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24Day Grand Yunnan Ethnic Minority Exploration

Tour Code:YN-SH-01
Tour Dates:no fixed date
Group Size: 2-15 people
Trip Type: ethnic adventure tour
Starts/Ends: Kunming/Shangri-La
Activity Level: hard
Tour route:
Kunming-Stone Forest-Jianshui-Yuanyang-Liucun-Puer-Jinghong-Simao-Lancang-Ximeng-Yuesong-Cangyuan-Gengma-Zhengkang-Mangshi-Ruili-Yinjiang-Tengchong-Dali-Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangrila
Hightlights:23 Days Southwest Yunnan Photographing Trip Includes: Kunming, Nanjian, Manwan, Lincang, Cangyuan, Nanggun River, Zhenkang, Mangshi, Reili, Yinjiang, Tenchong, Baoshan, Dali, Shangrila and Lijiang. Drive down Mekong River valley, meet colorful minorities in border area with Burma, Cross Nu River (the Salween ), enjoy the hot spring bath in Tengchong, surely you can take some unusual pictures.

Day and day itinerary

Day01:Arrive in Kunming
Place & Transport: Kunming & Flight
Today's Activities:Arrive in Kunming.

Day02:Kunming-Stone Forest-Jianshui
Place & Transport: Jianshui & Auto
Today's Activities:Start in the morning from Kunming, drive to the Stone Forest, which lies around 90 kms in the southeast of Kunming, well-known both at home and abroad, is a spectacular Karst landform that took shape about 270 million years ago in the Carboniferous Period.
After lunch drive in the southeast from the Stone Forest to Jianshui of Honghe Prefecture, a state-level historic and cultural city that has been standing there for over 1300 years.
Arrive in Jianshui County. Stroll around in the old part of Jianshui Town, see ancient wells that have been used by local residents for centuries and admire the grand Chaoyang Gateway Arch built in 1389, which is now serving as the landmark of this city. Have a study on local Tofu workshop, where it can be found out how this popular food is produced traditional way.

Move to Tuanshan, an age-old village enlisted amongst the 100 Protected Cultural Architectures of the World by WMF in 2005, for its well-maintained style and features of 19th Century. Return to town, see the Double-dragon Bridge aged over 200 years, it’s a combination of science and art, in elegant shape and ranking the first in Yunnan Province in terms of size and artistic value.

Stay in Jianshui, at featured hotel – Garden of Zhu Family in style of Qing Dynasty.

Place & Transport:Yuanyang & Auto
Today's Activities:Visit Confucius Temple, it is the biggest in Yunnan and the second biggest of country. Take a relaxing walk in the Garden of Zhu Family, a grand complex constructed 100 years ago by a local family surnamed Zhu, with well-arranged yards, well-furnished rooms and halls, labyrinthian lanes and passages, various ornamental plants and flowers, it enjoys the fame ''the Grand View Garden at a Border Town''.

Drive to Yuanyang, a place inhabited by Hani, Yi, Yao, Zhuang and other ethnic groups. Stay in Yuanyang

Place & Transport: Lucun & Auto
Today's Activities:See the morning market in Yuanyang, where the most lively side of local ethnic life is displayed. Drive to Duoyishu near Shengchun Village, see the spectacular rice terraces cultivated by Hani people through generations, this is one of the most inspiring scenes in southern Yunnan, reputed as the Sculpture on Mother Earth.

Move to Bada and Laohuzui, another two places famous for different types of terrace view. Drive to Luchun County, a small town situated on mountain and surrounded by rice terraces. Drop in ethnic villages en route, explore their authentic lives.
Stay in Luchun.

Day05:Liucun-Puer City
Place & Transport: Liucun & car ride
Today's Activities:Full day car ride from Luchun to Puer City via Jiangcheng, random stops on the way for stretches or short visit to villages.
Visit Yi and Hani ethnic villages in Jiangcheng County.

