China and the Yunnan Minorities
Beijing, Xi’an, Lijiang, Shangri-La, Kunming, Shanghai
15 days / 14 nights
Yunnan takes pride in its rich natural and cultural resources, the most attractive is the folklore and culture of the area's 25 ethnic minority groups. It is rare to see so many different ethnic minority groups living harmoniously in one province. The This tour gives you a great overview of the region.
Day 1 Arrive Beijing, China’s capital city and one of the most heavily populated city in the world.
Day 2 In the heart of the city is Tian An Men Square, walk to the Imperial Palace in the Forbidden City, home to China’s emperors for more than 500 years. Visit the Summer Palace with its exquisite gardens and perfect views.
Day 3 Visit the Temple of Heaven which was built for the worship of heaven and the Great Wall. Like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 5,500 miles from east to west of China. On the way back view Bird’s Nest and water Cube.
Day 4 Explore the Hutongs, Beijing’s Old Living Quarter, climb up the old Drum Tower for a bird-eye view of Old Beijing. Fly to Xi’an.
Day 5 The Terra Cotta Warriors are Xian’s greatest and most important attraction. The first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, ordered the making of the warriors. The estimated 8,000 terra cotta soldiers are a testament to his power and megalomania. Explore Xian City Wall. After a dumpling dinner stroll around the Muslim Quarter.
Day 6 Shaanxi History Museum houses a collection of over 300,000 precious artifacts showing the development of civilization in this region. Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
As the symbol of the old-line Xian, Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayan Pagoda) is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists. Fly to Lijiang.
Day 7 Yuhu Village is located in the south of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Walk around this lovely Naxi minority village with its unique stone houses and Naxi women dressed in traditional dress. Visit Dayan Town, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage town. Bridges are seen everywhere, linking streets paved by the local blue stones, and lanes. Wandering along the famous Square Street you will be struck by the peaceful surroundings. Climb up Lion Hill to Wan Gu Pagoda for a bird’s eye view of the town at sunset.
Day 8 Visit Baisha Village and the well-known Baisha Murals. These murals which combine the Han, Tibet and Naxi cultures, are a wonderful art form of minorities in west Yunnan, vividly unfolding the life of the minority people. Visit the 900-year-old Shuhe Village a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight enjoy a Naxi Classical Music Concert.
Day 9 Through beautiful scenery drive to Shangri La. Along the way visit one of China most beautiful gorge, the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge. Marvel at the stunning First Bend of the Yangtze River, continue to Stone Drum Town and then arrive in Shangri La.
Day 10 A full day to explore paradise on-earth described in the famous novel Lost Horizon by the British author James Hilton. Visit Songzanlin Temple, the largest and the most famous Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Yunnan. The monastery is full of golden figures of Buddha josses, golden lamps, Tibetan lections, silver censers and more. All of these are wonderful collections accumulated from each dynasty. They are precious productions made by people of both Tibet nationality and Han nationality. Because of its similar appearance and layout to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, it is also reputed as 'small Potala Palace'. Walk around the beautiful Bitahai and Shudu Lakes.
Day 11 ly to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Visit Qinzhou Temple in Yu'an Mountain, famous for its five-hundred colored-clay arhat sculptures. Walk through the “Stone Forest”, a massive landscape of karst formation where nature has carves stones in the figure of plants, animals and humans.
Day 12 The Golden Temple is a well-known Taoist temple located on the Mingfeng Hill, Daguan Park, one of the ten most famous pavilions in China. Visit the Flowers and Birds Market. Kunming is known as the “Spring City” because of its mild climate year round and also as a city of flowers. You can find various kinds of flowers from all over the world in the market, as well as lovely golden fish. Fly to Shanghai.
Day 13 Shanghai Museum is a large museum of ancient Chinese art. Enjoy lunch in Xin Tian Di, a neighborhood of old Shikumen (a type of tenement found only in Shanghai). Visit the Old Town Bazaar, the Bund, the busiest shopping area in Shanghai, the famous waterfront and a symbol of Shanghai.
Day14 Day free to explore on your own.
Day 15 Depart Shanghai.