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Discover charismatic Lijiang, explore the Shaxi Friday Market, walk the quaint streets of Dali and be entranced by the Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Destinations > China > Yunnan Adventure
8 nights’ accommodation, some meals, activities and entrances fees, services of a private car and driver with local English speaking guides.
Every Friday between March and November. We cannot operate the trip between October 1-7 due to China’s National Day holiday.
Visit the traditional homeland of the local Bai people, stroll the ancient towns of Shaxi, Dali and Lijiang, hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge and explore the former capital of the famed Naxi Kingdom. Discover age-old history, enduring traditions, rare cultures, unforgettable people and extraordinary landscapes on this classic Yunnan journey.
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The cobblestone streets, ancient stone houses, temples, local crafts and mountain range makes Dali one of the most popular cities.
Exploring the UNESO World Heritage site of Lijiang’s old town cobblestone streets, narrow canals, and decorative wooden houses.
Exploring Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest gorges on the planet. Hike through spectacular scenery and visit local villages.
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You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.
After breakfast make you way to the ancient capital of both the Bai kingdom of Nanzhao, which flourished between the eighth and ninth centuries, and the Kingdom of Dali which reigned from the tenth to the 13th centuries. "Dali" is literally the name of marble in China due to marble stone being quarried in this area. Unwind in the historic old town for dinner. (B)
Your guide will provide an introduction to the city of Dali on your drive to Erhai Lake. Enjoy the scenery as you travel by cruise boat to the one thousand year old Three Pagodas and Chongsheng monastery, the historic temple of the Kingdom of Dali. Later in the afternoon enjoy a tour of Dali old town with its traditional architecture and, Bai, Yi and Hui minority cultures. Full of cobblestone streets and alleyways, much of the old town is being renovated to improve living standards for the locals. (B)(L)
Travel to Lijiang via the town of Xizho, famous for Butterfly Spring and Bai architecture. The World Heritage-listed town of Lijiang is home to the Naxi people - a matrilineal society descended from Tibetan nomads. You can still see Naxi around town in their distinct blue clothing, especially at the morning markets. By day Lijiang shows its traditional side - cobbled streets, tiny alleyways and quaint wooden bridges across the canal. By night, the contrast with the timelocked surroundings couldn't be more stark as the town becomes party central with karaoke bars and flashing lights! (B)
This morning, visit the village of Baisha, famous for the Baisha Fresco wall paintings that date back to the Ming Dynasty 600 years ago. After lunch your guide will explain the fascinating history of the Naxi people on a brief guided tour of the Dongba Culture Museum. Wander the gardens of the Black Dragon Pool with a dramatic view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range in the background. Later, you’ll have free time to explore the old town. (B,L)
Drive 1 hour to the start of the Tiger Leaping Gorge hike. The Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest gorges in the world. The entire gorge is 16 km long and rises up to 3,900 m above the waters of the Yangzi, one of the most important rivers in China. Expect to walk about 4-6 hours the first day, tackling some long steep sections. The rewards, however, are simply stunning, with awe-inspiring views. We will be accompanied by an experienced local guide for this trek. Finish in Bendiwan village at 2,410 metres above sea level. (B)(L)(D)
Continue your trekk from Bendiwan to Walnut Grove (approx 4hrs). Travel on to beautifully restored village of Shaxi. Here you can still find the Yi and Bai ethnic minorities living their traditional lives, farmhouses lining the country roads, and the original walled town gates and market square proving that Shaxi was once an important stop on the old Tea Horse Trail. (B)(L)(D)
As the last remaining market town on the ancient Tea & Horse Caravan trail, Shaxi still hosts the local market every Friday. The vibrantly dressed Bai people come from the nearby villages in Shaxi Valley and the Yi people from the surrounding mountains all come together to trade everything from fresh produce to horses. Travel onto Kunming after the market. (B)(L)
Transfer to the airport and fly out of Kunming. (B)
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