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Yuanyang Dali Lijiang Zhongdian Tour - 13 Days

Duration: Thirteen Day
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Transportation: Vehicle
Best Travel Time:All Year
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Get a taste of the delicious Yunnan Cuisine. Visit Stone Forest of Lunan,Stroll around the idyllic, ancient Bai village of Shaxi .Visit Lijiang Old Town, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.Get a glimpse of the Tibetan Culture in Shangri-La on the Tibetan Plateau.Experience an unforgettable sunrise at the magnificent Yuan Yang Rice Terraces.Get the ※rush§ in the Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest Canyons in the World.Experience the many colorful ethnic groups of the Yunnan Province.
Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$2800/persons 2800USD/Person

Day 1: Kunming Arrival

Individual arrival in Kunming, the city of eternal spring. Transfer to your hotel.


Day 2: Kunming 每 Jianshui (B)

Drive to Jianshui. On the way stop a Xingmeng, a village inhabited by a Mongol minority left behind by Khengis Khans army over 700 years ago. Continue to Tonghai where we visit Mount Xiushan with an array of traditional Temples and Pavilions in various styles of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism some of which are from the late Jin Dynasty (265-420). Upon arrival in Jianshui visit the recently renovated Confucius Temple „Wen Miao※. Continue to the ※Eastgate§ and we also pay a visit to former residence of the once wealthy an influential Zhu family.


Day 3: Jianshui 每 Yuanyang Rice Terraces (B)

Drive to the traditional Zhuang-Village of Tuanshan with its unique and well preserved architecture. On the way you also visit the "Twin Dragon Bridge", an ancient stone bridge from the Qing Dynasty. After lunch we leave Jianshui towards the Swallow's Cavern, a magnificent cave that has been dug out by the Lu River. The Lu River still runs through the lower part of the cavern. During spring and summer hundreds of thousands of Swallows can be seen flying around inside and outside the cave. Continue through magnificent scenery towards Xinjie, the gateway to the stunning and spectacular rice terraces of Yuanyang. The Yuanyang rice terraces have been carved out of the Ailao Mountains over hundreds of years by Hani farmers living in the area.


Day 4: Yuanyang Rice Terraces (B)

We leave the Hotel early (around 6 am) to witness a magnificent sunrise over the rice terraces. (Depending on weather condition; In winter the Rice terraces are often engulfed in fog. After that if possible we will visit one of the bustling weekly local markets in the area where we can observe the local people from various ethnic groups (Hani, Yi, Zhuang, some Miao) doing their weekly shopping. Many of them still wear their traditional costumesIn the afternoon we make a hike (about 2.5 hours) through the magnificent rice terraces of Yuanyang to a nearby Hani village.


Day 5: Yuanyang Rice Terraces每 Stone Forest of Lunan - Kunming (B)

After breakfast we leave Xinjie and the Yuanyang Rice Terraces and drive north towards Mile. The fertile land and the mild climate make this part of the Yunnan province ideal for cultivating tobacco. Apart from the cigarette production, Mile is also well known for its many hot springs. Continue via the newly constructed highway through an ever changing landscape towards Lunan and the nearby Stone Forest of Lunan, where we arrive in the afternoon. Late afternoon we visit the Stone Forest. At this time of the day we have the park almost for ourselves. Years of rain and erosion left behind a bizarre and impressive landscape of limestone pillars which, with a little imagination, indeed resemble a Forrest. We have a walk through the maze of paths and walkways leading through this natural wonderland. Continue 1.5 hrs. to Kunming. Overnight accommodation is in Kunming.


Day 6: Kunming 每 Yunnan Yi - Weishan (B)

Drive from Kunming to Weishan. Along the way we stop at Yunnan Yi. The picturesque village of Yunnan Yi played an important role during WW II when the Allied Forces where operating an Air Base nearby. The Airbase of Yunnan Yi served as a stop-over for planes flying the "Hump" route, a 530 Mile long treacherous flight passage over the Himalayan Mountains between India and Yunnan. It also served as a base for the Flying Tigers. Visit the Flying Tiger Museum. Yunnan Yi was also an important trading post on the "Tea and Horse Road" for tea on the way from Southern Yunnan to Tibet. Continue to Weishan. Located 52 kilometres south of Dali, the picturesque town of Weishan used to be an important and wealthy trading town during the powerful Nanzhao Kingdom throughout the 8th and 9th century. Weishan is not often visited by tourists and managed keep its original way of life. Overnight accommodation is at Weishan.


