Day 1: Beijing-Kunming. You'll begin your journey to the diverse and captivating province of Yunnan from the capital city, Kunming. Upon arrival at the Kunming International Airport, you local guide will meet us. And then you will be transferred to you hotel. Kunming is the capital of southwest China's Yunnan province, a primarily agricultural province of 45 million. Kunming has a population of five million and is located in one of the world's most geographically, ethnically, biologically and linguistically diverse regions. Situated at 1,900 meters (6,233 feet) above sea level and 25° north of the Equator it has a rather unique and pleasant climate for a Chinese city.
Day 2: Kunming-Stone Forest-Kunming. Special Experience: Taste the typical Yunnan food which is named Bridge crossing Noodles. You will drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. There is a local saying: "It is a waste of time not to visit the Stone Forest while visiting Kunming", which vividly expresses the deep love of the local people toward this world wonder. The quintessential karst landscape makes every tourist lost in wonder. After lunch drive back Kunming to visit the landmark of Kunming-the Golden Horse and Phoenix Archway, which is located at the corner of Sanshi Road and Jinbi Road. And then, you will take a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Kunming-Dali by private car. In the morning you will take the car to Dali via Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture. Dali, a historically and culturally famous city of China, is renowned for her historical interest. And then, you will visit the Three-pagoda in Chongshen Temple, which is a typical historical symbol of Yunnan. It is also one of the oldest sublime architecture in South China. At last, you will visit the Old Dali Town, which is located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Dali. Special Experience: Taste the Bai Three Course Tea and enjoy Bai Tea Art with ethnic dance and music. In the morning, You'll travel in the Erhai Lake by boat and visit Jinsuo Island. After landing, you will head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style architecture, taste their fragrant three-course tea and explore their distinctive culture. At last, you will visit Zhoucheng Town, and Bai people's Died Cloth Work Shop. At night relax in Dali Old Town. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 5: Dali–Lijiang by private car. After breakfast drive about 180 km to Lijiang. On the way you will visit Xinhua Bai ethnic village and some farmland with local ethnic people. Lunch at NO.8 Restaurant at the bank of Black Dragon Pool, after lunch you’ll head for the scenic Black Dragon Pool and the Dongba Museum to explore the rich Naxi minority culture. Afternoon, explore Lijiang Old Town by yourself. Lijiang Old Town has a history more than 800 years; it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi ethnic people. Includes: (B).
Day 6: Lijiang-Jade Dragon Snow Mountain-Lijiang. Special Experience: Enjoy Naxi Orchestral and Show in Dongba Palace at night. You'll visit Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishui (White Water) River; take the chairlift to visit the Yak Meadow (3700 m) in the Yulong Snow Mountain. In the afternoon, you'll stroll through Baisha Village, which is an enchanting traditional Yunnan village. Visit the Baisha Mural about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. After dinner, you will attend the Naxi Orchestral and Show in Dongba Palace. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Lijiang. (Optional Tour) Shuhe Old Town is a charming town to visit for every client, because there is a traditional Naxi village where you can enjoy the drinking and food at the bank of the river in the farmland. You can rent a bike in Lijiang Old Town and ride to Shu about 5 km away from the Lijiang Old Town. In the afternoon, you can visit the Wangu Pagoda on the top of the Lion Hill behind Lijiang Old Town, here you will have a wonderful panoramic view of Lijiang Old Town. You will walk down from the Lion Hill to Mu Emperor’s Palace which is the local chieftain’s former residence. Includes: (B).
Day 8: Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri La. From Lijiang, you'll drive about 60 km to the First Bend on the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, and the Iron Chain Bridge in the Stone Drum town. The town of Stone Drum got its name from a large, cylindrical, marble tablet shaped like a drum. The scenery is magnificent as the road running through the Lijiang valley which is filled with wheat fields and drying haystacks. Continue the driving 40 km more to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river. Afternoon, you'll head for Shangri La, the former Zhongdian. Upon arrival in Shangri La, you will have entered the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 9: Shangri La. In the morning, you'll visit the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. And afterwards you'll go and visit the tranquil Bita Lake and Shudu Lake. After having finished touring the Bita Lake and Shudu Lake, you'll visit the Old Town of Shangri La and the Guishan Park. Tibetan home made at night and have dinner in Tibetan family with butter oil tea and Tibetan food. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Shangri La-Lhasa. After breakfast, you local guide escorts you to the airport for your flight to Lhasa. Upon your arrival at Gonggar airport, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to the hotel in Lhasa city (2 hour drive), and you will view the Stone Giant Buddha engraved in the mountain face en route. After checking in the hotel, rest in the afternoon to get adapted to the high altitude. Includes: (B).
