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16 Days South China Tour

Includes: Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian, Chengdu, Wolong & Jiuzhaigou

    Nestled in a southern most pocket of China with Vietnam and Laos to the south, Myanmar (Burma) and Tibet to the west, YUNNAN Province holds some of the most colorful and fascinating of the Chinese minority population. We fly to Kunming to see the remarkable Karst Stone Forest. In Dali, we'll meet the Bai people, descendants of an ancient Tibetan tribe. On to Lijiang, a legendary remote county, home of the Naxi culture. Fly to Chengdu, capital of the SICHUAN Province. At the Wolong Panda Preserve established by the WWF of the UN, you can hold a precious baby panda. On to Jiuzhaigou, a place blessed with terraced lakes, Tibetan monasteries and beauty all around. Find yourself in a town of the 16th century countryside as we visit Wenchuan and the Qiang people. There's much more.

D1

Arrive in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, meet at airport and transfer to your hotel.

D2

Enjoy a leisurely morning with a late wake up. Known as the City of Eternal Spring, the subtropical Kunming offers temperate weather and perpetually blooming flowers. Kunming is home to approximately three-and-a-half million residents, representing all 25 ethnic minorities of the province with rich cultural heritage dating back 2,000 years. It lies on a flat, fertile plain in the center of the Yunnan Plateau.
Visit the Yunnan Minority Museum, featuring the province's colorful ethnic customs. After lunch, Explore the West Hill and spectacular Dianchi Lake by cable car. Then enjoy an early specialty dinner (cross-bridge rice noodle) at a local restaurant before leaving for our half-hour flight to Dali.

D3

Dali offers an opportunity to truly experience everyday life in a Bai ethnic minority village. The Bai residents are believed to be directly descended from an ancient Tibetan tribe. Our group will drink Yunnan tea and shop for ethnic handicrafts. A special lunch will be busily prepared by the Bai People Family. Then relax during your early afternoon departure for a 3 hour scenic coach ride to Lijiang, a legendary remote county in southwest China. The old section of this town is charming, and the surrounding countryside is spectacular. American botanist Joseph Rock lived here for years. He ventured into the then hostile area and lived there for decades teaching people western civilization. This interesting place is a mix of missionary introduced foreign culture and local traditions.

D4

An exciting day awaits us! This morning we travel to a nearby village, visiting the old man He, the only living student of Joseph Rock. In the afternoon, we are free to explore the old street of cobblestones routed amidst stucco houses.

D5

After breakfast we take a 4-hour coach ride north to Zhongdian. Frequent stops in villages pepper our journey. You'll be charmed by the traditional countryside views and Flying Tiger stories. See the first bend of Yangtze River enroute. Lunch will be in a countryside town and we'll be sure to visit the colorful local market. Arrive in Shangri-la.
More than half a century ago, British writer James Hilton wrote a novel entitled Lost Horizon. In the book he tells a story: Because of an aviation accident, a plane was forced to land in a valley southwest of the Himalayas. For survival, several young men trekked a long distance. Later, directed by local people, they went to a place called "Shangri-La." It had snow-capped mountains, forests, gorges and lakes, and the beautiful scenery made people linger. What was more fantastic to them was the social conditions there. Many religions coexisted, and people of various ethnic groups got along in harmony. The man-to-man and man-to-nature relations were properly handled. People were well off and friendly, and the entire society was peaceful and tranquil.... Shangri-La has become a synonym of the "Land of Peach Blossoms" -- a fictitious land of peace away from the turmoil of the world -- and of an ideal society. For many years since then, looking for "Shangri-La" has become a painstaking pursuit for numerous tourists and adventurers. In the mid-1900s, more and more evidences have shown that Shangri-La is located in northwestern Yunnan. The location, climate and natural sights, and especially the unique folklore, are similar to what was described in James Hilton's novel.

D6

Today we'll visit a nearby Tibetan village and spend some time with a village family. Then take an interesting school visit. This afternoon is free to explore Shangri-La at your leisure.

D7

Leave in the morning for a one-hour flight back to Kunming. Then go to visit the Stone Forest, an extremely rare geological phenomenon. These large Karst limestone formations, a forest of stone pillars formed over 270 million years ago, bring visitors to Kunming from around the world. The formations that have eroded into caves, arches and pavilions, are all connected by a labyrinth of trails. After an exploration of this unusual area, return to Kunming for dinner at the hotel.

D8

Today we'll have a special visit to the Yunnan Minority University for conversation with students and teachers. The university features cultures of the 25 different minorities living in this southwestern-most province. Sharing a border with Vietnam, Laos and Burma, this province presents many unique attributes. After lunch, we're off for a one-hour flight to Chengdu, provincial capital of Sichuan Province, the most highly populated province in China. Check into the hotel, a nice hotel located in the very center of the city, surrounded by a fabled moat, Jinjiang River and the dazzling night market. Older people exercise in the morning by the riverside under shading willow trees. This evening we dine out at a well-known restaurant offering the best Sichuan cuisine! Following, we'll see a show in the Chengdu Culture Park. Sit down in bamboo chairs and go through the complete service of Chinese tea while watching Sichuan Opera and other humorous shows. This is the way the local people have taken to their night life for hundreds of years. Tonight the night market will still be open. We may wish to take a walk to the night market or to relax at the hotel.

