Highlights: This is a classical tour with rafting on the Great Bend of the Yangtze River.It covers Kunming,Dali,Lijiang and Shangri La.The Great Bend of the Yangtze River makes a hairpin turn through a remarkable 10,000-foot-deep gorge (almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon!) before continuing its march to the sea. On this trip, we run some 120 miles of the Great Bend¡ªa spectacular whitewater experience, with about a dozen Class IV rapids, including some fun Grand Canyon¨Cstyle wave trains! Fascinating cultural encounters with the Naxi people, descendents of Tibetan traders, are a terrific bonus. Above all, you¡¯ll be in the secure hands of some of our top river guides¡ªthe best in the world!
|Activities||the Green Lake, Kunming City Tour|
You’ll begin your journey to the diverse and captivating province of Yunnan from the capital city, Kunming. Upon arrival at the Kunming International Airport, meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel.
You will take a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings. If time permits, you will have a Kunming city tour. Enjoy welcoming dinner of Yunnan Flavouring food with crossing Bridge Rice Noodle and Steam Pot Chicken/Qiguoji.
— Kunming is the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan province, a primarily agricultural province of 45 million. Kunming has a population of five million and is located in one of the world’s most geographically, ethnically, biologically and linguistically diverse regions. Situated at 1,900 meters (6,233ft) above sea level and 25° north of the Equator it has a rather unique and pleasant climate for a Chinese city.
|Activities||the Stone Forest , Guandu Ancient Town, Jingang Pagoda|
You will drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. An old local saying says that ‘If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.’ Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan. After lunch drive back Kunming to visit the Guandu Ancient Town which is a famous historical & cultural town in Kunming; it keeps the main architectural style of Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties.
After dinner, you will have an option to enjoy the large-scale dance drama “Dynamic Yunnan” which has been an outstanding innovation on the Chinese stage in recent years directed by Yang Liping. Primitive, unsophisticated folk dances and a fresh artistic concept converge in the programme, giving audiences a unique “Yunnan Impression.” Sixty-two drums and 120 masks of strong ethnic characteristics are incorporated in the performance.
— The Stone Forest is in Shilin Yi Nationality Autonomous County, which is about 120 kilometers from Kunming and requires only a three-hour drive. It covers an area of 400 square kilometers (96,000 acres) and includes both large and small stone forests, as well as many other scenic spots. The Stone Forest has unique karst topography which is one of the best of its kind within China. There are six scenic spots in the Stone Forest: the Greater Stone Forest, the Lesser Stone Forest, the Naigu Stone Forest, the Zhiyun Cave, the Long Lake, the Da Dieshui Waterfall and the Qifeng Cave.
— –Guandu Ancient town is of long history, it is the birth place of Dian Culture. As early as Nanzhao Dali period, it was a big town and hub of the east bank of Dian. It was inhabited 4000 years ago. It has a ferry in Song Dynasty, and many official boats stopped at the ferry, got out of the boat and rode a horse or sit in the litter to get into Kunming. So it got its name “Guandu” (Guan Means official, Du means Ferry). In Ming and Qing Dynasty, it became a developed business and handicraft center.
|Activities||the Three-pagodas in Chongshen Temple, Erhai Lake Cruise,Dali Ancient Town, City Wall, the Foreigner Street|
Take the morning flight to Dali which is a historically and culturally famous city of China, is renowned for her historical interest and Bai ethnic culture. After landing, you visit the Three Pagodas in Chongshen Monastery which has a history of over 1,800 years located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle.
After lunch, you’ll cruise in Erhai Lake by the small boat to the Jinsuo Islet in the east Erhai Lake. There are 200 Bai ethnic families around 1000 people in Jinsuo Island.In Erhai Lake cruise, you will enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas from a far as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake.
At last, you will visit the Ancient Dali Town, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the relax time with local people. After climbing up to the City Wall of Dali, you will have panoramic view of the Erhai Lake.
|Activities||Xizhou Town, Zhoucheng Village, Shaping Monday Bazaar, Black Dragon Pool, Dongba Museum, Lijiang Ancient Town|
After landing, you will head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture. Visit Zhoucheng Village and the Bai people’s Tie-dying cloth workshop where you can take some special souvenir with the Bai ethnic style.