Day 11: Lhasa. On this second day morning you will take an easy visit to Jokhang Temple. This temple is the most revered shrine in all of Tibet and is constantly bustling with devout worshipers. You will also be given the opportunity to shop in Barkor, the crowded central market of Lhasa. In the afternoon you will visit is Sera Monastery, a fifteenth century sprawl of golden roofs and whitewashed walls. This well preserved monastery is located just a few miles North of Lhasa and is home to several hundred monks. Its famous debating activities are happening 3-4 pm quite regularly every day, so remind your guide not to miss it. At last a trip to Tibet would not be complete without experiencing the vital Potala Palace. This palace is Lhasa's cardinal landmark and is a wonder of Eastern architecture. Your first site of this massive structure will be a magical moment remembered for years to come. It has been a palace since the fifth or sixth century and was once home to the Dalai Lama.
Day 12: Lhasa. You will visit Norbulingka Palace, situated in the west side of Lhasa is just around a km southwest of Potala Palace. Norbulingka meaning 'Treasure Park' covers an area of around 360000 sq. m. and is considered to be the biggest man made garden in Tibet. You will be amazed to know that there are more than 370 rooms inside its premises. It is called summer palace because after the 7th Lama, Dalai Lamas used to visit here during summers to hold religious and government related activities. As a part of "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace", UNESCO added Norbulingka in its list of world heritage sites.
This truly amazing day will ended with a visit to the Drepung Monastery. Once the world's largest monastery, housing 10,000 monks, Drepung monastery lies hidden in rocky ridges just beyond the city. Surprisingly much of the building was left untouched throughout so many hundreds of years. At last, you will visit Sera Monastery, founded in 1419, at its height, Sera monastery was residence to more than 5,000 monks and five monastic colleges. Although much less active now, with only several hundred monks currently in residence, one of the most interesting times to visit the monastery is in the afternoon when monks, after finishing their morning scripture classes, can be seen debating in the courtyard.
Day 13: Lhasa-Gyantse. Today's drive is from Lhasa to Gyantse (about 256 km, 5.5 hour drive). Along the way you will visit Yamdrok Lake and a Tibetan family. After arrival in Gyantse, you will tour Palcho Monastery.
Day 14: Gyantse/Shigatse. After breakfast, drive from Gyantse to Shigatse (about 90 km, 1.5 hour drive). In Shigatse, you will visit Tashilumpo Monastery and free market.
Day 15: Shigatse/Lhasa. Today, drive back to Lhasa (280 km, about 6 hours driving) along the Yaluzangbu River, enjoy the beautiful view of the valley en route. After a rest in Lhasa, the farewell dinner will be arranged at a typical Tibetan restaurant for you to enjoy the local food with Tibetan dances and songs.
Day 16: Lhasa-Beijing. You will take the flight to Beijing. Beijing, the capital of China, is a city where the ancient culture and the modern civilization are well integrated. It attracts tens of millions of visitors and tourists both at home and abroad each year to enjoy its rich culture and wonderful scenery.
Day 17: Beijing. Special Experience: Enjoy Beijing's famous Peking Opera at the Liyuan Theater. Today you will visit the Tiananmen Square which is considered as the largest square of the world. Subsequently, you visit the Forbidden City, the most complete imperial palace in China. And later you will also pay a visit to the Temple of Heaven. Temple of Heaven was built in the year 1420 and symbolized the meaning that the emperor can contact with the sky through it. In the evening you will enjoy Beijing's famous Peking Opera at the Liyuan Theater, the biggest and most famous traditional Peking Opera theater in China. Peking opera is not just a singing drama, but is an ancient ingenious and colorful combination of elements from many sources: traditional music, poetry, singing, recitation, dancing, acrobatics, and traditional martial arts. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 18: Beijing. Special Experience: Enjoy Beijing's most famous dish the Peking Roast Duck for dinner. Today you will have a visit to the majestic Great Wall (Badaling section) and Sacred Road, which is a path lined with stone statues of animals, mystical beasts and officials who will serve the emperor in the afterlife. On your way back from the Great Wall, you will drive around the main Olympic venues for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the National Stadium (Bird's Nest) where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be held, and the National Aquatics Center nicknamed "the Water Cube" for its unique design. Feel free to take some beautiful picture of these stadiums. Enjoy Beijing's most famous dish, Peking Roast Duck for dinner. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 19: Beijing. Today you will start the day with a trip to the Summer Palace, which has a history of over 800 years. All the man-made hills, halls, pavilions and temples, including Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill, blend together harmoniously in spite of their individual styles. After lunch, you will also pay a visit to the Lama Temple. It is a typical Tibetan Monastery in Beijing and reveals various architectural styles from Han, Mongolia, Manchuria and Tibet, and the impressive 60-foot Maitreya Buddha, carved form a single sandalwood tree. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 20: Beijing–Departure. You will be transferred to the airport for returning. After visiting Lama Temple, the rest time is free in Beijing. Includes: (B).
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Asia China Tibet Local Culture Cultural Journey