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This trip covers Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-la.

    Destinations: Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri-la (Zhongdian)

    Overview
    Explore the beautiful Yunnan that incl. Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-la (Zhongdian). Arrive in Kunming on your own. Then, you will take a train ride from Kunming to the ancient city Dali, where the Bai minority lives. Your will continue to Lijiang by train and explore the ancient town by yourself. On the way to Shangri-la, you will have a guided tour to the world-famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world. Your trip will be ended in Shangri-la where the Tibetan Ganden Sumtseling Monastery and Pudacuo National Park located.

    Brief itinerary
    Day 1 Arrive in Kunming (no meals)
    Day 2 Free or optional Kunming city tour & Stone Forest excursion (Breakfast)
    Day 3 Train ride to Dali, railway station transfer (Breakfast)
    Day 4 Free or optional Dali exploration (Breakfast)
    Day 5 Train ride to Lijiang, railway station transfer (Breakfast)
    Day 6 Free or optional Lijiang exploration (Breakfast)
    Day 7 Drive to Shanghri-la, Tiger Leaping Gorge excursion (Breakfast)
    Day 8 Free or optional exploration (Breakfast)
    Day 9 Shangri-la departure, airport transfer trip ends (Breakfast)

    Duration: 9 days
    Tour valid: 01/11/2016-30/06/2017
    Activities level: moderate
    Accommodation:
    Tourist class hotels Kunming: Kunming Hotel | Dali: Landscape Hotel | Lijiang: Qianxuelou Hotel | Shangri-la: Shangri-la Old Town Hotel
    Transport: Private air-conditioned vehicle, soft sleeper compartment train, soft seat train
    Meals: 8 hotel breakfasts
    Price: CNY 3950 per person double occupancy
    CNY 1750 per person single room surcharge
    Size of group: min. 4 persons
    Including:
    - 8 nights’ hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis with daily breakfast
    - Day 1 & 9 Airport transfers
    - Day 3 & 5 rain rides and railway station transfers
    - Day 7 private English speaking guided tours, entrance fees and private air conditional vehicle
    Day 1 Arrive in Kunming (1896 meters) (no meals)
    Arrive in Kunming on your own.

    After airport formalities, meet your guide and be transferred to hotel. Serving as the capital of Yunnan, Kunming is historically and culturally renowned throughout the country. It is the center of politics, economy, culture, science and technology in Yunnan. With an annual average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius, it is well known as the City of Eternal Spring without bitter cold in winter and intense heat in summer.

    Day 2 Free or optional Kunming city tour & Stone Forest excursion (Breakfast)
    Your own leisure or optional city tour & Stone Forest excursion

    Drive 98 km. to the Stone Forest one of China's most remarkable natural phenomena. It consists of 80 hectares of innumerable bizarre-shaped ancient limestone cliffs and peaks created by wind and water erosion some 270 million years ago.

    Return to Kunming, city sightseeing to Yunnan Provincial Museum. A monumental Russian-style building, Yunnan Provincial Museum houses a collection of textiles, costumes, handcrafts and artifacts of Yunnan’s many ethnic minority groups. Take also a guided stroll in the old town of Kunming to the Golden Horse and Green Peacock Archway, the East Temple Pagoda and the West Temple Pagoda.

    Day 3 Train ride to Dali, railway station transfer (Breakfast)
    Transfer to the railway station, and take a train to Dali in the morning. K9612 09:40/15:39 or similar.

    Dali is an ancient historical city where the Bai minority lives. Chinese people call the area "Scandinavia".

    Meet at Dali railway station, transfer to hotel. Rest on your own.

    Day 4 Free or optional Dali exploration (Breakfast)
    Your own leisure or optional Dali exploration: Proceed to the shore of the Erhai Lake, the village of Caicun. From there, you will take a private boat and have a cruise on the lake (about 45 minutes one way) to Jin Suo Isle. Visit the Bai minority fishing village on the Isle with its colorful market. On the way back to Dali stop and visit the Three Pagodas. Standing in a way of a tripod on the outskirts of old town, the Three Pagodas were constructed in about 850 and 1050 following the model of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an. For centuries, they are considered landmark of the region.

