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MDT005 25-Day Yunnan-Tibet Overland Tour along the Ancient Tea-Horse Road
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MDT005 25-Day Yunnan-Tibet Overland Tour along the Ancient Tea-Horse Road

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 18 - 25 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 16 people
Destination(s): China  
Specialty Categories: Sightseeing   Cultural Journey  
Season: March - October
Airfare Included: Yes
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 5200 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 5800 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival 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, your local guide will meet us. And then you will be transferred to your 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 (6,233ft) 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

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. Sightseeing: the Stone Forest, the Green Lake, the Golden Horse and Phoenix Archway. Special Experience: Taste the typical Yunnan food named Bridge crossing Noodles. 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. Sightseeing: the Three-pagoda in Chongshen Temple, Dali Old Town. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 4: Dali

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. Sightseeing: the Erhai Lake Cruise, Xizhou Town, Zhoucheng Village and Bai Dyed Cloth Work Shop. Special Experience: Taste the Bai Three Course Tea with ethnic dance and music. Includes: (B), (L).

Day 5: Dali-Lijiang by private car

After breakfast drive about 180km 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. Sightseeing: Xinhua Bai ethnic village, Black Dragon Pool, Dongba Museum, Lijiang Old Town. Includes: (B).

Day 6: Lijiang-Jade Dragon Snow Mountain-Lijiang

You'll visit Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishui(White Water) River; take the chairlift to visit the Yak Meadow(3700m) 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 cablecars in the mountain, the fist to the Glacier Park (4500m), the second to Spruce Meadow(3200m), the third to Yak Meadow (3700m).

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. Sightseeing: the Yulong Snow Mountain, the Yak Meadow,, Baisha Village and Mural. Special Experience: Enjoy Naxi Orchestral and Show in Dongba Palace at night. Includes: (B).

Day 7: Lijiang

The whole day free in Lijiang Old Town, and explore the Naxi ethnic life by yourself. (Optional Tyour) 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 5KM 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. Optional Sightseeing: Shuhe Old Town, the Wangu Pagoda, the Lion Hill, Mu Emperor’s Palace. Includes: (B).

Day 8: Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri La

From Lijiang, you'll drive about 60km 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 40km 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. Sightseeing: the First Bend of the Yangtze River, Shigu Town, Tiger Leaping Gorge. 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 & Shudu Lake. After having finished touring the Bita Lake & 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. Sightseeing: the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the Bita Lake & Shudu Lake and the Guishan Park. Special Experience: Tibetan home made with butter oil tea and Tibetan food. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 10: Shangri La-Deqin

In the morning, drive 6 to 7 hours to Deqin County(3400m altitude) which is 187km away from Zhongdian through Baimang Snow Mountain Nature Reserve, you will be able to view Baimang Snow Mountain if the weather is clear, pass the top part of today at 4292m altitude at 156km. After traversing mountain ranges, you will make a short stop and have lunch at Benzilan town, take some shots on the first bend of Jinsha(Yangtze) River, Dongzhulin monastery and Baima (white horse) Snow Mountain. The view along the way is fantastic with different kinds of trees, streams down the valley, prayer flags and stupas, and Tibetan villages. Stay at Feilaisi. Sightseeing: Bengzilan Town and the first bend of Jinsha (Yangtze) River, Dongzhulin monastery and Baima (white horse) Snow Mountain. Includes: (B).

Day 11: Deqin-Yanjing in Tibet

Try to get up early in the morning, drive 10km to Feilai Monastery to view the magic sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain. Then drive another 1.5-hyour to Mingyong village, where you will walk on the trails for about 4km to the bottom of Mingyong Glaciers, walk another one hour or so, you will get to Tibetan Taizi Monastery-another good spot to view the magnificent Mingyong Glaciers. (You can choose to hire a horse to go up to the glacier on your own expense in order to save your energy.) After the tour, get back to Deqin County. If you are lucky enough to have a good weather, you could see the golden snow-covered Kawagebo peak (6,740m), the Peak of Mt. Meili.

