If you have visited the iconic golden triangle cities (Beijing, Xian, Shanghai) before, and if you want to expand your horizons with more different stunning beauty that China can offer, this 8 days Yunnan Zhangjiajie tour will give you such unbelievable experiences and complete conceptions.
During the visit, you’ll first reach on the land at the South of Colorful Clouds in southwest China where you’ll find yourselves in the ethnic minority kingdom with brilliant ethnic cultures and breathtaking snow mountain views. Relax your mind with a very nice stroll in the famous UNESCO Lijiang Old Town - wide cobbled streets ambling over stone bridges and waterwheel-driven canals filled with huge goldfish and lined with shops, small family-run hotels and hostels, cafes and bars. Extend from Lijiang to northwest Shangri-La to seek for the real soul of Shangri-La with Tibetan monasteries, emerald lakes, primitive forest park...Then, make a perfect end visit in Kunming to explore in the amazing Stone Forest and listen to the story of Yi minority. Yes, Lijiang, Shangri-La and Kunming show you the best of the bests of diverse Yunnan.
Zhangjiajie, located in the central China, is about 1100 kilometers away from Kunming. The best way to travel from Kunming to Zhangjiajie is by flight within 2 hours, and then you can shift into a world of avatar mountains. In Zhangjiajie, explore the stunning surreal mountain forest with thousands of towering stone peaks with dotted verdant plantations dressing and catch the chance to overcome your fear when walking on the thrilling World longest and highest Glass Bridge at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon!
Day 1 Lijiang ArrivalArrive in Lijiang - Lijiang Old Town - Dongba Culture Museum - Black Dragon Pool Park
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 rest, 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.)
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
- Lijiang Old Town Full View from Wangu Tower
- Mufu Palace, the “Forbidden City” of Lijiang
- Dongba Culture Museum
Day 2 Lijiang & Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (B, L)Jade Dragon Snow Mountain - Blue Moon Valley - Baisha Village
In this morning, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel and escort you to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. The 13 peaks in this mountain area are the sacred mountains among Naxi people. Take the tramway to the Spruce Meadow at 3000 meters high, and you can both see the fascinating sightseeing and appreciate the gorgeous look of the whole snow mountain at the best place.
After that, you can choose to enjoy the electrifying Impression Lijiang Show (Optional) performed by 500 local people under the white snow and blue sky with the background of white Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which lasts for about 70 minutes.
On the way back, you will enjoy the charming scenery and the crystal clear water various with the weather in Blue Moon Valley and its White Water River.
After that, 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.)
1. If you want to visit Yak Meadow (with an altitude of 3500 meters) which offers a good location to appreciate the 13 peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain; or for travelers who want to take the tramway to see the Glacier Park at 4680 meters, you need to tell your like to your travel consultant to adjust the itinerary.
2. For the tickets of Impression Lijiang Snow are hard to book in peak season, if you want to enjoy the show, please tell us your interest and we’ll help to book the tickets in advance.
3. If time allows today, you can extend a leisure 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.
- Magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
- Blue Moon Valley at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
- Baisha Mural Paintings
Day 3 Lijiang - Shangri-La (B, L)First Bend of Yangtze River - Tiger Leaping Gorge
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: 3459meters), the Garden of Eden! Upon arrival, check in your hotel and explore this earthly paradise on your own.
- Sightseeing at First Bend of Yangtze River
- Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge
Day 4 Shangri-La (B, L)Songzanlin Monastery - Pudacuo National Park - Local Tibetan Family Visiting
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 to the first national park in China - Pudacuo National Park which is mainly comprised of Shudu Lake, Militang Grassland, Bita Lake. Shudu Lake is a famous pasture, herds of yak and goat grazing beside the lake. Militang Grassland is located between Shudu Lake and Bita Lake with lush grass in meadow. Bitahai Lake, regarded as a pearl of the Plateau, is an intact natural attraction with outstanding landscapes. (Note: Militang Pasture and Bita Lake are closed for tourists due to maintenance at present.)
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 kilometers, about 1 hour). (Note: the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m that 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 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.)
- Shudu Lake of Pudacuo National Park
- Tibetan Style Songzanlin Lamasery with Prayer Flags
- Pudacuo National Park
Day 5 Shangri-La & Flight to Kunming (B, L)Dukezong Old Town - Flight to Kunming - Western Hills & Dragon Gate
In the morning, cherish your time in Shangri-La 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. Then, you’ll 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 in Kunming downtown area.
In this afternoon, pay a visit 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.)
After the tour, drive back to your hotel.
- Panoramic View of Dianchi Lake from Dragon Gate
- Dukezong Old Town
Day 6 Kunming & Flights to Zhangjiajie (B)Stone Forest - Get to Zhangjiajie by Flight
After breakfast, drive 85 km to the typical Karst landform - Stone Forest. As the “Essence of World Karst Landform”, Stone Forest 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 transferred to Kunming Changshui International Airport for your flight to Zhangjiajie (about 2 hours). Upon arrival, the local guide and driver in Zhangjiajie will transfer you directly to your hotel in Wulingyuan downtown in Zhangjiajie by our comfortable private car (non-smoking), and the guide will help you check in. The rest of today is on your own to explore this fabulous city in China.