Visit the Shaping Bazaar happened every Monday in Shangguan Town.Shaping market is ratified by the government of Yunnan province to trade cultural relics inferior to the third class. Multitudinous curios, jade article, embroider are sold there, alluring many tourists around the country and abroad. Therefore, it got the reputation of “the foreigners’ street”.Drive about 180KM to Lijiang with the beautiful farmlands and ethnic villages on the way. Lunch at NO.8 Restaurant at the bank of Black Dragon Pool, after lunch you’ll head for the scenic Black Dragon Pool and the Dongba Museum to explore the rich Naxi minority culture.
In the late afternoon, explore Lijiang Old Town.Lijiang Old Town has a history more than 800 years; it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi ethnic people.
–Lijiang Ancient Town is a largely Naxi settlement first built 800years agao, located at the foot of the Lion Hill and completely surrounded by the new city of Lijiang.In December 1986, the State Council designated it a famous ancient historical and cultural city of national caliber. In 1997, UNESCO made Lijiang a World Cultural Heritage Site. Most of the dwellings, scattered at the foot of a mountain or by the river, are brick-and-tile structures with carved doors and painted windows. Traffic across the river is facilitated by a large number of tiny stone bridges. The town is similar to the Zhouzhuang Water Town in the south of the Yangtze River.
|Activities||Yulong Snow Mountain,Spruce Meadow, Baisha Village and Murals,Baishui River and Terraces|
Enjoy the sunrise of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lijiang Ancient Town in the morning, drive about 30KM to Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M), you will take the sightseeig bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe River, take the chairlift up to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cableway will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around1 hours in the original forest in Spruce Meadow (3200M).
After lunch, you will enjoy the Impression Lijang Ethnic Show directed in Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M). A cultural show demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area. The show takes place inside Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park at 3500m in an outdoor theater specifically designed to showcase the mountain which is used as a backdrop. The production itself was designed by Zhang Yimou, Fan Yue and Wang Chaoge, a cast of over 500 people, and a number of horses.In the afternoon, you’ll stroll through Baisha Village, which is an enchanting traditional Yunnan village. Visit the Baisha Mural about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997.
–Jade Dragon Snow Mountain stretches a length of 35 kilometers (22 miles) and a width of 20 kilometers (13 miles). Looking from Lijiang Old Town in the south which is 15 kilometers (nine miles) away, the snow-covered and fog-enlaced mountain resembles a jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence, the name Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The highest peak named Fan Peak (Shanzidou in Chinese) which is about 5596 meters above sea level. There are three cablecars in the mountain, the fist to the Glacier Park(4500M),the second to Spruce Meadow(3200M),the third to Yak Meadow(3700M).
|Activities||Jinsha (Gold Sand) River rafting, Shangjiang Village, Jigong Stone Peak|
From Lijiang to Tacheng, it is 140KM, you will have 4 hours driving along the beautiful Jinsha (Gold Sand) River, which is the upper reach of Yangtze River in Lijiang. Drive through Shigu Town, Zhongxing Town, Judian Town,Shangjiang Town with some Naxi ethnic villages on the way. You will have lunch in Juxian Restaurant(a clean restaurant and best food) with local flavour in Judian Town; If you are lucky, you will find the local bazaar happened every 5th and 10th of the traditional Chinese calendar. After lunch, continue the driving to Tacheng Town.
Unload the floating equipment including tent, sleeping bag, water-proof bag, fridge, paddles,LPG container,gass cooker,life jacket and so on. You will start the rafting after inflating the drifting boat. The most beautiful part of the rafting today is the Jigong(Rooster) Stone Islet located in the middle of Jinsha River in Shangjiang Town. From a far, you will find there is a sharp peak which looks like a flying rooster, hence the name of Rooster Stone Islet. The Jinsha River is divided two parts by the Rooster Stone Islet in the middle. Here is the most exciting rafting part of your trip because of the rapids, whirlpools and waves at the foot of the Rooster Stone Islet. After 4 hours rafting, you will build the camp for overnight in the beach island near the Judian Town.
–Tacheng Town is located in the northwest Lijiang. It is connected to Yulong Naxi Autonomous County in Lijiang, Shangri-La County, Weixi Lisu Autonomous County and Deqen County in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Tacheng is a multi-minorities town with more than 11 minorities including Naxi, Tibetan, Han, Bai, Lisu and so on. There are also Lisu living in multi-cultural Tacheng, northwest of Lijiang, another lovely and underdeveloped area.
