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Located in the southwest of China, Yunnan province borders Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar, adjacent to Thailand, Cambodia, India and Bangladesh, and is the homeland of 26 ethnic minority groups. The minorities make up one-third of the province’s population and one-sixth of the minority population of China. Therefore Yunnan is the ideal place to experience the ethnic minority cultures and customs.
Day1: Australia Kunming
Depart from Australia for Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Upon arrival in Kunming, meet your local guide and you will be transferred to hotel.
Day2: Kunming (B, L)
Because of its mild climate in every seasons of a year, Kunming is known as the “Spring City”, and because of its mild climate, flowers here are blossom all year round. Today we take a full-day tour to the Dragon Gate on the Western Hill, the view of Dianchi Lake below is a thrilling sight from this breathtaking building on the cliff; then to the Golden Temple and explores the flower market in the afternoon.
Day3: Kunming Stone Forest Kunming (B, L, D)
A full day excursion to the Stone Forest, marvelling at the natural stone “trees”. Created by wind and water erosion over millions of years, the Stone Forest is a remarkable region of limestone cliffs and peaks. Return to Kunming for dinner and over night stay.
Day4: Kunming Dali (B, L, D)
Transfer to the airport for a short flight to Dali, home of the Bai Minority Group. Upon arrival, take a chair lift up on the Cangshan Mountain for the panorama view of the Erhai Lake; enjoy three flavours tea and folkloric show in a local traditional residential house. Sightsee the famous Three Elegant pagodas, an outstanding landmark of Dali, followed by visit to the Dali Old Town.
Day5: Dali Lijiang (B, L, D)
This morning depart for Lijiang County, home of the Naxi Minority, its cultural centre Lijiang Ancient Town is a World Listed Cultural Heritage Site. We’ll tour the Black Dragon Pond, where we take a leisurely stroll around the pristine surroundings. Learn the local culture by visiting the Naxi Dongba Museum and enjoy an ancient Naxi music show after dinner, then a night tour to the Lijiang ancient town.
Day6: Lijiang (B, L, D)
Today, take a cable car ride up to the Spruce Meadow for the breath-taking view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain; see the White Water Terrace, which is believed to be the birthplace of the Dongba Culture.
Day7: Lijiang Zhongdian (Shangri-la) (B, L, D)
Zhongdian is the highest point in this trip, average 3200m altitudes. It is located in Diqing County, where is renamed as Shangri-la County in 2001. Diqing (Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture) is located in the northwest of Yunnan, at the border between Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet. The term Shangri-la firstly appeared in the James Hilton’s book, The Lost Horizon, published in 1933. In Tibetan, Shangri-la means a place where the sun and the moon come across. The major inhabitants here are Tibetan. Similar to Tibet, Zhongdian is a quiet and peaceful place. From there you can see the Tibetan herdsmen living on the snow-covered plateau, the magnificent snow mountains, and the beautiful lakes. If you love nature, Zhongdian never disappoints you!
Depart for Zhongdian this morning. We stop at The First Bend of the Yangtze River and the Tiger Leaping Gorge to see their marvelous views. Upon arrival at Shangrila, we may have dinner with local Tibetan family (subject to confirmation), but being careful to observe the local customs and traditions which often including singing and dancing!
First Bend of the Yangtze River
Located at about 50km west of Lijiang, Jinsha River, the upper reach of the Yangtze River, flow southwards along the Hengduan Range, and is suddenly forced to turn to north as a result of alpine movements, which caused changes in the earth’s physiognomy. When the river reaches the town of Stone-Drum (Shigu), it makes an abrupt turn and flows further northeastwards, forming the marvellous view reputed as the First Bend of the Yangtze.
Tiger Leaping Gorge
From Lijiang’s Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the east, to Zhongdian’s Haba Snow Mountain in the west, Tiger Leaping Gorge is the longest, deepest, and narrowest gorge. The Gorge acquired its name because, according to local legend, a tiger once leaped over its rapid current.
Day8: Zhongdian Lijiang (B, L, D)
Get up early in the morning as we venture to Songzanlin Monastery, it is believed the largest Lamasery you can find outside of Tibet. Followed by tour to Napahai Lake, then return to Lijiang in the afternoon.
Day9: Lijiang Australia (B, L)
Free at leisure until transfer to the airport for flight to your next destination. Tour concluded here.
For additional information on pricing inclusions, exclusions and other terms and conditions please visit out tour information page.