“The Lost Horizon” is the story of four Americans who survived a plane crash in the Himalayas, only to discover the reclusive land. It was British writer James Hilton's novel “The Lost Horizon” that sparked a legend and brought fame to an unknown and almost untouched place called Shangri-La. "Shangri-La" is a Tibetan word meaning "land of sacredness and peace". Finally, in Sept. 1997, the government of Yunnan province declared that Shangri-La had been discovered in Zhongdian, Diqing, a prefecture in Yunnan province.
It now may be the last virgin land where one can observe cultures whose layers go back for thousands of years into the past.
Day 1: Arrive in Beijing, the capital of China. Meet your guide upon arrival and be transferred to your comfortable hotel. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Beijing. Begin the day’s activity with a visit to Tian’anmen Square, the largest urban square in the world. Then, move on to the Imperial Palace, also known as the “Forbidden City”, the biggest palace complex in the world. In the afternoon, visit the enchanting Summer Palace, one of China’s largest and best-preserved royal gardens, where you can have a walk along the famous Long Corridor. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Beijing. Today’s highlight is your visit to the Great Wall (Badaling Section), one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” and a symbol of Chinese civilization. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across mountains. Then, move on to visit the Ming Tombs (Changling Tomb) area where is for deceased emperors of the Ming Dynasty. A Peking Duck Dinner concludes your full day’s activities sin Beijing. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Beijing-Luoyang. In the morning, visit Temple of Heaven, the place where the emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties worshipped heaven and prayed for good harvest. In the afternoon, you will visit the Yonghe Lama Temple, the biggest Tibetan Buddhist Lama Temple in Beijing, and the most renowned in China (outside Tibet itself). You will also take a ride in rickshaw through some old “Hutongs”, lanes or alleys formed by lines of Siheyuan (a compound with houses around a courtyard). Take an overnight train to Luoyang with soft sleeper (first class in China, 4 persons sharing one cabin). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Luoyang. Be transferred to the hotel for breakfast on arrival. Whole excursion is to visit the Shaolin Temple, which locates at the foot of Song Shan Mountain - the central of the five sacred mountains in China. The temple was founded in A.D. 527 by a monk, Bodhidharma. He developed a form of physical movement which is based on the natural motions of animals, hence the origin of Shao Lin Kung Fu. visit Longmen Grottoes, built in the year of 494, during the Northern Wei Dynasty. The Long Men Grottoes is one of China’s three leading treasure house of grotto art, with 2,100 grottoes. The largest Buddhist sculpture stands 17.14 meters tall. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Luoyang-Xi’an. Take a train to Xi’an. Be picked up at Xi’an Railway Station. Check in hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Xi’an. Begin the day’s activity with an once-in-a-lifetime viewing of the extraordinary 2,200-year-old Terracotta Warriors of China’s first feudal Emperor, Qin Shihuang. Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda which was built in 652 A.D. It contains a large volume of Buddhist scriptures which were obtained from India by the eminent monk of Xuanzang. (The entrance fee for climb up the Pagoda is not in the price included, if you want to climb up, please pay the charge on spot by yourselves.) Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Xi’an. Visit the Forest of Steles Museum where precious stone carvings and sculptures are kept. Then, visit the Great Mosque built primarily in the Ming Dynasty when Chinese architectural elements were synthesized into mosque architecture, and it is the largest and best-preserved one of the early mosques of China. Enjoy a characteristic dumpling dinner at a local restaurant. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Xi’an-Kuming. Take a flight to Kunming, known as “The City of Eternal Spring”. In the afternoon you will visit the Western Hill, from top of which you can get through the Dragon Gate and get a beautiful panoramic view of Dianchi Lake. Then, pay a visit to the Yuantong Temple. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Kunming-Stone Forest-Kunming. Today, you will drive to the Stone Forest (90 km), boasted as the “World’s Karst Wonder”. This area offers tourists a unique landscape of stark limestone pillars twisted and sculpted by wind and water erosion some 270 million years ago. From a distance, these stone pillars look indeed like a dense forest; hence the name of Stone Forest. It covers an area of 350 square kilometers, yet only about 11.92 square kilometers have been developed as scenic landscape open to the public. Drive back to Kunming in late afternoon. You will also have chance to visit to the handcraft workshop in Daying Village on the way. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Kunming-Zhongdian. Fly to Zhongdian in the morning, which is called “Shangri-La”. Be transferred to the hotel upon arrival. The remainder day is free for you to explore this city. Includes: (B).
Day 12: Zhongdian. Visit Napahai Lake Nature Reserve, the habitat for black neck cranes. Then, pay a visit to Songzanlin Lamasery, or “Second Potala” as it is affectionately known, a spiritual place that invites you to discover the mystery and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Today, you will also have chance to visit Tibetan Family and try home-made Yak Butter tea and Tibetan Cheese. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Zhongdian-Lijiang. Today you will drive to Lijiang, and have a stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge. Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world’s greatest four gorges, is located in Hutiaoxia Town in Zhongdian County and is honored as one of the deepest and most marvelous gorges on the globe. If road and time permits, stop at the Stone Drum Village where you will have a look at the first bend of the Yangtze River. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 14: Lijiang. Visit the Suhe Tea and Horse Old Town, Baisha Murals in Baisha Naxi village and Black Dragon Pool to have a look at the renowned Moon Embracing Pavilion. You will have some time for sightseeing of the Old Town of Lijiang, also known as Dayan Town with Sifang Street at the core, the entire city spreads out in all directions, and is crisscrossed by a labyrinth of flagged streets and alleyways. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 15: Lijiang-Dali. Drive to Dali after breakfast (about 4-hour). Take a cruise on Erhai Lake. Just as its name implies, the lake is similar in form to that of human ear. Then, visit Zhoucheng Village. You also have chance to walk around at the Foreigner Street in Dali Old Town. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 16: Dali-Kunming. In the morning, visit Xizhou Morning Market in Xizhou old Town. Enjoy the tea ceremony of Bai People (Three-Course-Tea) in Xizhou old Town. You will also have some time to explore the Old Town of Dali with its colorful markets. Take a late afternoon flight to Kunming. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 17: Kunming-Shanghai. Fly to China’s largest city - Shanghai in the morning. Visit the Bund, at the west shore of the Huangpu River, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower can be seen on the opposite side. The splendid row of early 20th century Europe buildings remains the quintessential Shanghai sight. Visit fascinating Yuyuan Garden, a well-restored Suzhou-style garden, and take a walk through the Old Town filled with antique markets and specialty stores. A fabulous Acrobatic Show concludes your first day in Shanghai. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 18: Shanghai. This morning you will visit marvelous Shanghai Museum, a leading attraction of the city since it opened in 1994, containing some priceless collections of paintings, porcelains and bronzes. Move on to check out the St. Ignatius Cathedral (Xujiahui Cathedral) built in 1846. Wander around the former French Concession represented by the leafy Fuxing Park and the architecture in the area. Then pay a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple where two rare jade statues of Sakyamuni Buddha are treasured. You will have some free time in the afternoon to explore the city. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 19: Return from Shanghai. Be transferred to the airport and board on your homebound flight. Includes: (B).
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