Yunnan Adventure

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The most wonderfully complex of all China's provinces, Yunnan boasts a rich diversity of people and landscapes. Explore verdant forest and dramatic mountains, archaeological sites and encounter indigenous cultures on this varied adventure.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Kunming (2N) - Dali (2N) - Lijiang (2N) - Zhongdian (3N) - Kunming (1N) - Yuanyang (2N) - Jianshui (1N) - Kunming (1N) - New Zealand

Days 1-2: Fly to Kunming
Fly to Kunming. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Days 1-2: Fly to Kunming
Day 3: Stone Forest
Meander through the formations of the UNESCO listed Stone Forest, where towering limestone pillars stand treelike in a fascinating illusion of woodland. Return to Kunming where you can sample the local delicacy, Across the Bridge noodles, for dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Stone Forest
Day 4: Travel to Dali
Drive to Dali, a charming town that offers a glimpse of bygone China. Wander the Ancient Quarter and see the magnificent Three Pagodas. (B,L)
Day 4: Travel to Dali
Day 5: Meditation on the Mountain
Journey to Weibaoshan, one of the four sacred Taoist mountains. Steeped in legend, the mountain features 20 Taoist temples nestled on its forested slopes. Walk up the forested hillside to see a handful of these intricately decorated temples, stopping at Qinxia Temple where you will be met by a Taoist priest for a relaxing meditation session. The evening is at leisure. (B,L)
Day 5: Meditation on the Mountain
Day 6: Shaxi Ancient Town
Drive to Shaxi Ancient Town, nestled deep in the Himalayan foothills. Learn about the fascinating minority people that reside in the area and enjoy a local lunch. In the afternoon continue to Lijiang and have some free time to explore the Old Quarter, a jumble of cobbled streets, precarious wooden buildings and rustic stone bridges. (B,L)
Day 7: Meet a Shaman Master
Take a chairlift to one of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain’s gorgeous meadows and enjoy amazing vistas of this magnificent mountain massif. Continue to Baisha Naxi Village and meet a Dongba Shaman who will demonstrate how to write ancient Dongba written characters, before you attempt this quirky art form yourself. Sample traditional Naxi cuisine. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Meet a Shaman Master
Day 8: Tiger Leaping Gorge
Visit the Black Dragon Pool for magnificent views of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Over 3,000 metres deep, Tiger Leaping Gorge, with its backdrop of snow-capped mountains, is one of China’s most extraordinary sights. The whole area is spectacular – prepare for breathtaking views. Continue on to the Tibetan monastery town of Zhongdian, also known as Shangri-La. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Tiger Leaping Gorge
Day 9: Rural Shangri-La
Visit Songshanlin Monastery before enjoying an easy 2-3 hour hike to Napa Hai. Here, you'll be surrounded by towering mountains and among lush grasslands brimming with flora and fauna. From here, visit a rural Tibetan-style village where you will learn about the villagers’ way of life, make butter tea and taste home-cooked dishes. Return to Zhongdian. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Rural Shangri-La
Day 10: Explore Shangri-La
Spend the morning wandering through the town, absorbing its fascinating mix of Tibetan and Han Chinese culture. Also, visit Dafo Temple before a free afternoon at leisure. (B,L)
Day 11: Fly to Kunming
Fly to Kunming. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
Day 11: Fly to Kunming
Day 12: Travel to Jianshui
Travel to Tonghai and visit the unique Xingmeng Mongolian village on the way, where the residents wear traditional costumes and keep old traditions alive. After a stroll around Tonghai market, continue to the antiquated town of Jianshui for an overnight stay and visit the Confucian temple, one of the largest in China. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Travel to Jianshui
Day 13: Yuanyang Market
Visit the Zhang Garden before travelling further south to Yuanyang where you can explore the bustling market, full of fresh produce and locals in traditional, colourful costume. (B,L,D)
Day 13:  Yuanyang Market
Day 14: Yuanyang Rice Terraces
Created by the Hani people over hundreds of years this wide, watery expanse is a spectacular sight to behold. Described as ‘land sculpture’ in China, the elements turn the terraces into pools of colour that reflect their mood, whether it’s the reds and yellows of sunrise or the whites and greys of a mist settling over the valley. Hike through the terraces before visiting Qingkou Hani Ethnic Village. (B,L,D)
Day 14: Yuanyang Rice Terraces
Day 15: Lendun Village Market
Travel back to Kunming via Lendun Village Market. (B,L,D)
Day 15: Lendun Village Market
Day 16: Depart Kunming
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Kunming airport to board your flight to New Zealand, arriving home to same or following day. (B)
Day 16: Depart Kunming
Day 17: Arrive New Zealand
Arrive home today.

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:

Single Supplement from $920
Land Only (Kunming to Kunming) 15 days from $4,480 per person
Additional charges: Customary tipping - RMB800 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
02 May 2020 Departure coincides with Golden Week celebration and sightseeing may be affected
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in China and you will find high quality coverage. China has active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and China is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day.
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure, and China has a vast array of shopping opportunities for those who love to seek out a bargain. From hand carved jade to local silk products or pearls from the South China Sea – the variety and choice can seem endless.
In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost.
Breakfast is served in the hotel and usually includes western dishes. As is traditional in China, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on a ‘Lazy Susan’ so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. In China all the dishes are served in various styles and brought out to the table for everyone to share. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
Each individual place setting will consist of a bowl of fan (rice), a pair of chopsticks (you may request western cutlery if you prefer), a flat bottomed soup spoon and a saucer. Chinese food is usually served in courses where a typical meal will consist of rice, one to four meat or fish dishes, two vegetable dishes, and one soup dish. Almost all food is cut into bite sized pieces. The centre of the meal is the fan or rice. The meats and vegetables that we think of as the focus of the meal are known as ts’ai, which roughly translates as ‘side dishes’. Fish is not always available, particularly outside of the bigger cities.
The Chinese are also not big on desserts with meals normally complemented with fruit to clean and refresh the palate.
Sichuan cuisine is distinguished by its use of ginger, chilli and the ‘Sichuan peppercorn’ called the fagara. Each meal will usually have some mild dishes but many of the local speciality dishes will be hot. If your group find there are not enough mild dishes served, please inform your National Escort/Local Guide so that they may resolve the problem for the next meal.
If you would like to drink beer, soft drink or bottled water with your meals, payment is to be made directly to the restaurant staff. Beer is traditionally consumed in small glasses; not the larger pints glasses that you may be used to.
Green tea is sometimes provided complimentary. All other drinks will be at your own expense.
If you have booked a tour that does not include all meals, your local guides will be able to recommend a variety of restaurants to meet your taste and budget.
It is possible to buy snacks in supermarkets within major towns or cities. Alternatively, you may also like to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars, and tea/coffee from home.
Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking and you should mention it again to the National Escort/ Local Guides when you meet them – they will do their utmost to cater for any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or food to be avoided in case of allergies.

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Why Book This Tour?

Yunnan boasts a rich diversity of people and landscapes. You'll explore verdant forest, dramatic mountains, archaeological sites and indigenous cultures. Some days are at altitude and some hiking is also involved


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