Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport, to make sure you will feel looked after from the moment you arrive. You will receive a cell phone with CNY 50 credit to help you keep in touch with your guides at all times, and a mobile Wi-Fi device is available to make sure you stay connected with family and friends.
The day starts with a drive in the comfort of your own car to the Longji Terraces, carved into a steep mountain range called the "Dragon's Backbone". Zhuang and Yao minorities in the surrounding villages build their houses still without nails and wear their traditional clothing. All the villages have differing customs for clothing, and especially women’s outfits are beautifully embroidered; just one outfit may take up to a year to sew.
There is a further climb from the car park to the hill top, but sedan chairs are available at a reasonable cost.
The world famous Li River is best appreciated in a boat, where you get a great view of the mountains and bamboo groves gliding past. On your arrival to Yangshuo you will be taken to your hotel and then have free time to explore this lively small town. The skillful cormorant fishermen still work here, find out more from your guide.
The day starts with a bike ride in the beautiful Yangshuo countryside, among the distinctive mountain peaks and delightful orchards. A visit to a local farming family home half way through the day gives you an insight into life here.
After lunch in a local cafe serving a mixture of local and western style food you are taken back to Guilin for a flight to Kunming.
Two of the natural wonders near Kunming are on the list today. The Stone Forest is a mystical place, formed by karst rock shapes. The Sani people still live in the area and show some of their folk customs and dances for the visitors.
The Jiuxiang caves are vast, filled with stalagmites and stalactites glistening in the lights, and flowing waterways and waterfalls. A cable car is available for the return journey, as it is a long way to walk back.
There is a saying: 'If you do not visit Western Hills, you haven't visited Kunming; if you do not go to Dragon Gate, you haven't been to Western Hills.'
The Western Hill is a great viewing point for the city of Kunming; a cable car takes you from the Folklore Village at the base to the Dragon Gate on the top. The Dragon Gate area also includes some fine grottoes and pavilions, all carved into the mountainside by Taoist monks.
Yunnan Minority Village nearby lets you experience the cultures and customs of different minorities in a short time, there are several performances all throughout the day.
The Green Lake is the most picturesque park in Kunming, where locals come to play mahjong and practice taichi. In ancient times it was called Nine Dragon Pond after the nine springs within the northern part. November-December time each year red beaked gulls migrate here, forming a lovely scene on the water.
In the evening you will be taken to the airport to board your plane to Chengdu.
Chengdu has a history spanning hundreds of years, and Jinli Old Street, restored Sichuan style ancient commercial hub, and Wu Hou Temple, a delightful complex of beautiful gardens and halls, are fine examples of the past. Even lunch place is steeped in history; the dishes are Three Kingdoms’ style.
Chengdu is probably best known for the Pandas and the visit to the Panda Breeding and Research Center is the main focus of the day. You may be able to hold a baby panda, for a set donation and with prior booking. Ask your guide or a China Highlights’ travel advisor for more details.
In the morning a flight will take you to Leshan to start your journey to see Mount Emei. On the way you can go to see the Leshan Giant Buddha, the largest stone Buddha statue in the world. It is best appreciated from aboard a boat, but climbing up is also an option, although good fitness is essential as the Buddha is over 300m high.
After lunch in a local simple restaurant the journey continues to the foot of Mount Emei, and the Baoguo Monastery with quiet and beautiful gardens before settling in your hotel.
Emei Mountain is one of the four major holy mountains in China, and famous for the breathtaking scenery of sea of clouds. First you are driven up the as far as cars can go, then you take a cable car, and the last part of the journey is a short walk up to the summit.
The Monastery of Ten Thousand Years has a very long history, but the present buildings date to Ming Dynasty. Lunch options in the area are limited, but your guide will organize the best available choice for you.
In the evening you fly back to Chengdu and stay the night there.
Your guide and driver will take you to the airport for your flight onward, and make sure you check-in goes smoothly.