Great Wall Hiking | China Adventure Tours | China City Tours | China Package Tours | Tibet Tours | Yunnan Adventure | Yangtze Cruise | China Hotels | China Flights | Contact Us
Yunnan Adventure

Request Your Tour Now
or
As A Question

Name(MUST):
   
Email:
   
Phone:
   
Time to Visit:
   
Your residence now:
   
   Tour Code: 
   
Questions:
*When you are making this tour;
*Are you touring by yourself or with friends or family?
*What type of hotels do you expect;
*Do you speak any Chinese?
   
                          
For assistance, you can also send email to greatwall@greatwalladventure.com

Yunnan Adventure: 12-day
Western Yunnan with China-Burma border Tour

Highlights:

• On this tour on western Yunnan, you’ll explore the area of the province largely overlooked by foreign visitors, and with your visit to Ruili you’ll get a peek over the border at the country of Myanmar (Burma), a mysterious country mostly unknown and barred to foreign travelers
• While you’ll be taken to western Yunnan, you will also be taken to the essential spots in Yunnan, like Tiger Leaping Gorge, Shangri-La, a visit to the ethnic minority towns of Lijiang and Dali, and a tour of the provincial capital, Kunming
• At each stop on your tour you’ll be accompanied by a professional English-speaking guide, which will guarantee that you’ll have a stress-free, enjoyable, and exciting trip

B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner  Departure: Upon booking

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Tour code:
AYN-20
Day 1: arrive in Kunming

You will fly to Kunming International Airport, and upon arrival you’ll be met by your English-speaking guide. 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. Kunming is also well known as the Spring City because of its nice climate all year round, and this will make the golfing even more enjoyable.

You will be taken to your hotel, and you will have the night to unpack and unwind from your flight.

Day 2: Kunming-Kunming Stone Forest-Kunming-Jinghong (B, L, D)

Today you will be seeing the sights and attractions of Kunming. Following breakfast in the hotel, you’ll get started on the day’s activities with a trip to the Stone Forest. It will take between 1-2 hours to drive there because it is 86km from the city. Being one of the National Scenic Resorts in China, the Stone Forest Scenic Resort has a complete range of karst formations. Among the most wonderful attractions in this area are the following eight scenic spots: Large & Small Stone Forests, Naigu Stone Forests, Large & Small Zhiyun Caves, Qingfeng Cave, Long Lake, Moon Lake, Fairy Lake, Feilong Falls. Standing upright in the Stone Forest are innumerable cliffs and peaks, lofty and majestic, steep and precipitous, charming and enchanting.

From afar, it really looks like a dense forest but as you walk closer, you will find "trees" are all slender stone pinnacles. The sight is vast covering some 350 kilometers. The Yi and Sani ethnic group who live there are hardworking and good at singing and dancing. Their folklore and culture are colorful and multifarious, backed up by a long history.

After lunch we’ll make the drive back to Kunming, and once we arrive we’ll stop to take a look at the Golden Horse and Phoenix Archway, which is located at the corner of Sanshi Road and Jinbi Road. Then we’ll relax a bit by taking a walk through Green Lake. Green Lake (Cuihu) is Kunming's answer to Central Park in New York. Lined with willows, the lake is gorgeous, crisscrossed by small arched bridges in imitation of Hangzhou's more famous West Lake. The best season is winter, when days are warm and sunny and the large flocks of "Laughing Gulls" with their cackling cries as they arrive from their breeding grounds in Siberia. The gulls enjoy the legendary "eternal spring" weather in Kunming.

For the night, you’ll try your hand at local shopping at the city market. The flower markets in Shangyi Street are quite famous. The florists there sell their wares by weight, so one can buy as little as a single rose. There is a flower & bird market in Jingxing Street, with numerous market stalls and shops run by ethnic minorities where one can buy all manner of ethnic handicrafts, including flowers and even live birds. Kunming is renowned for its handicrafts such as ivory carvings, wood carvings, Burmese jade and other stone items. The food specialty shops of Kunming also offer many unique food and health-food items (aka Medicinal Foodstuffs) that are not available elsewhere in China, including tropical fruits.

