Yunnan Explorer

Resort: Yunnan Explorer
Operator: Cox and Kings
Destination: China
Price From: £3795.00

Overview

Venture into Yunnan province in the far southwest of China, one of the country’s lesser-visited and more ethnically diverse regions. The city of Lijiang has a wealth of history, cultural sites and some charming hotels, but the main attractions lie beyond, where the scenery is remote and spellbinding, with evocatively named locations such as Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Chengdu

(N)

Day 2: Fly to Lijiang

Arrive in Chengdu and connect with a domestic flight to Lijiang. You will be met at the airport and transferred into Lijiang’s historical centre, once a staging post for travellers on the Tea Horse Road. Stay at the LUX* Hotel Lijiang for 3 nights. (N)

Day 3: Lijiang

Take a guided tour of the historical centre, then drive out to Shuhe Ancient Town, a village north of Lijiang that was once home to members of the Naxi minority ethnic group. Visit the Mu Family Mansion, the former residence of Naxi chieftain, and wander the well-preserved cobbled streets to explore gardens, temples and museums. Optional evening Naxi music performance. (B)

Day 4: Lijiang

Full-day tour to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, including a visit to Baisha village to see the Baisha Frescoes, a collection of murals depicting scenes from traditional village life and Tibetan Buddhist iconography. (B, L)

Day 5: Zhongdian

Drive to north to Zhongdian, a city with a strong Tibetan influence due to its proximity to Tibet. Stop en route for views of the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the first bend of the Yangtze river at Shigu. Stay 2 nights at the Songtsam Retreat Hotel. (B, L)

Day 6: Zhongdian

Morning tour of Songzanlin Tibetan monastery, which is modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa and has a delightful setting against a backdrop of dramatic mountain scenery. Afternoon visit to the Pudacuo National Park, home to a diverse array of karst features and beautiful landscapes. (B, L)

Days 7-8: Benzilan

Drive north to Benzilan in the foothills of the Meili mountains. Stay 2 nights at the LUX* Tea Horse Road Hotel. Benzilan, set on the ancient Tea Horse Road trade route, has preserved its authenticity and opens an extraordinary window onto Tibetan culture. Spend the following day walking scenic mountain trails overlooking the Yangtze river, trying local produce or visiting the lamasery of Dongzhulin. (B)

Day 9: Fly to Chengdu

Drive to Diqing Shangri-La airport near Zhongdian and fly to Chengdu. Transfer into the city centre and overnight at the Buddha Zen Hotel, a traditional courtyard-style building near the Wenshu monastery. (B)

Day 10: Fly home

Transfer to the airport and fly home*. (B)

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