Sunset, Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Arrive in Beijing with the day at leisure to explore.

Day 2


Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Visit the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City and walk in the steps of emperors.

Day 3

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall, Beijing, China

Travel to the less-visited Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, one of the great wonders of the world.

Day 4

Beijing to Lijiang

Lijiang old town, Lijiang, Yunnan, China

Fly from Beijing to Lijiang in the south west of China. Lijiang was at one end of Tibet’s trading route and had trading ties with far flung cities in Burma, Tibet and India.

Day 5


Black Dragon Pool Park, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, China

Explore Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Black Dragon Pool.

Day 6

Lijiang to Tacheng

Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lijiang, Yunnan, China

Travel from Lijiang to Tiger Leaping Gorge, believed to be one of the deepest gorge in the world. Continue onto Tacheng, one of the most fertile valleys in Yunnan.

Day 7

Tacheng to Shangri-La

Tibetan Monastery town against blue sky, reflected in river.

Visit the Yunnan Snub-Nosed Monkey National Park to search for one of the most endangered species in the world: the Black Snub-Nosed Monkey. Continue to Shangri-La, also known as Gyalthang.

Day 8


Golden Monkeys, China

Explore the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan province, Ganden Sumtseling Monastery. Also visit Pudacuo National Park, China’s first national park.

Day 9


Prayer Wheels, Tibet

Discover Tangdui, a Tibetan village specialising in pottery to visit master potter Luo Sang Enzhu. Continue to Dong Zhu Lin Monastery.

Day 10


Snow covered peak of jagged mountain against bright blue sky.

Depart for the airport for your onward flight.

Stone Lion Sculptures, Beijing, China
Stone lion sculptures, Beijing


Beijing is China’s capital city, located in the North of the country it is a veritable metropolis of epic proportions and offers more than just the entrance to The Great Wall and the Forbidden City, although these are magnificent sights in themselves. An elaborate display of Chinese architecture at its best, and worth its title as one of the seven wonders of the medieval world, the city is an historian’s delight and a fascinating insight to the bygone era of China.

View of snow-capped mountain with lake and forested hillsides in foreground.
Tibetan Monastery town shrouded in low cloud, reflected in river.


Yunnan, meaning ‘Beautiful clouds in the South’ is one of China’s most diverse and naturally beautiful provinces with terrain ranging from snow-capped, alpine mountains to tropical rain forests.Yunnan is home to the towns of Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage site nestled beneath the Jade Dragon Mountains with a wonderfully atmospheric old town and Dali with its lakeside location. The province stretches to the borders with Tibet and as one journeys beyond the famed Tiger Leaping Gorge towards the town of Shangri-La (Gyalthang) it is possible to get a real feel of Tibetan life at the 300 year old Tibetan monastery of Ganden Sumtseling Gompa which is still home to around 600 monks.

Local woman and child, Yunnan, China
Tibetan woman and child

China photography

China is heaven for photographers. Every corner offers an exciting opportunity for photography. Whilst in Beijing, capture the stunning detailed architecture, in Lijiang, photograph the Jade Dragon Mountains reflected in the waters of the Black Dragon Pool, and the vast depths Tiger Leaping Gorge. In the national parks, wildlife photography can be tricky, patience is key. Finally, as you travel to the smaller remote villages, photograph local life. All of this is under the expert guidance of photographer and videographer, George Chan.

Group Tour FAQs

Why travel to China with Steppes Travel?

We have been creating China holidays since 1994. Recent adventures in China include trekking on the Great Wall, travelling the Songtsam Trail in Yunnan, following the Silk Route and rafting on the Li River. It is our wealth of in-depth knowledge and first-hand experience that has helped to created this incredible photography tour.

What will the accommodation be like?

In Beijing, the hotel will be a good 4* property in a great location. As you travel to Yunnan, the accommodation will be based in simple local hotels. Rooms will have private bathrooms and reflect local characteristics.

Is this Group Tour suitable for solo travellers?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Expert.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply. We aim to keep these as low as possible.

Do I need to be fit to join this Group Tour?

You do not need to be physically fit as there will be no long trekking. However, the areas visited will be at an altitude of up to about 4,000 metres so taking adequate precautions is advised.

Altitude – Although anyone can be affected by altitude there are precautions to help cope with it. Plenty of rest and drinking water will usually help. Medication is also available but you should consult a medical practitioner first before taking medicines.

What are the roads in China like?

Generally, good tarmac roads throughout but as some of the regions visited are quite remote there may be times where roads are slightly bumpy.

Can I extend my time in China?

Yes, this can easily be arranged at the end or the beginning of the tour. Private travel arrangements with a car and driver will be provided and a private guide arranged for sightseeing. Speak to one of our experts for possible suggestions on what extensions would complement this tour.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?


Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience Matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Size Matters

Our average group size is typically eight to ten people, smaller than other group tours typically offered – a factor which many of our clients appreciate. Travelling as part of a smaller group provides a more intimate, personalised and relaxed atmosphere.

4.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

3.Like-Minded People

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people – interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

5.Value for money

Our tours are well-priced to ensure you get real value for money. We include gratuities on the majority of our tours and do not pass on currency surcharges. We strive to look after single travellers as well as we can, keeping single supplements to a minimum.

6.Peace of Mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Light Activity
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.


To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • Accompanied by George Chan
  • Accompanied by an English speaking local guide
  • Entrance fees for sights mentioned
  • Accommodation throughout
  • Early check in or late check out at hotels
  • Internal flight Beijing to Lijiang
  • Transportation throughout
  • Meals, as per the itinerary
  • Gratuities for local guides. drivers and porters
  • £25 to help fund the communities, conservation agencies and NGOs that we work with
  • £25 contribution to ‘Trees and Science’ in mitigation of your carbon emissions

What is excluded

  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas if applicable
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks throughout

Our future tour dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 01285 880 980

Start dateEnd dateDays
Prices from
Single SupplementTour ExpertGroup SizeStatus
07/05/22 16/05/2210 days £3,995 ex. flights £425George Chan10 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 880 980

Send us an enquiry

Send us a message and one of our travel experts
will get right back to you.

Enquire Today

Explore similar expert-led group tours

With an average group size of just eight to ten people our group tour itineraries enable you to travel to some of the most intriguing regions of the world in the company of experts guides in the field and, of course, with likeminded people.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

More about Steppes

Get in touch

  • This page is attached to this enquiry

  • Hidden
  • By sending your enquiry you are stating that you agree to our T&C

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.