- Major Stone Forest
- Lesser Stone Forest
Day 7 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park & Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge (B, L)Huangshi Village - Golden Whip Stream - Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge
Today, after breakfast, you will be met by our guide and driver and then driven to start your exciting visit to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. You will first take the cable car up to Huangshi Village to appreciate the wide forest park on its peaks. The village site has an altitude of 1080 meters, which is praised for its similar charm of pillar forest of Colorado in the USA. Enjoying the flat the wide visual environment, it is so far the largest natural viewing deck for visitors for a perfect admiration of its various rising stones and hills. Enjoy your fresh walk to visit the top famous sights including Star Picking Stand, Five Finger Peak, and so on, and find those looking like a book box, bridge piers, nestling couple, etc. from a distance. Take cable car to get down.
Later, change your angle to explore the famous Golden Whip Stream deep in the valley. This totally 7.5 kilometers long brook is one of the most beautiful places in the whole forest park area. Take an inspiring roam along the whispering pristine water on the paved path to immerse into tranquil wonderland with fresh air, colorful blooming flowers in different seasons, lush vegetation, etc. and be prepared to encounter with some wild monkeys.
After that, take a sightseeing bus to exit the park and be driven to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon for about 40 minutes. Now, its your bold moment to take the challenge and walk on the transparent Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge to feel like walking on the clouds, which is the world longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge so far in the whole universe, with total length of 430 meters and height of 400 meters above the deep valley.
After the visiting, be driven for another 40 minutes back to your hotel in Wulingyuan. Have a good sleep!
- Breathtaking Walong on the Zhangjiajie Grand Cayon Glass Bridge
- Golden Whip Stream
- Huangshi Village
- Wild Monkeys of Golden Whip Stream
Day 8 Yuanjiajie - Tianzi Mountain & Zhangjiajie Departure (B, L)Bailong Elevator - Yuanjiajie (Avatar Mountain) - Tianzi Mountain - Flight / Train off Zhangjiajie
On this day, after breakfast, visit Wulingyuan to get more highlights. First take a sightseeing bus to experience Bailong Elevator, the fastest elevator and also the tallest outdoor elevator in the world. Enjoy the 1.5 minutes to be shot from the valley bottom up to the pillar peak. And then, hike amongst the multiple erupting stone columns at Yuanjiajie Scenic Area and open the mysterious “Pandora World”. During the exciting hike, get a good preparation to have an enviable look at the South Sky Pillar of around 150 meters high, the authentic prototype inspiring the “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain”; enjoy the best scenery at Enchanting Platform with tens and hundreds of beautiful stone peaks similar to a lot of nutritious bamboo shoots towering from the ground; also, closely watch the peculiar First Bridge of the World that is naturally made with an only 5-meter long stone platform linking the two peaks together to form the rare world wonder.
Then, take the sightseeing bus to visit Tianzi Mountain. Walk to He Long Park there, which is the best viewing deck to admire very closely the incredible and magnificent view of odd stone peaks standing one after another. Most appealing pictures of the four wonders of Tianzi Mountain are photographed there, including the mists and clouds, moonlight, rays of sunshine and winter snow. Also, step a little further to Tianzi Pavilion nearby to enjoy the marvelous view and terrific sightseeing of the Xihai Peak Forest from another angle of view. After that, take the cool Tianzi Mountain Cable Car down with groups of rockery hills passing by outside your glass window, and then take the sightseeing bus to exit Wulingyuan Park.
After the exciting scenic visit, our guide and driver will escort you to Zhangjiajie airport or train station to catch your flight/train to your next destination or home. Service ends!
- Mysterious Sea of Clouds at Tianzi Mountain
- Bailong Elevator
- Avatar Hallelujah Mountain at Yuanjiajie
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 6.45. 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.
Yes I’m aboard the train for Guangzhou. It was a really great trip. I have recommended my colleagues to visit and to contact you if they do.
I hope things are returning to normal for you and that the impact in your business of covid-19 has not been too depressing. Please forgive my tardy response, for which there is no excuse!
I flew from Shanghai to Saigon just 3 days before the flights were banned and managed to spend a great 4 weeks travelling through Cambodia and Thailand as well as re-entering Vietnam in Hanoi and touring back to Saigon for a week returning to UK on 22 February, where I completed 2 weeks of self isolation with my wife. As you will know we have been locked down for 9 weeks now so life is very different to how it was before I left for China back on 12 January! I have inserted my answers to your questions below and hope they are helpful to you.
1. Is your travel consultant of our company fast enough to answer your E-mail and patient enough to answer your questions?
Wonder Wang, at China Discovery, was very helpful and responsive to my questions and needs and I felt supported and safe in a strange land, especially during a period of uncertainty when I lost key documentation and needed to ensure its replacement before I left China, and also during a time when many around us were conscious of the emerging coved 19 pandemic (Mid to late January 2020).
2. How’s the service of the tour guides during your whole tour?
Very attentive and knowledgeable. Maybe it’s my age (67) but at times I found understanding their English a challenge but they were all patient with me and would repeat their explanations when I asked them to.
3. Would you like to recommend our company?
I have no hesitation in recommending China Discovery to anyone looking for a bespoke trip to the land of Wonder that is China.
Thanks again for all you did for me during the China leg of my trip. I had a wonderful time.
Take great care and best wishes
Thanks for Advise, you also take care of yourself. Hoping we will be in touch, after this episode. You have blessed time, till we contact again.
China is still on our list, but not at this time. We have canceled other trips until a later date. I will contact you when we start making our plans to visit China.
Unfortunately, we will not be visiting China this year. We are very sad. Our daughter was working in Shanghai but had to come back to the U.S. so we will not be visiting her there.
If we decide to plan a trip to China in the future we will certainly contact you.
I hope you remain healthy!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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