Southern China Explorer - 12 days
Take in the highlights of southern China on this unique 12 day tour, from the Giant Pandas of Chengdu and sacred Mount Emei, to spectacular Tiger Leaping Gorge. Add to this the stunning landscapes of Yangshuo, the coiled Dragon's Backbone and minority tribes for an unforgettable journey.
Panda Research Base
Today a short drive out of town takes you to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Opened in 1993 it is fast becoming one of China’s must see places. The area in which it is based is the ancestral homeland of the Giant Panda since ancient times. The centre has been created to help and imitate the pandas’ natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. Being one of the world’s most endangered species - this is very important for China’s beloved mascots.
Later visit the Wenshu Monastery, built during the Qing Dynasty. The temple is a hidden gem with few tourists visiting and a stop must be made at the delightful teahouse located inside the temple grounds which serves a fine cup of green tea and some of the best vegetarian food in the city. The evening is spent at leisure. On most nights Sichuan Opera is performed at the Shufengyayun Theatre and tickets can be booked locally or in advance.
Overnight: Chengdu | Breakfast, Lunch
Chengdu - Emei. Driving to Leshan your morning is spent exploring the UNESCO-listed Dafo (Great Buddha), which is carved into the face of Lingyun Hill overlooking the treacherous confluence of the Min, Qingyi and Dadu rivers below it. Dafo has huge 8m feet, his ears droop 7m, his shoulders span 28m and his nose measures a whopping 5.6m! This afternoon continue your journey to Mt Emei. The rest of the day is free to spend at leisure exploring the local area.
Overnight: Emei Shan | Breakfast, Lunch
Mt Emei - cable car & walk
Emei - Chengdu - Lijiang. Your morning starts with a visit to UNESCO-listed Mt Emei where you’ll then take a cable car half way up the mountain. From here continue on foot to the summit where you’ll be greeted with fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. As one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains in China, Mt Emei is a site of pilgrimage for many and is dotted with temples and pavillions. Later take the cable car back down the mountain and continue return to Chengdu for your onward flight to Lijiang.
Overnight: Lijiang | Breakfast, Lunch
Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge. Today immerse yourself in some local culture with a hike to Baisha and Wenhai villages, both nestled at the foot of Yulong Snow Mountain. Here you’ll experience the villagers' way of life, while learning about their traditions and culture. Bidding the villages farewell drive out to Tiger Leaping Gorge and check in to a guest house for the night. Spend the evening enjoying views of the gorge itself, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and endless fields.
Overnight: Tiger Leaping Gorge | Breakfast
Tiger Leaping Gorge - Lijiang. First thing today is a hike in the upper reaches of Tiger Leaping Gorge, where you can take in the stunning surrounding landscapes. Later travel to Shigu Town, the first bend in the Yangtze River where you’ll have some free time to explore. From here continue on to the Lashi Lake where you’ll enjoy dinner with a local family before returning to Lijiang for the night.
Overnight: Lijiang | Breakfast, Dinner
Lijiang - Yangshuo. This morning fly to Guilin, and onward transfer to Yangshuo. Renowned for its striking scenery, vast areas of karst limestone outcrops that rise up from flat rice paddy fields, Guilin and Yangshuo are often the subject of many Chinese paintings. This afternoon enjoy a relaxing rafting excursion on the scenic Yulonghe River.
The following day continue your exploration of Yangshuo with a bicycle ride to a local village. Later you can spend some time exploring West Street, an ancient alley laden with quirky shops tea shops, antiques, calligraphers and art studios. By nightfall, visit any of the cafes, pubs or bars or attend the nightly ‘Impression Liu Sanjie’ musical.
Spend day 9 at leisure further exploring Yangshuo at your own pace. Maybe enjoy a morning class at the ‘Cloud 9’ cooking school.
Overnight: Yangshuo | Breakfast x 3
Dragon's Backbone - rice paddy terraces of Longsheng
Yangshuo - Longsheng - Guilin. Early today travel out to Longsheng, to walk the rice terraces of the Dragon’s Backbone. Beginning at the base of Mt Longji the verdant green rice fields coil up the steep mountain, layer upon layer, climbing to its summit. Taking a walk along the stone paths no more than a metre wide, we’ll pass many of the Yao and Red Yao minority women. Reaching the ‘Seven Stars accompanying Moon’ lookout, soak up the spectacular views. The full panorama reveals thousands of ribbon like terraces cascading to the valley floor beneath. Leaving the Dragon’s Backbone continue on to Guilin where the evening is free. The Guilin night market is always a hive of activity if you wish to head out and explore.
Overnight: Guilin | Breakfast
Wednesday. Today your arrangements come to an end. Spend the day further sightseeing this exciting city before included departure transfer to the airport.
Start and End Your Holiday In Shanghai.
Consider adding some glitz and glamour to your holiday to China by starting and ending your adventure in the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai. We can arrange pre and post tour accommodation in Shanghai and sightseeing, in addition to internal flights and airport transfers. Please contact us for a quote.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are ‘per person’, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. The single supplement price needs to be added to the twin/double price if single rooms are required. If travelling solo, an additional ‘1-person’ supplement will apply.Read More