• Visit ancient Dali and Lijiang
• See the Stone Forest
• View the Upper Yangtse and Mekong
• Explore Lijiang - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
• Boat ride on Lake Erhai
• Travel to the Tibetan Plateau
• Visit the UNESCO Panda Breeding Sanctuary
• 16 land days
• Maximum 16 travelers
• Start in Kunming, finish in Chengdu
• All meals included
• Includes 1 domestic flight
• Activity Level: 2
In the 13th century, Marco Polo wrote of Kunming and Yunnan: "The capital city named Yachi is very great and noble. In it are found merchants and artisans with a mixed population of idolaters, Nestorian Christians, and Saracens or Mohametans. The land is fertile in rice and wheat..."
Yunnan's diversity of natural wonders includes Himalayan peaks, fertile valleys, tropical rainforests, tranquil lakes, nature reserves and thundering rivers. The snow-capped mountains and glaciers feed two of the world's great rivers, the Mekong and the Yangtse. Culturally, the area is a veritable cornucopia of 24 colorful and exotic ethnic groups including Yi, Lisu, Bai, Naxi, Li and Tibetan.
Starting in Kunming, we visit the Western Hills and a temple carved out of the mountainside. In the town of Dali, we explore ancient streets surrounded by remnants of the city wall that once protected inhabitants from invaders. In the background, the Cangshan Mountains rise to snowy heights. We cruise on beautiful Erhai Lake before traveling to the town of Lijiang and walking along footpaths over ancient canals and alongside merchant shops.
We make our way to higher altitude as we begin our journey to Shangri-La (formerly called Zhongdian) and Deqen on the Tibetan Plateau. We encounter Tibetans in their traditional villages, plowing fields with yaks in this truly rugged, spectacular and seldom-visited Shangri-La. We also travel to Tacheng Nature Reserve in search of the very rare Yunnan Golden Monkey.
Finally, we board a plane to Chengdu in Sichuan province, where we conclude our trip with a visit to the UNESCO Panda Breeding Sanctuary.
has guaranteed departures
Comfortable hotels with private bathroom facilities.
6 days over 9,000 feet. Some rough/dusty, windy roads and long drives.
Stone Forest and Kunming
Western Hills and Kunming
Dali, Lake Erhai, Three Pagodas
To Tacheng Nature Reserve
Search for Golden Monkeys, To Deqen via the
Mingyomg Glacier, Feilai Temple
Explore the Tibetan-Himalayan Region, return to Shangri-La
To Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge
Lijiang - Yufeng Temple, Traditional Naxi Village
Lijiang - Black Dragon Pool, fly to Chengdu
UNESCO Panda Breeding Sanctuary; Chengdu City Tour