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Guilin is the one of the top 4 popular destinations in China with the unbeatable Karst wonderland and a series of stunning sightseeing and fun. While, Yunnan reputed as the “Colorful Yunnan” and “South of Colorful Cloud” also ranks top for both domestic and international travelers to close up to its diverse essences of landscapes, ethnic culture, historic relics, etc.
This 9-day Guilin and Yunnan tour is the best combo taking you to discover beautiful Lijiang, Shangri-La and Kunming from Guilin. You will not only have a personal look at the lovely Karst hills surrounded along the pleasant Li River and Yulong River and also the wonderful colorful world at Reek Flute Cave in Guilin. But also, you will spend some worthy days tasting the iconic attractions in those three destinations in Yunnan, including Lijiang Old Town, Songzanlin Monastery, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Stone Forest, and so forth to see the real beauty of diverse Yunnan! Take this tour to start your wonderful trip!
Day 1 Guilin ArrivalPick up at Guilin
Welcome to Guilin, the most scenic city in China. Upon your arrival, be met by your local guide and escorted to your hotel in Guilin downtown for check-in. The rest of the day is on your own to discover the beautiful little city surrounded by featured Karst hills!
Evening Idea: You can take a enjoy a relaxing night stroll at the city’s symbolic Two Rivers & Four Lakes scenic area to marvel at the fancy waterscape with colorful night lights.
Arrival Ideas: Guilin Liangjiang International Airport has direct flights from most domestic destinations including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Nanning, Nanjing, Qingdao, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Harbin, etc. and some international cities (regions) like Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur. Besides, you can arrive in Guilin by bullet trains from Hong Kong (3.5 hours), Guangzhou (2.5 hours), Shenzhen (3 hours), Beijing (8.5 hours), Shanghai (9 hours), Chengdu (5.5 hours), Chongqing (4.5 hours), Changsha (3 hours), Nanning (2.5 hours), etc.
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Day 2 Guilin, Li River Cruise to Yangshuo (B, L)Today's highlights: Li River Cruise - Yangshuo Ten-mile Gallery - West Street
As the declaration in Chinese textbook "Guilin’s landscape is the best under heaven", today you will explore this best landscape starting with a relaxing sightseeing cruise along the Li River from Mopanshan Pier to Yangshuo Town. Along the 84-kilometer cruise, dazzling scenery overwhelms your eyes like a vast endless Chinese painting of winding river, green limestone karst mountains, fascinating countryside views, amazing scene of A Painting of Nine Horses, and notable view printed on the back of the 20 RMB note. (Please note: Lunch is served by the cruise with simple local Chinese cuisine. And you can take some snacks when getting on board.)
After about 4 hours’ cruise, disembark in Yangshuo Town, and check in your hotel. After a short break, you will start your exploration of the ideal countryside view by taking the Ten-mile Gallery sightseeing bus from Fengming Tourists Service Center via Gongnong Bridge, Big Banyan Tree, to the Moon Hill for 1.5-2 hours. Throw yourself into the stunning countryside views and relaxed atmosphere. Be enthralled by the patches of paddy fields nestling under green Karst hills, with farmers cultivating the soil. Record the peculiar hole of Moon Hill at Li Village with your simple shutter with a simple wander. Also, if time and your physical condition permit, climb up that hill (needs about 30-50 minutes up with thousands of steps) to appreciate the larger moon hole closer and have a broader panorama of the Karst wonders of Yangshuo Town. Then, take the sightseeing bus back to Fengming, and our driver will send you back to have a leisure walk on the ancient West Street to witness how the western culture and Chinese culture perfectly and peacefully coexist here. Whether you want to enjoy a cup of drink in bar, taste some local food, or just experience the relaxing atmosphere, you get it here.
Optional evening activity:
Watch the splendid evening performance of Impression Liu Sanjie with the Li River itself as the stage, which was directed by famous director - Zhang Yimou (usually performs for an hour between around 19:45 and 22:20). (Please note: Impression Liu Sanjie is not available from January 2, 2020 to January 26, 2020.)
- Lush Guilin Li River Scenery
- Pleasant Yangshuo Yulong River Countryside View
- Visit Yangshuo West Street at Night
Day 3 Yangshuo & Guilin Departure (B, L)Today's highlights: Yulong River Sightseeing & Outdoor Activities - Reed Flute Cave
This morning, after breakfast, start your impressive exploration of the best charming sightseeing and ideal countryside ease at Yulong River. Let all the refreshing scenes please your eyes and souls to the utmost. Just enjoy every moment to close up to the Karst hills dotted around, chatting stream, rippling mountain reflection, swaying floras, patches of vivid crops, old dwellings on the riverside, comfortable breeze, clear azure sky….There are diverse kinds of ways for your enjoyment of the fun and beauty, including biking, hiking, sightseeing bus, bamboo rafting and scooter. You can easily choose and combine your ideal way(s) and part of Yulong River. Please tell your likes to your travel consultants before booking the tour, as the final prices will differ by activities you choose.).
