Day 1: Los Angeles - Guangzhou. Depart for China at 11:40 PM on China Southern Airlines. Get onboard your International flight this evening to begin your Shangri-La and Tibet Tour.
Day 2: Enroute. Cross the International Dateline.
Day 3:Arrive in Guangzhou early this morning and catch your connecting flight to Kunming (Spring City). Your English-speaking guide and driver will transfer you to the hotel upon your arrival. Visit the World Horticultural Expo after a delicious Chinese lunch. Since Kunming has a spring-like climate all year round, the gardens are constantly in bloom with camellias, orchids, azaleas and primroses. Includes:(L).
Day 4: Guangzhou - Kunming. After breakfast, embark on a full-day tour at the Stone Forest (Shilin). The shape and imagery of the forest was formed by millions of years of weathering; the spectacular sceneries there will certainly amaze you. Return to Kunming this afternoon and get onboard an overnight express train to Dali in the late evening. Includes:(B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Dali. Arrive in Dali early this morning. Your English-speaking tour guide and driver will transfer you to the hotel upon your arrival. After breakfast, visit the Bai minority people's town—Xizhou, a few kilometers away from Dali where many Bai homes still retain their traditional architectures, paintings and layout intact. Browse the crowded market town prior to lunch. Explore Dali's Three Pagodas (San Tsai) this afternoon. Surviving through storms and earthquakes over ten centuries, the Three Pagodas are still the significant symbols of exceptional architectural technology and the brilliant culture of Dali. Your tour continues at the beautiful Butterfly Spring (Hudie Quan) and the Butterfly Museum, where thousands of butterflies gather in spring. Then attend a special performance of the Bai Nationality Three Course Tea, Singing and Dancing Show. Enjoy the Three Course Tea along with the performance of traditional Bai Nationality folk songs and dance. Includes:(B), (L).
Day 6: Dali. Visit Erhai Lake this morning. The lake is one of the seven largest freshwater lakes in China where boats and fishing vessels usually sail by; be sure to enjoy the spectacular sceneries of Mt. Cangshan and several small islands nearby. Move on to the top of Mt. Cangshan to view colorful blossoms of azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. After lunch, visit Dali's ancient city, which contains stonewalls, gray tiled roofs, phoenix and dragon carved windows and doors and streams that crisscrossed the city.
Includes: (B), (L).
Day 7: Dali - Lijiang. Enjoy a scenic drive from the Yunnan countryside to Lijiang, a UNESCO world heritage site and center of the Naxi minority culture. After lunch, visit Lijiang's Ancient City—Dayanzhen, a town that is carefully laid out around a central square with small cobblestone streets and lanes radiating out in all directions. With the neat brick houses and fabulous views, Dayanzhen is the perfect place to stay away from the bustling activities at metropolitan cities. Move on to the Black Dragon Pool (Yu Quan), also known as the Jade fountain to view its green deep waters and magnificent sceneries of the Jade Dragon Mountain. Includes:(B), (L).
Day 8: Lijiang. After breakfast, visit the spectacular Jade Dragon (Yulong) Snow Mountain, which towers over the land at an elevation of 18,360 feet at its highest point; an optional cable car ride to the Dragon Spruce Meadow is available for those who are interested. Your tour continues at the Jade Peak Lama Temple (Yufeng Si), a small lamasery that is famous for its ancient Camellia Tree of 10,000 blossoms. After lunch, visit the White Water River to enjoy the extraordinary views in the area before exploring the Ming Dynasty Baisha Mural Paintings that Lijiang is famous for. If time permits, you may attend an optional performance of Baisha music performed by the Naxis. Includes:(B), (L).
Day 9: Lijiang - Zhongdian. Depart Lijiang for Zhongdian and stop at the Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiaoxia). One of the deepest gorges in the world, the gorge drops more than 3,900 meters from the top to the ranging river that feeds into the legendary Yangtze below, and getting its name from the legend of a tiger jumping across its narrowest point of 30 meters. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 10: Zhongdian. Zhongdian, heavily influenced by the Tibetan culture, is located in the northwestern corner of Yunan Province. Visit Bita Lake (Blanket of Oak Trees in Tibetan), which has crystal clear waters and surrounded by species of rhododendron and azaleas. From May through June, “drunken fishes” could be seen in the lake due to their consumption of the slightly toxic petals of both azalea and rhododendron. In the afternoon, visit the home of a local Tibetan family to enjoy a tea-drinking ceremony and program of tradition Tibetan songs and dance. Includes:(B), (L).
Day 11: Fly to Lhasa this morning and your local English-speaking guide and driver will meet you at the airport. After lunch, explore the Norbulingka (Treasure Park), which used to be the summer residence of the Dalai Lama. Includes:(B), (L).
Day 12: Visit the Drepung (Rice Heap) Monastery, Tibet's largest and richest monastery. Then explore the Sera (Wild Rose Garden) Monastery founded in 1419. Approximately 300 monks continue to stay at one of the monastery's three colleges today. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 13: This morning, visit the most recognized Tibetan symbol—the Potala Palace. It is said to contain 1,000 rooms, 10,000 altars and 200,000 Buddhist statues. Then move on to the Jokhang Temple, which has numerous treasures and the golden statue of Sakyamuni from Xian. After lunch, stroll along Barkhor Street (Octagon Street) located in the center of old Lhasa. You can shop for religious artifacts, prayer flags scriptures, jewelry and other Tibetan handicrafts at the busy market. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 14: Catch your flight to Chengdu after breakfast. Your English-speaking guide and driver will transfer you to the restaurant for lunch upon your arrival. After lunch, visit the fascinating San Xing Dui Museum near the Duck River outside Chengdu. The 200,000 square meters museum houses cultural and religious relics of the ancient Shu Kingdom. Return to Chengdu during the late afternoon and check into your hotel. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 15: Get onboard a mid-morning flight to Guangzhou and visit the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall and Liurong Temple; the memorial hall was built in 1929 when Sun became China's Provisional President. Then explore the reputable ancient Buddhist Liurong (Six Banyan tree) Temple that houses the 57-meter tall “Flowery Pagoda”, Banyan Garden and the three six-meter tall brass Buddhas: Sakyamuni, Amitabha and Maitreya. Transfer to the airport in the late afternoon to catch your International flight back to Los Angeles. Includes:(B), (L).
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