Classic Yunnan and Jiuzhaigou Tour
16-Day Private China Tour: Beijing–Kunming– Dongchuan–Dali–Lijiang–Shangri la–Jiuzhaigou
Venture to the vibrant city of Kunming. Immerse yourself in the picturesque beauty of Dongchuan's red soil terraces and discover the ancient charm of Dali and Lijiang. Experience the mystical allure of Shangri-la, with its breathtaking landscapes and Tibetan culture. Finally, marvel at the pristine natural beauty of Jiuzhaigou, where turquoise-colored lakes and cascading waterfalls adorn the national park.
The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Send us details of your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.
Tour 'Wow' Points
Witness the Breathtaking Beauty of the Dongchuan Red Land
Explore the Remarkable Yuanyang Terrace Field
Embark on a Scenic Cruise on the Tranquil Erhai Lake
Experience the Charm of a Naxi Minority Village
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Your Trip is Perfectly Planned.
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- No cancellation fee (up to 22 days before departure)
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Finish Your Booking in as Quick as 1 Day
2. Work out your unique plan with 1 to 1 expert advice
Olivia Tian, a sunshine tour guide!
In October, my friend Amy booked a tour with Chinahighlights, Olivia Tian was our guide in Beijing, she is such a sweet n happy person to be around, not only she gave us the best guide service, also very accommodating, alter the plan as per our interest, took us to very local shopping n food district. Above all, she takes awesome pics, very patient!! Thank you so much for such pleasant 5 days in BJ, look forward to see you when we are back in China, Olivia!!more
Dec 2023, Venture216019
One whole of a good experience !
Kevin was always making flexible arrangements for us making sure we meet our needs. Kevin also walked us to our desired restaurant daily making sure all are well before he left. Kudos to the whole team. Highly recommend ?more
Dec 2023, Cornelius C
China is Amazing Wonders that do not stop coming at you.Great country
Great job,Loved every minute of it,Ethan did an amazing job,True Ambassador of China,Just like the Chinese people,Friendly, dignified and hardworking,Very happy.China Highlights exceeded expectations and then some,I will never even think of travelling with another company.more
Dec 2023, Philip Sardar /Maps10321171537
Wonderful trip to Beijing and Xian
Had a great trip to bejing n xian. Our guide lily liu is so well versed in english and we have no worry here at all. We managed to dine in great halal restaurants though out our trip. Highly reccomended to all muslims travellers.more
Dec 2023, Efen Reyes
Great experience, highly recommended!
Additionally, she helped me with all my personal needs like getting a SIM card, finding an ATM, shopping, dining, checking in at the train station, hotel, suggested a couple additional very entertaining art events. Was also punctual and spoke good English.more
Nov 2023, Wayne S.
Excellent tour with Tom from China Highlights
We used China Highlights for the 3 days of our Beijing trip. Tom was a fantastic guide. Very knowledgable with excellent English. He was able to accommodate changes to our tour at short notice, allowing us to make the most of our limited time. Couldn’t recommend highly enoughmore
Nov 2023, Ross
Wow this tour was honestly the best tourI have ever taken! Our guide Simon Yao was simply superb! His English was excellent and he was very easy to talk to. He was personable and friendly but not overpowering or overbearing. Very knowledgeable about history. Thankfully the weather was good so we were not super hot !Finally at the wall we were amazed by it's beauty and grandeur. It really is something and pictures don't do it justice.more
Nov 2023, Annika M
Excellent two day visit to Great Wall
Our guide ‘Mark’ was incredible. So friendly, knowledgable and funny. The itinerary was perfect, we got to see two different parts of the Great Wall (one of which at night which was magical) and our hotel stay in Gubei was wonderful. Highly recommend to anybody visiting Beijingmore
Nov 2023, James_Wolstenholme
Great Experience from start to finish!
