Beyond the Clouds

Beyond the Clouds
In the remote far south west of China lies Yunnan province. Scenically one of the most dramatic areas of Asia with vast snow-capped mountains and steep terraced valleys, it is also culturally one of the most diverse. The ethnic groups such the Naxi, Bai and Yi made their home here, and our fascinating journey will totally absorb aspects of this special area.

Itinerary

Day 1, Arrival in Kunming, and transfer to hotel.
Kunming, also known as the Spring City, is the capital of Yunnan province, with mild weather throughout the year. It is nice to walk around the birds and flowers market in the old part of the downtown of Kunming. 100m away from the market is the commercial center of Kunming, which is full of the modern buildings. Here you can see the different faces of Kunming.

Day 2, Western Hills and Stone Forest
Morning visit to the Bamboo Temple which famous for 500 life size arhats, where you possibly someone looks like you in some ways. Drive to visit the Stone Forest in the later afternoon when most tourists left.

Day 3, Drive to Dali
Drive to Dali via Kunming and Chuxiong with a visit to Dinosaur Valley in Lufeng.

Day 4, Three Pagodas and Cangshan Mountain
Visit the thousand-year-old Three Pagodas and the Chongsheng Temple behind them. This is the biggest Buddhist Temple in Yunnan with hundreds of Buddhist images. Take a chairlift up to the Cangshan Mountain at 2550m where you can visit waterfalls and take a walk on the Clouds Road having a bird’s eye view of Dali and Lake Erhai. P>

Day 5, Xizhou and Shaxi
Visit Xizhou morning market where people sell food, vegetables and daily uses, walking into the village to visit some traditional old houses of the Bai people and meet up with locals. Drive to Shaxi village, with visits to villages along the road, hopefully to see a market somewhere on a right day. Shaxi is a small village which used to be an important stop on the Tea and Horse Trail in the past. Time has gone but we can still see the remains of the history.

Day 6, Shibaoshan and Lijiang
Drive to Shibaoshan, with visits to the thousand-year-old grottoes which dates back to Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms, and take some easy walks in the pine forest of the mountain. Drive to Lijiang, and visit the old town which was built in the traditional style, with some streams running through it. The houses are earth-wood structure with tiles on the top. We will walk through the old town to see the Naxi houses, following up the river to Black Dragon Pool where the water of the old town comes from, and from here you can see the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain if the weather is fine.

Day 7, Village and Monastery
One-day trip in Lijiang to explore some Naxi villages and monasteries. Drive to Puji village where we start to walk. Enter the villages and climb up the hill through the pine forest for an hour before we arrive at Puji Monastery, which is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery built three hundred years ago, with copper roofs. Not many people come here, but we can meet a few lamas and locals who take care of the Monastery. After visiting the Monastery, we drive to visit the Naxi villages of Baisha and Yuhu where the explorer Dr. Rock used to live for his research. They are very beautiful Naxi villages in front of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and it’s possible to visit the villages and meet up with the locals.

Day 8, First Bend of Yangtze and Tiger Leaping Gorge
Drive to visit the First Bend of the Yangtze where the Yangtze made the first turn, carry on to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge which is 19 km long and with three very narrow parts, only 30ms wide from one side to another. It’s said that someone saw a tiger jumped over the river and it has been named Tiger leaping Gorge since then. The Gorge has the drops of 3900m from the top of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the Yangtze. O/n in the Gorge

Day 9, Drive to Shangri-La
Drive to Shangri-La with a stop to visit Baishuitai White Water Terrace in Sanba, carry on to Shangri-La with visits to Yi and Tibetan villages along the road, visit Ringsha Temple, which is the first temple built in the area. It’s small and quiet. The tourists seldom visit it but it’s very popular among the local Tibetans. At the Chinese New Year, thousands of people will come here. In the temple, we can see how Tibetans make the praying flags. You can also buy some praying flags and hang them over the mountain behind the temple to get your good luck. And visit the old part of Shangri-La where you can see the biggest praying wheel in the world.

Day 10, Explore Shangri-La
Visit Sungtzeling Monastery, a yellow hat sect Tibetan Buddhist Monastery named Small Potala. It was built by the Fifth Dalai Lama on a hillside, and it looks like the Potala Palace in Lhasa. It’s the home of 500 lamas from the Kham region and there are eight monasteries for lamas from different areas. The lamas supported by their families study and practice here. Visit Napa Lake and some Tibetan villages near the Lake. Here you have the chance to look into the traditional Tibetan houses. Overnight hotel and tour ends.

Seasonality: All year round

Departures:
Sept.17th to 26th, 2016

Price:
US$ 1,470.00 Per person
US$ 290.00 Single Supplement

Group Size: 6 - 8

The price includes:
Hotels with breakfasts
Sightseeing Programs & entry fees
English Speaking Guides
Transfers and transportation by private vehicles

You may prefer a different date and time frame for this tour, or wish to adjust the itinerary to suit your interests. We will do all we can to meet your preferences. Please note that tours of less than six persons may cost more per person, and other expenses may increase as a result of customization of your tour. In all cases, however, we are committed to providing the best value for your experience.