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Your Position: HomeChina ToursChina Hiking Tours10 Days China Hiking Tour with Upper Yangtze River and Ethnic Minorities Discovery
  • Lijiang Ancient Town
  • Stone Forest
  • Songzanlin Monastery
  • Bitahai Nature Reserve
  • Yulong Snow Mountain
  • First Bend of the Yangtze River
  • Kunming Flowers and Birds Market
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Dongba Culture Museum
  • Black Dragon Lake
  • Baishui River
  • Wangu Pavilion
  • Mu's Residence
  • Baisha Old Town
  • Jade Peak Temple
  • Yak Plateau
  • Baishui Terrace
  • Shuoduhai Lake

You can click to see the attractions included in this tour itinerary.

10 Days China Hiking Tour with Upper Yangtze River and Ethnic Minorities Discovery

Tour Code: CHTT11
Tour Duration: 10 Days
Destination: Diqing(Shangri-La), Kunming, Lijiang
Tour overview: This is a China hiking tour containing many best natural and ethnic highlights in Yunnan. By taking this tour, you can not only explore the natural wonders such as the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the First Bend of the Yangtze River, but also experience the Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking as well as discovering the pristine Naxi minority and local cusine.

  • Tour Summary
  • Day by Day Itinerary
  • Reviews
10 Days China Hiking Tour with Upper Yangtze River and Ethnic Minorities Discovery 10 Days China Hiking Tour with Upper Yangtze River and Ethnic Minorities Discovery 10 Days China Hiking Tour with Upper Yangtze River and Ethnic Minorities Discovery 10 Days China Hiking Tour with Upper Yangtze River and Ethnic Minorities Discovery

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Tour Dates Destinations Services Provided Meals Included
Day 1 Kunming Arrive in Kunming, be met and transferred to hotel. Details... /
Day 2 Kunming/Lijiang Visit Stone Forest . After lunch, drive back to Kunming to visit the Golden Horse and Phoenix Archway, then have a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, visit Kunming Flowers and Birds Market . Take the night flight to Lijiang and enjoy the night view of the ancient town. Details... B,L
Day 3 Lijiang Have a full day tour in Lijiang. Visit the Lijiang Ancient Town , a well-preserved old town of ethnic minorities, which was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. As the highlights of Lijiang Ancient Town, the Mu's Residence and Wangu Pavilion will be included. Then visit the Black Dragon Lake , a famous one for its picturesque landscape. Continue to visit the Dongba Culture Museum , a museum about Dongba Culture of the Naxi people in Lijiang. Details... B,L
Day 4 Lijiang Visit the Baisha Old Town , the most original one among the three ancient towns in Lijiang, the highlight there is Baisha Frescos. Formed by the thawing water of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baishui River will be included today. Continue to visit the Jade Peak Temple , one of the five famous lamaseries in suburb of Lijiang. Will also visit the well-known Yulong Snow Mountain and take the chairlift to the Yak Plateau (3700M) on the Mountain. Details... B,L
Day 5 Lijiang / Shigu Town Drive to Shigu Town of Lijiang, to visit the town and the First Bend of the Yangtze River there. The great Yangtze flows down from the world's roof –Tibet Plateau and enter into the Yunnan province, blocked by Hailou Mountain Cliff, the river takes a sudden turn to the northeast in the Shangri-la County to form a peculiar 'V' shape valley, and people call this wondrous spectacle the “First Bend of the Yangtze River”. Then continue to drive to Tiger Leaping Gorge . After lunch, start to hike (passing 28 zigzagging turns, etc), after about 5 hours, will arrive at Tea Horse Guesthouse, stay overnight there. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Tea Horse Guesthouse
B,L
Day 6 Tea Horse Guesthouse / Ha Ba village Continue to hike the Tiger Leaping Gorge after breakfast, after about 4 hours’ hiking, arrive in Tina’s Guesthouse and have lunch there. Then hike again along the highway and then take local minivan to Ha Ba village. Known as the 'First Gorge of the Yangtze River', Tiger Leaping Gorge is the holy land for outdoor adventure fans and it is regarded as one of the top 10 classic hiking routes in the world. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Ha Ba Guesthouse
B,L
Day 7 Ha Ba village / Shangri-la Drive to visit the beautiful Baishui Terrace , rising 2,380 meters above sea level, Baishui Terrace is a marvelous geological sight because it was formed as calcium carbonate dissolved in the spring. After visiting it then drive to Shangri-la, on the way visit the Pudacuo National Park including Bitahai Nature Reserve and Shuoduhai Lake . Details... B,L
Day 8 Shangri-la In the morning visit Songzanlin Monastery , or Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhism monastery in Yunnan Province, and it wins the name of “little Potala Palace”. Built beside a hill, the monastery is like a castle collecting great achievements of Tibetan plastic arts, thus it also has the name of “Tibetan Art Museum”. In the afternoon go to Ren An Village and start hiking there, after about 4 hours’ hiking, arrive at Rutapo Mountain, then drive back to Shangri-la. Details... B,L
Day 9 Shangri-la In the morning visit the Zhongdian (Shangri-la) ancient town and Tibet minority village. In the afternoon enjoy free time. Details... B,L
Day 10 Shangri-la Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for flight departure. Details... B
1. Normally hotels allow a maximum of 3 adults per room with an extra bed, at extra charge. Some hotels will allow three adults and a small child.
2. Tour price is indicative only, please enquire for a detailed quotation.
3. More people more discounts. Please enquire for more details.