It is not unheard of to get something on less than 50% of the original asking price by bargaining. If you need some help your guide will be happy to help you out! For dinner you will be treated to a meal of traditional Yunnan cuisine.

Day 3:
Kunming-Shangri-La (B, L, D) Flight Information: MU5933 07:00/08:00

Early in the morning you will be taken to Kunming International Airport where you will fly on to Shangri-La, located in the northwest region of Yunnan. The name Shangri-la was made famous by the English author James Hilton in his legendary novel "Lost Horizon" where he described a fictitious paradise. However, there is a real Shangri-la in China's southwest Yunnan Province. It is a beautiful land characterized by snow-capped mountains, vast grasslands, idyllic lakes and religious culture. It is a "Utopia" free from stress, pollution and turmoil that plagues most of the cities where we live.

Shangri-la, at the far north of Yunan province bordering Sichuan and Tibet province was a crucial staging point on the ancient Tea-horse Road. The region first became a trade town during the Qing Dynasty and gradually rose as one prosperous business center on the Tibet-Yunnan trading passage. Caravans from South Asia carried horses, carpets, herbs etc through Lhasa, Tibet to Shangri-la to exchange tea and other local products to return.

Upon arrival in Shangri-La you’ll be met by your guide, and you’ll be taken to do some sightseeing. Our first stop will be the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery. Being the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, Songzanlin Monastery, also known as Guihua Monastery, is one of the famous monasteries in the Kang region. The monastery is located near Shangri -La County, at the foot of Foping Mountain.

Construction of the monastery began in 1679 and was completed two years later. The monastery seems like a group of ancient castles and is composed of two lamaseries, Zhacang and Jikang. The gilded copper roof endows the monastery with strong Tibetan features and the 108 (an auspicious number in Buddhism) columns downstairs also feature the monastery with characteristics of Han nationality. The main halls in the monastery are magnificent, and on both the left and the right sides are wonderful frescos, depicting Buddhist tales and legends. The inside-halls are exquisite with cloisters running through. The cloisters are all decorated with beautiful sculptures and consummate frescos.

Then it is off for some relaxation at the Pudacuo Nature Reserve. This is a protected wetlands area that has a primitive forest of coniferous trees lakes, and lies 3,539 meters above sea level. Two lakes that accentuate the beauty of this park are the Shuda Lake and the Bita Lake. We will then follow this up with a visit to the Summer Pastures at Napa Lake, right outside Shangri-La.Several rivers flow into the lake, including the Naizi and Naqu Rivers. The lake is seasonal in that it is dry in the fall and winter seasons, naturally becoming part of the Yila Prairie. During this time, visitors can see many sheep and cows grazing in the lakebed.

Afterwards we’ll head to the Old Town of Shangri-la (known as the Jiantang Old Town), which contain bazaars and markets. The Jiantang Old Town contains hefty Tibetan wooden buildings (some old, and many that look rather older than they are), and several temples built onto a hill in the centre of town. Next we’ll go over to Guishan Park, a lovely preserve with a temple one top that gives you a sweeping panoramic view of the entire city.

In the evening, you’ll get to have some firsthand experience in the Tibetan culture of the area by visiting the home of a local Tibetan family. At their horm you’ll be treated to a dinner of Tibetan cuisine, and if you’re a good guest (and we’re sure you will be!), you’ll get to try some yak butter tea (yummy!), and even take part in some Tibetan dancing!

