|Activities||Arrive in Kunming|
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.
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 breakfast, you’ll drive around 6 hours to Yuanyang. On the way, drop to see the Minority Ethnic Villages. After arriving in Yuanyang, you will catch the perfect time to see sunset at Laohuzui Rice Terrace, also named Tiger Mouth Rice Terrace after its shape.
— 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.
Today you have a full day to visit the terraces belonging to the Hani and Yi people. These rice terraces – carved out of the mountainsides by generations of Hani people – are said to be among the most magnificent in the world. you get up very early to see the sunrise over the terraces at Duoyi village and then visit the local Hani and Yi people. During the day you will visit different areas of the huge valley to see the amazing engineering and beautiful formations of the terraces. There are lots of rice terraces in Yuanyang, you will choose the most beautiful parts of them to visit.
Duoyishu Rice terrace in Yuanyang is one of the most photographed in Yunnan. The low lying cloud and the water field rice terrace is unique during winter and early spring. As the sun rises the terraces come alive with the sky’s reflection. In the winter months the fields are flooded in order to plow and plant for the new season. The rising sun creates an amazing reflection off the water in the terraces.
In the late afternoon you drive back to Xinjie Town, enjoy the sunset view of Longshuba Hani Rice Terraces and villages.
–Yuanyang Rice Terrace is a self sustaining ecosystem. During winter to early spring, the entire field is irrigated with spring water from the forest above to rejuvenate and getting prepared for the next season. The Hani people have repeated this for more than a thousand years. There is only one harvest in a year for the Yuanyang Rice Terrace; planting is from March to Oct./Nov. every year.
Yuanyang Rive Terrace is a perfect example of SYMBIOSIS with nature. The water evaporate from the rice terrace to form cloud, the rain is collected and trapped by the forest on the mountains, the spring water flow down to the rice terrace and the whole cycle repeats itself perpetually.
Although not many general tourists have visited the Yuanyang Rice Terraces, hordes of photographers have. The landscape changes vividly through the year. The flooded paddies from Dec. to April creates reflecting pool effect, which is a photographer’s dream. In summer, the paddies are luxuriantly green with growing rice stalks. After the fall harvest, the paddies become naked bare earth.
In the morning, you will head to Jianshui County, about 3.5 hours driving. After Jianshui, you may tour around Jianshui Ancient Town to see kinds of old wells where the water pays an important role in making the famous Jianshui Stinky tofu and see the Little Tiananmen Square-Jianshui Chaoyang Tower. Then you can visit the Confucius Temple, which has a history of 700 years. It is the second largest Confucius Temple in China. Later you’ll visit Zhu Family Garden. Stay overnight in Jianshui.
Zhu Family Garden: Zhu Family Garden is a large-scale residential construction of Qing dynasty, once was the import and export trade run by Zhu family. The layout and ornament of the building are the key features to explore, showing a profound historical culture.
With fresh air in the morning, go for the Twin Dragon Bridge, which is a 17-hole bridge with 148 meters long, 3-8 meters wide and visit Tuanshan Village will be nice to end your Jianshui tour.
Jianshui Tuanshan Village: it is a rare surviving example of an intact-albeit neglected-traditional walled Yunnan village compound in southwestern China, and has been added to the 2005 list of internationally significant sites by the World Memorial Fund for Architecture (WMF), an international fund for the protection of world heritage sites.
After that, you’ll be driven back to Kunming. After arriving in Kunming, transfer to airport or train station to catch your flight/train (after 18:00) to next destination or back home.
Take the morning flight to Jinghong City.
After breakfast, transfer to visit Galanba (Olive Dam) with an elevation of 530 meters above the sea level, a small town where you will see typical Dai bamboo cabins, Dai ethnic villages, Mangting Park, tropical plants and colorful fruits. Visit the Morning Ganlanba bazaar, here you will see some ethnic people decorated colorful costume in the market. After lunch, step cross a suspension bridge to visit Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden, which has the riches plant diversity in China. Drive back to Jinghong City in the late afternoon.
–Monglun Tropical Botanic Garden is located in a island which is called Calabash Island. Its shape just likes a calabash with two ends big and middle narrow. The silver-belt-like Luosuo River( a tributary of Lancang(Mekong) River )surrounds the three sides of the island and only a narrow path connects it with the high Cuiping Peak. This is the home of Xishuangbanna Tropical Plants Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Science. The environment here is so beautiful with mountain and river around it. It is praised as “the Emerald on the Crown of the Kingdom of Plants”.
After breakfast, drive to visit Wild Elephant Valley in Sanchahe Nature Reserve, enjoy the elephant show in the park, then take cable car to get through the primitive raining forest. After lunch,visit Dry Dai people Village on the way back as well as the Jinuo Ethnic village. In the late afternoon, come back to Jinghong City to try local tea in tea-house. Have Dai people’ s barbecue as dinner at night.
–Wild Elephants Valley covers an area of 369 hectares by the Sancha River in Mengyang Town, and is situated 47 kilometers north of the city of Jinghong. With hills rolling gently at an altitude ranging between 747 and 1055 metres, the valley is covered by tropical rain forests, crisscrossed by rivers and streams, and teeming with such endangered species as Asian wild elephants, wild oxen, green peacocks and monkeys. In the Wild Elephants Valley, the first passenger cableway with 2,063 meters of length in the equatorial forest sends the tourists to the main scenic spot in which the wild elephants live.
