Songtsam, an award-winning luxury boutique hotel collection and destination management company based in the Tibet and Yunnan Provinces of China, announced a strategic partnership with Xiamen Airlines Co., Ltd, a SkyTeam Airline Alliance member. This innovative partnership, combining air travel with stays at Songtsam properties, will enable travelers to have immersive experiences and connect with the local people to celebrate the multi-ethnic cultures and understand the biodiversity of Yunnan.
The first phase of the "Xiamen Airlines x Songtsam Joint Travel Routes" will focus on three co-branded travel experiences: wine, coffee and tea. Specially trained Songtsam and Xiamen Airlines’ travel/tour guides share their wealth of local knowledge, enriching the guest experience.
Songtsam x Xiamen Airlines Joint Curated Travel Routes
A glass of hand-made grapes under the snow mountains
With cloud-shrouded forests, rolling mountains, and looming snow-tops, "Shangri-La" was originally a fictional world hidden between snow-capped mountains and canyons as portrayed in the novel "Lost Horizon." However, in Yunnan, this fictional ideal world has a realistic foothold.
Traveling from Lijiang to Shangri-La, tour participants will have an opportunity to understand the long-established culture of this land through seeing the traditional Naxi houses, as well as the fusion of Tibetan, Han and other ethnic cultures of the villages along the route. One of this travel route’s highlights will be a gourmet picnic in the forest prepared by Xiamen’s Chef.
Songtsam properties along these routes are located in remote areas surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. More importantly, the locations of these properties near the Three Parallel Rivers Region all reflect different natural geographies as well as a blend of cultures.
The winery visited on this itinerary is located in Benzilan, Deqin and was rebuilt from Tibetan houses. The vineyards are dispersed and located on steep slopes that cannot be operated by mechanization. The wine can only be made by hand. The annual output is less than 20,000 bottles. Guests will be able to enjoy a customized wine-themed tasting dinner while enjoying the scenic backdrop of these rare vineyards.
A cup of creative coffee in a rainforest coffee estate
The city of Pu’er, the largest Oasis on the Tropic of Cancer, spans more than 700 kilometers (approximately 435 miles) incorporating many ethnic minorities and offering a rich blend of diverse cultures. At 23 degrees north latitude, Pu’er is located at the northernmost point of Yunnan, where the sun in the northern hemisphere is directly exposed, creating a hot and humid climate that allows the tea and coffee here to grow abundantly. This is in fact the same latitude as Colombia, the world-famous coffee producing country.
In 1892, French missionary Tian Deneng came to Yunnan to carry out missionary activities and planted the first coffee beans here. The Yunnan Coffee Trading Center, also located next to Songtsam’s Padma Pu’er Hotel, is the largest coffee trading center in China. Rooted in the origin of coffee raw materials, it is the largest quality control center for specialty coffee in Asia. The Yunnan Coffee Trading Center, dedicated to discovering and creating the value of Yunnan coffee, has become the showcase for the Yunnan specialty coffee domestically and globally.
The highlight of this coffee tour is a visit to the coffee garden of Grandpa Liao, an 80-year-old senior agronomist in Pu'er who has transformed 20 hectares (approximately 49 acres) of barren mountain slopes into a distinctive and ecological coffee farm and garden. An expert on tropical plants, guests will learn from Liao about the planting process of coffee beans. At this coffee farm, visitors will have an opportunity, with the assistance of Xiamen Airlines travel/tour guides, to brew their own cup of unique local Yunnan flavored coffee.
This tour also includes a visit to the only Starbucks cooperative estate and the national coffee gene bank in Yunnan.
While enjoying a stay at Songtsam’s Padma Pu’er Hotel, guests will be able to taste the exquisite dishes that reflect the multi-ethnic local cultures, and the subtropical flavors that bloom in Pu'er.
A hands on Royal Tribute Tea experience
In the Royal Tribute Tea Garden, located behind the Pu'er Mountains, guests on this tour will have the opportunity to learn from the tea garden teacher, with the guidance of Xiamen Airlines travel/tour guides, to make their own tea cakes and cups of strong and fragrant Pu'er tea. Guests are invited to dine and enjoy a gourmet meal in the forest amidst the breeze and Pu’er tea fragrance.
Sustainability Focus of the Curated Tours
Throughout these tours, the focus is on sustainable travel by reducing the use of plastic products such as bottled water, and through the use of biodegradable garbage bags. The tours also focus on learning about the local culture, and the inheritance and protection of folk handicrafts.