    Rest of afternoon will be guided stroll in the old town of Dali. The old town of weathered gray granite stands at 2,100 meters on a long, narrow rice plain between the Cangshan Mountains and the Erhai Lake, a natural configuration that seems specially designed for a good, bountiful life. Format of the old town is like a chessboard with four gates guarding in the directions of east, south, west and north, a design that was adopted by most towns in ancient China.

    Day 5 Train ride to Lijiang, railway station transfer (Breakfast)
    Take train to Lijiang K9619 15:30/17:22, Lijiang railway station pick up and then transfer to hotel. Optional tour in Dali in the morning: Visit the Bai minority villages in Xizhou. 23 kilometers north of Dali, Xizhou village has a more mixed population and cosmopolitan background. It grew and flourished in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) along with the fortunes of Dali’s renowned tea merchants that traded to Tibet. Family Yang’s courtyard is a good example of traditional Bai houses. And each morning, villagers in Bai dresses gather in a small market to buy and sell their produce and daily wares. Here, you will also enjoy Three-coursed Tea accompanied with folk song and dance performance, a ceremony of the Bai people to greet guests.

    Lijiang is a gathering place of rugged mountain people with the Naxi forming the majority. Lijiang is a small mountain town of stone and tile, laced with swift canals, which has been recently listed as an UNESCO world monument.
    Upon arrival in Lijiang, check in, and then take a wallk in the Old Town in the evening. Old town of Lijiang is a big area with its center, or Si Fang Jie (Square Street) in the form of an official inks stone, hence its name Dayan (ink stone) Town. It enjoys a long history of over 800 years and unlike most of the old towns in China, there is no city wall due to a superstitious belief of the local ruler whose family name is Mu (tree), when encircled by walls, would be Kun (besieged). Wooden structures, mountains, small rivers and lanes integrate harmoniously in this mountain town.

    Day 6 Free or optional Lijiang exploration (Breakfast)
    Your own leisure or optional Lijiang exploration:

    Drive to the Yak Meadow of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountains. Take chairlift (roundtrip) ride up with superb views over the mountains and valleys. Good weather permitting, you will be able to see the much-famed snow-clad thirteen peaks.

    On the way back to Lijiang, visit Naxi village Baisha. North of Lijiang Country finds the Liulidian Temple and Daobaoji Temple at Baisha village, housing 558 mural paintings on 12 walls that date back to the Ming Dynasty in 1385. Buddhism, Taoism and Lamaism manifest in integration in styles of the Han Chinese, the Tibetan, the Bai and the Naxi people on the murals, a proof of exchange on politics, economy, culture and religion between the mainland and the frontiers of China.

    Visit the Jade Peak Monastery (also called Yufeng Monastery). 11 kilometers northwest of Lijiang, this monastery's centerpiece is a 500-year-old camellia tree that boasts ten thousand blossoms from December until March of the following year. Visit also to the Black Dragon Pond with the Wufeng Temple (Five Phoenix Pavilion) and Dongba Culture Museum.

    Day 7 Drive to Shangri-la, Tiger Leaping Gorge excursion (Breakfast)
    You will drive180 kilometers (approx. 5 hours) along the Yunnan-Tibet road to Shangri-la. En route, you will visit of the First Bend of the Yangtze River and the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

    The village of Stone Drum stands at the First Bend of the Yangtze River, some 70 kilometers west of Lijiang. Approaching to Stone Drum offers a dramatic view of the Yangtze's near-180-degree turn, where the wide, swift waters perform a miraculous about-face. For nearly 20 kilometers the river, first flowing south, then north, runs parallel to itself.

