Located in the southwest of China, Yunnan is a beautiful province with 25 ethnic groups living there. During this minority culture tour, you will be amazed by fascinating sceneries and experience local daily life. You can focus on Bai, Naxi and Tibetan Minority culture and folk customs, which is concentrated in Yunnan. Minority people's brightness in constructing magnificent wooden houses and bridges without a nail will surprise you. Also you marvel at their delicate handicrafts, exquisite costumes and clever inventions. Welcome to join us to start your Yunnan dream.
We take a flight from Beijing to Kunming.
When arrival in Kunming, our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
Stay overnight in Kunming.
Meals: (B, L)
Today we are going to explore the [Stone Forest]. There you will see magnificent stone masterpieces, various strange and steep intricate formations, and countless labyrinthine vistas. And Stone Forest (Shi Lin in Chinese) is fame as the “First Wonder of the World”. And there goes a local saying, “It is a waste of time without being in the Stone Forest while visiting Kunming”. And you will surely have a great time there.
Later this afternoon we will drive to Kunming Train Station to catch an overnight train to Dali.
Stay overnight in on train.
Meals: (B, L)
When you arrive at Dali Train Station in the morning, our guide will pick you up there and transfer to your hotel in the Old Town. The rest time in the morning will be your own.
After lunch, we set out to visit a typical sight of Dali-the [Three Pagoda Temple]. Three pagodas, about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) northwest of the ancient city of Dali, occupying a scenic location at the foot of Mt. Cangshan facing Erhai Lake, has a history of over 1,800 years. You can also visit the nearby “marble street”, and there are many folk-craft workshops and stands specializing in marble and brick-painting. Later we will take a walk in [Dali Ancient Town]. It was a significant gateway to the Silk Road in Southwest China, and also served as a seat of government and a major military barracks for Yunnan Province in the ancient times. Witnessing some parts of the city wall and the tower remained is a good way to explore the mystery history of this town. Traditional Bai ethnic minority folk houses are distinct from houses in any other place. Then we will continue to [visit a local Bai Minority Family] for the first-hand experience of the local daily life. Their impressive traditional way of life and handicrafts will surely make your trip there much happier.
Stay overnight in Dali Old Town.
Meals: (B, L)
Today we will head for Lijiang by private van/car/bus after lunch. We will arrive there by 3.5 hours’ drive. The scenery along the way is very fantastic. And we may stop on the way for you to relax and take some photos. We will arrive in Lijiang by dinner time.
Stay overnight in Lijiang.
Meals: (B, L)
When it comes to Lijiang, many people figure it as a paradise on earth. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers and anyone interested in ancient people groups and their customs. [Jade Dragon Snow-capped Mountain] will be our first stop in the morning. As its name implies, the snow-capped, fog-enlaced range is said to resemble a silver dragon lying in the mist, curling up its middle. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a sanctuary for rare animals and wild plants. There is one fourth of all plant species in China here and 20 primeval forest communities shelter a big family of 400 types of trees. Later we [take cables to climb the mountain] and be intoxicated in the picturesque scenery. We also have a tour to the ancient town. Unlike other cities in China, the [Ancient Lijiang City] has no city walls. One of the distinctive feature of this town is that water is seen everywhere. The Yuquanshui River includes three mainstreams, which flow towards the west, east and in the middle. Many branch canals mix with the roads of the five-flowered stones. You can get the beautiful picture that "every house is surrounded by the rivers and the drooping willows", so it is highly spoken by the architects of China and abroad.
Stay overnight in Lijiang.
Meals: (B, L)
Today we will head for Shangri-la by private van/car/bus after breakfast. The scenery along the way is fabulous. And we will stop to view the First Bend of the Yangtze River and the Tiger Leaping Gorge. We will also have a lunch stop on the half way. It will be a long drive, so we won’t arrive in Shangri-la until dinner time.
Stay overnight in Shangri-la.
Meals: (B, L)
Today we visit [Songzanlin Monastery] -- a famous Tibetan style Buddhist temple in China and a spiritual hub for people to discover the mystery and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. There you can enjoy the fabulous view of nature beauty and also able to take photos of girls wearing exquisite Tibetan costumes holding perfectly white fluffy lambs against the imposing mountains and blue sky. Later we will visit to the [old part of the town] and a [Tibetan family]. When you walk in Tibetan village, you will surprised by the Tibetan civilization. You can taste Tibetan specialties of yak butter tea, local yogurt and Tibetan barley. You can spend the later of the afternoons to explore more about Tibet. And we suggest you to know more about the local culture by [visiting the local market].
Stay overnight in Shangri-la.
Meals: (B, L)
Today we take a morning flight back to Kunming, and take another flight followed from Kunming to Beijing..
Our service ends at Kunming airport.
Meals: (B, L)
|1 person||2-5 persons||6-9 persons||≥10 persons||Single Room Supplement|
|First Class Tour||$3479||$2209||$1959||$1659||$560|
How to Pack up
We suggest that each person packs up one rollable suitcase with the weight under 20 kg/44lb. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like iPods and mobile phones.
