A Sea of Flowers Meet Snow-Capped Mountains

Songtsam Guests Experience the Magic of Azaleas

Songtsam Hotels, Resorts & Tours, an award-winning boutique luxury hotel chain in the Tibet and Yunnan Provinces of China, is in the midst of one of the most magical and natural occurrences of the Azalea blooming season. Songtsam guests have a special opportunity to see these abundant azaleas set against a dramatic backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

The blooming period of Azaleas lasts about four months (April to July) and attracts tourists from all over the region. The shapes of these flowers vary in style, including funnel-shaped, bell-shaped, bowl-shaped, and tube-shaped, with colors ranging from white, pink, to purple-jade. 

Azaleas and other fragrant flowers can be seen nearby many Songtsam properties located in  Shangri-La, Napa Lake, Bigu Heavenly Lake, Tacheng, and Meili Snow Mountain.


  • Located at the heart of the “Three Parallel Rivers”, Shangri-La is dotted with snow-capped canyons, virgin forests, flower meadows, and plateau lakes. The special geographical environment of low latitude and high altitude has created a unique ecological environment.
  • Near the southeast of Shangri-La city, lies an open plateau pasture called Xiaozhongdian known as “the real oil painting,” where one can see a vast sea of white, pink and purple azaleas amongst grasslands, forests, highland barley racks, and roaming yaks. 
Picnic in the Shangri-la azalea field – image courtesy of Songtsam Hotels

Napa Lake

  • In the summer, Napa Lake is home to countless flowers, including the rose-red wild peony, wild chrysanthemum and of course, azaleas. The sea of flowers cover the mountains and plains, with secluded Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and snow-capped mountains in the distance, all together present a breathtaking panoramic view.

Bigu Heavenly Lake

  • Bigu Heavenly Lake is called “Chu Zhang” in Tibetan, meaning small lake. The azalea flowers on the banks of Bigu Heavenly Lake cover the lakeside like a dark pink carpet.  Although the lake is not big nor deep, it is very clear, quiet, and surrounded by large virgin forests, and green pastures. 

Meili Snow Mountain

  • Guests can enjoy a drive along the Yunnan-Tibet Highway to Meili Snow Mountain or can follow Songtsam local guides to this picturesque location on foot. Travelers will pass through large alpine rhododendron and spruce-fir forests, meadows, streams, and through complete and varied vegetation belts.
  • Yubeng God Waterfall at the foot of the snow-capped mountain is also abundant with azaleas during the flowering season. 


  • Located in the long valley of the Jinsha River, Tacheng is a small and well-known land of fish and rice in the local area. From April to May every year, various rhododendrons bloom in the mountains and fields of Tacheng. On the way from Shangri-La to Tacheng, the red-brown, purple-jade, and bright-leaf rhododendron. Keen eyed guests can also try to find a “Rapid azalea” among the layers of rhododendrons in Tacheng. 

About Songtsam 

Songtsam (“Paradise”) is an award-winning luxury collection of hotels and lodges located in Tibet and Yunnan Province, China. Founded in 2000 by Mr. Baima Duoji, a former Tibetan Documentary filmmaker, Songtsam is the only collection of luxury Tibetan-style retreats within the wellness space focusing on the concept of Tibetan meditation by combining physical and spiritual healing together. The 12 unique properties can be found across the Tibetan Plateau, offering guests authenticity, within the context of refined design, modern amenities, and unobtrusive service in places of untouched natural beauty and cultural interest. 

About Songtsam Tours 

Songtsam Tours, a Virtuoso Asia Pacific Preferred Supplier, offers curated experiences by combining stays at its different hotels and lodges designed to discover the region’s diverse culture, rich biodiversity, incredible scenic landscapes, and unique living heritage. Songtsam currently offers two signature routes: the Songtsam Yunnan Circuit, which explores the “Three Parallel Rivers” area (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the new Songtsam Yunnan-Tibet Route, which merges the Ancient Tea Horse Road, G214 (Yunnan-Tibet highway), G318 (Sichuan-Tibet highway), and the Tibetan Plateau road tour into one, adding unprecedented comfort to the Tibetan travel experience. 

About Songtsam Mission 

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Songtsam’s mission is to inspire their guests with the diverse ethnic groups and cultures of the region and to understand how the local people pursue and understand happiness, bringing Songtsam guests closer to discovering their own Shangri-La. At the same time, Songtsam has a strong commitment to sustainability and the preservation of the essence of Tibetan culture by supporting the economic development of the local communities and the environmental conservation within Tibet and Yunnan. Songtsam was on the 2018, 2019 & 2022 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List. 

For more information about Songtsam click here.

SEEN IN PHOTO: Azalea under Meili snow mountain – image courtesy of Songtsam Hotels

Media Contacts:

U.S. Contact for Songtsam

Florence Li, Director of International Sales and Marketing

Email: [email protected]

U.S. Editorial Contact for Songtsam

The Bradford Group

Karen Hoffman/Gabriela Reyes

Tel: (212) 447-0027 

E-mail: [email protected]

About the author

Linda Hohnholz