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China Tour; The Exotic Southwest Searching for Shangri-La

SOUTH WEST CHINA - Searching for Shangri-La

Guilin - Yangshuo - Guiyang - Kaili - Kunming
- Stone Forest - Dali - Lijiang - Zhongdian - Shangri-La - Kunming

About the Program:
Length: 19 days
Min/max: 6/15
Tour type: cultural expedition

Ever since "Lost Horizon" was published, travellers have dreamed of finding Shangri-La, the idyllic refuge made famous by British author James Hilton in his best-selling 1933 novel.

Located somewhere near the Tibetan border, this imaginary paradise was sealed off from the outside world by its majestic but daunting surroundings.

Now, in the valley of the Golden Sands River, where Yunnan and Tibet meet, we believe we have found the fabled Shangri-La, where the inhabitants still preserve their ancient cultural traditions: their dazzling, brightly coloured costumes, their unique arts and crafts, their remarkable architecture, and, most of all, their gentle, welcoming manner.

Southwest China is a land of incomparable natural beauty and fascinating national minority cultures. It will leave you with experiences and memories you will never forget.


2011 - 2012
Contact us for more information.

COST (Per Person)
Land only (twin): upon request 
Single supplement: upon request 

Price Includes:

  • Domestic air and land transportation
  • Transfers in each city
  • 4 & 5-star hotels in major centres and best available in remote areas
  • Meals indicated as B (breakfast), L (lunch) and D (dinner)
  • Guided sightseeing and entrance fees
  • Services of English speaking guides
  • Travel manual

Price Excludes:

  • International flights to/from China
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • China entry visa
  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, porters and hotel staff
  • Personal expenses



Day 1, Sun. Guilin
Arrive Guilin. Transfer to hotel.
D Holiday Inn or Royal Garden Hotel

Day 2, Mon. Guilin/Yangshuo

Cruise the beautiful Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo. This route is celebrated for the extraordinary shapes of the limestone peaks (karst formations) that line the river.
B/L/D Paradise Resort

Day 3, Tue. Yangshuo/Guilin

Morning at leisure in Yangshuo, where the local people still fish with cormorants (trained diving birds). Return to Guilin.
B/L/D Holiday Inn or Royal Garden Hotel

Day 4, Wed. Guilin/Guiyang

Morning tour of Guilin, an attractive city in an unforgettable setting of high limestone peaks. Afternoon flight to Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province. Visit the local fish and bird market, then go on to the Hongfu Buddhist Temple. Enjoy a Buddhist vegetarian dinner at the temple's hill-top monastery.
B/L/D Holiday Inn Shenqi Hotel

Day 5, Thu. Guiyang/Kaili
Visit Jiaxiu Pavilion and Qianlin Park. Drive to Kaili, a Miao community 200 km east of Guiyang. Sightseeing en route.
The 7.4 million members of the Miao minority are distributed throughout Southwest China. They are closely related to some of the hill peoples of Laos and northern Thailand.
B/L/D Kaili Hotel

Day 6, Fri. Kaili/Local Villages/Kaili

Visit the Kaili Folklore Museum and explore the local villages on foot.
B/L/D Kaili Hotel

Day 7, Sat. Kaili/Local Villages/Kaili

Participate in select village activities and visit Miao master weavers and embroiderers.
B/L/D Kaili Hotel

Day 8, Sun. Kaili/Guiyang

Return to Guiyang. At leisure.
B/L/D Holiday Inn Shenqi Hotel

Day 9, Mon. Guiyang/Kunming
Fly to Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province. City sightseeing includes the Western Hills and the magnificent Dragon Gate.
B/L/D Green Lake Hotel

Day 10, Tue. Kunming
Morning visit to the splendid International Horticultural exposition. Afternoon attend a lecture on China's ethnic cultures at Yunnan University.
B/L/D Green Lake Hotel

Day 11, Wed. Kunming/Stone Forest/Kunming

Full day tour of the amazing Stone Forest to view the karst rock formations, known as the Number One Grand Spectacle On Earth. Visit a Yi village nearby.
B/L/D Green Lake Hotel

Day 12, Thu. Kunming/Dali
Morning flight to the ancient town of Dali, home of the Bai minority. Visit Bai villages and shop in Bai markets featuring the famous Dali marble. Cruise on Erhai Lake.
B/L/D Asia Star Hotel

Day 13, Mon. Dali/Lijiang

Visit the Butterfly Spring and a local market for the uniquely patterned tie-dyed cloth handicrafts of the area. Afternoon take spectacular mountain road trip to Lijiang. Set in a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Lijiang is the home of the Naxi minority, whose culture still remains unaffected by the outside world.
B/L/D Grand Hotel

Day 14, Sat. Lijiang

Visit Black Dragon Pool and local villages. Evening enjoy a music performance.
B/L/D Grand Hotel

Day 15, Sun. Lijiang/Zhongdian

Drive to Zhongdian, a Tibetan minority area in Yunnan. Visit to a Tibetan lamasery of the Red Hat sect. En route stop at the Hutiao (Leaping Tiger) Gorge.
B/L/D Holy Palace Hotel

Day 16, Mon. Zhongdian/Shangri-La/Zhongdian

Drive to Shangri-La for full-day sightseeing. In the Tibetan language Shangri-La means "The Sun and Moon in People's Hearts." In the valley of the Golden Sands River, close to the border between Yunnan and Tibet, we have found Shangri-La!
B/L/D Holy Palace Hotel

Day 17, Tue. Zhongdian

Excursion to Napa Lake and the Songzan Forest Tibetan Monastery, and visits to Tibetan homes.
B/L/D Holy Palace Hotel

Day 18, Wed. Zhongdian/Kunming

Short return flight to Kunming.
Remainder of day at leisure.
B/L/D Green Lake Hotel

Day 19, Thu. Depart Kunming

Depart Kunming for return flight home.


- Hotels are subject to change to equivalent ones due to availability at the time of the booking.
- Schedule is subject to change.