Biking (some physically demanding &sightseeing by the river) - Ride to enjoy the river view, the real fields, the antique houses and hundreds-year-old stone bridge (route: Yangshuo - Jima - Jiuxian Village - Shuiedi Dock - Gongnong Bridge - West Street; for 3 hours). During the tour, pay a visit of a local family near Chaoyang to have a short break and see their living environment and farming tools of local peasants.
Bamboo Rafting (relaxing and interesting & sightseeing on the river) - have fun with the classic bamboo rafting (Route A: Shuiedi Dock - Gongnong Bridge for 40-50 minutes; Route B: Jima Dock - Gongnong Bridge for 1.5 hours) to see the more serene view like pieces of traditional Chinese landscape ink paintings.
Sightseeing Bus (most leisurable and comfortable & sightseeing on the road) - sit leisurely on the bus from Jima to Gongnong Bridge to appreciate the lovely countryside view (about 0.5 hour). You can get off and on anywhere on the middle way to explore more about your interested place.
After the visiting, drive about 1.5 hours to next attraction - Reed Flute Cave, a majestic underground palace with sparkling different colors. The magical Mother Nature condenses millions years of natural efforts to form the incredible stalactite, stalagmite, stone shield and stone waterfall of different sizes and shapes.
After the visiting, be escorted back to your hotel in Guilin. Have a good sleep!
Note: according to the regulations of Yulong River Tourism, children less than 1 meter high and elders over 70 years old are not allowed to take the bamboo rafting.
- Yangshuo Biking Experience
- Relaxing Bamboo Rafting at Yulong River
Day 4 Guilin - Lijiang (B)Today's highlight: Lijiang Ancient Town
After breakfast, you will be escorted to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport to catch your flight to Lijiang (about 2 hours).
Ni Hao! Welcome to Lijiang, a very impressive ancient city! Upon arrival at the airport or railway station, your guide and driver will meet you at the arrival hall and transfer you to the hotel in ancient town area with a private car which is comfortable, air-conditioned and non-smoking.
After a short break, you’ll start a memorable tour in Lijiang Ancient Town (Dayan Ancient Town). Established in the Ming dynasty as a commercial center, Lijiang Old Town is a well-preserved 800-year-old town for Naxi ethnic group, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Walk to the central area of the old town and visit Mufu Palace. A saying goes “there is Forbidden City in the North, Mu’s Residence in the South”. Mu’s Residence was called the miniature Forbidden City. Looked from a far distance, it likes a grand imperial palace and it is famous for the grandness and architectural buildings. Getting into the palace, you can 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.)
Have a good sleep in your hotel in Lijiang!
- Lijiang Old Town Waterwheel
- Mufu Palace, the “Forbidden City” of Lijiang
Day 5 Lijiang (B, L)Today's highlight: Yuhu Village, Baisha Mural Paintings, Shuhe Ancient Town, Black Dragon Pool Park
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred out of Lijiang Old Town to Yuhu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. 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 go to explore 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. Houses here are arranged on a north-south axis around a central, terraced square. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which depict subjects relating to Buddhism, Taoism and the life of the Naxi people, incorporating cultural elements of the Bai people. (Optional experience: You can have in-depth cultural experience to learn how to make Baisha embroidery instructed by the local masters in Baisha Village.)
Then, it is followed by a relaxing 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. This ancient town is less crowded than Lijiang Dayan Old Town. Take a nice stroll here to explore local cultures, folk customs and traditions over several centuries.
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. If weather permits, get to the best spot to overlook the snow-capped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and shoot some amazing pictures.
- Black Dragon Pool Park
- Baisha Mural Paintings
Day 6 Lijiang - Shangri-La ( B, L )Today's highlights: First Bend of Yangtze River, Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Old Town, Guishan Hill
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, drive about 52 kilometers from Lijiang to view the First Bend of Yangtze River. The upper reach of the Yangtze River is Jinsha River coming down from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and when it arrives at Shigu Town, it is obstructed by Hailuo Mountain and forms a V-shape turn. Then it changes the direction and goes to the northeast. You’ll reach the observation deck to catch a panoramic view of the bend, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before your eyes. You’ll have a look at local market and Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in Shigu Town.
