Please note: This tour is designed for a minimum of 2 persons.
"South of the Clouds" is the meaning of Yunnan. The perfect weather enjoyed almost all year round by the province gives rise to this poetic name. Yunnan is, botanically and ethnically, the riches and most varied of all of China's provinces, combining fine weather, rugged mountainous terrain, and geographical positioning at the crossroads between Southeast Asia, Tibet, and the rest of China. Historically, Yunnan was an outposts of the Chinese empire until relatively modern times, and so its unique and colorful indigenous traditions have survived intact.
This program will take you through spectacular mountainous scenery, lead you into the lives of Bai, Naxi, Tibetan and a variety of other ethnic groups, and give you a glimpse of the botanical glories of Yunnan as we lead you on a journey through the northern reaches of the province. Starting in the provincial capital of Kunming, our route leads us through the old Bai town of Dali, to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Naxi town Lijiang, and finally to the Tibetan area of Zhongdian. Along the way we cross the route of the old Southern Silk Road, and visit the Shaxi Market, a thriving rural market located in a traditional Bai village.
Our final stop is at Zhongdian, called the "Shangri-La" of China after the legendary land described by British writer James Hilton in his 1939 novel Lost Horizon. In Zhongdian, you will experience the culture and way of life of the Tibetan people. There will be opportunities along the way for walks in the meadows and forests to enjoy the beautiful plants and flowers for which the province is renowned.
Day 1: Arrive in Kunming, stroll along Green Lake Park, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings, followed by an evening welcome briefing.
Day 2: Dali. Boat ride on Erhai Lake and hike up Cangshan Mountain.
Day 3: Dali to Lijiang via Shaxi Market, one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world.
Day 4: Lijiang Old Town, Baihua village and hiking to Yak Meadow at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Day 5: Lijiang to Zhongdian (Shangri-la) via Tiger Leaping Gorge, passing land of the Yi people and Naxi villages.
Day 6: Zhongdian (Shangri-la). Songzanlin monastery, Shudu lake and Tibetan family visit.
Day 7: Zhongdian to Kunming. Trip ends.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia China Local Culture Cultural Journey