Place & Transport:
Jinghong & Auto
Today's Activities:Drive to Jinghong City in XishuangBanna. Xishuangbanna is the southernmost prefecture of Yunnan, bordered with Laos and Myanmar, rich in fauna and floral resources, famous for exotic culture of different ethnic groups. Arrive at Menglun, a small town lying quietly beside Luosuo River, where the biggest tropical botanical garden of China is situated. Stay in the Botanical Garden.

Sightseeing in the garden, learn about various indigenous and introduced plants, take a relaxing walk in the rainforest zone of garden to gain a rough idea about this most biologically-diversified ecosystem in our world. Visit to village of Jinuo people, who’s the last ethnic nationality classified by Chinese government in 1979, now only live in Xishuangbanna region.

See villages and Theravada Buddhism temples of Dai nationalities around Ganlanba area, Dai is the majority in this prefecture, they mainly stay in the basins near river and are good at rice growing, Theravada Buddhism is the prevailing religion in locality, and people are still carrying on the traditions of sending boys to temple.

Arrival in Jinghong City, which is the capital of Xishuangbanna, a quiet and tropical town near Myarmar border.
Stay in Jinghong

Day07:Full day visiting in Jinghong
Place & Transport: Jinghong & Auto & Hike
Today's Activities:Excursion in the west to Menghai area, a place famous for production of tea. See a farmer market where people sell all kinds of native produces and purchase daily commodities, market is always the most lively part of every place, and always candidly mirrors the most authentic sides of local people’s life. Visit the Octagonal Pavilion beside Jingzhen Village, a building in peculiar shape; it’s one of the three most famous Theravada Buddhism buildings in Yunnan, used to serve as a meeting room for local senior monks’ monthly conference.

Move to Menghun, drop in a village where Dai villagers produce paper with tree bark in their very original way, then to village of Bulang, an ethic group who stay on mountains and are good at tea planting, see the nice tea plantations around village and try gaining information about their traditions, customs and way of living through chatting with villagers. Return to Jinghong, stop on the way for visit to Aini, the second biggest ethnic nationality in Xishuangbanna, descendant of ancient Qiang tribe, who used to live nomadic life and kept migrating. Fly back to Kunming in the evening.

Place & Transport:Lancang & Auto
Today's Activities:In the morning drive to Lancang via Puer City, visit Laiyanghe River Nature Preserve. Cross the Lancang River. Stay in Lancang.

Place & Transport: Ximeng & Auto
Today's Activities:Visit Lancang Lahu minority villages and then drive to Ximeng. Visit villages on the way. Stay at Ximeng.

Place & Transport: Yuesong & Auto
Today's Activities:Yuesong is a town on the border of Myanmar. Visit Wa villages, stay in the town or camp in the village.

Place & Transport: Cangyuan & Auto
Today's Activities:Drive to Cangyuan, which is a border town with Burma, viewing the 3000 years old Cangyuan Cliff Painting. Cangyuan is a Wa minority autonomous county. Stay in the 1 star Cangyuan Hotel.

Place & Transport: Zhengkang & Auto
Today's Activities:Drive 2 hours to visit the Nangun River Nature Reserve which is for the protection of wild elephants. (The Nangun river is the border between China and Burma), then continue drive along the border road to Zhengkang county. On the way, visit several ethnic villages.
Stay in the 1 star Zhengkang Hotel

Place & Transport: Mangshi & Auto
Today's Activities:Drive 6 hours from Zhengkang to Mangshi (Luxi), on the way, you will cross the Nu River. Stay in the 3 star Mangshi Hotel

Place & Transport:Ruili & Auto
Today's Activities:Drive from Mangshi to Ruili, on the way, visit Wangdin, a border town with Burma, and the One Single Tree Forest. Upon arriving Ruili, check in the 4 star Jing Cheng Hotel. After dinner, visit the well-known night market.
Stay in the Jing Cheng Hotel.

