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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
  • Songzanlin Monastery
  • Stone Forest
  • 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
  • Baisha Old Town
  • Baishui Terrace
  • Jade Peak Temple
  • Mu's Residence
  • Shuoduhai Lake
  • Yak Plateau

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 Gracie Chan, USA

We had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU! Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.

 

Hello Sandy,

Hope you had a nice weekend. Thanks for being patient. Here's what we thought of the trip.

Overall, we had a wonderful trip! You planned and coordinated everything really well. We especially appreciated all your help on the first day when we missed our train and got stranded in Beijing~THANK YOU!

Everything went smoothly and our guides were most accommodating. Most of them were quite fluent and we don't have any problem understanding them. It was great to have their help dealing with hotel checking-ins and transportation details. It was very convenient and helpful. Having to move in and out of hotels daily and trying to catch all those train on time are very stressful ~ A big "Thanks" for all their help.  

I want you to know that we consider Jackie Zhang (our guide for Zhangye & Dunhuang) to be the BEST of all the guides we encountered on this trip. She is enthusiastic, meticulous and extremely knowledgeable. You can tell that she enjoys her job tremendously!

         

My observation ~ Most "Foreign Visitors" don't always have a base knowledge of the history of the places they are visiting. A SHORT & CONCISE explanation is better than a long and winding narrative. It should not be assumed that one formula works for everyone. Some visitors are more knowledgeable than others and vice versa.

We enjoyed all the sights we visited on this trip tremendously. That said, there are some room for improvements.

The one disappointment for me was the visit to Qinghai Lake. It was too commercialized. It would have been so much better if we were able to stop by the lake area BEFORE the visitor center where it was much more pristine and unspoiled. After all, we are there to take it the natural beauty of the area after all.

Our guide and driver was most accommodating when we asked them to stop by the side of the road in order for us to photograph herds of YAK and sheep. It was the highlight of the trip for me! I am sure other visitors will feel the same way.

My suggestion ~ Maybe some sort of arrangements can be made with local farmers that owned land along the Qinghai lake for a short stop over in your future tours? This way, your visitors can have wonderful opportunities to photograph and experience the scenery and lifestyle of the local people.

My observation ~ In Turpan, the Turpan Museum would have been a BETTER choice than the visit to the Karez well system (Kan'erjing Museum). There is really nothing much to see here.  

The International Grand Bazaar was also a bit of a disappointment, it was too touristy. I think we would find it much more interesting if we have the opportunity to visit a local street market instead.

We rode a donkey cart at the Flaming Mountains. It was great fun! I think this should be included in the future and its a great way to help the local make some extra money too. You agree?

Hotels ~ We still prefer staying at International Brand hotels. We really liked the Sofitel Hotels (in Xian & Xining) and the Sheraton in Urumqi.  

We find the service and breakfast food selection available at the local brand hotels are still somewhat lacking compared to the International Brand hotels.

Food ~ We had some amazing and some mediocre food on this trip. The quality of the meal is inconsistent. I guess it depended a lot on your local tour coordinators?    

I hope our observations and honest suggestions are helpful to you. Please do not consider this is as criticism of our trip but as suggestions for improvements. We had lots of fun and we hope you'll be able to attract more visitors to your tour. I will definitely recommend you to my friends and seek you out if I visit China the future.

I have attached the "corrected" photo and an extra one taken at the Flaming Mountains. You have our permission to include all three of the photos along with the following review to your website. I will write a review for TripAdvisor.com later.

Regards,

Gracie.


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Comment on our service from Sergey Shunailov, Russia

It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and nice driver. Thanks a lot. If I'll have free time in my next trip to China I'll use again only your company.

Dear Sandy,

Nice to hear from you. The one day Beijing tour was fine. It is impossible to find any imperfection in the service. Nice guide with good English and nice driver. Thanks a lot.

If I'll have free time in my next trip to China I'll use again only your company.

Best regards,

Sergey


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Comment on our service from Thomas Anthony Lucker, USA

It was great and the guide was tremendous!

Hi Sandy,


It was great and the guide was tremendous.  I had a great time in Kaifeng. I think we have another tour coming up quickly on the 26th to Luoyang.  :)  


Tom

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Comment on our service from Robert William Miller, USA

It was a good trip.  The sites were very interesting and unique.

It was a good trip.  The sites were very interesting and unique.   The Dazu museum was very interesting since did not know there were so many of the grottoes in China and other countries as well. We didn’t take lunch but asked rather to see another grotto.  Would recommend going to the small grotto and then the larger one and then museum in that order.

Rob Miller

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Comment on our service from Caitlin Radich, New Zealand

Overall we loved our tours. Zhangjiajie was fantastic! Our tour was really great and we would recommend it. Beijing - our guide was fantastic! So full of facts, great English and overall fantastic. Overall we have found dealing with your company a very pleasant experience, and we like the individualised aspect of it.

Hi Sandy,

Nice to hear from you. Overall we loved our tours. Zhangjiajie was fantastic! Our tour was really great and we would recommend it. Our tour guide was really lovely in zhangjiajie, but her English was less than perfect, but overall that didn’t hinder anything.

Beijing - our guide was fantastic! So full of facts, great English and overall fantastic. Forrest was his name. Seeing the wall was amazing!!!

Overall we have found dealing with your company a very pleasant experience, and we like the individualised aspect of it.

I hope you find this helpful, and thank you for your help,

Thanks

Caitlin


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Comment on our service from Wolfgang Ernst Kasper, Australia
I want to to thank you again for your good services. Everything worked out as expected ––or better! Getting the gaotie tickets was easy, and the two excursions were most enjoyable.

Dear Sandy,

now that we have returned home after a marvellous trip through China, I want to to thank you again for your good services.

Everything worked out as expected –– or better! Getting the gaotie tickets was easy, and the two excursions were most enjoyable. In particular, the guide at Huangshan – I called her ciao Xue (Little Snow) – was attentive and intelligent, great company!


After the hike up and down on Huangshan, we felt great: we can still do that at our age in the high seventies!


Hakka Country


Finally, it was a pleasant surprise to get your call. That was unexpected, but much appreciated.

Keep selling China to the world!

Best wishes

Wolfgang


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