Tour Duration: 16 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 12 people
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey Wildlife Viewing
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Day 1: Beijing-Chengdu. Arrive in Chengdu International Airport. Meet the local guide and transfer to the hotel. Chengdu City is mountainous in the northwest area, with plains in the south-east area, and low hills in-between. It has a sub-tropical climate with an annual average temperature of 16.2 degree Celsius, and rainfall of 1.000 millimeters, and a frost-free period of about 300 days. Its mineral deposits include coal, iron, talcum, serpentine, dolomite etc. It abounds in agricultural resources. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Chengdu. Special Experience: Enjoy the Sichuan Opera at night. This morning, you will be picked up at your hotel by your tour guide and start your tour. First you will visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in the morning, the best time to see the pandas. After that you will visit Wangjiang Tower, the memorial to a female poet of the Tang Dynasty, Xue Tao. This tower is a symbol of Chengdu city. Then you will visit Wuhou Temple which was built in the sixth century to honor Zhuge Liang. Then you will visit the home of one of the greatest poets of the Tang Dynasty, Dufu Thatched Cottage. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Chengdu-Kangding. Drive to Kangding, overnight and sightseeing in Kangding. It is 376 km and 6 hours on the expressway from Chengdu to Kangding While traversing the Western Sichuan Plain, you will arrive at Kangding, the capital city of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the afternoon. you can appreciate the idyllic scenery and visit the local people. After dinner, enjoy the hot spring at Erdaoqiao. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Kangding-Litang. In the early morning, visit Anjue monastery-the very first Tibetan monastery on this trip, an rare chance to see their morning ceremony per day! Drive to Litang. Today's journey from Kangding to Litang will take us approximately 5 hours (306 km). At an altitude of just over 4000 m, Litang is one of the highest towns in the world (Lhasa is 3700 m). Situated high on a grassy plateau, Litang has the feel of a rough and tumble "Wild West" town. Khampas - dressed in yak skin coats, bedecked in colorful necklaces and hair ornaments, long daggers hanging from their belts - from the surrounding areas amble into town to stock up on food and supplies, play pool on the streets and hang out in the local teahouses. This small town is great for people watching and just strolling around. You will also visit the famous Chang-Qing-Chun-Ke'er-Si monastery and pay homage to the living Buddha with a personal interview. The monastery here is now home to 1400 Yellow Hat sect monks. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Litang-Daocheng-Yading. Today you will reach the highlight of this journey - Yading nature reserve, home of three sacred Tibetan mountains - Chenresig (Avalokitesvara, 6032 m), Jambeyang (Manjusri, 5958 m), and Chanadorje (Vajrapani, 5958 m). Tibetan Buddhists believe that making a kora (pilgrimage) around these mountains brings great merit, and that the three mountains represent compassion, wisdom and energy - attributes one must cultivate on the path to enlightenment. The scenery here easily rivals that of national parks of the west such as Yellowstone and Yosemite in terms of spectacular, pristine mountain scenery. The drive from Litang to Daocheng will take approximately 4 hours (180 km), and the trip from Daocheng to Yading (60 km) will take approximately 3 hours as much of the road to the park is dirt track. You will spend the night in tent hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Yading. You will visit beautiful Yading by horseback riding or hiking. From the reserve entrance you will traverse a beautiful wooded pathway leading to a valley set at the foot of the spectacular Mt. Chanadorje. You'll pass piles of Mani stones by the side of the pathway and at the base of the Reserve's most stunning vistas. You'll also visit Tshonggo Gonpa Monastery (Chonggu Si in Chinese) - a small Tibetan temple, which Joseph Rock nicknamed "Bandit Monastery." You will continue your hike to the foot of Mt. Chenresig, where you'll ascend a small but steep hill to view a beautiful mountaintop emerald green lake. Local lore has it that this magical lake can reveal your future if you spend a few moments in quiet contemplation by its side. You'll return to the meadow at the foot of Mt. Chanadorje and spend the night in a tent hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Yading-Daocheng. You will spend the morning doing a shorter hike or horse ride around the reserve. In the afternoon you'll drive back to Daocheng where you'll spend the night. