11 Days Hong Kong and Shanghai Classical China Tour with Ethnic Flavor
Tour Code: CTT18
Tour Duration: 11 Days
Destination: Dali, Hong Kong, Kunming, Lijiang, Shanghai
Tour overview: China’s Ethnic Minority Groups are quite amazing. Each one of the 56 groups has its own unique culture, language, music, clothing, and history. This tour will show you two of China’s most colorful groups. In the ancient town of Dali, you will see the Bai Ethnic Minority people, and in the ancient city of Lijiang, you will see the Naxi Dongba people, who use the only hieroglyphic text still alive anywhere in the world. On this tour you will also see Hong Kong and Shanghai, two vibrant cities which blend Chinese and Western culture.
- Tour Summary
- Day by Day Itinerary
|Tour Dates||Destinations||Services Provided||Meals Included|
|Day 1||Hong Kong||
Arrive in Hong Kong, be met and transferred to your hotel.
|Day 2||Hong Kong||
Half day visit Aberdeen, Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen.
|Day 3||Hong Kong/Kunming||
Take flight to Kunming. Arrive at Kunming, be met and transferred to hotel. Visit the West Hill and Dragon Gate.
Full day tour to Stone Forest , Golden Temple . Then be transferred to railway station to take overnight train to Dali.
Arrive in Dali, be met and transferred to your hotel. Then visit Erhai Lake , The Ancient City of Dali , The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple .
Drive to Lijiang, on the way visit House of Bai People in Xizhou , Tie-Dyeing Zhoucheng . Arrive in Lijiang, visit Lijiang Ancient Town.
Full day visit Yulong Snow Mountain (take the cable car to Spruce Plateau and overlook the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain), Dongba Culture Museum .
Take morning flight to Shanghai. Upon arriving, be met and transferred to your hotel. Free at leisure the rest of the day.
Full day visit The Bund , Nanjing Road , Yuyuan Garden , Jade Buddha Temple .
Full day visit to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center , Oriental Pearl TV Tower , Shanghai French Concession .
|Day 11||Shanghai||Free at leisure till be transferred to airport for your flight departure. Details...||B|
Price Inclusions and Exclusions
Price IncludeA. 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 ExcludeA. 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, Tips to Guides and Drivers.
Day 1 Arrival / Hong Kong
Transfer via: International flight –on your own arrangement
Upon your arrival in Hong Kong, your local guide will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. For the rest of the day you will enjoy some leisure time to relax or have a first look at the surrounding.
Day 2 Hong Kong (B)
Sightseeing: Aberdeen, Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Aberdeen
Today we will start to explore Victoria Peak first. The Peak is Hong Kong's number one tourist destination. It features the city's oldest mode transport, the 112-year old Peak Tram and Hong Kong's most unusual building and icon, The Peak Tower where you will find shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
Then you will visit lovely Repulse Bay: Primarily an exclusive residential area, Repulse Bay has a relaxed, resort-like atmosphere. You will find statues of Kwun Yum and Tin Hau, both protectors of fishermen.
The tour will continue with a visit to Aberdeen fishing village where you will enjoy a Sampan Ride on the harbor to get a close-up look at this unusual way of life.
For the rest of the day you will have leisure time to explore Hong Kong on your own.
Day 3 Hong Kong / Kunming (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight –on our arrangement
Sightseeing: West Hill, Dragon Gate
After breakfast, you will be transferred to airport for your flight to Kunming. Upon arriving, be met by your local guide and then be transferred to your hotel.
This afternoon, have a visit to the West Hill and Dragon Gate.
Day 4 Kunming / Dali (B, L)
Transfer Via: Overnight Train (soft sleeper ticket) on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Stone Forest, Golden Temple
Today we will go on a full day trip to 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.
Then we will head to Golden Temple, located on top of Mingfeng (Singing Phoenix) Hill. It is the largest copper temple in China and is also known as the Tongwa Temple (Bronze Tile Temple).
In the evening, you will be transferred to railway station to take overnight train to Dali.
Day 5 Dali (B, L)
Sightseeing: Erhai Lake, Ancient City of Dali, Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple
Arrive in Dali in the morning, your local guide will meet you at railway station and then transfer you to your hotel for breakfast and have a short rest.
First we will visit Erhai Lake. Erhai Lake is the largest highland lake next to Dianchi and one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China. It means, 'sea shaped like an ear', in Chinese. Implying that the lake is ear shaped and as large as a sea, hence it was so named. The lake covers an area of 250 square kilometers and is located about two kilometers east of Dali.
