Far from the Madding Crowd
Historically, culturally and geographically, Yunnan Province is one of the most diverse and alluring destinations in China. In the 8 days, you’ll visit Yi, Bai, Naxi ethnic groups’ land and the legendary Shangri-La. The most magnificent scenery and colorful ethnic culture of Yunnan are waiting to be explored, from ancient town to snow mountain, from the world’s deepest canyon to notable limestone formations...all makes you get far from the madding crowd!
Explore the best of Kunming by extending to Stone Forest to marvel at natural stone masterpieces and admire Yi minority costumes and cultures in a minority village near Stone Forest.
Have some leisure time in the Bai ethnic treasure land by visiting Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple, Erhai Lake and Dali Old Town.
Get in-depth understanding about Bai people when visiting Xizhou Ancient Town and its morning market. Stand at Wangu Tower to have panoramic view of Lijiang Old Town with numerous Naxi folk residences.
On the way from Lijiang to Shangri-La, visit the First Bend of Yangtze River and thrilling Tiger Leaping Gorge. Explore Shangri-La by visiting Pudacuo National Park, Songzanlin Monastery and Dukezong Old Town, Tibetan local family, etc.
Ni Hao, welcome to Kunming, City of Eternal Spring! You will be met by local tour guide at the arrival hall of Kunming Changshui Airport and escorted to check in your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. If you want to explore nearly, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.
Arrival Ideas: Travelers from more than 140 cities (international and domestic cities included) can take flights to Kunming. Also, travelers can take high speed trains to Kunming from Guangzhou (about 6hrs), Shenzhen (about 7hrs), Changsha (about 6hrs), Shanghai (about 12hrs) and Beijing (about 12hrs), etc.
Free Time Ideas: If time permits, enjoy a trip to Yunnan Nationalities Museum, the largest minority museum in China. You’ll lift the mysterious veil of China’s 52 ethnic groups and learn through many interesting exhibits like ethnic clothing, textiles, musical instruments, folk masks, folk arts and folk pottery, literature and so on.
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After breakfast, drive 85 km to the typical Karst landform - Stone Forest. Walk into the Greater Stone Forest, marvel at groups of gray-black stone peaks and climb up to have a panoramic view of the intricate stone forest. Visit the Lesser Stone Forest and listen to the legendary story of “Ashima”. It will be a real treat to visit the extraordinary natural stone forest.
Later, transfer back to Kunming city and take a leisure visit to the most picturesque park in Kunming urban area - the Green Lake Park. Here you can share the happiness of local people’s doing tai chi, performing local opera, and other vibrant activities. If you visit the park in November or December, you will see the grandeur of huge flocks of black-headed gulls that migrate there from Siberia.
On this day, be escorted to Kunming Airport and take morning flight to Dali (about 50 mins), a historical and cultural city for Bai ethnic group. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by the local tour guide and transferred to begin today’s sightseeing.
You’ll first visit Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery, the landmark of Dali with a history of over 1800 years located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Visit Three Pagodas (Qianxun Pagoda and other two sibling pagodas forming a symmetric triangle), Chongsheng Monastery and Reflection Lake and know more history of Kingdom of Nanzhao and Kingdom of Dali.
Later, it will be a relaxing boat trip on the vast Erhai Lake (Ear-shaped Sea) with crystal clear water and charming landscape. On Erhai Lake cruise, you’ll enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and Three Pagodas from afar as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake. Enjoy an excursion to one of the famous islands for an in-depth look at the peaceful Bai fishing village and other sites on island.
After the peaceful time, transfer to Dali Old Town which has a history of more than 1200 years. In the town, you’ll enjoy the City Wall, Gate-towers, elegant streets, small and exquisite courtyards, colorful flowers blooming in the sunshine. Climb up to Wuhua Tower and enjoy panoramic view of the whole old town. It feels like time goes back.