Price Inclusions and Exclusions

Price Include

A. Entrance Fees:To scenic spots as listed above in the itinerary.
B. Meals: All meals as specified in the itinerary.
C. Private Transfers: Among airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in the above cities by the private air conditioned vehicle.
D. Guide and Driver: As outlined in the itinerary, a well selected English-speaking guide and driver will accompany you throughout the entire tour in that city. They do not fly with you from one city to another.
E. Hotels: Hotel based on two persons sharing one room with twin beds. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified.
F. Luggage Transfers: Between airports and hotels.
G. Service Charge & Government Taxes.
H. Travel insurance in mainland China during the above travel period.
I. Arrangements: The tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Price Exclude

A. Entry or Exit China International Airfare or train tickets.
B. Visa Fees.
C. Excess Baggage Charges.
D. Personal Expenses: Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the itinerary.
E. Meals: Any meals which are not specified with "B", "L" or "D".
F. Single Room Supplement.
G. Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness or damages incurred during your trip.
H. Gratuities to Guides and Drivers.

Day 1 Arrive in Kunming

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Upon your arrival in Kunming, your local guide will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. For the rest of the day you will enjoy some leisure time.

Day 2 Kunming / Lijiang (B, L)

Kunming / Lijiang (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing:
Stone Forest, Golden Horse and Phoenix Archway, Green Lake, Flower and Bird Market

Today we will go to visit the famous Stone Forest. Due to a process of weathering and erosion, nature has created an art gallery of stone sculpture here. This typical karst physiognomy seems like a forest of stone pillars and boulders. You will see fascination natural creations like Lion Arbor, Sword Peak Pond, Lotus Peak, Moon Lake, Jade Lake, and Dadie Waterfall.

After lunch, drive back to Kunming to visit the Golden Horse and Phoenix Archway - the landmark of Kunming located at the corner of Sanshi Road and Jinbi Road. Then, have a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, which is a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings. Our last stop today will be the Kunming Flower and Bird Market in the downtown.

Take night flight to Lijiang and enjoy the night view of the ancient town.


Day 3 Lijiang (B, L)

Lijiang (B, L)

Sightseeing: Lijiang Ancient Town, Mu's Residence, Wangu Pavilion, Black Dragon Lake, Dongba Culture Museum

Have a full day tour in Lijiang. Firstly we will visit the Lijiang Ancient Town (also known as Dayan Town), a well-preserved old town of ethnic minorities, which was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997 because of the exotic Naxi ethnic culture. 

As the highlight of Lijiang Ancient Town, the Mu's Residence will be also included today. Located at the southwest part of Lijiang and built symmetrically according to imperial palace of Han nationality, the Mu’s Residence was the mansion of the Mu family, the ruler of Naxi people that ruled Lijiang for about 470 years in ancient China. Go ahead to visit the Wangu Pavilion, a landmark building of Lijiang which close to the Mu’s Residence. With five-story and whole wooden structure, Wangu Pavilion is 33 meters high, symbolizing the original 330,000 people of all nationalities in Naxi Autonomous County of Lijiang. Today we will also visit the Black Dragon Lake. Also known as Jade Spring Park or Temple of Dragon King to local people, Black Dragon Lake is a famous one for its clear water, thousand-year-old trees, and picturesque landscape. Continue to visit the Dongba Culture Museum, a museum about Dongba Culture of the Naxi people in Lijiang. The culture is mainly about the language and sculpture, or architecture. There are over 1,400 picture-like characters and symbols in Dongba literature that are still used by nowadays, which makes great contributions to the culture study of mankind.

Day 4 Lijiang (B, L)

Lijiang (B, L)

Sightseeing: Yulong Snow Mountain, Baishui River, Yak Meadow, Jade Peak Temple, Baisha Old Town

Today we will visit Baisha Old Town, Baishui(White Water) River, Jade Peak Temple; take the chairlift to visit the Yak Meadow(3700M) on the Yulong Snow Mountain.

