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18 Days Yunnan Minority Discovery and Three Paralel Rivers Adventure Tour

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 17 - 20 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 16 people
Destination(s): China  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: Yes
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 3500 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 4200 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival Kunming

Arrive in Kunming which has a nick name if “spring city” and meet with experienced English-speaking guide in the airport. and transfer by private bus to hotel. Then active freely. You can walk to Green Lake Park in the centre of Kunming by yourself. 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-Jianshui

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. And then, you'll drive around 4 hours to Jiangshui. After arriving Jianshui, you'll visit the Old Jianshui City and the Chaoyang Gateway Tour, which was built in Ming Dynasty (1389). It is also known as 'Miniature Tian'an men' because the out shape of it is similar to Tian'anmen Square in Beijing. After that, you will visit the Confucius Temple, which has a history of 700 years. It is the second largest Confucius Temple in China. At last, you will visit a typical southern private garden-the Garden of Family Zhu.

Day 3: Jianshui-Yuanyang

In the morning, you'll also visit Tuanshan Village and the Garden of Family Zhang; Tuanshan Village is a rare surviving example of an intact-albeit neglected-traditional walled Yunnan village compound in southyoustern China, and has been added to the 2005 list of internationally significant sites by the World Memorial Fund for Architecture (WMF), an international fund for the protection of world heritage sites. And then, you'll visit the Swallow Cave. It is named that because there are more than ten thousands of swallows living in the cave; once they fly up, the scene just looks like a swallow river. You will degust the food made of swallow nest. You might also have a chance to see how people climb up to get the nest. After this, you will transfer to Yuanyang and enjoy the sight of terraced fields of Laohuzui (Tiger Mouth) at sunset.

Day 4: Yuanyang. You'll visit Doyishu Village to enjoy the sight of terraced fields when the sun appears above the eastern horizon. The terraced fields are ring upon ring and cascade one by one. They go along the hillside up to the sky. You will see the scenery of the terraced fields from the top of the mountains to the bottom. They are all farms under the sunshine and cloud and mist. The landscape is spectacular. And then, you will visit Qingkou Village where Hani people for generations inhabit.

Day 5: Yuanyang – Kunming. Enjoy the morning sunrise rice terrace in Yuanyang, you'll drive back to Kunming. On the way, you'll visit a Mongolian village called Xingmeng. Late afternoon, 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 6: Kunming-Dali

Sightseeing: the Erhai Lake Cruise, Xizhou Town, the Three-pagoda in Chongshen Temple.
Special Experience: Taste the Bai Three Course Tea with ethnic dance and music.

Take a Morning flight to Dali. Dali, a historically and culturally famous city of China, is renowned for her historical interest. 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. 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 7: Dali-Yunlong. Visit Xizhou Old Town and Zhoucheng Village in the morning, then drive to Yunlong County. Yunlong is a Bai Autonomous of Dali Prefecture. Here you will visit Tianchi Lake, Nuodeng Village, Natural Eight Diagrams. Visit the local market in the late afternoon. Overnight at Yunlong County. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Nuodeng village and natural universe diagram view cultural tour area is located in Yunlong County. The natural diagram is on the back part of the county, since the river has been rounds into a “S” shape here, it become the natural geography spectacular sight of the formation which is similar religion of Taoism’s “Universe” pattern; at “Universe” diagram’s both east and south has the religion of Taoism buildings, the natural view and the humanities views all unify on the religion of Taoism principle, becoming Chinese traditional religion of Taoism in “Trinity” and the cultural tour view of the Confucianism “the nature and man united as one”. The whole view district includes four scene zones: “Natural universe diagram” zone, thousands years Bai minority village zone, Hutou Mountain district and Tianchi Pond zone.

Yunlong county is located at west part of Dali district, total population amount is 200000, covering area is 4400.95 square kilometers, it is the south end of three rivers collecting together sight scene area which as world natural legacy, with long history, thick and deep culture, united nationality, pure national tradition and rich tourism resource, it is as treasure land for development.

Day 8: Yunlong-Jianchuan-Shaxi. Today is long day driving about 5 hours to Shaxi Ancient Town in Jianchuan County. On the way you will visit some ancient bridges, ethnic villages and farmland, as well you will drive along the Lancang River, the upper part of Mekong River. Arrive in Shaxi Ancient Town in the late afternoon, walk around Shaxi Town, visit Xinjiao Temple, local family. Overnight at Laomadian Lodge. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 9: Shaxi-Shibaoshan Mountain-Lijiang

Today you will drive about 10Km away from Shaxi Old Town to visit Shibaoshan Mountain. From Baoxiang Temple we hike 3 hours to look around that area, in the mountains there are many small old temples. On the path, you can see very nice views (forests, fields with crops, villages in big valley…). Baoxiang temple is a Chinese Buddhism Temple from Yuan Dynesty. Visit the Shizhong temple in the mountain. There are eight grottoes of Shizhong temple for 800 years old. In this area about 3 hundred wild monkeys live with kulapatis around the Baoxiang temple. You shoud prepare some food for these monkeys f you want to paly with them. If you do not have food, please do not do any guesture to these monkeys, otherwise they will be very angry and bite you because they usually misunderstand guesture lunguage.

