China Yunnan Tour
The Great Wall of China, is a series of fortifications along China’s northern frontier. The Badaling Great Wall, is one the best-preserved section of the wall. It is also one of the busiest and equipped with a cable car. The Mutianyu Great Wall, in the north, has preserved its original-style watchtowers. Further ahead, the Jinshanling Great Wall, has the most beautiful original architecture. While, the unrepaired section of Jiankou Great Wall, is a great site for photographers.
Begin in Beijing, the ancient imperial capital of China. Visit Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, built over 2,000 years ago. In the city, visit the massive Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Mao’ Mausoleum and National Museum of China. Then tour the ancient city of Xi’an before travelling to Guilin to view its beautiful karst mountain landscape. Travel to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province and visit Lijiang and Erhai Lake, once the capital of the fierce Nanzhao Kingdom.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 12-DAY ADVENTURE TO THE ‘FEMALE KINGDOM’…
And, visit Dali, home to China’s colourful Naxi culture.
Travel deep into Yunnan province, home to a wide range of ethnic groups who maintain the traditions and cultures that has set them apart as national treasures. Shielded by the unruly mountains of Sichuan and Guizhou, Yunnan is unmatched in the complexity and scope of its history, landscape and peoples. The fairly flat, productive northeast of the province is home to the attractive capital, Kunming, whose mild climate earned Yunnan its name, meaning literally “south of the Clouds”.
The tour starts in Beijing, the ancient imperial capital of China. With your private guide and driver, you will visit the historical sites of Beijing before travelling to the famous city of Xian. This city was the hotspot of the ancient Silk Road, linking the East to the West. Today, it is one of the most important cradles of ancient Chinese civilization. Here we will see the widely acclaimed, the eighth wonder of the world, the Army of Terracotta Warriors.
Next visit Guilin, one of China's best known cities, famed for its beautiful landscape of limestone mountains, clear waters, caves and rocks. Standing lofty and firm, the hills in Guilin seem to rise up into the sky. It is enchanting to take a boat cruise on the Li River passing picturesque scenery punctuated with bizarrely - shaped pinnacles, sprays of bamboo lining up the riverbanks, fishermen with their cormorants and buffaloes bathing in the sun.
Continue to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province with a history of more than 2,400 years. The natural beauty of Yunnan Province defies description. There are mountains, deep virgin forests, lakes and hot springs. The landscape is alpine with beautiful farmlands, mountain rivers and floral splendour that blooms throughout the year.
Drive to Dali, close to the shores of the Erhai Lake in the Cangshan Mountains and once the capital of the fierce Nanzhao Kingdom. Dali is also home of the Naxi culture, the ‘female kingdom’ where men and women are not united by wedlock but keep a casual cohabitation relationship. Of course, the tourism boom has changed the city but it’s still common to find traditional wooden Naxi houses now converted into shops and run by Han Chinese.
Nestled in a high mountain valley lies Lijiang city, a charming old town that has long been a centre of Naxi culture and now a World Heritage site. Beyond Lijiang, the beautiful countryside beckons. Not far from the city you'll find the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, monasteries, Naxi villages and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The tour ends in Lijiang.
China Yunnan Tour
This is an in-depth tour of China's Yunnan province.
Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangshuo, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang
(12 Days. Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive
Beijing Meet and greet on arrival at the Beijing International Airport and escorted to your hotel for 3 nights stay. The rest of your day will be scheduled depending on your arrival time and how tired you feel.
Peninsula Beijing Hotel (Nil)
Day 2 – Tour
Beijing We drive outside Beijing, to one of the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section. Built over 2,000 years ago, the Great Wall stretches 5,000 kilometres from Shanhaiguan Pass on the east coast to the Gobi Desert in the west. Take time to walk along the wall and capture the scenery on camera.
Then visit the Ming Tombs, also known as the “13 Tombs”, burial site of 13 of the 17 Ming Dynasty emperors. The best part of the Ming Tombs is the road there. Walk along the Sacred Path leading to the necropolis and Giant Tortoises, with bizarre, mythical stone monsters standing guard. Return to Beijing in the mid-afternoon.
Peninsula Beijing Hotel (B, L)
Day 3 – Tour
Beijing Take a tour of Tiananmen Square, a site of historic significance for the advent of communism in China. Aside from the tragic events here over the last 50 years, Tiananmen is truly a people's square, alive with local kite fliers and wide-eyed tourists. Then visit the impressive Forbidden City, the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. See the great palace architecture and its treasures and your private guide will tell you the anecdotes about the imperial family and the court. Also visit the sacred and architecturally unique Temple of Heaven that has come to symbolise Beijing.
Peninsula Beijing Hotel (B)
Day 4 – Tour
Beijing Visit the sacred and architecturally unique Temple of Heaven that has come to symbolise Beijing as well as locals practising Tai Chi and calligraphy. Then continue to the magnificent grounds of the Summer Palace, once a retreat for emperors to escape the scorching summer heat of Beijing. Later take a flight to Xi’an.
Mercure or Renmen Hotel (B)
Day 5 – Transfer & Explore
Xi’an Take an early morning transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Xi’an. The city of X’ian is known for the Terra Cotta Army Warriors, the most significant archaeological excavations of the 20th century. About 6,000 life size terracotta warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum.
