Stone Forest in Kunming Yunnan

China West Experience

Suggested Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Beijing, Flight not included

Today's Activities: Airport Transfer (Beijing)

Day 2: Beijing: Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall
mutianyu section of great wall beijing

Mutianyu Great Wall is less-crowded section of the Great Wall is a about 2.5 hours' drive from downtown Beijing. A cable car takes you to a good section (avoiding a very steep climb), where you can walk along the wall, through the watch towers and enjoy superb views as it snakes across the hills and mountains. You can return by cable car, walk down or walk along the wall for about an hour to descend by chairlift. Wear good walking shoes and protection from the weather.

Day 3: Beijing: The Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square
tiananmen square beijing

Tian'anmen Square is the largest city square in the centre of Beijing, named after the Tiananmen (literally, Gate of Heavenly Peace) which sits to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several key events in Chinese history. As the world's largest city square and enduring symbol of China's national pride, it is surrounded by many imposing buildings including the Heavenly Gate (entry to the Forbidden City), Museums, government buildings and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum.

The Forbidden City was home to 24 emperors between 1368 and 1911.This "city within a city" is a World Heritage Site, and is the largest and the best preserved ancient imperial architecture complex in the world, with great square, halls and gates contrast with intricate halls, gardens, courtyards and quarters. The exhibitions, both permanent and temporary, are all important treasures of ancient China.

Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, Temple of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings where emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties visited for annual ceremonies of pray for good harvests. Located in the south of Central Beijing, it covers an area of 273 hectares. Temple of Heaven was enrolled as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998.

Day 4: Beijing to Xian Flight; Shaanxi History Museum, Xian City Wall with Bicycle
ancient city wall of xian

The history of Shaanxi is said to be the history of China, and Shaanxi History Museum is quite simply one of the nation's best. Four major galleries in large, Tang-style buildings house a vast and impressive collection, beautifully displayed. Most of the item labels are in English, although some other information on the exhibitions is not, but your guide can help here. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

The walls, ramparts, gates and watchtowers form one of the oldest and most complete city defenses still around. Built in the 13th century on the foundations of the original Tang Forbidden City surrounding the city centre, Xian City Wall is a major landmark, and the best preserved, as well as the oldest and largest of the city defense systems in China. We operate this with bicycle. If the weather is not good for biking on the city wall, we will substitute a visit to the Bell Tower. Your guide will be very glad to take you the Bell Tower after you have been to look at the city wall.

Day 5: Xian to Kunming Flight; The Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Big Wild Goose Pagoda
xian terracotta warriors army

The Terracotta Warriors and Horses was discovered accidentally in 1974. This incredible army of over 7000 soldiers, archers, horses and chariots in full battle array has guarded Emperor Qin's tomb since 210BC. Each figure is unique, and the painstaking repair and excavation continues in 3 pits which are protected inside huge hangars. 1.5 hours from Xian, there is also an excellent museum and film about the history of the vaults. Photos (no flash) are allowed. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a major Buddhist site, the simple, elegant brick Pagoda stands in the grounds of the attractive Da Ci'en Temple. The Pagoda was built in the 7th century to house the Buddhist materials that Xuanzang (Tripitaka) brought back from his epic journey to India. The Temple complex has several large halls with some great Buddhist statues and murals.

Day 6: Kunming: The Stone Forest, Jiuxiang Caves
kunming yunnan stone forest

The Stone Forest is a fantastic natural phenomena located 90 km southeast of Kunming. The various shapes of karst landscape was formed due to millions of years' movement of Earth. The Stone Forest area is the home of the Sani people, their folk customs has become one spectacular scene, the colorful embroidery and minority dances combine with the natural sceneries, which will surely leave you a deep impression.

Jiuxiang Caves are situated in Jiuxiang Township, about 70 kilometers from Kunming. There are more than one hundred karst caves in Jiuxiang scenic area. The caves at Jiuxiang are the largest cave group system in China. Inside the cave are many well-developed and wonderful stalactites and stalagmites, which look like pretty fairies welcoming their guests. Names have been given to them such as "Fairies Welcoming Guests", "Woman Weaver", and "The Fairy is coming out of bathing".

Note: The final stage is to climb up Bat Cave. This is the most challenging part as there are about 336 steps. Sometimes there are laborers who offering sedan chair service.

Day 7: Kunming to Dali Flight: Houses of Bai People in Xizhou, Cruise on the Erhai Lake
erhai lake dali yunnan

The Houses of Bai people in Xizhou are located in the Xizhou Town which is 16 kilometers away from the Ancient City of Dali. Xizhou is not only a famous historic city, but also a typical commercial town of Bai people. It is one of the cradles of National capitalism of Bai people, and a famous hometown to overseas Chinese in Yunnan. You will see typical Bai traditions and dresses there. Some buildings are old and typical ancient architectures, which are the real local house. On the outside walls of each house, there are numerous exquisite paintings showing the art atmosphere.

The area around Lake Erhai is blessed with a mild climate and fertile land with forests containing valuable stocks of timber, medicinal herbs and rare animals. A cruise around the lake and its islands is an excellent way to explore the area and visit a working fishing village. Fifteen minutes' wait is sometimes required if there are less than five people to take the cruise.

Day 8: Private Transfer from Dali to Lijiang; Lijiang Ancient Town
ancient town of lijiang

Lijiang Ancient Town is situated in the middle area of the county, which is more than 2400 meters high above sea level. It enjoys beautiful scenes, an indeed famous city with long history and splendid culture, it is very rare in China that such well-preserved minority ancient city still exists. The old town is quite busy in the afternoon and evening with an active atmosphere of the lights and crowd. An early morning visit will be less crowded.

Day 9: Lijiang: Spruce Meadow on Jade Snow Mountain, Baisha Murals at Baisha Village
jade dragon snow mountain lijiang

Half way up Shanzidou on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, in the spruce jungle, is hidden a vast meadow called Spruce Meadow. Its altitude is 3,240m. Every spring and summer, the Spruce Meadow stands out on the mountain ridge like a carpet of greenery. The legend of a couple of lovers who died for love certainly dyes the area with a romantic hint. It is also a popular spot for photography and local ethnic dancing performances.

Painted over a thousand years ago, Baisha Murals at Baisha Village combine the cultures of Han, Tibetan and Naxi people displaying the life stories of the Tibet Buddhism, Confucian and Taoism.

Day 10: Lijiang to Kunming Flight; Kunming to Guilin Flight

Hotel to airport Transfer (Lijiang), Airport Transfer (Guilin)

Day 11: Guilin: Li River Cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, Yangshuo Countryside Cycling
li river cruise guilin china

A cruise along the Li River between Guilin and Yangshuo is an unforgettable experience. As you take in the stunning scenery, there's something interesting to see at almost every bend in the river. Between spectacular limestone peaks you'll see graceful bamboo groves, farmers tending rice paddies, and lumbering water buffaloes pulling carts or cooling off in the river. You may see fishermen gliding along on their narrow bamboo rafts, and if you're very lucky you might see one of the famous fishing cormorants. Boats depart from various wharves, according to the height of the river at different times of the year. The cruise will arrive at Yangshuo pier near the bustling West Street.

Experience the hustle & bustle of the Yangshuo traffic for 10 minutes before you escape onto the country roads, lanes and tracks of the distinctive and beautiful Yangshuo countryside. Biking alongside the paddy field and orchards that surround the famous mountains will give a fascinating insight into life in rural China. You will have a family visit on the half way. It is an opportunity to see a real country life and talk to the local farmers.

Day 12: Depart Guilin, Flight not included

Hotel to airport Transfer (Guilin)

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