The next stop will be the Ancient City of Dali, which is a magnificent ancient city with a perimeter of 6 kilometers. Its former city wall is 7.5 meters high and 6 meters thick. There used to be four city gates, each on one side. On the gates were the gate towers. While Xiaguan, the capital of the Autonomous Region of Dali, depicts you an scene of prosperity and bloom, the Ancient City of Dali will give you a simple, unsophisticated and quiet impression.
Finally you will see the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple. It is a symbol of the history of Dali City, and a record of the development of Buddhism in the area. As its name implies, Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. This is unique in China.
Day 6 Dali / Lijiang (B, L)
Transfer via: Private Car on our arrangement
Sightseeing: House of Bai people in Xizhou, Tie-Dyeing Zoucheng, Lijiang Ancient Town
In the morning you will take a private car into the direction of Lijiang. On the way, you will make a first stop at a house of Bai people in Xizhou. The town of Xizhou is next to Erhai Lake and the Wanhua Brook. Historically, it was a military fortress of Nanzhao Kingdom and a temporary palace of the King of Nanzhao. Because of its favorable geographical situation, the town used to be a commercial centre before 1949 and where more than 140 national capitalist families used to live. Their houses are of the typical Bai design known as "Sanfang Yizhaobi" (a courtyard rooms on three sides and a screen wall on the remaining side) and "Sihe Wutianjing" (one big courtyard with four smaller ones at the four corners of the main one).
Our next stop will be Tie-Dyeing Zhoucheng, the largest and the farthest northern village of Dali City. The village has 7,571 inhabitants of 1,470 families. The entire village is in a square shape with row upon row of houses.
Arriving in Lijiang, you will be met by your local guide and then visit Lijiang Ancient Town. It is also known as Dayan Town in Lijiangba and was included in the UNESCO world heritage list in 1997. It was first built in the Southern Song Dynasty and in 1253 and became larger during Ming and Qing dynasties.
Day 7 Lijiang (B, L)
Sightseeing: Yulong Snow Mountain, Dongba Village
Today we will depart to Yulong Snow Mountain. It is the southernmost marine glacier in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. Altogether there are 13 peaks along the range, stretching for over 35km from south to north. The summit, Shanzidou, is 5596 meters above sea level. Viewed from afar, the snow-capped range resembles a silver dragon with snow curling up its middle. Rich forest, herb and animal resources thrive on the mountain.
On our way we will stop at Dongba Village in Yushui Stockade, which is built completely according to the traditional life style of Naxi Minority. You can feel the traditional atmosphere of national culture from the layout of its yard, building facilities, tools and details of life.
Day 8 Lijiang / Shanghai (B, L)
Transfer via: Flight - on our arrangement
Today you will be transferred to airport to take flight and fly to Shanghai. Arrive in Shanghai, be met and transferred to your hotel.
Free at leisure the rest of the day. You can explore the surrounding by yourself.
Day 9 Shanghai (B, L)
Sightseeing: Yuyuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Nanjing Road, the Bund
In the morning, we will take a relaxing walk to the lovely Yuyuan Garden, a beautiful garden in the south of the Yangtze River. Wandering through it, you will find pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards as well as many other natural features.
Then we head to the Jade Buddha Temple. The old-time and classical architectural style makes the temple unique and inimitable in this modern city. Both, the Sitting Buddha and the Recumbent Buddha are carved with whole white jade. If you're lucky, you can watch the monks serving a ceremony in a side room.
Day 10 Shanghai (B, L)
Sightseeing: Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai French Concession
Today you will visit to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, which is the first kind of exhibition center in China showcasing a city’s development.
After lunch, we will visit the Oriental Pearl Tower, the highest TV Tower in Asia, which creates a picture of 'twin dragons playing with pearls'. The entire scene is a photographic jewel that excites the imagination and attracts thousands of visitors all year-round.
Then we will visit the Shanghai French Concession, which was a foreign concession in Shanghai, Republic of China from 1849 until 1946. The area covered by the former French Concession was once the premier residential and retail districts of Shanghai, and was also the centre of Catholicism in Shanghai.
Day 11 Shanghai / Departure (B)
Transfer via: Flight –on our arrangement
The rest of the day is your own, until our guide escorts you to the airport for your next destination.