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 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.
–Erhai Lake is the largest highland lake next to Dianchi and one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China. It means, ‘sea shaped like an ear’, in Chinese. Implying that the lake is ear shaped and as large as a sea, hence it was so named. The lake covers an area of 250 square kilometers and is located about two kilometers east of Dali. It is like a crescent lying between Cangshan and Dali city as seen from Cangshan Mount. In a sunny day, the crystal waters of Erhai Lake and the snow mantled Cangshan Mount radiate with each other. Thus the scene was commonly described as ‘Silver Cangshan and Jade Erhai’.
In the morning, 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. Before leaving for Lijiang, 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 Balaar happened every Monday in Shangguan Town. Drive about 180KM to Lijiang with the beautiful farmlands and ethnic villages on the way.
Transfer to Jianchuan County, visit Shaxi Old Town and Shibaoshan Mountain.
In the late afternoon, explore Lijiang Old Town.Lijiang Ancient 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.
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).
n the morning, dive 6 hrs on the spectacle mountain road to visit the mysterious Lugu Lake. On the way, enjoy the beautiful view among the huge mountains and rivers. We plan to start your walking from Jin’anqiao Bridge to Shudi along the road at the bank of Yangtze River. you will see the beautiful canon and Yi ethnic people’s villages in the steep mountains. After 1 hour walking in the canon, we will continue the driving and we can stop in many Yi villages.
Late afternoon, you will take the canoes to visit Liwubi Island and Heiwawu Island in Lugu Lake. Pay a visit to Mosuo Culture Museum and learn the Mosuo ethnic custom in the museum. Enjoy the sunset wonder of Luguhu Lake in Luoshui Village. In the evening, take part in Mosuo Bonfire Party with ethnic dance and singing performance.You will dance and sing with Mosuo boys and girls around a big bonfire in the outdoors theatre.
In the morning, you will drive about 20Km to vist the Zhamei Lamaist Monastery which is the biggest lamasery in Moso area Yongning Town. Tibetan people call Yongning as “taluo”, meaning “the way to heaven”. The place the Zhamei Lamasery lies in is called “Zhameige”, which means “no war”. The coincidence of these two names make the Lamasery even famous in Tibet.
Yongning Town is an important town of the Ancient Tea-Horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet. Located between Yunnan and Sichuan, Yongning keeps the original ethnic life which is still not damaged by tourists. You will visit Mosuo Market in Yongning Town. We will arrange a Mosuo family to visit and have lunch in Mosuo family, enjoy the Mosuo real life in a village.
Afternoon, drive back to Lijiang. On the way to Ninglang Town,you will stop to visit a Pumi Ethnic Village and Pumi Family.The ancestors of Pumi were a nomadic tribe living in the southern part of Gansu Province and the eastern part of Qinghai Province. Later, their descendants moved south to warmer areas along the Hengduan Mountain Range. After the 13th century, the Pumi ethnic group gradually settled down in Ninglang, Lijiang, Weixi and Lanping counties.
From Lijiang, you’ll drive about 60KM to the First Bend on the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, visit the Iron Chain Bridge,the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in the Shigu 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.
Visit 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 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.
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.
–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.
In the morning, drive 6 to 7 hours to Deqin County (3400m altitude) which is 187km away
from Zhongdian through Baimang Snow Mountain Nature Reserve, you will be able to view Baimang Snow Mountain if the weather is clear, pass the top part of today at 4292m altitude at 156km.
After traversing mountain ranges, you will make a short stop and have lunch at Benzilan town, take some shots on the first bend of Jinsha(Yangtze) River, Dongzhulin monastery and Baima (white horse) Snow Mountain. The view along the way is fantastic with different kinds of trees, streams down the valley, prayer flags and stupas, and Tibetan villages.
Stay at Feilaisi
–Meili Snow Mountain (Meili Xueshan), also called Kawakarpo, is a UNESCO nature site located in Deqin County dividing Yunnan from Tibet, a wonderful place to hike and explore both nature and Tibetan culture.Rising between the Salween River and the Mekong River in the extreme edge of Northwest Yunnan, the Meili Snow Mt. region is part of Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas.Legend says that the Meili Snow Mountain is a god guarding Tibetan Buddhism. With 13 peaks over 6000m in the range, the main peak Kawakarpo (“Kawagebo” in Chinese) is a sharp snow mountain with an altitude of 6740m,which has never been conquered yet.
Try to get up early in the morning, enjoy the magic sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain. Then drive another 1.5-hyour to Mingyong village, where you will walk on the trails for about 4km to Mingyong Glaciers of Meili Snow Mountain, walk another one your or so, you will get to Tibetan Taizi Monastery-another good spot to view the magnificent Mingyong Glaciers. Visit Feilaisi Monastery and enjoy the sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain in the early morning, then drive back to Shangri-La, have a nice experience of Yangtze River Grand Canyon, Baima Snow Mountain again on the way back. You will be free in Dukezong Ancient Town and explore the Tibetan life in the late afternoon.
Departure from Shangrila. Service ends.
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