Day 1: Beijing-Kunming. Special Experience: Taste the typical Yunnan food which is named Bridge crossing Noodles. Flight Information: 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, your local guide will meet us. And then you will be transferred to your hotel. 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. Visit the Flower and Bird Market in the late afternoon.
Day 2: Kunming-Shangri La. Special Experience: Taste the butter oil and Tibetan food, Tibetan home-made. 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. The word "Shangri-la" first appeared in its westernized form in James Hilton's novel The Lost Horizon. This book tells the story of three American pilots who, when flying over the Sino-Indian air route during World War II, crash-land in the midst a beautiful landscape. This place of tranquility and peace is described as having "Snow Mountains, grasslands, Tibetan people, red soil plateaus, with three rivers flowing traversing the landscape". After being rescued by the local Tibetan people, the three American pilots finally return home. Tibetan home made at night and have dinner in Tibetan family with butter oil tea and Tibetan food. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Shangri La-Lijiang. From Shangri-La, you'll drive about 100 km to 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. After lunch continue the driving 50 km more to visit 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. Drive 60 km more to Lijiang. Explore Lijiang Old Town at night. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: 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. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain stretches a length of 35 kilometers (22 miles) and a width of 20 kilometers (13 miles). Looking from Lijiang Old Town in the south which is 15 kilometers (nine miles) away, the snow-covered and fog-enlaced mountain resembles a jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence, the name Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The highest peak named Fan Peak (Shanzidou in Chinese) which is about 5596 meters above sea level. There are three cable cars in the mountain, the fist to the Glacier Park (4500 m),the second to Spruce Meadow (3200 m),the third to Yak Meadow (3700 m). In the afternoon, you'll stroll through Baisha Village, which is an enchanting traditional Yunnan village; you’ll head for the scenic Black Dragon Pool and the Dongba Museum to explore the rich Naxi minority culture. After dinner, you will attend the Naxi Orchestral and Show in Dongba Palace. Includes: (B).
Day 5: Lijiang. The whole day free in Lijiang Old Town, and explore the Naxi ethnic life by yourself. (Optional Tour) Shuhe Old Town is a charming town to visit for every clients, 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 Chieftain’s Palace which is the local chieftain’s former residence. Includes: (B).
Day 6: Lijiang-Dali. After breakfast, travel (200 km - 4 hours) south on the old road to the ancient city of Dali, Dali, a historically and culturally famous city of China, is renowned for her historical interest. If this day happens to fall on a Monday you will call in at Shaping for a visit to the colorful Bai market. In Dali you will visit the Three-pagoda in Chongsheng 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 walk around the Old Dali Town, which is located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: 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 Tie-Dyed Cloth Work Shop. Erhai Lake is the largest highland lake next to Dianchi and one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China. It means, "sea shaped like an ear", in Chinese. Implying that the lake is ear shaped and as large as a sea, hence it was so named. The lake covers an area of 250 square kilometers and is located about two kilometers east of Dali. It is like a crescent lying between Cangshan and Dali city as seen from Cangshan Mount. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Dali-Kunming-Stone Forest-Jianshui. Take the flight to Kunming in the morning. 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 the Stone Forest, you will drive about 3 hours to Jianshui. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Jianshui. The Chaoyang Gateway Arch. Built in 1389 Ad, it stands in the center of city as the symbol of this ancient military town in the southeast border and an emblem of Jianshui, a historic and cultural city. Its significance to Jianshui is the same as that of Tian' Anmen to Beijing. The Arch was built as the town's east gate tower (The Yinghui Gate). Through 600 years' vicissitude, the Chaoyang Gateway Arch is the only extant tower. Today, it is a public cultural center of Jianshui County. The private Garden Of the Zhu Family, with a total area of 20 sq km and a floor space of 5 sq km, the grand complex is a typical local residence with distinctive features. As it was built by Zhu brothers in the late Qing Dynasty, it got the name "the Private Garden of the Zhu Family".