Then you travel along the north of Mekong River valley into Tibet. Once into Tibet, your first stop will be in the town of Yanjing, which was once the main source of salt for half of the Kham Tibetan area, which ranged from northwestern Sichuan down into Yunnan. You will visit to the salt fields, followed by a stop at the hot springs, where each of us could pick your own natural hot bath overlooking the Mekong. Certainly the best way to relax your body for the adventure ahead! Sightseeing: Mingyong Glacier,Sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain, Mingyong Village. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 12: Yanjing –Zuogong. You cross two high passes in this section of the drive, one at around 3,900m (12,795 ft), the other at 5,008 m(16,430 ft). Driving past local Tibetan houses scattered round the feet of snow-capped peaks, the expressions on innocent Tibetan girls would make you realize that you are one of the first foreign visitors to this isolated region. Sightseeing: mountains and farmaland. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 13: Zuogong-Ranwu. You will drive along the deep valleys of the Nu River (the Salween River), which is a long and tough journey, but your destination, the Ranwu Lake, is another Shangri-la, stay in the tent beside the Lake. Sightseeing: the Nujiang-Salween River, the Ranwu Lake. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 14: Ranwu. A rare day which involves no driving! You have two options available: for those interested in a day hike, your photographer/guide would take you onto a scenic day hike; while those who'd rather opt for a day of retreat would find this place ideal for relaxing, writing your travel notes and washing off the dust accumulated in the journey so far. Sightseeing: Ranwu. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 15: Ranwu-Bomi. A drive of 129km would take us about 5 hours to Bomi, stay in the guesthouse. You will wander along the Poto-chu Valley at Tramog (2,743 m/8999 ft), located deep in the thickly forested gorge of Parlung Tsangpo with glacial waterfalls streaming from the mountainsides. You will go down several hundred meters in altitude as you reach the lowland jungle settlement of Tang-me where the Tsangpo and Parlung Tsangpo rivers meet. Stay in a guesthouse in Bomi. Sightseeing: Ranwu, gan Tso Lake, the Poto-chu Valley, Parlung Tsangpo gorge, Bomi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 16: Bomi-Bayi-Nyingchi

Drive across Serkhyem La Pass (4,515 m/14813 ft), the last major pass before reaching Lhasa, you will have spectacular views of Mount Gyala Pelri (7,150 m/23458 ft) and Mount Namchak Barwa (7,756 m/25446 ft). On the way to Nyingchi, you pass through Bayi, originally a military base, which has now become the capital of Nyingchi District. North of Bayi, Bajie village lies on the edge of a primary dense forest with sacred cypress trees which are more than two thousand and five hundred years old. Around May, you would be able to see three to five-meter rhododendrons in full bloom. Stay in a 3 star hotel in Bayi. Sightseeing: Serkhyem La Pass, Mount Gyala Pelri and Mount Namchak Barwa, Bayi Town. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 17: Nyingchi-Lhasa (270 km)

You will pass through a scenic terrain with lush alpine forests and clear snow-melted streams. Relax in Lhasa hotel, the best hotel in Lhasa. Lhasa, the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, has a history of more than 1,300 years. It is the political, economic, cultural and transportation center of the region. With a population of 400,000, Lhasa covers an area of 30,000 square km, in which the downtown covers 544 square km and holds a population of 140,000. Tibetan ethnic group makes up 87 percent of the total population; the rest consists of Han, Hui and other ethnic groups. Sightseeing: Bayi Town, Nyingchi, Lhasa City. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 18: 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 worshippers. 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 3-4pm 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. Sightseeing: Jokhang Temple, Barkor Street, the Potala Palace. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 19: 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.

Then 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. 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. Sightseeing: Norbulingka Palace, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 20: Lhasa-Namtso-Lhasa

Namtso, one of the 4 famous holy lakes in Tibet, is amazing and travelling here is needed experience, all of your guests have never complained for it. You are going to bypass the great grasslands, sightsee so many Tibetan Shepherds, experience the clean and great holy lake, do meditation in the caves in Tashiduo Island in the lake... You will feel comfortable in your private tour car or bus in which you will spend around 6 or 7 hours, and you can stop anywhere you like to take photos, just ask tell your driver or guide. Sightseeing: Namtso Lake. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 21: 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 youll 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 22: Beijing

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 Theatre, the biggest and most famous traditional Peking Opera theatre 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. Sightseeing: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven. Special Experience: Enjoy Beijing's famous Peking Opera at the Liyuan Theatre. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 23: Beijing

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. Sightseeing: the Badaling Great Wall, the National Stadium (Bird's Nest), the National Aquatics Center. Special Experience: Enjoy Beijing's most famous dish the Peking Roast Duck for dinner. Includes: (B), (L).

Day 24: 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 After visiting Lama Temple, the rest time is free in Beijing. Sightseeing: Summer Palace, Lama Temple. Includes: (B), (L).

Day 25: Day Beijing-Departure. You will be transferred to the airport for returning. Service ends. Includes: (B).

Airfare is included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation with daily breakfast as indicated
- Chinese lunches and dinners as listed
- All land transfers with private air-conditioned coach
- All sightseeing with skilled English-speaking tour guide
- All entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary
- Domestic air tickets fares with airport tax and fuel extra fee based on economy class
- Service charge and all government taxes
- Luggage transfers between airport and hotels
- Travel Agency’s Responsibility Insurance coverage.

Price Excludes:
- Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets
- Any meals which are not specified in the tour itinerary
- Chinese visa fees
- Excess baggage charged by Airlines
- Single room supplement
- Tips to guides and drivers
- Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff
- Personal travel accident insurance
- All optional programs.

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