Jack was my guide and his local knowledge and English skills were fantastic. He was punctual, friendly and willing to flex as we went about our tour. Couldn’t recommend China Highlights more!more
Nov 2023, Scott Smith
Helen in Beijing - thanks for paying great attention to details, for your small surprises for the children every day, for selecting amazing restaurants, and leading wonderful walking tours. Your cheerfulness added to our enjoyment.more
Nov 2023, Kamila
Great day out with Mark, thanks China Highlights!
We did a 1 day private tour with China Highlights to see Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Communication was great throughout - from trip planning/booking with Roger and from our guide Mark who contacted us the day before to confirm meet up time/location. Avoided a lot of the queues and definitely learned quite a bit of history from our guide Mark…thanks again! No language barriers/issues…highly recommended.more
Nov 2023, ykeezy
China Three (3) Cities Tours
To the tour guides, Ethan, Jason and Tony, you guys have made my visit an awesome and memorable experience. All the tour guides spoke english and communicated very effectively. They are knowledgeable about all the sites visited including, Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Panda Breeding and Research Center, Leshan Giant Buddha, Hallelujah Mountains, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon and Glass Bridge, and Tianmen Mountain. The tour guides ensured I got the most out of my time I stayed in the various cities Beijing, Chengdu and Zhangjiajie.more
Nov 2023, Kadar
13 days in China
We booked a 13 day’s tour of China with China Highlights. Our travel advisor, Ms Leah Zhou organised an itinerary that suited what we wanted. She was really helpful and patient will all our needs. Leah helped us organised our 30th Wedding Anniversary Dinner and my 60th Birthday celebration?? in Beijing. For this to be possible, she had to liaise with our guide in Beijing. The flowers and cake were a real surprise. My husband and I, were really touched at the good service provided by China Highlights and Ms Leah Zhou. Thank you China Highlights and Ms Leah Zhou for your constant care of your customers. I will certainly recommend China Highlights to my friends.more
Nov 2023, Eda Adams
Perfect Beijing experience
Covering all major sights our exploration of Beijing and surroundings was flawless guided by Lily, along with her knowledgeable and balanced information on Chinas culture and history. In particular, Lily was able to adjust the tour according to personal preferences, e.g. focus on photography, as well as suggesting additional activities like an impressive authentic artistic show. I highly recommend China Highlights as China tour operator and Lily Liu as excellent guide regarding the Beijing area.more
Nov 2023, Perfect Beijing experience
Our first trip to Beijing
Our tour guide was Lucy Yubo. She was awesome. Very friendly, informative and passionate about her job. We really enjoyed her company and guidance.more
Nov 2023, Sreelatha Reddy
Anne and Bob’s tour of Beijing
We did the China Highlights tour of Beijing with our excellent guide Mark and his driver. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Beijing highlights including the Lama Temple, the Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Lama Temple. The Summer Palace with the boat ride and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony were memorable also and the Mutianyu Great Wall was a highlight. We were impressed with Mark as a guide. He knew his history and he was kind and thoughtful. He took us to some excellent restaurants and we were introduced to some beautiful food. We enjoyed his company and will always remember him.more
Nov 2023, BendigoBob
Excellent end to end service
Helen is a positive, full of knowledge, experienced guide.She provided us an implacable service abd experience for 3 days .Highly recommendedmore
Nov 2023, Sariel Engel
Amazing Beijing Tour with Risa!
Risa gave us a wonderful tour of the city! She thoroughly explained the cultuaral importance of each exhibit while also educating us on the Chinese culture. Appreciated having this wonderful Beijing trip with Risa:)more
Nov 2023, Angelica M.
Amazing Beijing Tour With Risa!
