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Holiday Overview


  • Visit highlight of Dali, experience the native's hand-made clothing process - tie-die cloth workshop
  • Explore the Old Town
  • Explore the dazzling diversity of Yunnan’s minority ethnic groups at the towns of Dali and Lijiang
  • Spend enough time in Zhongdian or say Shangrila as well as Tiger Leaping Gorge - one of the most attractive area in Southwest China.
  • Visit the famous Dragon Snow Mountain

Yunnan, a land of natural beauty and mystery, located in the most southwest of China, has a vast territory, magnificent mountains and rivers, abundant natural resources and diverse cultures. Yunnan is a home to 26 ethnic minorities which give a rich color to the land. They contributed with their colorful costumes, their traditional songs and dances to the attractive life.

We will start with Dali City which is located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain and can be traced back to the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). You’ll explore the dazzling diversity of Yunnan’s minority ethnic groups at the towns of Dali and Lijiang. As well in the villages of Baisha, Shaxi and Nuodeng, you’ll fully experience this, as these cities are a haven for minority groups, with the Naxi, Hui and Bai ethnic groups being especially prevalent.

Spend enough time in Zhongdian or say Shangrila as well as Tiger Leaping Gorge - one of the most attractive area in Southwest China. Your tour will end the trip at Lijiang ancient town for the famous Dragon Snow Mountain etc.

Brief Itinerary

  • Arrive in Dali (L)
  • Dali / Wei Shan(1,733m) / Dali (BL)
  • Dali-Shaxi (BL)
  • Shaxi-Tiger Leaping Gorge- Halfway Guesthouse(2,395m) (BLD)
  • Bendiwan / Da Shen Gou(2,060m) / Shangri-La (3,297m) (BL)
  • Shangri-La -3h- Lijiang(BL)
  • Lijiang (B;)
  • Lijiang –Hong Kong(B)

Map & Itinerary

Holiday Itinerary

  • Arrive in Dali (sea level: 2,017m)

    Today our guide will lead you to visit Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple northwest of Dali, occupying a scenic location at the foot of Mt. Cang Shan facing Erhai Lake, built in the reign of Emperor Hongwu of Ming Dynasty, has a history of over 1,800 years. Known for its resilience, This architectural treasure. has survived several eras of severe earthquakes. 
    Then, we will go for a boat tour on Erhai Lake, watching queues of captive cormorants waiting on the edge of the boat for their turn to do the fishing. The whole lake area is full of interesting and beautiful sites. Lining its banks in the valley is the ancient city of Dali. You can watch the people live their daily lives in a traditional way. That is an interesting backdrop for the scenery. We'll head to Xizhou, an old quiet town which will give you a chance to experience the Bai minority's local market where traders and merchants gather to do the business. 
    Then extend your tour to the native's hand-made clothing process - tie-die cloth workshop, taste local snacks when your walk along the small streets. By visiting this small town, you gain a better understanding of the history of this ingenious people and an appreciation of a culture that has been important in Chinese history.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals L

  • Dali / Wei Shan(1,733m) / Dali

    This morning we will explore Wei Shan Old Town, claimed to be "the ancient capital of Nanzhao Kingdom" and is in fact the cradle of Nanzhao Culture. Wei Shan Old Town is located in Wei Shan county, west of Yunnan Province. The name “Wei Shan” is derived from "Weibao Mountain (Weibao Shan)” in the east. The Wei Shan old town, with a history of more than 600 years, possesses numerous cultural relics and scenic beauties. According to historical records, Wei Shan had become the political, economic and cultural center of west Yunnan Province as early as the Tang Dynasty. In 1994, it was listed as one of the historical and cultural cities of China. Time goes by, narrow streets and alleys, wooden houses with grass growing on the roof, gate towers, memorial archways, temples, ancestral halls here are all well-preserved.
    At the afternoon we will have a chance to take a short hike on Mt. Weibao, one of the thirteen Taoist Mountains in China, and will have opportunity to know more about this native Chinese religion. Then visit Donglianhua (East Lianhua) Hui Village, a Muslim village on the "Tea and Horse Road". The mosques’ green domes topped with a shiny crescent and star seem out-of-place in this part of the globe. The Muslims of WeiShan region in Yunnan belong to the Hui ethnic group. At the end of our hiking, we'll get back to Dali ancient city for night.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Distance hiking: 6km; driving: Dali/WeiShan 70km

