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China: Yunnan Province (11 days)

Stone ForestDali, Lijiang & Shangrila are highlights in Yunnan, Southwest China. Enjoy tropical rainforest, snow-capped mountains and diverse cultural heritage.

Diversity defines Yunnan Province in Southwest China. The landscape is a visual masterpiece. Yet, it is the cultures that steals the show.  Bordering Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Vietnam and four provinces of China including Tibet, results in a mosaic of 26 indigenous cultures.  Visits to Dali, Lijiang & Shangrila are highlights. Extensions to tropical Xishuangbanna are available to compliment the Yunna adventure.


2017 - 2018 Departure Dates & Costs

Daily departures based on 2 persons from Kunming
Tour cost: $2,200 USD
Domestic flights are included


Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Kunming
Photo by Dr. AlverezUpon your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon visit the Bamboo Monastery, a Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) temple known for its artistic statues.

Day 2 Stone Forest (B)
A drive to the Stone Forest (90 km away, 1.5 hours) which is a world natural heritage site and geological park with extensive karst limestone formations. Also visit local villages, home to Yi ethnic minority culture.

Day 3: Kunming/Dali (B)
Take early morning flight to Dali (30 minutes) and then drive to Xizhou, a typical Bai-populated town 18 kilometers from the old town of Dali. Experience Shacun, a village which has thousands of years of history of cormorant-fishing. Included will be a cruise on Erhai Lake, one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China and one of the provinces largest highland lakes. Enjoy the clear waters and many islets. In the area are the Bai ethnic minority people. Afternoon to enjoy the laid back atmosphere of ancient Dali, part of the Silk road of the south route.

Day 4 Dali Market (B) Monday only
Mondays are market day – visit Sha Ping Market.

Day 5: Dali/Lijiang (B,L)
Bai cultural groupTravel overland to Lijiang (3.5 hrs), with a stop enroute at the Bai-inhabited Xinhua Village of Heqing county where renowned craftsman and art workshops abound. Visit the Black Dragon Pool with its jade coloured waters and water-side temples. Once in Lijiang, enjoy the ancient atmosphere of the cobblestone streets of town experiencing world cultural heritage and local Naxi ethnic minority people’s.

Day 6 Lijiang (B,L)
Day to explore the area including Spruce Meadow (3208 meters above sea level) on the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range where 13 high peaks stand majestically beside the Jinshajiang River. The area is adjacent to dense primeval forests of spruce. A visit to the mural adorned temples of Baisha.

Day 7 Lijiang - Shangri-La (B,L,D)
Drive 180Km (approx. 4- 5 hours) to Shangri-la, a Tibetan-inhabited area which was described in the novel “Lost Horizon” by James Hilton. On the way, we will stop to view the first bend in the Yangtze River originating from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and turning northwards at this point. We also stop at the stunning Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the longest and deepest gorges in the world, set amongst two huge mountains. The gorge descends over 3000 meters into the river below. We have a chance to take in several points along the Gorge. During the drive we have a chance to get great views of Yulong Shueshan Mountain.

Shangri-la is the capital of Dechin Tibetan Autonomous County, where the land levels off into large expanses of grassland dotted with Tibetan chalet-like villages. This afternoon we spend time to rest and acclimatize before enjoying a Tibetan-style dinner.

Day 8 Pudacuo National Park (B,L)
Visit Pudacuo National Park, located in one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world where more than 20 percent of China’s plant species, and about one-third of mammal and bird species of China are found. Many of these are considered endangered or threatened. After hiking in the park we will pay a visit to a local Tibetan family, taste delicacies of Tibetan cuisine, experience Tibetan customs, and watch Tibetan song and dance show.

Day 9 Shangri-la (B,L)
Photo by Dr. AlverezAfter breakfast we visit the impressive Ganden Sumtsaling Monastery located on a hill in the old part of town. This five storey monastery is an amazing sight and second in importance to Tibetan people only to the Potola Palace in Lhasa. 700 practicing monks reside in the monastery. Built in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama, the monastery houses numerous chapels, woodcarving and paintings and is like a living museum of Tibetan culture.

Day 10: Shangri-la – Kunming (B)
Take early morning flight back to Kunming. Visit Western Hills which is a forest park, a place to pay pilgrimages to Taoist gods and Buddhas and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Kunming and Dianchi Lake. Then visit Golden Temple which is a Taoist temple famous for its’ works of art in bronze.

Day 11 Kunming Departure (B)
Transfer to the airport for the flight out or extend to other areas n the region.

Ask about an extension to tropical Xishuangbanna