We were very kindly received in Beijing by our tour guide Risa. She gave us a very thorough tour of the city and showed us wonderful places, while also explaining the important history/culture of China! Very beautiful city filled with many things to do and full of culture! This was very well planned and made it very easy for us to visit the city and foreigners:) Thank you Risa!more
Nov 2023, Angelica M
Do Beijing like a local
They organised my trip very quickly and efficiently. On the day, Anna was very friendly to me, my mum and my baby. Very accommodating to our needs. The car was immaculately clean and very comfortable. We visited everything we initially wanted and more. Also, Anna took us to the best meal we had in China. It makes a difference to have a local choosing the dishes!more
Nov 2023, Natali A
Itinerary Quick Look
Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.
Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at the arrival hall in Kunming. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.
The Stone Forest: Discover the breathtaking natural wonder of the Stone Forest, located 90 km southeast of Kunming. This stunning karst landscape, formed over millions of years, showcases a variety of unique rock formations. As you explore, you'll be immersed in the rich culture of the Sani people who call this area home. Experience their captivating folk customs, adorned with vibrant embroidery and mesmerizing minority dances. The combination of these cultural elements with the breathtaking natural scenery is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Yuantong Temple: Immerse yourself in the history and spirituality of Kunming as you visit the magnificent Yuantong Temple. With a proud history of over 1,200 years, this temple stands as the largest in Kunming. In 1956, the temple hosted a grand ceremony to welcome and consecrate the Buddha's tooth, highlighting its significance in the Buddhist community. Recognized as one of the key Buddhist temples in China by the State Council, Yuantong Temple offers a serene and awe-inspiring experience.
Dongchuan Red Land-Sunset Valley: Embark on a scenic journey from Kunming to Dongchuan, where you'll witness the breathtaking beauty of the Dongchuan Red Land and explore the captivating Sunset Valley. Marvel at the vibrant hues of the red soil, creating a mesmerizing landscape. Capture stunning photographs against this picturesque backdrop that showcases nature's artistry.
River Snail Bay: Discover the enchanting River Snail Bay, known for its tranquil waters and serene surroundings. Take a leisurely walk along the bay, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and absorbing the natural beauty. Immerse yourself in the stunning landscape and find moments of relaxation away from the bustling city.
The Tiled House Bridge Sunset: Conclude the day with a visit to the Tiled House Bridge at sunset. Experience the magical colors of the sky reflecting on the serene waters around the bridge. Capture the captivating scenery and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this beautiful location.
Hit Horse Hole Sunrise: Begin your day by witnessing the mesmerizing sunrise at Hit Horse Hole. Experience the breathtaking views as the morning light illuminates the landscape, creating a captivating sight and a memorable start to your day.
Dongchuan Red Land-Embroidery Garden: Explore the vibrant beauty of the Dongchuan Red Land and immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes of the Embroidery Garden. Marvel at the colorful patchwork patterns created by the fertile soil, capturing nature's artistry.
Seven-Color Slope or North River Village: Continue your journey through Dongchuan and discover either the remarkable Seven-Color Slope or the charming North River Village. The Seven-Color Slope showcases a striking array of colors caused by the unique mineral deposits in the soil, while the North River Village offers an authentic rural experience with its traditional houses and picturesque surroundings.
Duoyishu Rice Terrace (Sunrise): Begin your day with a memorable sunrise experience at Duoyishu Rice Terrace. Witness the breathtaking beauty of the picturesque terraced fields as the sun paints the sky with vibrant colors. Capture stunning photographs of this captivating landscape and immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere.
Yuanyang Terrace Field: Explore the remarkable Yuanyang Terrace Field, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its awe-inspiring terraced landscapes carved into the hillsides. Marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of the Hani people, who have shaped these terraces over centuries, creating a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage.
Laohuzui (Tiger Mouth) Rice Terrace (Sunset): Conclude your day with a spectacular view of the sunset at Laohuzui Rice Terrace, aptly named for its shape resembling a tiger's mouth. As the sun sets over the terraced fields, enjoy the magical ambiance and capture the golden hues reflected on the rippling water surfaces.