Later, be transferred to visit the one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyon in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. It is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site called Three Parallel of Yunnan Protected Areas. This steep gorge is situated between the 5596 meters Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the south and 5396 meters Haba Snow Mountain to the north. Measuring 17 kilometers in length, the whole gorge is divided into three parts: upper, middle and lower gorge and you’ll pay a visit to the maturest section - Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge. 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. (Travel tip: This gorge is suitable for most travelers with easy walk. Comfortable shoes are recommended. )
After the hiking tour, you’ll be driven to Shangri-La. With 2 hours' driving, enjoy the enchanting natural scenery along the way. Welcome to Shangri-La (Zhongdian, altitude: 3459 meters), the Garden of Eden! Upon arrival, you guide will help you check in at your hotel.
After a short break, go to explore Dukezong Old Town. With a history over 1300 years, Dukezong Old Town is the largest and the best preserved Tibetan community in China. Climb up to the top of Guishan Hill (or Tortoise Hill) to have a panoramic view of both the endless snow-capped mountains surrounded the pure land and the large scale of the old town with countless Tibetan dwellings. Join in the tourists to turn the largest Prayer Wheel in the world in clockwise direction.
Have a nice sleep in your hotel in Shangri-La!
- Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge
- Dukezong Old Town
- Guishan Hill
Day 7 Shangri-La ( B, L )Today's highlights: Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, Pudacuo National Park, Local Tibetan Family Visit
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred with 7 kilometers’ driving to Songzanlin Monastery (Ganden Sumtseling Gompa), reputed as the “Little Potala Palace” for it was built according to the complex of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Established by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679, the monastery belongs to Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and it is also the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province with around 700 monks and lamas. Walk 147 steps to get atop of the monastery and pay clockwise visit to the three main lamasery buildings where you can not only see the Buddhism treasures, but also enjoy large number of monks of all ages going about their daily routines, praying, chanting, cooking and resting. It should a nice trip to get in-depth understanding about Tibetan Buddhism. If time permits, take some quiet time to walk around the peaceful Lamuyangcuo Lake and shoot panorama view of Songzanlin Monastery with reflection in the clear water.
Then, drive about 27 kilometers to Pudacuo National Park. This 1,300-square-kilometer national park is notable as the first first national park in China to meet International Union for Conservation of Nature standards. It is renowned for well-preserved primitive landscape, which is endowed with lakes, wetlands, forests, meadows, streams, brooks, rare plants and animals. Visit the spots by clockwise and 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 hour). (Note: the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m and you should avoid strong activities. There’s no problem to hike in the park.)
Important Notice: Militang Pasture (弥里塘草场) and Bita Lake (碧塔海) in Pudacuo National Park are closed for tourists due to maintenance 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. If you want to adjust today’s itinerary, please contact your travel consultant.
After the merry time in the park, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family to experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people and taste some special Tibetan snacks and butter tea. (Optional Experience: If you are interested in the Tibetan people’s daily drinks, you can follow the locals to involve in the process of making butter tea.)
After the visiting, be escorted back to your hotel and have a good rest!
- Shudu Lake of Pudacuo National Park
- Songzanlin Monastery
- Pudacuo National Park
Day 8 Shangri-La & Flight to Kunming ( B, L )Today's highlights: Western Hills in Kunming
In the morning, be escorted to the airport for your flight to Kunming (about 1 hour), the Spring City of China! Upon arrival, the local tour guide and driver will meet you in the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel and help you check in.
After a short break, you’ll start a tour to the famous Western Hills which is called “Sleeping Beauty Hills”, looking like a beautiful young lady lying beside Dian Lake (the largest freshwater in Yunnan and famed as the “Pearl on the Plateau”). It is a particularly pleasant experience to walk in such verdant forest mountain park with elegant sightseeing and a series of cultural relics and sites, including some old temples. You will not miss the symbolic visit to the magic Dragon Gate as it says “If you do not visit Western Hill, you haven't visited Kunming; if you do not come to Dragon Gate, you haven't been to Western Hills”, where to admire the colorful old grottoes on the wall and catch the panoramic view of the large peaceful Dianchi Lake and Kunming City. (You can visit the temples if interested. Huating Temple and Taihua Temple are included in the ticket.)
Later, drive back to your hotel in Kunming.
- Kunming Western Hill
Day 9 Kunming & Kunming Departure ( B, L )Today's highlights: Kunming Green Lake, Stone Forest
After breakfast, your local guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and then escort you to visit Kunming Green Lake nearby. This pretty park with a lovely lake, old-styled pavilions, corridors, flowers, etc. is the most popular place for an authentic feeling of local Kunming people’s leisure life with citizens singing, dancing, talking, exercising, etc. During November to the next March, Black-headed Gulls from Siberian will never be late to fly there for their expecting comfortable warm winter holiday. Do not miss playing with those adorable and vigorous elfin during your relaxing roam!