Day 4: Shangri-La-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Lijiang (B, L, D)

After an early breakfast we’ll make the 100km drive to Tiger Leaping Gorge, and the drive should take us around 2 hours. Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the world’s deepest gorges, and is tucked in between Jade Dragon now Mountain and Haha Mountain. At a length of 17km, Tiger Leaping Gorge is the birthplace of the ancient Lijiang culture, whose people lived in the many caves, big and small, in the side of Yulong Xueshan (Jade Dragon Snow Mountain). These caves were naturally formed houses. In some caves, rock paintings and artifacts shedding light on the life of these primitive peoples were found. The rock paintings have now become another attraction of Tiger Leaping Gorge. The gorge is regarded as one of the top ten hiking trails in China. At the mouth of the upper gorge, squeezed by the two snow-capped mountains and further blocked by the huge Tiger Leaping Boulder, the Golden Sand River is only 25 meters in width. The water there makes violent whirlpools and hits the banks so powerfully that soaring breakers are created. This really makes boating treacherous. However the high waves, soaring water, and the mountains shrouded with clouds and mist constitute the most magnificent scenes of the gorge and attract numerous brave explorers.

After taking some time to poke around Tiger Leaping Gorge and to have lunch, we’ll drive on to the First Bend of the Yangtze River. It is called the “first bend” because the river makes a 90 degree turn from south to east within a distance of 1 kilometer. The place was important militarily because big armies crossed the river at that point, and it was a place where Tibetans came down to trade with the people living in the area. It is an interesting scenic area, and there is hiking and other outdoor activities in the area.

Then we’ll visit the Stone Drum Town. This town derives its name from a white marble carved monument in the shape of a drum, (diameter 15 m, thickness 0.7 m). This monument memorializes the victory and subsequent spread of power of Baizhuang, the Tusi of Mu Family of Lijiang, during the Jiajin years of the Ming Dynasty. This historically relevant stone monument was erected during one of the earliest periods in Lijiang. To the right of the monument is a lovely willow forest at its bank; while on the left flows the Chongjiang River. Spanning this river is the 17m long Tiehong Bridge, constructed of boards paved over iron chains, and with similar iron chains serving as fences on both sides. Stone Drum Town is a historically important town on the ancient trade route for tea and horses between inland provinces and Tibet. The town still features a flourishing trade fair, currently held every three days.

From there we’ll drive the final 60km in order to reach the town of Lijiang, an enclave of ethnic minority cultures, and the Naxi ethnic group is especially prevalent here. You will have the rest of the night to walk around the old town of Lijiang. The old town is made up of three old districts that retain a special character of Naxi and Han construction and Naxi customs, arts and culture. It was a former trading town and a stop for traders carrying goods on the “Chama Road” trails. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 following an earthquake and reconstruction in 1996 that returned the city to a more ancient look. The UNESCO description says: “The Old Town of Lijiang, which is perfectly adapted to the uneven topography of this key commercial and strategic site, has retained a historic townscape of high quality and authenticity.

Day 5: Lijiang (B, L, D)

In the morning we’ll pay a visit to the Shuhe old town, a charming town to visit for all travelers, because there is a traditional Naxi village where you can enjoy Naxi drinking and food at the bank, which is made up of the river and farmland.

We’ll further explore aspects of Naxi daily life at the Baisha village. Baisha village is one of the oldest towns in Lijiang. It is the earliest settlement of the Naxi people and is the birthplace of "Tusi", chief of the Mu clan. In the town there are many ancient buildings built during the Ming Dynasty, including Dabaoji Palace, Liuli Temple, and Wenchang Palace. The well-known Baisha Frescoes are located in Dabaoji Palace. Because of the white sand on the ground, the town was named "Baisha", which means "white sand". In the Naxi language, it is called "bengshi". The architectural complex is made up of two parts, folk residence and cultural sites. The folk residence is called "pengshizhi" which in the local language means "Baisha Streets". The streets all go from south to north. In the center of the old town there is a square where three thoroughfares intersect. Houses and small stores stand on the both sides of these streets. A crystal clear stream winds around all the houses flowing through the small town from north to south.