Hani Village: Explore the charming Hani Village, where you can experience the rich cultural traditions and warm hospitality of the Hani ethnic group. Immerse yourself in the local customs, witness traditional performances, and interact with the friendly villagers to gain insights into their way of life.
Ancient City of Dali: Immerse yourself in history as you explore the Ancient City of Dali. Wander through its charming streets, lined with traditional architecture and ancient city walls. Discover the rich cultural heritage of the Bai ethnic minority and visit historic landmarks that reflect the city's storied past.
Cruise on Erhai Lake: Embark on a scenic cruise on the tranquil Erhai Lake. Marvel at the stunning natural beauty surrounding this pristine body of water, with its crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscapes. Enjoy the fresh breeze as you soak in the serene atmosphere and capture unforgettable views.
Houses of Bai People in Xizhou: Journey to Xizhou, a Bai ethnic minority village renowned for its well-preserved traditional houses. Immerse yourself in the local culture as you explore these ancient dwellings, each showcasing exquisite Bai architectural styles and intricate designs. Engage with the friendly villagers and gain insights into their daily lives and unique customs.
Li Shui Jin Sha Show: Experience the captivating Li Shui Jin Sha Show, where the art forms of dance, painting, and hand writing come together to depict the magnificent geography of the Lijiang area. Delve into the rich ethnic customs of northwest Yunnan and the ancient cultural heritage of the NaXi people. This mesmerizing show embraces the essence of diverse ethnic groups and showcases their cultural images through various artistic expressions. Witness the fusion of tradition and innovation as the performance brings to life the vibrant costumes and the spirit of the nation.
Tiger Leaping Gorge: Explore one of the deepest and most breathtaking gorges, Tiger Leaping Gorge, located in Hutiaoxia Town. Just 105 kilometers away from Zhongdian/Shangri-La County, this natural wonder offers spectacular views. The best time to visit is during spring when melting snow causes the river to flow vigorously, creating a turbulent and awe-inspiring sight.
First Bend of the Yangtze River: Experience the picturesque beauty of the First Bend of the Yangtze River, surrounded by majestic mountains and intersecting rivers. This magnificent site, situated at an altitude of 1850 meters above sea level, serves as an important ferry connecting inland regions with the old trade route for tea and horses in Tibet. Marvel at the stunning scenery as you learn about the historical significance of this vibrant trade route.
Baisha Murals at Baisha Village: Step back in time as you explore the mesmerizing Baisha Murals, a collection of ancient artworks painted over a thousand years ago. These murals beautifully portray the fusion of Han, Tibetan, and Naxi cultures, illustrating the life stories of Tibetan Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Take a leisurely walk through Baisha Village, immersing yourself in the local life and culture that has been preserved for generations.
The Black Dragon Pool: Discover the enchanting beauty of The Black Dragon Pool, a park named after the stunning pool it houses. Renowned for its picturesque scenery, the pool has earned its place among the Collections of Famous Pools of China. Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of the park, surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking views.
Naxi Village: Experience the charm of a Naxi Minority village as you visit Baisha Village, located approximately 16 kilometers north of Lijiang City. This village holds significant historical importance as the birthplace of the "Tusi" (chieftain) of the Mu clan. Get a glimpse into the vibrant local culture by witnessing traditional song performances, unique to the Naxi community. The village proudly maintains its authenticity, revealing a glimpse of the past through its well-preserved old houses still occupied by locals. Arrange for an immersive family visit in advance to truly immerse yourself in the local traditions and hospitality.
Discover the Life of a Tibetan Lama: Embark on a fascinating journey to uncover the intriguing world of Tibetan lamas. Immerse yourself in their daily lives, traditions, and spiritual practices. Gain deeper insights into their philosophy and experience the unique Tibetan culture firsthand.