The Confucius Temple (Wen Miao). The biggest temple in Yunnan.Located near the north Gate of Jianshui. Its scale is second only to that of the Qufu Confucius temple in Shandong Province and is now one of the provincial historical relics. Zhilin Temple, standing in the west of Jianshui, built in 1296. With a longer history than theConfucius Temple, it is considered the earliest Buddhist Temple in south Yunnan. The old wells - includes single/double/triple/four apertures wells, scattered in various lanes, the big well (Dabanjing) is out of the west gate. Overnight in the Zhu Family Garden. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Jianshui-Yuanyang. In the morning, visit the Swallow Cave, Shuanglong Bridge (Twin Dragons), Tuanshan Village. Drive to Yuanyang in the afternoon. You can stop on the way to visit some minorities Yi and Hani villages. On arrival in Yuanyang, it time permits, you sunset at the fantastic Bada rice terraces. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Yuanyang. Enjoy the sunrise on DuoYiShu rice terraces. Visit and walk in the rice terraces and several traditional Hani and Yi villages, like Jingkou village. According to the day of your visit, attend a local Yi and Hani market. Sunset at Laohuzui rice terraces. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Yuanyang-Hekou-Sapa. In the morning, cross the border at Hekou. The Chinese guide will leave you at the border on the Chinese side (Hekou) and you will cross by foot to the Vietnamese side (Lao Cai). After the formalities, you will enter Vietnam where your Vietnamese guide will wait for you and transfer to SaPa town. Stunning trip up a winding road surrounded by steep mountains and terraced rice fields. Lunch at local restaurant. Leisure day to explore the rural hill tribe villages of the Hmong, Dzao and Dzay minorities in the spectacular landscape around Sapa. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in SaPa. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Sapa–Lao Cai–Ha Noi. Buffet breakfast. Visitors to Ham Rong have chances to climb up the San May (Cloud Yard) to enjoy the panorama of Sapa Townlet, visit the orchid gardens with beautiful and colorful flowers. In addition, Ham Rong Mountain has numerous caves and stones in extraordinary shapes. Have lunch in local restaurant. Free time at leisure. Drive down hill to Lao Cai and catch the train at 20:10 pm to Hanoi. Overnight in the train. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 14: Hanoi City Tour. Start of the tour journey visit by coach trip along the Hanoi Old Quarter. After that you take you to visit Ho Chi Minh complex, including Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the final resting place of Vietnamese great father or uncle Ho, President Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house, where Ho lived on and off from 1958 to 1969, then visit Ho Chi Minh’s museum, Where tourists will learn what he has done for Viet Nam and some other countries and learn all kinds of information about President Ho Chi Minh. The next place to move to is One Pillar Pagoda, a group of structures consisting of a pagoda and a tower built in the middle of a square lake. Have lunch. Free time for Shopping around Old Quarter: Hang Gai, Hang Ngang, Hang Dao streets, Trang Tien Plaza. Right here, you can find many kinds of Vietnamese traditional products like: silk, ceramic, lacquer wares. Enjoy with water puppet show. Have dinner in local restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 15: Hanoi-Hai Phong. Drive to Hai Phong, visit to the Cathedral, Garden theater, Hang Kenh tapestry, Du Hang Pagoda and Kenh temple and then check-in at the Harbour View Hotel. Overnight in HaiPhong. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 16: Hai Phong-Halong Bay-Hai Phong-Hanoi. Breakfast at the hotel. At 08:30 leave hotel to the quay. At 09:00 take off by hydrofoil for Cat Ba Island. At 10:00 on arrival move to a wooden boat to cruise the best part of Cat Ba Island and Halong Bay through the limestone islets Seafood lunch on board. In the afternoon return to Cat Ba Island to catch the hydrofoil to Hai Phong (15:00-16:00). At 16:15 pick up at Hai Phong quay and transfer back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 17: Hanoi-Departure. You will be free until transfer to airport and departure flight or continuation of your Vietnam round trip. Includes: (B).
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Asia China Local Culture Cultural Journey