    • Meals BL

    • Time hiking: 2hrs; driving: Dali/WeiShan1.5hr driving

  • Dali / Shibao Shan(2,487m) / Shaxi Village(2,106m)

    In the morning we will make a 2.5-hour drive to Shibao Shan, a stone treasure mountain, which is famous for its red rock formations called Danxia landscape and the Buddhist grottoes that feature unique stone-carving nestled into the pine-forested mountain. Shizhong(Stone Bell) Temple, one of the three largest scenic spots of Shibao Shan, where the bodhisattva Guanyin and other Buddhist images are carved into the rocky mountainside, are over 1300 years old and evidence of the spread of Mahayana Buddhism into Yunnan from Tibet. The Buddhist grottoes contributed to Mount Shibao being known as the ‘Mogao Caves of Yunnan’, in reference to the famous Buddhist frescoes in the desert of Dunhuang in northwest Gansu province. Walking in the mountain there are dense forests and flowing streams, which makes a beautiful picture.
    Then walking 2 hours down from the mountain to Shaxi village, a historical village at the foot of Shibao Shan, nested in a valley. Shaxi village, World Monuments Fund has listed it as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world. This area was once a bustling trade station on the Southern Silk Road (Tea and Horse Caravan Road), that linked China and Tibet with Southeast Asia, so the ancient remains, frescoes, art and graffiti on the mountains show a mixture of cultural influences from other parts of the world. 
    On the way we will be able to visit some local kiln next to the road, let the kiln man tell you how to make and burn a traditional Chinese tile and special clay cat, also we will have chance to see the traditional Jianchuan red sandstone formations also called Danxia landscape. Then, we will tour the old town, the nearby Shaxi River, the Xinjao Temple, as well as the ancient courtyards that abound in the town. The old town of Shaxi is very small and consists essentially in a few quiet lanes and alleys, you can feel the walls of this ancient alley breath of history. 

    • Accommodation Local Guest House

    • Distance hiking: 8km ; driving: Dali/Shaxi 130km

    • Meals BLD

    • Time hiking:2-3hrs ; driving: Dali/Shaxi 2.5hrs

  • Shaxi / Tiger Leaping Gorge / Stay in Halfway Guesthouse(2,395m)

    Today is special! After crossing the Yangtze River(Chang Jiang), we will spend approximately 6 hours trekking to Halfway Guesthouse located in Bendiwan. Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the world’s deepest gorges or river canyon in the world. The mountains, Yulong(Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain, on either side of the Tiger Leaping Gorge reach over 5,000m at their highest point, looking down to the Yangtze River(Chang Jiang) running through it below. There is a huge stone in the center of the river, and a tiger once leaped from Yulong Snow Mountain to Haba Snow Mountain by jumping on it, which contributes to the name of Tiger Leaping Gorge.
    In the morning we will drive for 3 hours to Qiaotou (1,835m) to begin our trek. First, trek 2 hours to Naxi Family Guesthouse and have lunch. The Naxis are a Chinese minority group and can be identified by their royal blue and white outfits.
    Then continue to trek another 2 hours, making it over the 28 bends(or hairpin) turns up the gorge, the most difficult part to the trek, which involved steep trails and climbing using the rocks and roots of trees to help. Once we get on the top (2,670m), the outstanding views made it all worthwhile. The trail can be very narrow and slippery at times so you do have to be extra vigilant with each step, especially in wet weather.
    After a break, trek another 1-2 hours, we will finally arrive at Halfway Guesthouse in Bendiwan with a great view of Yulong Snow Mountain, and overlooks the Jinsha(Golden Sands) River Valley, the upper reaches of the Chang Jiang, which has some of the roughest and most spectacular white water rapids in the world. Here you can sit out on a deck facing the mountain, and there are hot showers and clean beds. The vistas here are awe-inspiring and perhaps the best of any lodging in the gorge, and the view from the communal toilets is worth the price of a bed alone.