Songzanlin Lamasery: Visit the magnificent Songzanlin Lamasery, often referred to as the Little Potala Palace. Marvel at its grandeur, intricate Tibetan architecture, and vibrant prayer halls. Explore the monastery's sacred grounds, immerse yourself in Tibetan Buddhist rituals, and discover the profound cultural significance of this revered religious site.
Pudacuo National Park: Venture into the natural wonders of Pudacuo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Traverse its lush forests, pristine lakes, and stunning alpine landscapes. Observe a diverse array of flora and fauna, including rare and endemic species. Experience the tranquility of this protected area and be captivated by its breathtaking beauty.
Drepung Monastery: Explore the ancient halls and sacred grounds of Drepung Monastery, one of Tibet's most renowned monastic institutions. Discover its rich history and immerse yourself in the spiritual ambiance as you witness the daily routines of the resident monks. Marvel at the stunning architecture and intricate artwork that adorn this important religious site.
Norbulingka: Step into the stunning splendor of Norbulingka, the former summer residence of the Dalai Lamas. Meander through beautifully landscaped gardens, adorned with vibrant flowers and serene water features. Admire the architectural marvels of the various palaces and pavilions, each reflecting Tibetan artistic traditions. Experience the tranquility and peaceful ambiance in this revered UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sera Monastery: Visit the renowned Sera Monastery, known for its lively debates among Buddhist monks. Witness the intellectual rigor and spiritual devotion as the monks engage in passionate debates on Buddhist philosophy. Explore the monastery's magnificent courtyards and ornate prayer halls, gaining insights into Tibetan Buddhism and its practices.
Potala Palace: Prepare to be awe-struck by the magnificent Potala Palace, an iconic symbol of Tibetan culture and spirituality. Explore the grand halls, magnificent chapels, and sacred chambers of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the intricate Tibetan architecture and immerse yourself in the rich history and religious significance that surrounds this majestic palace.
Old Barkhor Street Walking Tour: Embark on a captivating walking tour through the vibrant lanes of Old Barkhor Street. Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere as you stroll past traditional Tibetan shops, local eateries, and colorful market stalls. Discover hidden gems, witness traditional crafts being practiced, and engage with friendly locals to gain insights into their daily lives and customs.
Shuzheng Valley: Begin your adventure in the enchanting Shuzheng Valley, one of the main highlights of the Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve. Immerse yourself in its natural splendor as you wander through crystal-clear lakes, shimmering waterfalls, and lush forests. Capture stunning photographs and bask in the tranquility of this picturesque valley.
Rize Valley: Explore the breathtaking beauty of Rize Valley, a hidden gem within the Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve. Marvel at its emerald-colored lakes, towering snow-capped peaks, and dramatic landscapes. Experience the harmony between nature and serenity as you immerse yourself in the untouched wilderness.
Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve (Sight-seeing Shuttle Bus Included): Discover the wonders of the Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its scenic beauty and diverse ecosystems. Hop on the sight-seeing shuttle bus, specially designed to traverse this vast reserve, and enjoy panoramic views as you venture deep into the heart of nature's masterpiece.
Zechawa Valley: End your journey in the captivating Zechawa Valley, known for its awe-inspiring vistas and pristine landscapes. Marvel at the incredible mirror-like reflections in the tranquil lakes, framed by towering peaks. Immerse yourself in the boundless beauty of this untamed valley, abundant with biodiversity and natural wonders.
Huanglong Chair Lift (Up): Begin your adventure with a thrilling chairlift ride, ascending the breathtaking landscapes of Huanglong. Marvel at the panoramic views as you glide above lush forests and pristine alpine scenery. This scenic lift will provide you with a bird's-eye perspective and a memorable start to your exploration.
Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area: Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the mesmerizing travertine terraces, where mineral-rich spring water creates a series of stunning pools and cascades of various colors. Traverse the wooden walkways and immerse yourself in this otherworldly landscape, surrounded by rugged mountains and lush greenery.
- Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
- English speaking local guide
- Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
- 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling
Tour code: cht-cx-41