The center of town features a beautiful rendering of frescoes religious frescoes. The 44 pieces of Baisha frescos were drawn in the early Ming Dynasty. Most of the paintings are about religious stories of Taoism, Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism. The murals embody the artistic characteristics of the Naxi, Tibetan, Han and Bai ethnic groups. Among them the paintings about Kwan-yin and Sakyamuni are the most famous ones. Now Baisha Frescos, also known as Lijing Frescos have become precious data for the study of China's history of arts and religions.

For lunch we’ll have some traditional Naxi food at the “Just Here Restaurant” on Baisha Street. We’ll then visit Wangu Pagoda. The landmark building of Lijiang ancient town--the Wangu Pagoda is located on the top of Lion Hill. This is the best pure wood building in the world, which is 33 meters high. You might also have time to admire the view from Lion Hill, which provides sweeping views of the Lijiang old town and the surrounding countryside. When we walk down from the hill we’ll come across the Mu Chieftain’s Palace, which is the residence of the former chieftain of the area.

After dinner, you’ll be treated to an evening of music and dance at the Naxi Orchestral Show, located at the Dongba Palace. This show presents the splendid culture of the Naxi ethnic minority group in the form of song and dance.

Day 6:
 Lijiang-Dali (B, L, D)

After breakfast we’ll make the 200km drive to the ancient city of Dali, which should take around 4 hours. The Dali Ancient City is widely acknowledged as "Backpackers' Paradise" in China. Foreign visitors like to stay in Dali ancient city. Some of them live there for months or even years, to observe and study the fascinating culture of Bai nationality. In the so - called " Yangren Street (foreigner's street) " in the heart of ancient city where is always full of foreign visitors, there are several dozens of cafes, western style restaurants, and clothes shops offering services to foreign guests. And it seems that every one of local Dali Bai people in the Yangren Street is a multi linguist.

Once we reach Dali we will visit the Three Pagodas, which are located in the Chongshen Temple. The Three Pagodas of Dali are famous in China for their size, beauty, and antiquity, and for their preservation. The central one is more than 1,100 years old and is one of the tallest pagodas ever built in China. These pagodas are situated between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake, about 1.5 kilometers (.9 of a mile) northwest from the ancient city of Dali. The Three Pagodas are cream-colored, delicate-looking pagodas. They are situated in the shape of a triangle. The tallest and oldest of the three was built during the reign of a king of the Nanzhao Kingdom about 1,150 years ago. The other two were built about 100 years later, probably by the Kingdom of Dali. They are made of brick. They stand at the foot of one of the high peaks of nearby Cangshan Mountain named Yinglo Peak. The tallest pagoda is one of China's best preserved buildings from the time of the Tang Dynasty, and the smaller two pagodas differ in style.Then we’ll take a stroll through time in the Dali ancient town. The ancient city of Dali is one of Yunnan's most popular tourist destinations. When visiting the area you can see temples and architecture 1000 years old, buy beautiful souvenirs and objects of art, and learn about the history of the area and of the native peoples. The local customs and architecture is distinctive. A stroll through the ancient city with its stone paved streets, traditional style houses, and numerous gardens is an interesting excursion. You’ll also get the chance to walk down Foreigner Street, which contains Western-style restaurants and bars and English-speaking business owners.

Day 7: Dali (B, L, D)

Following breakfast we’ll make the short drive to visit Erhai Lake. The whole lake area is full of interesting and beautiful sites. Lining its banks in the valley are fishing villages, Bai farming villages, ancient temples, historic towns and the ancient city of Dali. You can watch the people live their daily lives in a traditional way. That is an interesting backdrop for the scenery. The local people feel that this big lake with its clear water and its reflections of land and sky as well as the entire region are unusually beautiful, and is another highlight of a visit to Yunnan Province.

At the lake we will visit several villages, temples, and Jinsuo Island. Jinsuo Island (Golden Shuttle Island), and the nearby fishing community of Bai Minority do really deserve a visit with its attractive Bai culture and lifestyle, and because of the rare beauty of the lake and its surrounding scenery.