    • Accommodation Local Guest House

    • Distance hiking: 20km ; driving: Shaxi/Qiaotou 100km

    • Meals BLD

    • Time hiking: 6hrs ; driving: Shaxi/Qiaotou 3hrs

  • Bendiwan / Da Shen Gou(2,060m) / Zhongdian(3,297m)

    From the Halfway Guesthouse, continue 1.5-hour's trekking to the Tina’s Guesthouse in Da Shen Gou, where the high and low road meet.
    In the afternoon, drive to Zhongdian (also named Shangri-La), tour to the old town of Dukezong, it is no youngster—at 1,300 years old, the city boasts a formidable history. Showcasing traditional and authentic Tibetan dwellings, the small town provides a snapshot of the past. You can see the Thang-ga painting in academy.  Thang-ga is a unique style of painting developed in the 7th century in the Tibetan area. Thang-ga is a Tibetan word which refers to the scroll painting mounted with colorful satins and fabrics.
    Once a stop along the Ancient Tea Horse Road, the town has come a long way from its heyday as a major port of trade in the region. But the city has retained much of its ancient charm and Tibetan identity; indeed, the town maintains its layout in the shape of a lotus flower, and you're likely to stumble across a gathering of locals strumming their traditional instruments, especially in the evening.  

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Distance hiking: 7km ; driving: Dashengou/Zhongdian 110km;

    • Meals BLD

    • Time hiking: 2hrs ; driving: Dashengou/Zhongdian 3.5hrs;

  • Zhongdian / Stay in Lijiang(2,416m)

    In the morning, drive to Songzanlin Monastery (Sōngzànlín Sì, 松赞林寺),. Located at the foot of Foping Mountain, also known as the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, is the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, and is modeled closely on the Potala Palace in Lhasa.Originally built in 1679, the Songzanlin complex, ordained and inhabited by the fifth Dalai Lama, sits at an elevation of 3,300 m (10,827 ft) and boasts three temples and an eight-meter-high statue of Sakyamuni.
    The Napa Lake Nature Reserve is the country’s largest grassland and most scene area of the plateau. Here we will have a chance to visit local Tibetan family, communicate with local people and enjoy a tradition Tibetan lunch.  In the afternoon, drive to Lijiang. 

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Distance driving: Zhongdian/Lijiang 150km

    • Meals BL

    • Time driving: Zhongdian/Lijiang 3.5hrs

  • Lijiang(2,416m)

    In the morning drive to Black Dragon Pool Park (pinyin: Hēilóngtán), also named Jade Spring Park, shows visitors picturesque scenery with a large crystal pool, luxuriant trees, a tall mountain and historic buildings in graceful shapes. Located at the foot of Elephant Hill, a short walk north along Square Street of Lijiang Old Town in Yunnan Province, China, it was built in 1737 during the Qing Dynasty and offers a spectacular view on the region's tallest mountain, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, over its white marble bridge. The park features several smaller temples and pavilions 
    Then we will drive 22 kilometers to Yuhu village, Yuhu is a simple village of Naxi minority with the former residence of Dr. Joseph Rock. Dr. Rock, an Austro-American botanist and explorer who lived here off and on from 1922-1949, is best remembered for the introduction of innumerable plant species to the West and his rigorous works on Naxi ethnology. Just steps away from Dr. Rock’s residence.
    Tour to Baisha village and visit Baisha Frescoes, 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. They are now rated as key cultural relics under national protection. 
    And Shuhe ancient town named as the town of clean water. Shuhe Ancient Town, an important part of the Ancient Lijiang City, the world cultural heritage, is one of the earliest sites inhabited by Naxi ancestors in Lijiang highland and at the same time it is once an important post station on the ancient tea road. 
    In the later afternoon wander in the Ancient Lijiang Town Sightseeing of the Old Town of Lijiang today that is regarded as "Oriental Venice, unsophisticated and picturesque" .

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BL


    In the morning, transfer to Lijiang airport, see off.

    • Meals B


This price includes

1.      Entrance Fees: to scenic spots as listed in the itinerary

2.      All the activities fee mentioned in the itinerary: tie-die;

3.      Private Transfers: Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing during the trip by private air conditioned vehicle with a driver.

4.      Meals: All meals as indicated in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)

5.      Guide: as outlined in the itinerary an English-speaking guide and driver will be provided in each city, who will remain with you throughout your time in that city. A new guide and a new driver will meet you at each city on your tour, to provide you with the best local knowledge available

6.     Hotel: hotel fees are based on two people sharing one room with king-size bed. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast

7.      Tibet Travel Permits

8.      Internal flights

9.      Trains

10.    Arrangements: the tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges

11.    Travel Agency Liability insurance

The price does not include

1.      International airfare or train tickets to enter or leave China

2.      China entry visa fees

3.      Excess baggage charges

4.      The medicine for the sickness or accident while on the way

5.      Personal expenses: expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone calls, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the tour itinerary

6.      Meals: any meals which are not specified in the tour itinerary

7.      Single room supplement

8.      Please notice that the price will be much higher during the festival of Labors’ Day, National Day, spring festival

9.      Tips to tour guide and driver (recommended USD10-15/guest/day).

10.    Tourist accident insurance. NB - you are strongly suggested to buy travel and health insurance before you start out from your home country.