D9

Today we'll travel to the Wolong Panda Preserve and visit the Panda Breeding Research center. On most occasions, you can hold a baby panda and have your picture taken with a $10 donation. After lunch we'll explore the Preserve Museum, with a beautiful display of fauna and flora. In the afternoon depart for Wenchuan County, nested in a valley. After check-in, sight-see in town. Wenchuan is populated with Qiang people, an ethnic people coming from the remote Tibetan people. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Wenchuan Hotel.

D10

After breakfast we'll take a 4-hour coach ride to Songpang County, populated with Qiangs and Tibetans. Enjoy free time visiting the local town. You may venture to taste the cooked yak meat on sale on the stand or buy a yak tail as a souvenir for your boy friends or girl friends, which is the token of love for local young lovers. If possible, we will try to get permits to visit the local Muslim Mosque. Continue on to Jiuzhaigou for dinner and overnight.

D11

This morning we depart for a visit to Jiuzhaigou, considered to be among the most beautiful natural parks of the world. Jiuzhaigou means, "Valley of Nine Villages" and these nine exotic Tibetan villages are blessed by wonderful terraced lakes, waterfalls, and Tibetan lamaseries. Get your cameras ready for unparalleled views! Hiking today will be guided, but our bus will be available all the time. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch in the forest and then you can either take a nap on the mountain slope or continue your sightseeing tour. Dinner at the hotel followed by a Tibetan Song and Dance show at the bonfire.

D12

Continue our exploration of this fabulous area throughout the day.

D13

Return to Wenchuan this morning, the county seat of the Wenchuan Qiang people, and visit interesting tribal villages enroute. Houses and shelters from hundreds of years ago still remain and the town dates back to the 16th century giving you a look back into old China countryside living highlighted by our visit to the Jiang Village. It is unlike anything you've ever seen; houses here were built with stone slabs, streets and tunnels connect the villages. Lunch at the Songpang Hotel. Next we explore the mysterious villages of the Qiang people. Dinner tonight will feature local specialties (but watch out, it may be spicy!) Wenchuan Hotel.

D14

Return to Chengdu, China's richest agricultural province, dating back 2,500 years. A famous historic and cultural city, Chengdu is situated in the west Sichuan basin, with mild climate, abundant resources, and convenient transportation. The best way to enjoy Chengdu is to stroll the narrow streets of the old town encountering centuries old local markets, silk brocade shops, and a wonderful variety of delicious food vendors. We'll visit the ancient Dujiangya Ancient Irrigation System built 2,300 years ago and contemporary with the Great Wall. Lunch at Sichuan Restaurant then we'll check into the Holiday Inn Crown, a very comfortable deluxe hotel located in the business center of Chengdu. After days of expedition and exploration in the remote countryside and mountains, you are given a free afternoon on your own "in town". Perhaps you'd like to stroll past the Temple of Marquis We - the remains of the Three Kingdoms. Dinner at the Sichuan Restaurant adjacent to our hotel.

D15

Today is our last full day in China. We'll take a rickshaw to visit Du Fu's cottage. Du Fu, a great poet of realistic styles from Tang Dynasty, is well known to every household in China. The bamboo park has several rooms for the introduction of the poet and his former residence, a thatch-roofed cottage. You will be treated with the best tea of this province, learning about tea drinking which originated from Sichuan Province. Then, if time permits, you will be invited to visit the Sichuan Shu Embroidery Display. Visit Chengdu Qingshiqiao Market. This is the largest free market of the city, reflecting the life-style of the people live here. You will see eel, gold fish and food of all sorts (some will look funny to you) pets of birds, dogs, cats, even bonsai with many other surprises. Dinner will be at the hotel, followed by a reproduction show of Tang Dynasty imperial music and court dance.

D16

After a relaxed breakfast in your hotel, we will transfer you to the airport and see you off.

Suitable Time: all year.

 Price:

more than 10 person:

 USD 1854$/person

6-9 person:

 USD 2104$/person

2-5 person:

 USD 2354$/person

1 person:

 USD 4084$

 Note:

1.

For child younger than 11 who share one room with parents, the quotation is only 50% of the above price.

2.

Single supplement is USD 600$.

 The Price Include:

1.

Stay in 4 star hotels.

2.

Using minibus when travel.

3.

Domestic air fare.

4.

Three standard meals each day.

5.

All tickets of visiting spots.

6.

English speaking guide.

 Not Include In The Price:

1.

International air fare and all airport tax.

2.

Personal expenses.

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