Baisha Old Town is the most original one among the three ancient towns in Lijiang. Located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Old Town was the ancient capital of Naxi people, as well as the center of politics, economy, commerce, and culture of Lijiang. The highlight there is Baisha Frescos. Formed by the thawing water of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baishui (White Water) River will be included today. It runs through a deep valley named Blue Moon Valley, the bed of the River presents a color of grey white as it is composed of sedimentary crushed limestone thus got the name. Continue to visit the Jade Peak Temple. Constructed in 1700 during ancient China’s Qing Dynasty, Jade Peak Temple is one of the five famous lamaseries in suburb of Lijiang, and it is especially famous for camellias. We will visit the well-known Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain and take the chairlift to the Yak Meadow (3700M) on the Mountain. Yak Meadow is a good place for shooting the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the best point to watch its thirteen peaks which are covered with snow all year round.

Day 5 Lijiang / Shigu Town (B, L)

Lijiang / Shigu Town (B, L)

Sightseeing: Shigu Town, First Bend of the Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge

Drive to Shigu Town of Lijiang, to visit the town and the First Bend of the Yangtze River (in Shigu Town). Shigu Town is a famous one at the upper reach of Yangtze River, it got the name for there is a drum-shaped stone tablet carved with white marble. The great Yangtze flows down from the world's roof –Tibet Plateau and enter into the Yunnan province from Batang (one county in Tibet), the river mixes two other great rivers, Lancang (Lantsang) River and Nu River (the Angry River) here, and then the Three Parallel Rivers landscape is formed. Blocked by Hailou Mountain Cliff, the river takes a sudden turn to the northeast in the Shangri-la County to form a peculiar 'V' shape valley, and people call this wondrous spectacle the “First Bend of the Yangtze River”. 


Then continue to drive to Tiger Leaping Gorge. Known as the 'First Gorge of the Yangtze River', Tiger Leaping Gorge became famous after American pilot Rock's three fly experiences here and his photos of the gorge shocked the world. Since then, the gorge has become the holy land for outdoor adventure fans and is regarded as one of the top 10 classic hiking routes in the world. After lunch, start to hike (passing 28 zigzagging turns, etc), after about 5 hours, we will arrive at Tea Horse Guesthouse, then stay overnight there.

Day 6 Tea Horse Guesthouse / Ha Ba village (B, L)

Tea Horse Guesthouse / Ha Ba village (B, L)

Sightseeing: Tiger Leaping Gorge

After breakfast we start to hike, after about 4 hours’ hiking, we will arrive in Tina’s Guesthouse and have lunch there. Then hike again along the highway and then take local minivan to Ha Ba village.

The whole Tiger Leaping Gorge is about 20 kilometers in length and divided into three sections: the upper gorge, the middle gorge and the lower gorge. Generally travelers hike the upper and middle gorges.

Day 7 Ha Ba village / Shangri-la (B, L)

Ha Ba village / Shangri-la (B, L)

Sightseeing: Baishui Terrace, Bitahai Nature Reserve, Shuoduhai Lake

Drive to visit the beautiful Baishui Terrace, after visiting it then drive to Shangri-la, on the way we will visit the Pudacuo National Park including Bitahai Nature Reserve and Shudu Lake.

Rising 2,380 meters above sea level, Baishui Terrace is a marvelous geological sight because it was formed as calcium carbonate dissolved in the spring. When spring containing calcium bicarbonate flowed down, carbonate gradually precipitated, and over long years, terrace-shaped tableland was formed, known as celestial field. Bitahai Nature Reserve covers an area of 840 square kilometers, it is 3,538 meters above sea level, the highest lake in Yunnan Province. Bitahai Nature Reserve was established to protect the rare wild animals and plants of the region. Shudu Lake is 3,705 kilometers above sea level, covering a catchment area of 15 square kilometers, it is surrounded by mountains. The beautiful scenery there is just like a painting.

Day 8 Shangri-la (B, L)

Shangri-la   (B, L)

Sightseeing: Songzanlin Monastery, Ren An Village, Rutapo Mountain

In the morning we will visit Songzanlin Monastery, in the afternoon go to Ren An Village and start hiking there, after about 4 hours’ hiking, arrive at Rutapo Mountain, then drive back to Shangri-la.

Songzanlin Monastery, or Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, is the largest Tibetan Buddhism monastery in Yunnan Province, and it wins the name of “little Potala Palace”. Built beside a hill, the monastery is like a castle collecting great achievements of Tibetan plastic arts, thus it also has the name of “Tibetan Art Museum”. 

Day 9 Shangri-la (B, L)

Sightseeing: Zhongdian (Shangri-la) ancient town, Tibet minority village

In the morning we will visit the Zhongdian (Shangri-la) ancient town and Tibet minority village. In the afternoon we will enjoy free time.

