Yunnan Minority Festivals
Day 1, Arrival in Kunming, transfer to Hotel
Day 2, Visit Bamboo Temple and drive to Mile
Breakfast and check out, two hours morning walk in the Green Lake Park, the park is busy in the morning with people exercising, mostly older people, practicing Taiji, dancing, singing and all kinds of things to keep healthy, here you see the real life of local people. One hour drive Bamboo Temple, have a vegetarian lunch in the temple monks here. This temple is famous for the 500 life size Buddhist arhats made in 1883 by the master from Sichuan, you can find an arhat which has some similarity with you among them, this is a very popular temple among local but very few tourists. Three hours drive to Mile (175km) and overnight.
Day 3, Attend Fire Sacrifice Festival of Yi People
One hour and twenty minutes drive (35km) to Hongwa village to attend the Fire Sacrifice Festival of Yi people: The festival is to remember the rotate the wood for fire of the ancestors, it starts in the morning at 9:30 with a welcome ceremony with dances and music in the village on the streets, followed by a street lunch, the lunch is along the streets in near the village square, no tables and no chairs, people put pine leaves on the ground and then place the food on the ground, people squat around and eat, we will join them for lunch, people may not like the food but just to experience. After lunch, people dance on the streets with pained naked bodies and have some fire celebrations, the festival goes on until 5:00 pm, drive back to Mile.
Day 4, Visit Giant Buddha, Stone Forest and Fly to Lijiang
Twenty minutes drive to Jingping Mountain to visit the Biggest Smiling Buddha image in the open air with 19.99m high, you need to climb for 1999 steps of stone stairs up to see it. This is the Buddha for the future, many people come to pray for their future here. An hour and half drive to Stone Forest(80km), two hours visit to Stone Forest, see the main tourists part and also walk to the outskirt of the main sight to see more of the Stone Forest. Drive to Kunming Airport ( 95km 1.5 hours) and evening flight to Lijiang.
Day 5, Visit Lijiang and Learn about Naxi People
Day to visit Lijiang: 20 minutes drive to Puji village, visit this traditional village of Naxi, and then 40 minutes walk up hill in the pine forest to visit Puji Monastery, this is the only old Tibetan Buddhist monastery remains in the area, more than 300 years old monastery with copper roofed building, only a couple of monks take care of it here, nice and quite. Drive to visit Yuhu village in front of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, visit the museum of Dr. Rock, Austrian American explorer and botanist lived here in 1930’s, he is the first person to introduce Lijiang to outside world. Some free time to walk around the old town of Lijiang.
Day 6, Visit Old Town and Tiger Leaping Gorge
Two hours morning walk to visit the old town, the houses are built in the traditional style with wooden structures and tiles roofs, with some small rivers running through the houses, cobbled streets with flowers planted, visit a local daily vegetable market. Drive to visit the First Bend of the Yangtze ( 65km, hour and quarter ) where the Red Army crossed the Yangtze During the Long March in 1935, the Yangtze made a big U turn here and carry onto the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Drive along the Yangtze down to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge ( 70km, 1.5 hours) and overnight in the Middle Gorge.
Day 7, Visit Shaxi on the Tea and horse Trail
Spend some more time to see the Gorge, Tiger Leaping Gorge is 19km long with the drops of 3900m from hill top to the river, with three narrow parts, narrowest is only 30m that a tiger can jump over. Two hours drive to Jianchuan (105km), visit the old town of Jianchuan with traditional old Bai houses. One hour drive to Shaxi (35km) with a visit to brick & tiles factory along the way.
Day 8, Atend Taizhi Festival
Visit Shaxi and attend Taizhi Festival: Taizhi is the local name for the Buddha Sakyamuni, he was the prince of a kingdom in north India who would be the King upon his adulthood. After leaving home he saw the sufferings of people and wanted to help, he gave up everything and found out the ways to reach an idea life, later became the practice of Buddhism. The festival reproduces the event he left the royal palace and created the Buddhism. At the festival, locals clean up the Buddha image in the temple and carry it to travel through the village followed by people dancing and singing. The whole village is full of joy and happiness.
Day 9, Visit Grottoes and drive to Dali
Twenty minutes drive to Shadengqing ( 6km), Two hours hike up to Shibaishan Mountain on a paved path with some steep stairs in some places with visits to some grottoes along the way. Visit Shizhongshi to 800 – 1000 years old grottoes from Nanzhao Kingdom, 20 minutes drive to Baoxiashi, climb up on stairs to vsit Baoxia Temple built on a cliff, nice to walk around the temple for an hour. Three hours drive to Dali ( 130km ) with visit to Erhai Lake to see the cormorant fishing on the way.
Day 10, Visit Xizhou Market, Three Pagodas and Dali Ancient City
Half an hour drive to Xizhou, visit the morning market where people sale vegetables, food and daily necessities. Visit the village to see some traditional old houses of Bai people, Xizhou used to be a wealthy town and many beautiful houses were built here. Drive back to Dali and two hours visit the thousand years old Three Pagodas, which the landmark of Dali, visit Chongsheng Temple behind the Pagodas with hundreds of Buddhist images. One and half hours visit the ancient city of Dali starting from the South Gate, climb up to the city wall for a walk where you can have a good view of the city and area, walk along the city wall to HonglongJing Street, walk through Honglongjing to Fuxin Road, and down to Renmin Road and back to hotel.
Day 11, Drive to Visit Weishan and hike Weibaoshan
Two hours drive to Weishan (75km) and visit the old streets of Weishan, the Local special Food Festival is taking place in Weishan from Mar. 16th to 20th, so we have the chance to try the different local specialties in these two days here. Half an hour drive to visit Weibaoshan (12km), There are some nice old Taoist temples and Ancestor Temple of Yi people built in the mountain in the forest, we spend 2/3 hours to walk the area on paved path with some step sections, usual the same way in and out. Drive back to Weishan.
Day 12, Attend Jiejingu Festival of Bai People
An hour drive to West Big Temples, a place with over 50 temples of different sizes and religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Ancestor-worship and Nature God, to attend the Jiejingu Festival. The Festival the shared ancestor-worship gods of Bai people in Dali and Wenshan, the shared gods live in two different places in the different times of the year. During this festival, people from Dali come here to invite the Gods back to Dali for a stay, people will cook good meals, pray, sing, dance… to amuse the Gods and themselves. It happens day and night…
Day 13, Drive to Kunming
Five hours drive to Kunming (360km), visit the Birds and Flowers Market. Hotel and tour ends.
Departure: Feb.26th to mar.10th, 2017
Price: US$ 2,150.00 Per person
US$ 290.00 Single Supplement
Group Size: 6 – 8 Persons
The price includes:
Sightseeing Programs & entry fees
English Speaking Guide
Transfers and transportation by private vehicles