Tacheng is an important town of the Tea Horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India. Tacheng is also a military importance and the centre of the economy and culture exchange between Naxi and Tibetan people, because historically the Tea Horse Trade Caravan entered the Tibetan Area from Tacheng.
|Activities||Jinsha (Gold Sand) River rafting, Hengduan Mountain Ranges, Miao Ethnic Village|
Get up in the early morning, enjoy the sunrise of the Jinsha River with green mountain ranges. After breakfast, continue the rafting trip to Zhongxing Town. Today is a specail rafting, you will raft through some islands in the middle of Jinsha River with some green willows and cows in the islands as well as you will find some farmers are fishing in the river with small canoes in the river. Especialy, you will find some children swimming in the river without underwear. If they find you are coming from a far, they will be very shy and hide in the willows or they will swim very fast as a fish into the grass. This will be very special experience for your trip.
You will have a simple lunch when you land in Judian Town. Lunch includes some watermelon, chocolate, bread, some fruit, and local pancakes as well as some drink. Build the camp in the willows forest island in the late afternoon. Have a bonfire party in the evening.
–Jinsha River or Gold Sand River is the westernmost of the major headwater streams of the Yangtze River, southwestern China. “JinSha” literally means “Gold Sand” or “Golden Sands”. Its headwaters rise in the Wulan and Kekexili ranges in western Qinghai province, to the south of the Kunlun Mountains, and on the northern slope of the Tanggula Mountains on the border of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Jinsha River from Weixi to Tiger Leaping Gorge is very good for rafting; it is very easy for the beginners of rafting experience. The Jinsha River becomes dangerous from Qiaotou to Daju, which is the deepest Tiger Leaping Gorge in the world.
|Activities||Stone Gate Pass, the First Bend of the Yangtze River, Shigu Town,Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Ancient Town|
Enjoy the sunrise of the Jinsha River in the morning. After breakfast with a nice coffee and milk, continue the rafting to Shigu Old Town. You will raft through a big “S” turn in Stone Gate Pass, an millitary importance historically. Raft to the First Bend of the Yangtze River and Shigu Town. You will witness the wonder of the First Bend of the Yangtze River with a big turn from the southward to the east. You will finish the rafting in Shigu Port. Have a nice lunch in Jiangnan Restaurant in Shigu Town. Lunch with the natural river fish, wild vegitables, and local flavour.
After the rafting, meet your driver and drive to visit 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 which is welknown as the paradise destination for every tourist. 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. Walk around Dukezong Ancient Town, an important town of the Ancient Tea-horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India.
— Tiger Leaping Gorge is on the Jinsha River of the upper reaches of the Yangtze, located 105 kilometers south of Shangrila County. The gorge is 17 kilometers long with a drop of 213 meters. Tiger Leaping Gorge is divided into three sections: Upper, Middle and Lower Hutiao. At the narrowest spot the river is only 30 meters wide. The mouth of the gorge is 1,800 meters above sea level. The river is flanked by Yulong and Haba snow mountains, with a height difference of 3,900 meters. It is one of the deepest gorges in the world.
|Activities||Sogzanlin Monastery, the Bita Lake & Shudu Lake, Dukezong Ancient Town, the largest Prayer Wheel|
In the morning, visit the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere.And afterwards you’ll visit the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park Pudacuo National Park is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. While the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China’s land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species.
Visit Dukezong Tibetan Ancient Town in the late afternoon, climb up to the top of Guishan Hill or tortoise Hill, you will see the largest Prayer Wheel of the world and have a panoramic view of shangrila county and Dukezong Ancient Town. Finally, you will have an option to visit a Tibetan’s family to experience the local life in the bonfire party with Tibetan dance and music and you will try Tibetan home-made yak and cheese.
–Shangri-La is the “Eden in dream”. Since it first appeared in British novelistJames Hilton’s Lost Horizon in the 1939, it has been associated withthe mystique of a place which could not possibly exist here on Earth. In Tibetan,Shangri-La means the “sun and moon in heart”, an ideal home only found in heaven.There the lofty and continuous snowy mountains, endless grasslands, steep andgrand gorges, azure lakes and the bucolic villages always leave a deep impressionon visitors.
Take the flight to Kunming and change the flight for your next destination.
Before leaving and finish your Yunnan trip, you will get a nice gist from our guide in Shangri-la, this will give you unforgetable experience in China.
No 103, Yabaoli, Chaoyang Distirct, Beijing, China
Mon - Sun 9.00 - 20.00