Next you’ll have the chance to add some color to your life with some tie-dying at Zhoucheng, the biggest town of Bai people in Dali. There in the Town live altogether more than 1,500 Bai families. In the town you can see typical houses of Bai people with close courtyards, "three rooms and a shining wall", and "four rows of houses and five dooryards".

For some of the houses, one family makes one courtyard; while others have several courtyards in one family. These houses have a plane of a square. The roof contains two layers of eaves made from green tiles, and is designed in the shape of the Chinese character . There are three to five major rooms which are facing east or south. They are built with bricks and stones with the wooden frame. The wooden frame is assembled through tenons. One courtyard, and sometimes several courtyards, connect with each other and make a whole. The walls outside are washed with lime upside and fine mud downside.

After further exploring the Dali old town, you’ll be taken to the airport, and you’ll make the short flight to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province. When you arrive at Kunming International Airport you’ll be met by your guide. 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. Kunming is also well known as the Spring City because of its nice climate all year round, and this will make the golfing even more enjoyable.

You will be taken to your hotel, and you will have the night to unpack and unwind from your flight.

Day 8 Dali-Tengchong (B, L, D)


We’ll wake up early in the morning in order to make the drive to Tengchong, and it will take us about 6 hours (380km) to get there. Tengchong is a famous historical city bearing witness to the rise, prosperity and falling of the Tea-horse road trade route. The city retains every aspect brought by the once thriving trade with aged streets lined with horse inns, shops selling horse gears and entertainment catering to those passing by. Walking along the tranquil streets, one can still feel the bustling energy of this former trade town.

On our drive we will pass through the city of Baoshan, which is situated in the southwest of Yunnan Province, bordered by Burma in the south and northwest. We will stop at the upper reach of the Mekong River and visit some villages along the way. When we arrive in Tengchong we’ll first walk around the old town of Heshun. “Heshun” means peace and harmony. Heshun looks like out of an ancient Chinese picture book and is one of the most beautiful towns remaining in today's China. You can walk at your won leisure around the historical old town, built in the earlier days by overseas Chinese as a location for their retirement. The remaining old town is a very beautiful place with many ornamental structures such as pavilions, memorial halls, archways, and balustrades, and also with lotus ponds and outlands with many birds. The library in this town is worth mentioning: set up in 1924, it possesses over 60,000 volumes of books, many of which are rare editions of ancient and sacred works.

Day 9 Tengchong (B, L, D)

After breakfast we’ll make the short 15 minute drive to further examine the old town of Heshun. We’ll walk into town along the cobble stoned alleys up to the square where a small market and bazaar is held every day. Youcan glance through some of the entrance gates into courtyards where residents trade their goods and wares.

We’ll then visit the Museum of Yunnan-Burmese-Anti-Japanese War. This museum will explain the vital geopolitical significance and importance the Burma Road played in the fighting of the Japanese invasion during World War II. After lunch at the “Household restaurant we’ll visit the Graveyard of the National Heroes, which contains the bodies of those who fought against the Japanese invasion.

Tengchong is known for its natural wonders and beauty, and you will experience this in full with a visit to Dieshuihu Waterfall, which is the sole volcano barrier waterfall in China. The Dayingjiang River runs through Tengchong County from north to south, abruptly falling down from the huge fault scarp which forms the Dieshuihe Waterfall. With wonderful clusters of columnar jointing situated on cliffs of its two sides, the Diecaihe Waterfall at a height of 46 meters splashes over the rocks accompanied by a crash as loud as thunder.