Holiday Information

Enough films and batteries, Sun-cream with the protection index of 40-60, sunglasses with a sun protection factor of 15, the lip creams and balms with SPF rating, towel, toothpaste, electric torch, Snack foods.

Cloth that you bring must be warm enough and can be removed easy enough according to the weather, including Jacket, hat, Cotton underwear, Socks, Long-sleeve Shirts, T-shirts and Pants (Shorts are not appropriate at any time while hiking), comfortable shoes, rain gear (long rain coat is better).

In addition to the normal medications for traveling, just like the Aspirin and medicine for diarrhea, siriasis,sunstroke and carsickness.

US$ is acceptable only in a very limited range, e.g. tips. However, for convenience, Chinese currency is the best choice. If you want to change US$ to Chinese currency in the tour, you can change it in the Hotel you stay or in the Bank of China. You could draw cash only from Bank of China in the big city, the ATM there doesn't always work properly and the bank is not easy to find. Please bring some cash at hand to use.

a) Eating is an important part of your China experience. Generally breakfasts are included in the itinerary and offered by hotels. China Highlights recommends local Chinese restaurants that are popular with local people for lunch. You can order dishes with the help of your guide. We usually leave dinner for your own choice — Western food can be found in most large cities.

b) We have tried to arrange various food in different cities. But you may still think the food is simple and not as delicious as in the big cities especially while trekking in the mountains and villages. If you have any priority of the food (eg. If you are vegetarian or you are allergic to MSG, peanut oil, fish and peanut, etc) please inform us early, we will try to alternate the food accordingly. At the same time please prepare some of your favorite snacks and substitution food in case of need.

c) Meals in the home stays will be different from the cities but clean, which leave you a good chance to experience the ethnic minority culture. We will pack a breakfast for you of cold cereal, milk, toast, fruit, and jam for the home stay. d) It is very important to drink a lot of water and eat enough fruit in your tour especially while trekking in the mountains and villages. You are advised not to drink tap water.

Hotels in China are bound by Government laws which mean that air conditioning is switched on nationally in May and the central heating in November (this may vary slightly depending on the region).

In some remote areas, sometimes shower maybe not available in the home stay. A married couple is not allowed to share a room in the Miao's home-stay due to the local customs.


It is customary to tip service providers in the travel industry in Asia, 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. Recommendations for tipping drivers (3 USD per person per day as a guideline) and local guides (8 USD per person per day as a guideline) would depend on the quality and length of the service.


We use comfortable sedans or vans with air-conditioning. The comfort and safety of our customers is of utmost importance, so we ensure that all of the vehicles we use are well maintained and always very clean. Our drivers take pride in their vehicles.

It is a must before going, please provide us the confirmation of insurance company when sign up.

In some provinces with many minorities (like Guizhou, Guangxi, Tibet, Xinjiang and etc.), the customs and habits of local people are different from place to place. The local guide will inform you what should care. Respect the local customs and religions. The people are very kind and hospitable. You can feel free to talk with them. But there are some rulers you should go by! 
a. Do not photo them without getting the permit, please show the respect to them! 
b. Don't talk the sensitive topics like the political and the religion matters!

When you sign up for the trekking tour, you acknowledge that there are risks involved in trekking in high altitude and confirm that you are fully aware of and accept these risks. It is customer's responsibility to determine whether the tour he/she choose is suited to his/her physical condition. Customers are responsible for the cost of any medicines or medical care they may require during the trip for any reason. Please make sure you have adequate personal medical insurance to meet any medical emergency which might arise. In some cases, if you need medical care during the tour, you may be required to pay for it at the time it is rendered and seek reimbursement from your insurer after you return home. Please check with your medical insurer for details. In the event of a medical emergency, we will make every effort to assist you in obtaining necessary care. Also, please tell us in writing if you suffer from any allergies or other physical conditions which might affect you during the tour (if you hasn't tell us in writing before going, you are supposed to be healthy enough to take the tour). Finally, please check with your doctor to find out what inoculation may be recommended for the areas you will be visiting. It is your responsibility to obtain all necessary inoculations. We reserve the right to decline to accept any person as a member of the tour, or to decline to retain any person, if such person's physical condition, mental well-being or behavior interferes with the operation of the tour. There will be no refund in such cases.


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