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Catholic Tibet

In the far North of Yunnan, where deep Gorges and snow mountains meet, there is a very particular place. On the shores of the Mekong river, more than 150 years ago, french missionaries settled in a village. Soon joined by Swiss Canons who brought their expertise of alpine terrain, they started to convert local populations to Catholicism and build churches in the surrounding villages and valleys.

Since the end of the missionary era (the last one died in 1949), local Tibetan populations always care about practicing their cult and are still really proud of their particularity. This is how today, we find churches and chapelsin each village of Mekong and Salween valleys. Christmas just like all Catholic traditional celebrations are an opportunity for the locals to wear their most beautiful traditional clothes.

It is this isolated and very exotic place that we propose to discover here.

Notice that it is also possible to leave for a 4-5 day trek of high passes crossing from the Mekong to the Salween valley. If you want to know more, go on the page Mekong-Salween traverse


D1: visit of Songzanlin monastery then drive to Benzilan.

D2: drive to Cizhong, visit Dongzhulin monastery and Chusong nunnery on the way. Night at a local family.

D3: day hihe on the heights of Cizhong, visit churches in the surrounding villages. Night at locals.

D4: drive back to Shangri-La.

city of departure:


city of arrival:



guesthouse and homestays 

Extend your journey with LOST HORIZON

Combine this trip with one of the following routes:

Mekong-Salween traverse

Inner kora of mount Kawa Karpo (6740m)

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