    The Tiger Leaping Gorge, or Hutiaoxia in Chinese, is wedged tightly between titanic cliffs; the river is so narrow here, as legend tells us, that a hunted tiger made his escape to the other side in a single bound. Here, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountains and the Haba Snow Mountains lean close to each other and a large volume of torrent moving between them cutting deeper and deeper into the bottom of the gorge. In some places there is a drop of 3,000 meters to the water. You will take 2-hour soft trekking in the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

    At 3,160 meters above sea level, Shangri-la lies in a landscape of rolling hills, snow-capped peaks, virgin forests of spruce, pine and meadow dotted with wild flowers and tranquil lakes. The old town, still entirely in local Tibetan style, is to the south of Shangri-la.

    Day 8 Free or optional Shangri-la exploration (Breakfast)
    Free time at leisure or have an optional Shangri-la exploration incl. visit the Ganden Songzanglin Monastery, the Napa Lake, and a local Tibetan village.

    Founded in the 17th century during the reign of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama and nicknamed as Lesser Potala Palace by the locals, Ganden Songzanglin Monastery is one of the thirteen Tibetan monasteries in the Kangba Region, where Tibet, Yunnan and Sichuan join. Holding about 700 monks and one living Buddha, the monastery is a must-go in the region.

    Napa is a seasonal lake just a few kilometers away from Zhongdian. In dry season, the lake area turns to be a swamp that provides open ground for horse riding and an ideal location for migrant birds. In rainy season, with a backdrop of green mountains in a distance and blue sky, offers quite a few photogenic opportunities.

    Visit also the Vegetable Market in the new town. In the evening, take a guided stroll in the Old Town where you may attend the local dancing in the market square from 20:00.

    Day 9 Shangri-la departure, airport transfer, trip ends (breakfast)
    Transfers to Shangri-la Airport, departure, end of services.
    City: Kunming
    BeijingHotel Name: Kunming Hotel
    Information:Kunming Hotel started business in October 1958. The European style architecture of the Hotel looked so serene that it was a very eye-catching building in Kunming in the mid-twentieth century. Its amenities, interior décor, well appointed facilities, strict management and quality of service gives its guests the feeling of home away from home.
    Location: The Hotel is located in the city center of Kunming, at 52 Dong Feng Dong Road. It is only 3 km away to the railway station and 6 km from the airport. Transport is convenient both for business and leisure guests..

    City: Dali
    BeijingHotel Name: Landscape Hotel
    Information:In Dali, you can find a hotel called Landscape, leaning against the Cangshan Mountain, facing the Erhai Lake. It is originally an old majestic courtyard.Followed the cry of neighbor’s chicken, a new day in Landscape begins.
    Location: located in Dali's ancient historical quarter at the foot of Cang Shan (Mt. Cang) facing Erhai Lake.

    City: Lijiang
    BeijingHotel Name: The Qianxuelou Hotel
    Information:The Qianxuelou Hotel is situated in Lijiang(Shuhe) Dayan Ancient Town. Opened in 1995, Qianxuelou Hotel Lijiang provides privacy, safety and personalized service to discerning travelers. Qianxuelou Hotel Lijiang is innovated in 2009.The hotel has 2 storeys (floors), 58 tastefully understated rooms.
    Location: Located to the north of Shizi Mountain of Lijiang Ancient City, Lijiang Railway Station 1.5 km. Airport 27 km, Downtown Sifang Street 0.3 km, Square/Greenbelt Yuhe Square 0.1 km

    City: Shangri-la
    BeijingHotel Name: Shangri-La Old Town Hotel
    Information:Boasting a business centre and a restaurant, Shangri-La Old Town Hotel offers well-appointed guestrooms. Free private parking is available on site, so is free WiFi. Dukezong Ancient Town lays only 5 minutes' walk away.
    Location: It takes 12 minutes by car to Diqing Shangri-La Airport. Sumtsaling Monastery can be accessed in 25 minutes' car journey.

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