Welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Enjoy an arrival transfer to our hotel. The capital of Yunnan Province, Kunming rests at 2000m above sea level! Its gentle weather and floral wealth have earned it the nickname ‘City of Eternal Spring’. Later today, you’ll visit the picturesque Western Hills and the Dragon Gate Grotto.
Overnight: Kunming | Dinner
Kunming - Dali. Excursion to Stone Forest. Celebrated as a natural wonder, it’s Yunnan’s most visited sight. As you stroll along the winding paths and lookout points, you’ll be in awe of the bizaare, tightly packed formations of almost ‘petrified’ stone that forms this unusual attraction 120 km from Kunming. Tonight catch the overnight (hard) sleeper train to Dali.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Picturesquely situated on Lake Erhai with a backdrop formed by the peaks of the 50km long Cang Shang range, Dali is a great place for some gentle-paced exploration and a little relaxation. Covering only about 4 sq km, much of Dali is contained by the remains of its Ming dynasty walls. Sightseeing in Dali and surrounds includes a cruise on Lake Erhai, some orientation stops at some ancient temples and villages, a visit to Butterfly Spring - a popular spot surrounded by a marble ballustrade and overhung by an ancient tree that produces butterfly-like flowers and the famous Three Pagodas. Built when the region was a major Buddhist centre, Dali’s distinctively tall pagodas remain upright, despite wars and earthquakes. The largest of them - Qianxun tower dates back to 824 AD, some hundred years older than the two smaller octagonal pagodas behind, is 64m high, and is embellished with Buddhas made from local richly veined marble on each of its 16 levels. Whilst sealed (preventing entrance inside), in any case the pagodas are best seen from a distance to take in their sheer size. Back in Dali, enjoy some free time exploring the old section of the town.
Overnight: Dali | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Dali - Lijiang. Leaving Dali on day 4, you’ll travel north to UNESCO-listed Lijiang - a Naxi stronghold, enjoy free time in the labyrinthine streets of Dayan Old Town. Evening Naxi music show.
On day 5 we head to the thrillingly named Tiger leaping gorge on the Yangtze River, where there is time to walk and take in the scenery. Some 16km long and up to 3000m deep, it is the world's deepest canyon. The gorge is so narrow at various points that legend has it a tiger once escaped pursuit by leaping across. Visiting the gorge, you’ll have a chance to walk a section and take in the dramatic, yet stark scenery.
Overnight: Lijiang | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Lijiang - Kunming via Dali. Enjoy an excursion to the stunning Jade Dragon Snow Mountain; its landscape includes one of the southernmost glaciers in the world. Access to the mountain is provided by a cable lift to Dragon Spruce Meadow, halfway to the glacier peak. Visit also Yufeng Si Monastery. This evening we take the overnight soft sleeper train to Kunming.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
Hotel check-out and included onward transfer to airport.
Prices & Dates
Craig, just a brief note to say thank you for organising our tour of China. We had a great time and saw some very exciting sites.
The whole tour ran very smoothly. There were people to meet us every where we went and we were very effectively transported around the country. The guides were also very willing to change the itinery to suit our needs - we wanted to do more walking than was originally planned.
Thanks for your help ”