Day 10 Shangri-la Departure (B)

Transfer via: Flight on your own arrangement

Today will be free for your own purposes, until our guide escort you to the airport for your flight departure.

Comment on our service from Fabiana Gesuato, Italy
Definitely a positive feedback for your agency, if I return to China I will definitely contact you.

Jiayuguan Fort

The tour you organized for us went very well, excellent timing and communication, even the restaurant where we stopped for lunch was very good. I want to give a special compliment to the guide Jenny, who was very well prepared, a vast vocabulary, very helpful (she also solved some small problems in our organization), nice and pleasant company. She also helped us book a show and get to the theater in Dunhuang.

Even the transport in the car was very pleasant, spacious car and comfortable driving, another compliment also to the driver.
  Jiayuguan and Dunhuang tour  On the way to Dunhuang

I'm sending you some photos we've done: at the Fort, at the Great Wall and on our way to Dunhuang.

The last but not least compliment is for you, for the patience, the availability, the kindness shown and the promptness in giving the answers.
   Overhanging Great Wall in Jiayuguan  Overhanging Great Wall in Jiayuguan

Definitely a positive feedback for your agency, if I return to China I will definitely contact you and I will recommend your name to those who ask me for info.


Thanks again,
Fabiana

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Comment on our service from Olga, Russia
We really enjoyed our trip. We want to say thank to the tour guide Benny.

Xinjiang tour
Hello from Russia, we really enjoyed our trip.

We want to say thank to Benny. In the attachment comments that he asked to fill, and we have filled them just now.

Best regards,
Olga
Tour in Xinjiang, China  Comments on China tour

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Comment on our service from Azlan Nithia, Malaysia
The arrangement is great and the guide is friendly and excellent, thanks for the wonderful arrangement.

    Xinjiang tour  Xinjiang Kashgar tour
The arrangement is great and the guide is friendly and excellent, thanks for the wonderful arrangement, even only one day travel, Nithia and his wife really enjoyed it.

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Comment on our service from Juliana & Joe, USA
We are back home and I just wanted to send you a note and let you know again how pleased we were with the tour package that you put together for us. It was last minute and I realize this made things more difficult for you. Everything worked out so very well!

We are back home and I just wanted to send you a note and let you know again how pleased we were with the tour package that you put together for us.  It was last minute and I realize this made things more difficult for you.  Everything worked out so very well!

All of our guides were wonderful.  We wanted to send a special letter to let you know that we were most impressed with our last guide, Mr. Yak (Tserang).  He was with us for the Tiger Leaping Gorge hike and then in Shangri La.  He was the high light of our trip!  Mr. Yak was so very helpful, knowledgable about the culture and the area and he was tremendously thoughtful and professional.  Joe and I have traveled the world quite extensively and can say that Mr. Yak was one of the best guides we have ever experienced. 

We certainly will reach out to you again when we are ready for our next trip to China.

Thank you,

Juliana Jamail

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Comment on our service from Charlie Kath, USA
I wish to THANK YOU for making our visit to China the very positive visit that it was. The itinerary was rich with what China is all about.

I wish to THANK YOU for making our visit to China the very positive visit that it was. The itinerary was rich with what China is all about. You kept us busy and I thank you for that. 
                     Guilin tour
All of the local guides were outstanding. They were always very timely, right where they needed to be each and every time. Besides being punctual I found each of them to be wonderful people who represent China in such a positive way. Thank you! Thank you!!

I'm so happy that we finally got to meet each other. We worked on this adventure for about 2 1/2 years and the itinerary needed to be revised several times. I appreciate your patience and I thank you for that.
    China tour  Tour in China
We're now friends and that will of course continue. I hope to visit both Mongolia via a tour and also, the Silk Road. Hopefully you can put together a 2 week tour itinerary for both of those places. When I visit Morocco I would like Beijing included in such a visit.

You are a delightful young woman and I'm so happy that we are friends.

My best to you Sandy.

From Saint Paul,

Your friend,
Charlie

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Comment on our service from Gloria Rabanal, Mexico
I really enjoyed my tour in Xian despite of the high temperature. The information provided by the guide was relevant from a historical point of view. She was kind and she tried to answer all my questions.

Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses

Thank you very much for your letter, I really enjoyed my tour in Xian despite of the high temperature. In this context, it was helpful to have a transportation with air conditioning, thanks you also for the bottle of water, I suggest you to have the bottle of water cold and to keep them in an ice box.
Terra-cotta Warriors in Xian, China   Ancient City Wall in Xian, China

The information provided by the Guide (Aria) was relevant from a historical point of view. She was kind and she tried to answer all my questions.
I also would like to suggest to include a visit to the Bell and Drum Towers in the Two Days tour.
Xi'an tour Tour in Xi'an, China

I am attaching some pictures from the trip.

Best regards,
Gloria Rabanal

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