After the mountain, you will drive to Jianchuan Town and visit Thousands of Lions(Qianshishan) Mountain. Thousand Lions Mountain is 1.5 km from Jianchuan. These stone-carved lions are from the Song (906-1279) to Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). You will find countless lions and endless steps. Stone Carving Jianchuan has a long history of stone carving. Influenced by the grotto of Shizhongshan Mountain, the crafts of stone carving is very skillful, especially in the area of Meiyuan and Yangcen around Jianyang Town. The most outstanding stone carving artwares here are thousands of stone lions in Manxianlin Qianshishan Mountain.The magnificent scene is sure to amaze you. In the late afternoon you will drive to Lijiang and enjoy the wonderful night view of Lijiang Old Town. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 10: Lijiang-Jade Dragon Snow Mountain-Lijiang

Sightseeing: the Yulong Snow Mountain, the Spruce Meadow, Baisha Village.
Special Experience: Enjoy the Impression Lijiang Ethnic Show in Ganhaizi Meadow

You'll visit Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishui(White Water) River; take the chairlift to visit the Spruce Meadow(3700M) in the Yulong Snow Mountain. After lunch, you will enjoy the Impression Lijiang Ethnic Show directed by Zhang Yimou. It is held in Ganhazi Meadow about 3100M above the sea level. 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. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

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).

Day 11: 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 from a far. Continue the driving 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), (D).

Day 12: Shangri La

Sightseeing: Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, Bita & Shudu Lakes, the Old Town of Shangri La.
Special Experience: Tibetan home made with butter oil tea and Tibetan food.

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. The Songzanlin Monastery, often called Ganden Sumtseling Monastery or Guihua Monastery, is located at the foot of Foping Mountain near Shangri-La County in Yunnan Province. The monastery is built on a hillside and looks like an ancient fort. The Songzanlin Monastery is often called the little Potala Palace because of its traditional Tibetan architectural style. Tibetan home made at night and have dinner in Tibetan family with butter oil tea and Tibetan food. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 13: 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. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 14: Deqin-Cizhong

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 your 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 yyour own expense in order to save your energy.) After lunch, drive along the Mekong River to Cizhong Village of Yanmen Town. Visit the Cizhong Catholic Church. Overnight at Cizhong Guesthouse. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 15: Cizhong-Weixi - Shigu Town-Lijiang. Drive from Cizhong to Tacheng in the morning. You will have a nice driving along the Jinsha River, which is the upper part of the Yangtze River. On the way we also have chances for visiting Naxi, Lisu villages. Arrive in Tacheng Town in the late afternoon and pay a visit to Tacheng Wild Snub-nosed Monkey Area. Overnight at the guesthouse in Tacheng Town. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 16: Tacheng-Lijiang. In the morning, you will drive along the Yangtze River to Shigu Ancient Town. Visit the Stone Drum, the Iron Chain Bridge which is the relic of the Ancient Tea-horse Road from Yunnan to Tibet and India. After lunch, you will have a chance to float in the Yangtze River from Shigu Town to Longpan Town. After one hour floating, you will meet your driver and come back to Lijiang. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 17: Lijiang

Sightseeing: Shuhe Old Town, Black Dragon Pool, Dongba Museum, Lijiang Old Town
Special Experience: Enjoy Naxi Orchestral and Show in Dongba Palace at night.

Today is very relax day for you. If possible you will take a riding to Shuhe Old Town, which is also a relic of Tea Horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India. After Shuhe Old Town, you’ll head for the scenic Black Dragon Pool and the Dongba Museum to explore the rich Naxi minority culture. Climb up to the fifth floor of Wangu Pagoda on the top of the Lion Hill behind Lijiang Old Town and enjoy the panoramic view of Lijiang Old Town. After dinner, you will attend the Naxi Orchestral and Show in Dongba Palace. Includes: (B).

Day 18: Departure from Lijiang. See off.

Airfare is included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation with daily breakfast as indicated
- Chinese lunches and dinners as listed in the itinerary
- All land transfers & transportation with private air-conditioned coach
- All transfers and 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 mentioned in the program
- 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;