The River Li | Yangshou | China
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FROM: CAD $0 pp
Southern China Explorer - 12 days map

PRIVATE TOUR: 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.

Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Chengdu - Giant Panda Research Base and Wenshu Monastery for a cup of green tea
Mt Emei - Cable car to UNESCO-listed sacred mountain dotted with temples and pavillions
Tiger Leaping Gorge - Guest house with stunning views of the gorge, mountains and fields
Yangshuo - Rafting on Yangshuo River, bicycle ride to a local village and visit to West Street
Leshan - UNESCO-listed Giant Buddha
Baisha and Wenhai villages - Experience local way of life and learn about tradition and culture
Lashi Lake - Dinner with a local family
Dragon’s Backbone - Explore these iconic rice terraces


11 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 1 dinner
3 economy class flights: Chengdu - Lijiang, Lijiang - Guilin and Guilin - Chengdu
Touring of Chengdu, Leshan, Mt Emei, Lijiang and Yangshuo
Mt Emei cable car ride
Yangshuo bicycle ride to a local village
English-speaking local guides for all scheduled sightseeing
11 nights superior hotels (deluxe upgrade available on request)
Airport arrival and departure transfers days 1 and 12
Hiking at Tiger Leaping Gorge, Baisha and Wenhai villages
Rafting excursion on the Yulonghe River in Yangshuo
Day trip to the rice paddy terraces of Longsheng, known as the Dragon's Backbone
All transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicles

Not Included

International flights and visa
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture


Day 1


Hello China! Arrival transfer from Chengdu airport to our hotel for check-in.
Overnight: Chengdu

Day 2

Panda Research Base

Today a short drive out of town takes you to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. 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

Day 3

Giant Buddha of Leshan

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

Day 4

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

Day 5

Tiger Leaping Gorge

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

Day 6


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

Days 7-9

Yangshuo - cruise on the Yu Long River

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

Day 10

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

Day 11


Guilin - Chengdu. On day 11 fly back to Chengdu. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, taking in the sights or doing some last minute shopping.
Overnight: Chengdu  |  Breakfast

Day 12


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 when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single Room' price is applicable when a single room is required, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults.

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At a Glance

Trip Type
Most days of the year
Hotel Rating
Superior (deluxe available on request)
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Breakfast: 11, Lunch: 3, Dinner: 1
Minimum Age
5 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes, 1 transfer per booking
Dep. Transfer
Yes, 1 transfer per booking
The riverside view of Chengdu city with Anshun bridge beautifully illuminated
Emei Shan Highlight
Beautiful waterfall and scenery in Lijiang
Beautiful waterfall and scenery in Lijiang
Click to play videoBeautiful mountainous scenery in Yangshuo
Click to play videoAerial view of Guilin and the stunning karst landscape
OTG001940Southern China Explorer - 12 daysFar EastPrivateFar EastfalseChina