Hi Molly, The tour was great. Both guide and driver are very friendly and helpful. For the meals on the trip, so much food and delicious dishes. We loved t... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190426-M(A) Tour Starting Date: Friday, 26 April 2019
Client's information: Brandon Michael Driggs,USA
The tour was great. Both guide and driver are very friendly and helpful. For the meals on the trip, so much food and delicious dishes. We loved the trip. Thanks for all your help.
The tour was great. Both guide and driver are very friendly and helpful. For the meals on the trip, so much food and delicious dishes.
We loved the trip. Thanks for all your help.
Hi Stella, I must extend our thanks to you and the Tour Guide for this trip Peter (Hope i didn't get his name wrong) . The trip was fun and informative... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190425-Y(A) Tour Starting Date: Thursday, 25 April 2019
Client's information: Serene Zhou,Philippines
I must extend our thanks to you and the Tour Guide for this trip Peter. The trip was fun and informative.
I must extend our thanks to you and the Tour Guide for this trip Peter (Hope i didn't get his name wrong) .
The trip was fun and informative. Peter is extremely caring and helpful to all the guests who participated in this group trip to Mutianyu great wall & Ming Tombs tour. He made sure nobody was left out of left behind. He is very polite and attentive to our needs.
Peter also made sure we are safe, he was concerned about the distance if the guests could find their hotel or find their way back to their hotel. I must thank Peter for insisting to drop us near our hotel where we CAN see our hotel building at least.
I hope you can let Peter know that he's an awesome guide and the Americans and the rest of us had so much fun.
Serene Zhou & Ernest
This is a tour agency in China that provides private English tours. I booked a 1 person private tour with these people for 4 days trip in Harbin for the Winter festiva... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190223-M Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 23 February 2019
Client's information: Qiao Wenshu, Australia
This is a tour agency in China that provides private English tours. If I needed another private tour, would I use them again? Definitely!! I would recommend them for the service too.
This is a tour agency in China that provides private English tours. I booked a 1 person private tour with these people for 4 days trip in Harbin for the Winter festival and I think it was really worth it.
I booked a 4 day tour in Harbin with them at the last minute and the person I contacted was Molly, who did all the arrangements for me. They pulled it off at the last minute, and around Chinese new year too! I contacted them just before Chinese New year and they responded really quick (yes, China time is 3 hours behind Sydney, so my responses came after 12pm local time each day). She even told me they will be on public holiday from Chinese New Year until Monday the 11th of Feb and then on Monday the 11th of Feb, I got a message from her back with a quote from the local partners first thing, so I was able to make other arrangements quickly, like getting my plane tickets, and visa.
Molly provided me with an itinerary and a quote and I was happy with it, costed $1560 AUD including single non-shared accommodation (I chose 3 star accommodation because I am not fussy about the hotel), breakfast, private transport, pick up and drop off from airport, driver, and an English speaking guide all for myself, so I had 2 people helping me out during my time there, plus entry tickets to all the attractions, for 4 days. I saw a local Australian tour company that had a 5 day Harbin group tour for $1525 AUD with a maximum of 12 people, but it’s really a 3 day tour because that tour lets people arrive in Beijing, then everyone catches the train overnight to Harbin, and days 2-4 are spent sightseeing before catching the train back to Beijing on the 5th day, plus there was another tour company that offered private tours that quoted over $2000 AUD for a similar itinerary, so I believe it was money well spent. My itinerary included the Ice and Snow world, Snow Sculptures and skiing.
Molly gave me the name and contact details of my guide (Allison) as soon as one was allocated to me, and I contacted her on Wechat (a Chinese messenger phone app). Allison is pleasant and speaks English well. The driver helped put my luggage in the car. Allison was knowledgeable and I was impressed that she was flexible and had the sense to check with the local contacts immediately upon picking me up from the airport and getting into the car, to see if the attractions I wanted to see were still open.
Allison took photos for me, and was pretty good at it, and told me lots of relevant history and behind the scenes stories, for example, how the ice blocks are harvested from the river with people standing on the frozen river, drilling holes along the perimeter of the block as deep as it is thick, and connecting them with a saw and lifting them out with a crane; how the Dao in Laodaowai refers to the railway the Russians built when they came to Harbin, and forced the locals out of the railway/developed area, hence the name Lao “Old” Dao “Railway” Wai “outside” refers to outside the railway area.
