Golden Route Plus God’s Magic Palette
Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Shangri-La route is called the golden route when traveling in Yunnan. If you have two more days, it is highly recommended to extend to Dongchuan Red Land from Kunming. The red land, called "God's Magic Palette" is the most typical and featured red land in the world, being the paradise for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts. In this 10 days tour, you can not only capture Yi, Bai, Naxi and Tibetan ethnic groups' most authentic lifestyle and folk culture, but feast your eyes with breathtaking natural scenery.
Arrival in Kunming, the Spring City of China. If you have more time, visit Yunnan Nationalities Museum.
Transfer to Dongchuan Red Land from Kunming. Shoot amazing sunset at Luoxiagou Valley, sunrise at Damakan. Visit other spots like Qicai Slope, Yuepuao, Jiuxiu Garden to feast your eyes.
Visit Stone Forest and Green Lake on this day.
Take morning high speed train to Dali from Kunming. Visit the landmarks of Dali - Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple, Erhai Lake and Dali Old Town. Learn Bai culture in Xizhou Ancient Town and Zhoucheng. Drive to Lijiang for in depth visit in Lijiang Old Town.
In the Naxi kingdom, you are going to visit Yuhu Village to the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, see Baisha Mural Painting in Baisha Village, explore freely in Shuhe Ancient Town and Lijiang Old Town. Take one day to see the First Bend of Yangtze River and hike to Tiger Leaping Gorge before head to Shangri-La.
In this earthly paradise Shangri-La, you’ll explore Songzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park (Bita Lake and Shudu Lake), and pay a visit to local Tibetan Family. Explore Dukezong Old Town before departure.
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.
In this morning, your guide and driver will pick you up at hotel. Then, transfer to Dongchuan with 3 hours’ drive (about 180 kilometers northeast of Kunming). Dongchuan Red Land is the most typical and featured red land in the world, located at 1800~2600 meters above the sea level. Azure sky, white clouds, unpredictable light and the red land form the dazzling colors and spectacular scenery.
In this afternoon, you will first enjoy a trip to Shuipingzi. It features endless layers of rice terraces, stretching itself to the horizon. In spring, you can shoot the irrigation scenery of the paddy fields, while autumn is great time to shoot the golden paddy fields. Then, have a close look at the thousand-year-old Ancient Tree which is regarded as the holy tree by local people. Later, head to Luoxiagou Valley to enjoy magnificent view onto the villages and farmlands surrounded by red land. The sunset atmosphere in the late afternoon turns the splendid views to an even more remarkable event, offering almost endless opportunities to photographers. Shoot the amazing sunset view at a good location at Luoxiagou Valley.
On this day, you will get up early to take awesome pictures of the sunrise at Damakan. In the early morning, smoke curling up from the chimney, the rosy sunglow spreading all over the sky, it takes you into a dreamland. Standing on the highway and you can overlook the red land and the beautiful sunrise. (Please note: you’d better get up early and reach there before 06:30. The sunrise may stretch out the horizon around 07:00.)
After that, continue your trip for photography. You will reach Jinxiu Garden, a vast expanse of many rolling hills with red fields. Then, get to Qicai Slope, a place gets its name from seven fields with seven different colors. It is a great site to shoot the colorful Dongchuan Red Land. Later, pay a visit to Yuepuao. You won’t miss the breathtaking view of Yuepuao with elegant lines just like musical notation. Several hundred meters away Yuepuao, it is Luoshiwan (River Snail Bay) and Wafangliangzi (Tiled House Bridge) where you could capture the complete view of Yuepuao and folk houses on the land.
After the tour, drive back to Kunming and transfer to your hotel.
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 train station in Kunming and take a morning high speed train to Dali (about 2 hours). Welcome to Dali, 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.
Begin your visit to the symbol of Dali - Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple. Built in 10thcentury in Nanzhao Kingdom, Three Pagodas is made of one big pagoda and two small pagodas forming a symmetric triangle. If you look at it from a distance, the pagodas are like three giant ballpoint pens breaking up the landscape of the never-ending mountains. Here, you’ll get close to look at the pagodas to know more history and stories, visit the royal temple in Dali - Chongsheng Temple, take awesome photos of Three Pagodas and the reflections…
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, be followed a trip to explore Dali Old Town. Used to be the ancient capital of Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms, Dali Old Town is formed the square-shaped structure, laid out on a typical north-south, east-west axis with five north-south and eight east-west streets. Wander leisurely through the elegant streets with weeping willows dancing and colorful flowers blooming in the sunshine, if you like have a cup of coffee when visiting the famous Foreigner Street, visit the bustling shops selling Yunnan specialties, get on the city wall or gate tower for a bird’s eye view of the large old town area. You will feel like going back to old times.
After breakfast, you’ll be driven 18 kilometers to Xizhou Ancient Town, an authentic old town where local Bai people really live and work. Walk into the “the Museum of Bai Architecture” and appreciate the exquisite residential complexes decorated fabulous sculptures, paintings, pointed eaves and wall screens. Taste Bai’s Three-Course Tea and experience the tea ceremony. Set eyes on the local morning market - a place for local people trading daily supplies, including fresh vegetable, fruits, meats, and many kinds of food and daily necessities. It is a great opportunity for getting close to local living conditions.
Then, transfer to “Hometown of Bai People’s Tie-dye Art” for an appreciation of Tie-dye. Tie-dye is a typical feature to present the Bai’s excellent handcraft with various colors and elegant designs. You’ll visit local Indigo workshop in Zhoucheng and know the way of making. (Optional experience: If you are interested, you can follow the local Bai people to learn some traditional skills of how to knot and view your works to be dyed into different colors with beautiful designs. This whole experience takes about 1.5 hours.)
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.
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, 2020.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.7. 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!