Place & Transport: Tengchong & Auto
Today's Activities:Visit minority villages and local markets around Ruili, including Nongdao. Then drive to Yinjiang County. Visit in Dayin River and Tongbiguan, a famous local scenic spot. Drive to Tengchong in the late afternoon.

Day16:Full day visiting in Tengchong
Place & Transport:Tengchong & Auto
Today's Activities:Visit the Volcano National Park and the Heshun Old Town which is a very famous hometown for many overseas Chinese.

Day17:Relax in Tengchong
Place & Transport: Tengchong
Today's Activities:Relax in Tengchong, enjoy the hot spring bath in Hot Sea.

Place & Transport: Dali & Auto
Today's Activities:Breakfast at hotel. Today's scenic journey of approximately 6 hours leads through an ethnically diverse region inhabited by Burmese, Dai and Jingpo people. Stop at Baoshan. Cross the Lancang Jiang (Mekong) River near Wayao. Arrive late in the afternoon in Dali, at the intersection of the Yunnan-Myanmar Highway (Burma Road) and the Yunnan Tibetan Highway. The town is located on the southern tip of the picturesque Er Hai Lake. Dinner and accommodation in Dali.

Day19:Explore Dali and its vicinity
Place & Transport: Dali & Auto
Today's Activities:Breakfast at hotel. Explore Dali and its vicinity. the historic city of Dali, 400km west of Kunming, is the birthplace of Yunnan's ancient culture and capital of the notable former Nan Zhao and Dali kingdoms. Cruise on the Er Hai Lake, one of the biggest freshwater lakes in China. Enjoy the wonderful scenery with its stunning mountain backdrop and beautiful islands. In the afternoon, visit the Three Old Pagodas, symbols of outstanding technology.

Place & Transport: Lijiang & Car
Today's Activities:Breakfast at hotel. Leave Dali by car for wonderful Lijiang, a journey that takes approximately 4 hours. On the way stop at the Bai minority villages of Zhoucheng, famous for its accomplished batick technique, and Xizhou, with traditional Bai architecture. A sightseeing tour of Lijiang includes the Black Dragon Pond Park, the famous Moon Embracing Pavilion. Do not miss to explore Old Lijiang, an intimate mountain town of stone and tile and laced with canals, which became a World Heritage Site in 1997. Dinner at a local restaurant followed by a naxi Orchestra performance of classical Taoist music.

Day21:Actcivities in Lijiang
Place & Transport: Lijiang & Car
Today's Activities:Breakfast at hotel. In the vicinity of Lijiang take a cable car ride up to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the famed mountain with thirteen peaks like jade pillars. The large pastures on the mountain present a splendid view. Also visit a Baisha village with its temple frescoes, the traditional village of Yuhu, and Yufeng Monastery with its small lamasery famous for a Camellia Tree that has 10,000 blossoms.

Day22:Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri La (Former Zhongdian)
Place & Transport: Shangri La & Auto
Today's Activities:Transfer and visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, which is the one of the world famous deepest canyons of the world. On the way you will birdlook the First Bend of Yangtze Rier.Then continue to drive to Zhongdian, the plateau under the blue Tibetan sky, and the capital of the Deqin Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Check in at the Sightseeing hotel for a 2 night stay.

Day23:Visiting in Shangri La
Place & Transport: Shangri La & Coach
Today's Activities:Visit Bita Lake by coach to enjoy the virgin forest alive with wild plants and azaleas in May and June. Visit a local Tibetan family for learning traditional life style of a Tibetan. Visit the Songzanglin Lamaism Monastery. Resembling the Potala in Lhasa, it was built by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century and having a current population of about 800 monks.

Day24:Shangri La- Kunming-Departure
Place & Transport: Kunming & Flight
Today's Activities:After breakfast at hotel. Take the flight to Kunming for catching International flight for returning.

Price for this tour


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How to book this tour?
Please email us and let us know the information below:
1. Your arrival date and flight number.
2. The name you used to book your hotel.
3. The date that you would like to take this tour.
4. The number of persons in your group that take this tour.