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Daocheng-Xiangcheng-Shangri-La. Today you will take a long (5 hours, 290 km) but scenic drive to Zhongdian (3,300 m, 10,000 feet), a small town on the Tibetan Plateau. Shangri La is described by James Hilton in his World famous novel “Lost Horizon”. If more and more tourists travel to Shangri La (also call Zhongdian, its former name), this area still preserves a unique and remote atmosphere, also due to the Tibetan minority that keep the place different from the rest of Yunnan. Shangri La is in the center of a famous scenic area where three mighty rivers converge: the Nu River, the Yangtze River and the Mekong River. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Shangri La. Special Experience: Taste the butter oil and Tibetan food, Tibetan home-made. In the morning, you'll visit the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. And afterwards you'll go and visit the tranquil Bita Lake and Shudu Lake. After having finished touring the Bita Lake and Shudu Lake, you'll visit the Old Town of Shangri La and the Guishan Park. Tibetan home made at night and have dinner in Tibetan family with butter oil tea and Tibetan food. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Shangri La-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Lijiang. From Shangri-La, you'll drive about 100 km to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river. Afternoon, you'll head for Shangri La, the former Zhongdian. Upon arrival in Shangri La, you will have entered the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys. After lunch continue the driving 50 km more to visit the First Bend on the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, and the Iron Chain Bridge in the Stone Drum town. The town of Stone Drum got its name from a large, cylindrical, marble tablet shaped like a drum. The scenery is magnificent as the road running through the Lijiang valley which is filled with wheat fields and drying haystacks. Drive 60 km more to Lijiang. Explore Lijiang Old Town at night. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: Lijiang-Jade Dragon Snow Mountain-Lijiang. Special Experience: Enjoy Naxi Orchestral and Show in Dongba Palace at night. You'll visit Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishui River; visit the Yak Meadow in the Yulong Snow Mountain by chairlift. Access to the top of the mountain is provided by a cable way from the foot of the mountain to the Yak Meadow. In the afternoon, you'll stroll through Baisha Village, which is an enchanting traditional Yunnan village; you’ll head for the scenic Black Dragon Pool and the Dongba Museum to explore the rich Naxi minority culture. After dinner, you will attend the Naxi Orchestral and Show in Dongba Palace. Includes: (B).
Day 12: Lijiang. Shuhe Old Town is a charming town to visit for every clients, because there is a traditional Naxi village where you can enjoy the drinking and food at the bank of the river in the farmland. You can rent a bike in Lijiang Old Town and ride to Shu about 5 km away from the Lijiang Old Town. In the afternoon, you can visit the Wangu Pagoda on the top of the Lion Hill behind Lijiang Old Town, here you will have a wonderful panoramic view of Lijiang Old Town. You will walk down from the Lion Hill to Mu Emperor’s Palace which is the local chieftain’s former residence. Includes: (B).
Day 13: Lijiang-Dali by private van. After breakfast, travel (200 km - 4 hours) south on the old road to the ancient city of Dali, Dali, a historically and culturally famous city of China, is renowned for her historical interest. If this day happens to fall on a Monday you will call in at Shaping for a visit to the colorful Bai market. In Dali you will visit the Three-pagoda in Chongshen Temple, which is a typical historical symbol of Yunnan. It is also one of the oldest sublime architecture in South China. At last, you will walk around the Old Dali Town, which is located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 14: Dali. Special Experience: Taste the Bai Three Course Tea and enjoy Bai Tea Art with ethnic dance and music. In the morning, you'll travel in the Erhai Lake by boat and visit Jinsuo Island. After landing, you will head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style architecture, taste their fragrant three-course tea and explore their distinctive culture. At last, you will visit Zhoucheng Town, and Bai people's Tie-Dyed Cloth Work Shop. At night take the flight to Kunming. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 15: Kunming-Stone Forest-Kunming. Special Experience (optional): Taste the typical Yunnan food which is named Bridge crossing Noodles. You will drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. There is a local saying: "It is a waste of time not to visit the Stone Forest while visiting Kunming", which vividly expresses the deep love of the local people toward this world wonder. The quintessential karst landscape makes every tourist lost in wonder. After lunch drive back Kunming, you will take a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings. Late afternoon you will visit the Flowerr and Bird Market. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 16: Kunming-Beijing. Transfer to Kunming International Airport for returning. Service ends. Includes: (B).
- Pick-up from and transfer back to your hotel
- Air-conditioned car or van
- Admission fee of mentioned attractions
- Meals as listed in itinerary
- English-speaking tour guide.
- Gratuities to guide and driver
- Personal expense.