We’ll continue our tour of Tengchong’s natural beauty by going to the Rehai Hot Springs, a valley in 9 square kilometers with groups of geothermal hot springs amid steams. You can find hot steams abundantly flowing out from the thick woods, steep slopes and grounds in the valley. Among the groups of hot springs, 14 springs have a temperature above 90 degree centigrade, some of which are even higher than the local boiling point. Carrying stories behind them, many hot springs have interesting names, such as the Big Boiling Pot, the Peral Spring, the Lion Head, the Frog Mouth and etc. The Big Boiling Pot is the most noted spring for its temperature is at about 97 degree centigrade. It is said that a cattle accidentally fell into the pot when lapping up the salty spring water. Then it was boiled down to a skeleton in a few minutes as the cowboys called people back from the village. Other than being a sightseeing spot, some of the springs in Rehai are suitable for bathing, which could bring remedies to certain diseases.

We’ll then return to Heshun for the evening.

Day 10 Tengchong-Mangshi-Ruili (B, L, D)


Following an early morning breakfast, we’ll make the five hour drive to Mangshi. In Mangshi, you will find that the language, costumes and the living customs are more like those of people in Burma, Laos or Thailand. Mangshi means "the Town of Daybreak". The name originated from the story that Sakyamuni got to Mangshi just as day broke. The town has an area of 10 square kilometers and a population of 60,000. Mangshi is a newly developing border town, will prosperous business and booming trading. Manghsi is a haven for Buddhist culture, and our touring here today will cover most of that aspect.

We’ll first explore the Tree-Wrapped Pagoda. The solid brick pagoda had become wrapped and gradually covered by the roots of the big banyan; it is said to be the earliest Buddhist pagoda built by local Dai people. We will also other Buddhist-inspired buildings such as the Wuyun Temple and the Bodhi Monastery.

We’ll then drive on to Ruili, a town that features a unique natural landscape, rich mineral resources and colorful folklore. Adding to its special location neighboring Myanmar on three sides, the speedy development of Ruili and its modern life style have still not removed its aura of mystery. Many people mistakenly thought it was in Xishuangbanna, but that is not true. Ruili is the birthplace of the Dai ethnic group. The Ruili River looks like a white jade belt winding around green mountains and fields. Ruili spans a section of the Sino-Myanmar borderline to form a special landscape of "one village, two countries."

Once in Ruili, we’ll take a look at some of the fascinating sights, such as the Mono-tree Forest and the Worker’s Cultural Palace, which is a pleasant park and pleasure ground. For the evening we’ll stroll around the night market, which features some fascinating and intriguing products from both China and Burma, and which also contains a heavy does of Dai folk art and culture.

Day 11 Ruili-Mangshi-Kunming (B, L, D) Flight Information: MU5972 19:00/19:55

We’ll look at some of the more modern aspects of Ruili with a visit to the Ruili Economic Development Zone, which was founded in 1992 and was established to promote trade between China and Myanmar. The zone connects Ruili with Man-wing City. Sino-Myanmar business is growing fast. Myanmar is now one of Yunnan's biggest foreign trade partners. It is now the “transfer station” and distributing site for bilateral trade of China and Myanmar and it stands by the junctures of the “China-Myanmar” Road and the “China-India” Road. Part of the economic zone that you will see includes the street of Jiegao, China’s border gate to Burma. We’ll also make a stop at the city of Wangdin, a border town between Burma and China that gives the impression of a merging between Burmese and Chinese culture and life styles.

We’ll then drive back to Mangshi, and you’ll be taken to the city airport where you will fly back to Kunming. Upon arrival you’ll be taken to your hotel where you can relax and kick back for the evening.

Day 12 Kunming-departure (B)


After breakfast in the hotel you’ll be taken to Kunming International Airport, and you will fly on to your next destination, ending your tour.

Stuff to bring:
• Sturdy shoes or boots, sunglasses and sunscreen
• Bug spray and any other items needed in dealing with the tropical heat
• Tips for a job well done by your guides and drivers, money for any personal expenses not mentioned

 

Great Wall Hiking | China City Tours | China Package Tours | Shanghai Tours | China Discount Hotels | China Adventure Tours | Sitemap | Home
Copyright 2014 The Great Wall Adventure Club (Beijing), a North America Commerce International (NACI) company.®