As a local, she also helped me haggle a better price for the candied fruit sticks (Bing Tang Hu Lu) and I learnt that the Modern (Ma Die Er) Ice cream block is so named because it used to be sold from the Modern Hotel/shop and they were never individually packaged, rather, sold in tubs, so technically it’s only authentic if you buy it from the Modern shop on Central Street. (There is a shop with an oval red neon sign with 1906 on it.), and the original flavours are Original and Coffee (maybe something else, I forgot), the fruit flavours are new, so I recommend the original one. I saw reviews saying it's not that good - last time I was there in the summer I had one and didn't think it lived up to it's reputation because I ate a different branded one, so go for the authentic one at ￥10 each for the original flavour. (same price as the shop in the domestic airport in Harbin). They come on a stick, I haven't see the scoop ones.
Allison also took great care of me as a friend, and helped me walk around on slippery snow/ice and gave me some bandaids and heat packs when I got some grazes from the snow shoe walking around, and warned me not to go onto the frozen lake.
The car I used was a private car, in China, cars are allowed on road according to the numbers on the license plate, to limit the maximum number of cars on the road each day. Thankfully my itinerary was relaxed so there was some space to move around to get everything done, while still being within the permitted days for the car (if it’s outside, you can still have the car on the roads I was told, but just further from the attraction than if it was on a permitted day, which means a little more walking. I got door to door service every day!). It was clean and comfortable inside. Larger groups get coaches.
If I needed another private tour, would I use them again? Definitely!! I would recommend them for the service too. The driver was very professional and like another reviewer said, did not talk all the time, and didn't ask random personal info like local taxi drivers might. Wasn't too much 'awkward silence' either cause I talked with the guide in the back seat.
I got dropped off at the airport and Allison took me directly to the check in counter and they knew exactly which counter and flight I was taking (gave them the info before arriving, was surprised they kept it) so the driver drove me right up to the correct entry. Best service!
Hello Sandy, Thank you for your request. We had a wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall. The tour... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190214-S Tour Starting Date: Thursday, 14 February 2019
Client's information: Annette Esselborn, Germany
We had a wonderful day. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you. The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.
Thank you for your request. We had a wonderful day, even though we experienced exactly the snow on the Chinese wall. The tour was well organized. We would also book it again with you.
The Ming Tombs were interesting, but of course the Great Wall of China was the highlight for us. And despite the snow, it was an experience. Somewhat hectic was the climb from lunch (by the way very, very delicious!) But I know that this was only due to the weather that day.
The tour guide was awesome! A big praise. She patiently answered all the questions, was funny, responded to the group. That was really great.
If I come back in 2 years with a group, we would like to book again the same tour (maybe without snow ....) with the same tour guide.
Our heartfelt thanks!
Hi Sandie! Thanks for your email! We are both doing fine and have happy memories of the time we spent touring China, thanks to you! We are ... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20190105-S Tour Starting Date: Saturday, 5 January 2019
Client's information: Nancy Tuksaudom,USA
Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us. We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us. We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! We had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us. Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us!
Thanks for your email! We are both doing fine and have happy memories of the time we spent touring China, thanks to you!
We are home now (since early February) and planning our next trip in Mexico for April.
We totally enjoyed our time in China, despite the fact that it was cooler than we had planned for/expected. Each and every city was thoroughly explored with the wonderful guides and drivers that you arranged for us. We also enjoyed every hotel that you reserved for us, as we did the flights, as well. The only semi-negative comment was that the Guilin hotel heat situation was sub-par.
We especially enjoyed each guide, their knowledge, courtesy, and personality! They often showed us much more than we expected and worked very hard to make all connections efficiently, etc.
I did complete feedback forms for each guide in each city. I hope that they forwarded them to you. They were likely to be more thorough than what I just wrote to you.
The bottom line, though, was that we had a thoroughly wonderful time in China and thank you for all the work you did to plan it for us. Should we ever visit China again, we will contact you to assist us!
If you ever visit Seattle, Washington, please let me know and I/we will show you around our beautiful city and environs.
Nancy and Pricha (Tuksaudom)
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 planne... Read more »
Booking Code: VOC-20181012-S Tour Starting Date: Friday, 12 October 2018
Client's information: 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.
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.
Custom Tailoring: Design your own tour with our help to meet your unique interests. You don't have to compromise. Do exactly what you want to do! Let us assist you to tailor-make your own China experience.
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What Our Customers Say
The tour was great. Both guide and driver are very friendly and helpful. For the meals on the trip, so much food and delicious dishes.
We loved the trip. Thanks for all your help.
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