Ancient Tea and Horse Road


Apr - Oct



Price Range


Why The Ancient Tea and Horse Road?

A wise old merchant once said he wouldn't walk along a cliff after a storm, stating he wouldn't take the dangerous path for all the teeth in China. That's where the famous saying "Not for all the teeth in China" comes from. Nowadays, with well over a billion people in China, some of whom only have one tooth, that's over a billion teeth! You live and learn, hey?

Travelling to Yunnan; one of China's most breathtaking and remote areas, this is your once in a lifetime chance to retrace the world's oldest and most stunning ancient tea routes along which horses transported shipments of tea and salt thousands of years ago.

What else will I learn about The Tea and Horse Road?

Following the magical trail back to its roots, you'll discover how tea has woven itself into the fabric of the three-dozen cultures found along its pathway to Tibet...

From the banks of the Mekong to the stone-carved Buddhist statues and monasteries hidden in the hills, everything about this journey screams history! You'll visit bustling markets, stroll along the cobbled streets of Shaxi, hike through forests of tea, meet the Naxi people, dine on mouthwatering Bai cuisine and step into the homes of descendants of the first tea cultivators.

But that's not all, on this ten-day tour, you'll see the mythical First Bend of the Yangtze River, visit the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lijiang and wander through the gilded pillars and incense-filled rooms of Songzanlin, Yunnan's largest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. This National Geographic 'Tour of a Lifetime' is guaranteed to leave you gasping for a cuppa!

We've just heard from Jeff and apparently, the famous saying is "Not for all the TEA in China", not teeth. Sorry. My bad. 

In short:

  • Travel from Xishuangbanna to the fabled city of Shangri-La
  • Drink tea with the descendants of the first tea cultivators
  • Hike into the Ancient Tea Tree Forests
  • Follow the narrow, winding lanes of Shangri-La Old Town
  • Join the locals for a cup of Tibetan butter tea
Will Howell Cornes
Will Howell Cornes Author & Events Manager