It's only for reference and you may not need all of them. Choose from below according to the tour you pick up:
Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
USD cash and travelers checks
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
ChinaExpeditionTours vouchers and trip dossier
Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Day pack for daily personal items
Wet wipes / Moist towelettes
Sun hat, Sun block, Sunglasses
Water bottle and Plastic mug for train journeys
Ear plugs for train journeys or light sleepers
Small towel and swim wear
Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
Shorts for summer months (June – September)
Warm clothes for Nov-April. Fleece, Jacket, hat and gloves
Umbrella or waterproof jacket.
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry.
Camera, film and memory chip
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
Generally speaking, the dress standard is more conservative in China than it is in western countries. Things also changes quickly, nowadays the young Chinese share the same hobbies with their western counterparts. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of summers. In predominately Buddhist and Muslim regions we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.
Every traveler is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travelers may drink more than others while other travelers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to internet for the recent exchange rates. There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and MasterCard and other credit cards in most Chinese cities. We also recommend the use of cash and travelers checks in USD currency. Major credit cards are accepted in big shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. For the small shops and the street venders, they take cash (either Chinese Yuan or US dollar) only.
Eating is a big part of your traveling in China. Travelling with ChinaExpeditionTours you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally breakfasts and lunches are included except dinners to give you the flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. Your group leader or local guide will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD200 (or equivalent) as an "emergency" fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control, necessitate a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary to tip service providers in travel industry in Asia, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from $6-$10 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service, for driver, it could be half. If necessary, ask your tour leader or call your ChinaExpeditionTours tour advisor for specific recommendations based on the circumstances. If you have a tour leader for the whole tour, at the end of the trip if you felt he/she did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. However as a guideline $6-10 USD per person, per day can be used.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are all e-tickets. They are issued locally and You will be given the information of them prior to the flight departure.
Generally laundry facilities are offered by our hotels for a charge. You also can go to a laundry service center near your hotel to have your clothing washed at a lower cost. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Safety and Security
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers' checks, cash and other valuable items. Many of the hotels we cooperate with have safety deposit boxes which are the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. When travelling on a trip, please note that your group leader or local guides has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your leader or local guides will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader or local guides will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of China but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is not acceptable for ChinaExpeditionTours travelers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. Use of illegal drugs is completely contrary to this philosophy and local law. Our group leader or local guides has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or used.
If you want to fully enjoy your trip abroad, a good health and confidence in physical strength are important. This trip may contain a fair amount of walking up and down steps in towns or climbing mountains. For your comfort and safety, we recommend our trips only to individuals who are comfortable participating in 4-6 hours of daily physical activities and sightseeing. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders or local guides are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In China pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting a tour please carefully read the itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. For travelers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is highly suggested to bring forth. ChinaExpeditionTours reserves the right to exclude any traveler from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our group leader or local guides they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an "average level of fitness and mobility" is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own bags at a minimum. Travelers over the age of 70, or travelers with a pre-existing medical condition, are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that senior travelers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders or local guides work hard to ensure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. You must have comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalization, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. Please take your insurance policy with you when you travel. You may take other cover, of course, but we require you to be adequately insured before we can allow you to participate in our programs. Your ChinaExpeditionTours leader or local guides will need to see and record your policy details at the pre-tour briefing at the starting city, so please bring a copy along to the meeting. If you arrive without travel insurance your tour leader or local guide will require you to purchase a policy before you continue your journey with us.
If you are covered by a policy arranged through your credit card company you will be asked to provide evidence of this cover, as well as a 24-hour emergency contact number. Many credit card companies do not provide an insurance policy number. In this instance, the tour leader or local guides will need to record your credit card number, as this is required to activate any request for emergency assistance. You should also bring along the travel insurance information booklet provided by your credit card company. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the requirements set out by your credit card company in order to be effectively covered and that the cover offered is of a suitable standard.
Passport & Visas
Well before travelling, please ensure that you have a current passport, with an accurate photo, that is valid for at least six months after your scheduled return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport.
Please note that visas for China and Hong Kong are the responsibility of the individual traveler. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. Americans, British, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders do currently require a visa for China. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your government. For the most up to date information please check your governments' foreign ministry website. It is important that you check for yourself. For most travelers there will probably have an embassy and consulate in the country that you live in. Please note if you are travelling from China, into Hong Kong then back into China, you will need a double entry Chinese visa. Note that on some occasions people transiting through China on way to Hong Kong have been made to go through immigration and had their single entry visa stamped making this invalid. Do not allow your visa to be stamped if you are only going through transit.
Keeping in Touch
If you need to be contacted while travelling we recommend that you set up an email address that can be accessed on the road, rather than relying on postal mail. Email cafes are becoming increasingly commonplace and cheap throughout the country, and have quickly become the preferred way for our leaders and travelers to stay in touch. If someone wishes to contact you in an emergency while you are on one of our trips we recommend that they contact us so we can get into touch with your tour leader or local guide quickly by their cell phone and they can pass their cell phone to you! We recommend that family and friends don't try to contact you through phoning hotels en route, as our hotels are subject to change.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us and we'll record you and give you ChinaExpeditionTours travel points so you can use the points to get discount for your next ChinaExpeditionTours trip or your friends' ChinaExpeditionTours tours.