After lunch, drive back to the city and visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Located in the Da Ci'en Temple, it is the best-preserved Buddhist temple complex of the Tang dynasty and the city’s most distinctive and outstanding landmark.
Mercure or Renmen Hotel (B)
Day 6 – Transfer & Explore
Guilin Transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Guilin. Guilin has long been one of the world's most famous travel destinations. Located on the banks of the Lijiang River, it is renowned for its gorgeous mountains, clear waters and bizarre rock formations. Famed for the "the finest scenery under heaven", Guilin has attracted poets and artists for thousands of years, who are inspired by the karst formations and the unsurpassed beauty of the Lijiang River. Enjoy a relaxing reflexology foot massage at the Chinese Medicine Institute before taking a night walking tour of Guilin.
Shangri-la Guilin Hotel (B)
Day 7 – Cruise
Yangshuo The highlight of this place is a cruise on the Li River between Guilin to Yangshou, called the “hundred mile art gallery”. Travelling down the Li River, you will feel as if you are in a completely different part of the world. As Bill Clinton said on visiting the Lijiang River, “It is more vivid and genuine than I thought before. Nowhere is like Guilin. It makes me think of the traditional Chinese paintings."
Yangshuo Resort Hotel (B, Buffet lunch on cruise boat)
Day 8 – Transfer & Explore
Kunming Transfer to the airport for your flight to Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan Province and one of China’s famous cities of historic and cultural significance. Its comfortable climate allows flowers to bloom all year round giving it the name of the “Eternal Spring City”. Its alluring highland scenery, bewitching karst landform, varied and exotic habitats and customs and places of historical interest can be found at major scenic spots. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 9 – Explore
Dali In the morning, we take a 90-min drive to the Stone Forest, of ancient limestone cliffs and peaks eroded by wind and water over a spell of 200 million years. The scenic area is a famous geological wonder of karst landform across the world. Drive back to Kunming and later drive to Dali (about 4hrs, no guide for this transfer). Upon arrival, meet with guide and check in the hotel.
Evening free at leisure at Dali Old Town. Located at the foot of the Cangshan Mountain and the west side of the Erhai Lake, Dali old town was set up in the early Ming Dynasty (14th century) as the capital of the Dali kingdom. At present, only the south and north gate towers remain standing. There are well-preserved traditional houses of the Bai Ethnic group people who maintain an ancient and unsophisticated customs and are known for the architecture of their houses. Walking in the city, you will enjoy many historical relics, ancient buildings and rich customs. Experience their tea houses, stroll down the "Foreigners Street", and visit the ancient Yuxi School.
Hotel (B, L)
Day 10 – Explore
Lijiang Today we drive 200km to Lijiang City via the new road (no guide for this transfer). It is famous for magnificent mountain scenery and rivers. The 800-year old ancient town of Lijiang however is a world heritage site. This 1.4 sq km area is inhabited with 4,000 Naxi families, whose Dongba hieroglyph is among the very few still used in the world. This beautiful world heritage town with neat narrow lanes, laced with bridges and small streams running through the courtyards blooming with flowers is worth a relaxing visit.
Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 11 – Explore
Lijiang The ancient town of Lijiang is famous for its magnificent mountain scenery but it is also home to the Naxi tribes, whose Dongba hieroglyphs are among the very few still used in the world. For your excursion the options are:
Option 1: In the morning, we will drive to Shigu (Stone Drum) village, overlooking the ‘first bend’ of the Yangtze River. Then we continue to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, reaching the top end by car but then walk down to the Golden Sands River. If weather permits, we will have a picnic lunch at the gorge.
Option 2: Excursion to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain with a chair lift ride to Yak Meadow to discover the much famed thirteen peaks. On the way, we will visit the Jade Peak Monastery in the Baisha village, once the capital of the Naxi Kingdom.
Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 12 – Depart
Lijiang Transfer to airport for your onward flight.
Make this your holiday
Getting There Beijing Capital International Airport, about 12 miles (19 kilometres) northeast of the city centre, is served by numerous international carriers from the UK. Taxis at the airport are plentiful; the ride into town costs about $20 and can take anywhere from half an hour to an hour and a half, depending on traffic. For the adventuresome there's also a train that whisks you in 23 minutes to a fairly central station in Beijing from which you can cab it to your hotel.
When to go The best time to visit China is during autumn (September to early November) when the skies are clear and the weather is at its comfortable best. The days are warm, sunny and dry with clear skies and pleasantly cool evenings. Local Beijingers describe this short season as tiāngāo qìshuǎng (literally ‘the sky is high and the air is fresh’).
The second-best time is spring, late March to mid-May, when winds blow away the pollution but also sometimes bring clouds of scouring sand for a day or two, turning the sky a livid yellow (great for pictures). From May onwards the mercury begins to surge well over 30°C until the rains arrive. The months of July and August are sultry and humid.
Passport/Visa Visas are required to enter, exit or transit through Chinese territories. The most common is a single entry 30-day visa. Multiple entry, 60-day and 90-day visas are also available. Passports must have a minimum of six months validity. Enquiries should be directed to the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate.