Classic Shanghai to Yunnan Tour
15-Day Private China Tour: Shanghai– Xishuangbanna– Puer–Yuanyang–Jianshui–Kunming–Dali–Lijiang
In this 15-Day tour, you will venture into the tropical paradise of Xishuangbanna and Puer. Explore the stunning UNESCO-listed rice terraces of Yuanyang and the ancient town of Jianshui. Immerse yourself in the cultural richness of Kunming, visit the picturesque city of Dali, and discover the enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang.
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
Embark on an Adventure to the Untamed Wild Elephant Valley
Discover the Captivating Yuanyang Terrace Field in Southern Yunnan Province
Embark on a Relaxing Journey Along the Scenic Erhai Lake
Explore the Well-preserved Lijiang Ancient Town
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Your Wellbeing is Our Priority.
- 1-to-1 travel expert
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- Private Rides
Your Trip is Perfectly Planned.
- Less crowded
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- No cancellation fee (up to 22 days before departure)
- Free changes
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 Shanghai. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.The remaining time in Shanghai is at your disposal.
Tropical Botanical Garden at Menglun: Immerse yourself in the captivating Tropical Botanical Garden, a renowned plant research station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Discover an expansive land area, abundant with tropical plants and medicinal herbs. The garden's unique location, surrounded by a river, provides a sanctuary for plants and ensures their protection. Experience the rich biodiversity, indulge in local cuisine, and enjoy the tranquil surroundings of this remarkable destination.
Tea Expo Park and Tea Plantation: Discover the enchanting Tea Expo Park, nestled within vast eco-tea gardens surrounded by lush green mountains and hills. This park stands out amongst the many tea plantations in the region, offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Yunnan's renowned Pu'er Tea. Explore the tea's origins, cultivation, harvesting, processing, and special packaging, delving into its rich history and culture. The experience culminates in a memorable tea tasting ceremony, where you can savor the flavors of this remarkable beverage.
Wild Elephant Valley: Embark on an adventure to the untamed Wild Elephant Valley, situated at the boundary of the east and west zones of the natural preservation area. Located approximately 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Jinghong City and 115 kilometers (70 miles) south of Simao City, this area is renowned for its tropical scenery and the possibility of encountering wild elephants. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for these majestic creatures.
Yuanyang Terrace Field: Discover the captivating Yuanyang Terrace Field in southern Yunnan Province, a UNESCO World Heritage Site candidate. Marvel at the engineering marvel created by the Hani ethnic group over 2,000 years ago. Capture breathtaking views from Duoyishu Village's scenic mountain terraces and Tiger Mouth Pass. Immerse yourself in the local culture at Qingkou Hani Ethnic Village. Visit during February and March to witness the terraces reflecting sunlight in vibrant colors or come in September to see the golden-hued mountains when the rice is ripe. Be prepared for varying weather and enjoy exploring the vibrant local markets. Experience the unparalleled beauty and rich heritage of Yuanyang Terrace Field on this memorable itinerary for US travelers.
Local Market: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the local market in Yuanyang, where people from various minority groups gather to buy and sell a diverse range of products. These lively bazaars, held weekly, provide a unique opportunity to experience the everyday life and customs of the local people. Explore the market, interact with the friendly vendors, and discover the treasures and flavors of this bustling gathering.
Jianshui Old Town: Step into history as you visit Jianshui Old Town, featuring a rich heritage dating back to the Tang Dynasty when it was initially built with earth. Later, it was expanded into a magnificent brick town during the Ming Dynasty. Though it endured wars and earthquakes, the East Gate tower (Chaoyang Lou) still proudly stands after 600 years. Explore the town's architectural wonders and feel the echoes of its past as you wander through its ancient streets.
Zhu Family Garden: Discover the captivating Zhu Family Garden, located on Jianxin Street. This private garden, spanning 20,000 square meters, was meticulously built during the late Qing Dynasty and is a shining example of local residential architecture. With its beautifully planned yards, gardens, well, and intricately furnished rooms and halls, the Zhu Family Garden offers a glimpse into a bygone era and showcases the distinctive features of the region.
Jianshui Confucian Temple: Delve into the rich cultural heritage of Jianshui as you visit the magnificent Jianshui Confucian Temple. Standing for over 700 years, this temple is one of China's largest Confucian temples, built in commemoration of the renowned Chinese philosopher, Confucius. Experience the grandeur of this historic site and witness the solemn ceremonies held twice a year during Chinese New Year and on September 28, Confucius' birthday.
Ancient Stone Forest (Naigu Shilin): Located just 13 kilometers north of Shilin, also known as the Mozhai Stone Forest, the Ancient Stone Forest (Naigu Shilin) holds a unique charm. In the local Yi language, 'Naigu' translates to 'ancient' and 'black'. Spanning over 5,000 mu (around 824 acres), this site features a newly developed 6-kilometer-long travel route. Contrasting with Shilin's stone forests, the Ancient Stone Forest boasts distinct features and styles, offering a distinctive experience for visitors.
Ancient City of Dali: Explore the enchanting Ancient City of Dali, located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain and just 13 kilometers away from Xiaguan, Dali City. Built in 1382 AD during the 15th year of the Ming Dynasty's Hongwu period, this city holds a prominent place on China's list of Famous Historic and Cultural Cities. Inhabited by the Bai people, the city offers a glimpse into their simple and authentic way of life. Adorned with elegant gardens, traditional houses, and clear flowing springs, the Ancient City of Dali is a true gem waiting to be discovered.
Three Pagodas: Marvel at the iconic Three Pagodas, nestled between the majestic Cangshan Mountain and the sparkling Erhai Lake. These ancient pagodas, built over 1,000 years ago, stand tall and commanding. Housing precious Buddhist scripts and scriptures, they are not only architectural marvels but also vital spiritual landmarks. Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural significance of this remarkable site.
Explore the Er'hai West Shore by Horse Carriage: Embark on a relaxing and fascinating journey along the scenic west shore of Erhai Lake by horse carriage. Departing from Xizhou, this hour-long tour offers a unique vantage point to appreciate the beauty of the lake's surroundings. Each horse carriage can comfortably accommodate up to four people, providing a delightful and memorable experience.
Nuodeng Village: Discover the charming Nuodeng Village located at the southern end of the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site. This cozy village, nestled along the beautiful winding bends of Bijiang River, holds historical significance as an early economic center of the Bai minority. Known for its abundant salt deposits during the Tang Dynasty, Nuodeng was a thriving commercial hub in Yunnan's west. Today, it preserves the famous Nuodeng Ham and offers stunning mountainous landscapes. Immerse yourself in the village's rich history and cultural heritage on this memorable itinerary for US travelers to China.
Shaxi Ancient Town (including the Xingjiao Temple, Sideng Street, and Tea Horse Road Exhibition Hall): Immerse yourself in the captivating Shaxi Ancient Town, home to traditional Bai architecture and a rich history dating back to the Spring and Autumn period. As the last market town on the ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Trail, Shaxi still hosts a vibrant weekly market. Explore the Xingjiao Temple, Sideng Street, and the Tea Horse Road Exhibition Hall, all while breathing in the allure of this endangered yet captivating site. Discover the fascinating stories of trade and cultural exchange on this memorable itinerary for US travelers exploring China.
Jianchuan Ancient Town: Step back in time as you explore the historic Jianchuan Ancient Town, a significant stop along the Tea Horse Road. This town is renowned for its vibrant Bai culture, with 92% of its residents belonging to the Bai ethnic group. Immerse yourself in the authentic ambiance of the Bai nationality's cultural center.
Discover the allure of ancient Bai-style residential houses, city gates, temples, and bridges that still remain intact. Each structure holds stories of the Bai people and their connections to the rich history of horse caravans along the Tea Horse Road.
Shuhe Ancient Town: Explore the enchanting Shuhe Ancient Town, also known as Longquan Village, which holds the charm of a forgotten time. As one of the well-preserved towns along the ancient tea and horse route, it offers a glimpse into the rich history of trade and cultural exchange. Marvel at the peaceful surroundings and admire the intricate temple complex as you soak in the serene ambiance of this hidden gem.
Naxi Shaman Family Visit: Delve into the mysterious Naxi culture with a visit to a Naxi Shaman Family. The shaman, known as a Dongba, is revered as a wise master who played a pivotal role in creating the Naxi written language. Explore the Dongba script, learn about Naxi music, and gain insights into the deep connection between nature and humanity. Immerse yourself in the passion the Naxi people have for their lifestyle, homeland, and their profound love for their culture.
Baisha Murals at Baisha Village: Step into history as you marvel at the ancient Baisha Murals, which date back over a thousand years. Combining the cultural influences of the Han, Tibetan, and Naxi people, these murals depict the life stories of Tibetan Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Take a leisurely walk through Baisha Village, allowing you to absorb the local life and immerse yourself in the unique culture of the area.
Lijiang Ancient Town: Explore the well-preserved Lijiang Ancient Town, a city with a rich cultural history. Visit in the early morning for a less crowded experience, as the town comes alive with lights and crowds in the afternoon and evening.
Zhiyun Monastery: Discover the unique architectural design of Zhiyun Monastery, which combines influences from the Naxi, Han, and Bai cultures. Enjoy breathtaking views of Lashi Lake from the monastery, and experience the peaceful ambiance of this lesser-known lamasery.
Black Dragon Pool: Visit the enchanting Black Dragon Pool Park, known for its picturesque beauty. Take in the serene surroundings and marvel at the stunning Black Dragon Pool.
Experience the allure of The Bund, a historic embankment along the Huangpu River. Marvel at the well-preserved European-style buildings that line its promenade, offering a glimpse into Shanghai's trading past. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere that now defines The Bund, with its modern developments, chic restaurants, upscale shops, and lively bars. Be sure to visit in the afternoon or evening to witness the enchanting lights that illuminate the area.
Visit the impressive Shanghai World Financial Center, a soaring skyscraper that serves as a symbol of Shanghai's prosperity. Take in awe-inspiring views from its observation deck, the highest in the world, and explore the diverse offerings within the building, including hotels, apartments, restaurants, shopping malls, and offices.
Indulge in a Zhujiajiao Boat Ride, where you can peacefully glide along the water and admire the town's scenic highlights. Discover historical attractions such as the ancient pharmacy, Post Office, art galleries, temples, museums, and gardens during the 20-minute ride. Allow the intimate setting of the boat to provide a personal experience of this charming water town.
Explore the enchanting Yuyuan Garden, a meticulously designed private garden showcasing classic Chinese architecture. Immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance as you admire the rockeries, pavilions, ponds, and corridors. Don't miss the bustling marketplace surrounding the garden, offering a blend of culinary delights, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
Visit the revered Jade Buddha Temple, home to invaluable Buddha statues carved from precious white jade. Experience the vibrant atmosphere as worshippers and visitors gather, immersing yourself in the spiritual energy the temple offers.
Take a leisurely stroll through Shanghai's Old Street, where well-preserved traditional houses and narrow lanes transport you to the bygone era of the city. Engage with local life and explore the various shops and stalls, filled with antiques, crafts, and souvenirs, allowing you to discover unique treasures.
Experience the distinctive Shikumen style of housing and witness its evolution from residential neighborhoods to modern gathering places filled with bars, tea houses, and entertainment centers. Don't miss the opportunity to glimpse into the past at Wu Li Xiang, an exhibition that showcases the furnishings and essence of traditional Shanghainese homes.
- 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-1