This dream tour starts on the airport when our guide whisks you away in a private vehicle and takes you to your hotel.
The Mutianyu Great Wall is a less frequented section, despite having stunning views across the mountains and a cable car to take you to the top, so you can enjoy the scenery in relative peace. Back in the city center, the Temple of Heaven offers you some fantastic architectural design, connecting circular buildings from the Ming dynasty. This was designed all for one day a year, the day when the emperor makes his yearly sacrifices to the highest deity in heaven.
The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square are actually originally part of the same Forbidden City, although now the latter is the symbol of a brave new China, and the former is a museum to the time of the emperors. Both are equally extravagant in their proportions and a wonderful end to your time in Beijing.
After lunch your guide will take you to the airport to catch a flight to Kunming, the gateway city to Shangri La.
The Stone Forest is an unearthly place, shaped by strange karst formations and home of the Sani people. They perform some of their minority dances and sell their traditional embroidered goods for the visitors.
Today your guide will take you for the flight to Dali, between Kunming and Lijiang. The Xizhou Village is known for the houses of the Bai minority that lives there. The name ‘Bai” means white, and appropriately the houses are white, due to the belief that white is a sacred color.
The Ancient City of Dali has been kept separate from modern Dali, and has charming clear streams running through the city. The thousand year old Three Pagodas tower over the scenery, even after several earthquakes in the region, they still stand guard over the city. Lake Erhai is best appreciated from a short cruise which includes a visit to a local fishing village.
Drive to Lijiang is through some magnificent scenery; on arrival you have a chance to see the Jade Dragon Mountain reflect on the Black Dragon Pool, a sight that has inspired generations of artists and poets. Enjoy lunch in a special minority restaurant, serving Naxi people’s specialties, your guide will help you select some dishes from the menu while explaining the traditions and culture of this fascinating people group.
Lijiang Ancient Town has a long history, but has undergone a lot of changes through the years. The streets are now often busy during the day and evening, but if you get up with the sun, you will see a very different town. Wangu Tower up a small hill is a wonderful place to see over the whole old town.
The drive up to the mountains takes you by Baisha Village, where the famous thousand year old Baisha Murals grace the walls, combining the cultures of Han, Tibetan and Naxi people in a unique way.
To get to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain one must take a cable car from the Yak Meadow, where the Yi and Tibetan people live and still wear their traditional clothes. The view from the top is spectacular.
On the way to Shangri-la we stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge, the most famous canyon in China. It is especially wonderful in the spring when the melt waters of snow from the mountains burst down the narrow gorge, but wonderful any time of the year.
The golden roofs and white walls of the Songzanlin Lamasery are done in Tibetan style. Pudacuo National Park has forests of ancient pines and oaks, and beautiful rhododendrons. Lake Bita and Lake Shudu are two clear mountains lakes with walkways built nearby to make the walk more manageable.
Your guide will escort you to your flight back to Kunming form Shangri la, and wish you goodbye once you have checked in. We’re sure this will be a trip full of moments to treasure, we hope to serve you again.