Then, escort you to discover Stone Forest first for about 1.5 hours’ riding (85km)!
Kunming Stone Forest as the “Essence of World Karst Landform” has been listed as the UNESCO World Natural Heritage with the incomparable coverage of 12 square kilometers’ stone pinnacle groups. Take the sightseeing bus to visit the Greater Stone Forest Scenic Area to admire the typical concentrating cinerous stone pinnacles by walking through the maze of stone peaks and jumping high for the panorama of the forest of protruding stone peaks. Also, you will see the famous peak on many photos and even stones towering over 40 meters.
Then, continue to ride the bus to explore the Lesser Stone Forest to closely look at the iconic stone “Ashima” like a young lady, listen to the touching love story of Ashima, and fill your eyes with the emerald garden-like park of wilder stone peaks surrounded by lush green plants and blossoms. Take the sightseeing bus to exit the scenic park.
After the tour, be escorted to the airport or railway station for your flight / train (after 17:00) to next destination or home. Service ends!
- Major Stone Forest
- Kunming Western Hill
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, 2021.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.95. 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.
Thanks Wing, we came back safely and had a great trip overall. We had great tour guide and driver whom we will recommend without doubt and we took the liberty to change the schedule as we toured, depending on the weather and situation, which suited us. I’m actually glad lightning struck, allowing us to spend the last night in XM, as I think 2 days and 1 night in the Tulou is more than sufficient. I’ll leave Chew to comment on your email but you can also take my comments here if you want. Thanks again !
Yesterday just before check out at Xiamen , i had already completed a detailed questionnaire form and handed over to Adam.
(1) How do you like our tour arrangements and are you willing to recommend our service to your friends?
Yes, it was good service from tour coordinator, tour guide and driver. They are all very professional and good people. I will recommend to friends for sure.
(2) Do you have some suggestions for us to improve our service?
The initially proposed 3D2N itinerary is an overkill of Tulou visits. The original plan was such that we visit Chu Xi on Day 3, but Chu Xi is the furthest (3 hours) from Xiamen, so it doesnt make too much sense cos it would be a mad rush if guests are rushing to fly off on Day 3. Our tour guide Adam adapted the itinerary, we cut down the more commercialized tulous and he even included He Keng Tulou which is the place that Hollywood Mulan was filmed in, that was a real treat.
From our experiences, if we fly into Xiamen by 9am, we would have 2 full days of Tulou visits, which is more than sufficient. First nite at HeRongZhuang was a good experience, the staff are very hospitable and room was very nice. Second nite at Prince Hotel there was power failure, and after being in the dark for 4 hours, we decided to check out and drove to Xiamen. We were on the road from 9.30pm to 12 midnight. I think it would be better if the itinerary just have first nite in Tulou and second nite in Xiamen, with Day 3 in Xiamen.
(3) If you want to do travel again in China, would you like to use our service again?
Yes. I would certainly consider
The hotel is beautiful. We took a walk around and end up having dinner in the hotel. It's very nice.
We got back to the hotel a while ago. We enjoyed the trip with Sara very much. She is a lovely woman like you. And once again thank you very much for the lovely souvenirs.
Sorry for my late reply.
We were really very happy with the whole trip to Yunnan province. It was very special and we still talk about it a lot.
The program you suggested was great, and we had a fantastic time. Everything was flawless, convenient and no long waiting times.
We specifically liked:
Alice was fantastic. We enjoyed that she told us about her village, family etc. to help us to understand the Bai culture better. We liked her personal style. It felt like walking around with a friend, joking and having a good time.
Tom also made the Lijiang experience a very memorable one. He also opened up, reflected and gave us great insight in traditions and culture of Naxi. He knows everyone.
The best about Aten was that he made some suggestions how to optimize the program and how to avoid tourist crowds. He loves to talk to the guests, exchange ideas and make this a mutual learning experience.
We would without any doubt recommend your agency. We consider to book trips with you in the future.
Thank you very much for everything.
Yes it was great. Bruce handled everything for us including assisting us with our hotel arrangements and our transportation the following morning. The mountain itself was beautiful.
Thanks for the follow up. Again, we are so happy with the trip and the services. Tour guide very good, car and driver very good and the places we visited are really nice. Also lunch was good.
"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!
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Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La
Chengdu / Leshan / Mount Emei / Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming
Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming / Zhangjiajie
[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >
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