In the morning, drive about 18 km to Xizhou Ancient Town which was once a commercial center of Yunnan province. More than 1500 years ago, Xizhou and nearby area have been the major habitat for Bai ethnic group. A visit to Xizhou is to enjoy the Bai minority culture, ethnic tradition of the Three Courses of Tea, the local people’s daily life and Bai architecture. Attend Morning Market in Xizhou and see local people trading daily supplies, including fresh vegetable, fruits, meats and many kinds of food and daily necessities. It offers a great opportunity to get close to local living conditions. (Optional experience: you can visit a local Bai family and learn how to make Yunnan Cheese called “Rushan”. Rushan cheese is a cheese made out of goat milk, produced primarily by the Bai ethnic minority in Dali. Spend about 30 minutes involving in the whole process and taste the delicious cheese made by your own hands.)
Later, transfer to Lijiang with 2-hour driving. Upon arrival, you’ll start a memorable tour from Lijiang Ancient Town (Dayan Ancient Town). Pay a visit to Ming-dynasty style Mufu Palace, the “Forbidden City” of Lijiang to know Tusi’s ruling history and appreciate Naxi people’s brilliant culture and fine arts. Then, wander through the old alleys, old bridges, featured shops and bars to Sifang Street Square, a mingling ground to enjoy lively atmosphere and unwind yourself. If time permits, join the Naxi people and tourists to dance happily in a round. (Optional Activity: Take a leisure walk up to the Lion Hill and climb up the 33-meter-tall Wanggu Tower - the landmark building of Lijiang to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole old town and overlook the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance.)
After breakfast, drive 20 km to Yuhu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. When walking into this authentic Naxi Village, you’ll see unique stone houses, Naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, kids playing, a tranquil Yuhu Lake…explore leisurely around the village and then get to the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, who was an Austrian-American Botanist came to Lijiang and stayed in Yuhu Village for 27 years and made huge research work on Naxi minority.
Later, head to Baisha Village and appreciate the ancient Baisha Mural Paintings. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which is a combination of Tibetan Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Then, it is followed by a trip to Shuhe Ancient Town - one of the earliest settlements of Naxi people as well as the well-preserved stop of the Ancient Tea Horse Route.
After that, transfer to Dongba Culture Museum where more than 10,000 Dongba cultural relics show mysterious Dongba culture of the Naxi people. Take a gentle walk to Black Dragon Pool Park to enjoy gorgeous view and peaceful surroundings.
After breakfast, drive 45 km to view the First Bend of Yangtze River, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before you. Visit Iron Chain Bridge in Shigu (Stone Drum) Town.
Later, transfer to visit the one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. It measures 16 km in length and is a giddy 3900m from the waters of Jinsha River to Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. You’ll walk about 1,000 stairs along the plank road from the entrance to the Tiger Leaping Rock. Take a moment to enjoy the magnificent gorge view and rolling waves.
After the hiking tour, you’ll be driven to Shangri-La, about 2 hours. Enjoy the enchanting natural scenery along the way. Upon arrival, check in your hotel and feel free to explore Shangri-La on your own.
Today is a full day to explore the earthly paradise described in the famous novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton.
You’ll first visit Songzanlin Monastery, reputed as the Little Potala Palace. Established by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679, the monastery belongs to Gelug sect of Buddhism, and it is also the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan. Walk 143 steps to get atop of the monastery and pay clockwise visit to the major lamasery buildings and get in-depth understanding about Tibetan Buddhism. If time permits, take some quiet time to walk around the peaceful Lamuyangcuo Lake and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this pure land.
Later, drive to the first national park in China - Pudacuo National Park. Throw yourselves into the lush green forest with diverse species of flora and fauna, walk along the plank road to catch the gorgeous scenery of Shudu Lake (hike 3.3 km, about 1 hr) and Bita Lake (hike 4.2 km, about 1.5hrs ) and seek for a real paradise in this natural wonderland. (Note: the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m and you should avoid strong activities. There’s no problem to hike in the park.) After the merry time in the park, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family and experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people.
Optional Activity: You could take a boat sailing on Shudu Lake or Bita Lake to save energy and time instead of walking all the way.
Importance Notice: Militang Pasture (弥里塘草场) and Bita Lake (碧塔海) in Pudacuo National Park are closed for tourists due to maintainance from 3th September, 2017. The administrative office of Pudacuo National Park hasn't confirmed when they will be open exactly. Shudu Lake Scenic Area (属都湖) is still open for tourists. Please contact your travel consultant to adjust your itinerary.