Day 7: Weishan - Dali (B)

In the Morning we make an excursion to Weibao Shan (Weibao Mountain). Weibao Shan is located 14 kilometres outside of Weishan and is considered as one of the 14 sacred Daoist Mountains in China. Weibaoshan is also regarded as the birthplace of Xinulou, the founder of the Nanzhao Kingdom. It is said that it was here that Xinulou got the inspiration from the Gods for the foundation of the powerful Nanzhao Kingdom that lasted for 13 generations. Visit Wencheng Temple which was recently renovated and is now home to an interesting exhibition about the Nanzhao Kingdom and its various Kings. After lunch drive to Dali. Dali is situated on the western shores of the stunning Erhai Lake on the foot of the 4000m high Cang Shan mountain range and is mainly inhabited by people of the Bai ethnic group, which is renowned for their handicrafts. Visit the 3 Pagodas of the San Ta Si Monastery from the 9th century.


Day 8: Dali 每 Shaxi (B)

In the morning drive by private car through an ever changing landscape towards Shaxi. Shaxi was formerly an important pivotal stop on the Tea and Horse trail from Yunnan to Tibet. The village has been renovated under an award winning project by the Technical School of Switzerland. In the afternoon the car will take you to the Shibao Mountain. The impressive rock carvings of Shibaoshan are over 1300 years old and are testimony of the spread of Mahayana Buddhism from Tibet in the region. You can either walk back to Shaxi (2 hrs) or take the car back to the hotel.


Day 9: Shaxi 每 Lijiang (B)

After breakfast drive to Lijiang. The lovely ancient Naxi town of Lijiang is located in a fertile valley 2'400 meters above seal level at the foot of the 5'596 meter high Yulong Shan or Jade Dragon Mountain. In the afternoon we take a first stroll through the apparently countless and, on first sight, confusing narrow lanes and canals crisscrossing the old town. We also learn more about the secrets of the mystic Naxi Dongba culture. An earthquake destroyed most of the city in 1996, and after its reconstruction, part of the old town of Lijiang was listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site.


Day 10: Lijiang (B)

In the morning we visit the wonderful "Black Dragon Pool" Park from where, weather permitting, one has a spectacular view of the 5'596 Meter high "Jade Dragon Mountain" (Yu Long Shan). Continue to nearby traditional village of "Baisha", the former capital of the Naxi kingdom. Visit the Liu Li Temple, with its beautiful, well preserved wall paintings. Continue to the village of Yuhu, a romantic village where the Austrian-American Botanist Joseph Rock used to live from 1922 to 1949. His house has been transformed to a small museum about the live and work of Joseph Rock. The rest of the afternoon is at your disposal for the exploration of the old town Lijiang.


Day 11: Lijiang 每 Tiger Leaping Gorge - Zhongdian (Shangri-La) (B)

The road to Zhongdian offers spectacular views of the Yangtze valley. Visit Shigu village, to see the Yangtze's famous "First Bend", where the Yangtze River makes an abrupt 180 degree turn and flows for several kilometres, parallel to itself towards the north again. We take a stroll through Shigu village before continuing our trip along the Yangtze River towards Zhongdian. From the bottom of the Yangtze valley at 1'800 metres above sea level, the road climbs steadily onto the Tibetan Plateau towards Zhongdian located at 3'200 metres. We arrive in Zhongdian in the early afternoon.


Day 12: Zhongdian (Shangri-La) (B)

Zhongdian is situated amongst a stunning landscape on the eastern Tibetan plateau at about 3300 meters above sea level. It recently changed its name and is now called "Shangri-La", after the Shangri-La that the British writer James Hilton described in his Novel "The Lost Horizon". We visit Ganden Sumtseling Gompa, a 300 year old impressive Tibetan Monastery which was inaugurated personally in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama. Destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, the Ganden Sumpseling Gompa is now again one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in the area. We climb Turtle Hill and spin the giant prayer wheel three times for a good karma. Time at leisure to explore the ancient town of Zhongdian on your own.


Day 13: Zhongdian Departure (B)

Transfer to the airport of Zhongdian for departure.

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