In the morning, cherish your time in Shangri-La to explore Dukezong Old Town by climbing up to the top of Guishan Hill (or Tortoise Hill) to have a panoramic view of the old town and Shangri-La County and join in the tourists to turn the largest Prayer Wheel in the world. (Please note: In Jan. 2014, a huge fire broke out destroying most of the town. After several years’ restoration, you can visit the area around Guishan Hill and most part of the town.)
After the tour, be escorted to the Shangri-La Zhongdian Airport for your flight to next destination.
Departure Ideas: Travelers can take flights from Shangri-La to Kunming, Lhasa, Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and more cities.
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1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2019.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.45. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
To make your life more colorful and interesting, you could take our best-selected optional activities in the most popular destinations, like Shangri-La in Yunnan.
You have the final say whether you want it or not. It would be better to decide when you are in the destinations. On one hand, the shows and performances may change according to season and weather. On the other hand, you can check your physical condition, time and discuss with your experienced local guide who may give you useful suggestions. If you are interested, your patient guide will accompany you there and escort you back to your hotel. Please pay attention that extra fee is charged for the optional shows and activities.
You need to pack some personal gears, such as light and comfortable walking shoes, outdoor coat and pants. You'd better also pack sun cream, sun glasses.
1. A valid passport, a valid China visa and Tibet Permits are necessary documents for traveling in Tibet.
2. In Tibet, we suggest you avoid strong activity; do not take shower at the first day; drink more water and avoid of alcohol; better not to take oxygen if your AMS symptoms are mild. Always remember that if you have any problems or feel uncomfortable, please tell your guide immediately or contact our travel consultant.
3. A windbreaker, a pair of durable and comfortable shoes, a down jacket (better with hat), sunscreen cream, sun block, skin cream and lip balm, sunglasses, medicine for urgent use.
For the sake of giant panda, Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding is not available for holding a panda at present. If you are interested, please extend to Dujiangyan Panda Base, Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base and Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Base instead.
Taking high speed train to travel around China will be unique and special experience for you. Instead of taking flight, you can take high speed train from Beijing to Xian/Xian to Beijing, Chengdu to Chongqing, Yichang to Shanghai/Shanghai to Yichang, etc. All are within comfortable traveling time to reach the destinations. If you are interested, please feel free to ask our travel consultants to arrange high speed train for you.
Vegetarian food in Chinese cuisine culture is usually divided into 3 categories: the Monastery Vegetarian Food, the Court Vegetarian Food and the Folk Vegetarian Food. And the main ingredients are: soybean, taro powder, mushrooms, fresh vegetables and tofu (bean curd). It will be easier to find the vegetarian restaurants in big cities of china, such as: Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, HK, etc.
We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.
The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join the meal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.
Yes, you will. There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants, if you are interested in local food tasting. But remember, some local snacks may not match your stomach, so ask your guided for more information before eating.
In China, there are myriads of souvenirs for visitors, and each city has its own specialty.
Some of the best buys are:
Bargains are not acceptable in big supermarkets and department stores. But in some night markets or tourist shops, you can bargain for a lower price, since the vendors always ask for very high price for a certain item. You’d better ask the opinion of the guide first, and then the guide will tell you the real value and quality of the item. Please note that when the bargain is processing, the guide will be hesitate to help as it may annoy the bosses. Just try to let the guides know you will bargain in advance.
If you do not need something from them, just do not ask for price. Some of the venders are very persisted, and if they keep selling things to you, you can simply say “No, thanks.” (Chinese pronunciation: ”Bu, XieXie”). If they do not give up, you just keep silence. Silence is sometimes useful to handle this situation.
Call your guide, or if you can’t find your guide, call your travel consultant or our office immediately. All the phone numbers include in our confirmation letter. Keep the letter with your during your trip.
Note: As our Beijing office is using the different guide arranging system, so we will not be able to provide the Beijing guide information until the day before you arrival, but once we have it, we will email you immediately.
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.
Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!
After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.
We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.
Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.
Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.
Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!
Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!
Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.
Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!
In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!
The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.
If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.
Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.
We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!