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Xishuangbanna and the Gardens of Southern China

13 days from £3980 per person

The tropical southern province of Xishuangbanna is one of the least visited in China. Home to incredible biodiversity, rare plants and exceptional wildlife, for many years this isolated region was difficult to reach and even harder to explore. Starting in Beijing, visit the Forbidden City and Great Wall then fly to Kunming in Yunnan Province. From Kunming it is a short flight south to Xishuangbanna where a highlight is the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve which supports over 100 endangered species including Indochinese tiger and wild elephant. The journey ends in Bangkok where two nights are spent in the Thai capital.

Route: Beijing – Kunming – Menglun – Bangkok

Itinerary Highlights

The Great Wall was built along an east-west line of the northern borders to protect against raids from nomadic hordes. Watch towers and garrisons allowed the wall to be used as a trading route.

An important trading hub with Vietnam, Burma and Laos, Kunming is known as the City of Eternal Spring, due to its pleasant weather. It lies at the northern shore of Lake Dian.

Fascinating Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens at Menglun is one of the world’s leading research institutes. The extensive site is home to thousands of exotic and unusual plants.

Itinerary: Xishuangbanna and the Gardens of Southern China

Today depart the UK on the British Airways flight to Beijing. (N)
Arrive into Beijing where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. First settled as a trading centre close to 1000 years ago, Beijing was to emerge as a major political and cultural force during the Ming Dynasty – a period in which both the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven were built. One of the world’s great cities, Beijing has never been afraid of change and today epitomises modern China. (B)
Accommodation in Beijing: Cote Cour (or similar)
Upgrade option: Peninsula Beijing (or similar)
After breakfast visit the six-hundred year old Temple of Heaven and watch the morning Tai Chi, Kung Fu and meditation exercises taking place in the gardens outside. From here continue to Tiananmen Square then enter the Forbidden City which served as the Imperial administrative centre throughout the Ming and Qing Dynasties until the fall of the Empire in 1911. Completed in the early 1400s, this vast complex is a highlight of Beijing and houses hundreds of palaces, imperial lodgings, gardens and temples. (B)
Accommodation in Beijing: Cote Cour (or similar)
Upgrade option: Peninsula Beijing (or similar)
This morning leave Beijing and drive to the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall. Further from the city, Jinshanling is one of the more remote sections of the wall and there tend to be fewer visitors here. Dating to the early 5th century BC, construction on the wall continued to the Ming Dynasty when, upon completion, it became the world's largest military structure. Although ultimately the Great Wall was never a totally impenetrable line of defence, at its peak it extended over 6,000 kilometres from ancient Manchuria to the Gobi Desert. (B/L)
Accommodation in Beijing: Cote Cour (or similar)
Upgrade option: Peninsula Beijing (or similar)
Today fly south to Kunming. Known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’, Kunming is 2000 metres above sea level on the Yunnan plateau. Home to one of the region’s earliest civilisations, Kunming profited from its position on the caravan routes to Europe and latterly its proximity to French Indochina and British Burma. This afternoon visit Qiongzhu Temple that dates back to the Tang Dynasty and which houses 500 Buddhist clay arhat sculptures. (B)
Accommodation in Kunming: Green Lake Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast explore Kunming. A highlight is Daguan or ‘Grand View’ Park which adjoins Lake Dian then head towards the Western Hills where there are numerous walking trails and historic temples including the 11th century Huating Temple and Ming-era Taihua Temple. Returning to the city visit Yuantong Temple, the largest Buddhist complex in Kunming, and Green Lake Park with its shops and lakeside cafes. (B)
Accommodation in Kunming: Green Lake Hotel (or similar)
This morning fly to Jinghong in Xishuangbanna and transfer to the town of Menglun. Located in the far south of Yunnan Province close to Burma and Laos, the region Xishuangbanna is unlike any other in China. With a tropical climate, Xishuangbanna harbours much of the country’s biodiversity and is noted for its unique folklore, pristine rainforests, rare plants and wildlife. (B)
Accommodation in Kunming: Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort & Spa (or similar)
Over the next three days explore Xishuangbanna with your guide. Visit the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, a tropical monsoon forest home to over 100 endangered species including Indochinese tiger, leopard, gaur, white-cheeked gibbon and the last wild Asian elephants in China. Over 400 different species of bird have also been recorded in the reserve. Also of interest is the excellent Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Garden in Menglun which cultivates and protects close 13,000 species of tropical plant. (B)
Accommodation in Kunming: Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort & Spa (or similar)
This morning return to Jinghong Airport and fly to Kunming where you will connect to an onward flight to Bangkok. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a two night stay. Bustling and eccentric, intriguing and unforgettable, Bangkok is the gateway to the country and Thailand’s principle city. With a history stretching back a little over two-hundred years, Bangkok has always been a modern forward-thinking place yet much traditional Thai culture remains, as do beautiful monasteries, colourful markets and opulent palaces. (N)
Accommodation in Bangkok: Ariyasom Villa (or similar)
Upgrade option: Mandarin Oriental Hotel (or similar)
Today explore Bangkok with your guide starting at the Grand Palace. Built by the early kings of the Chakri dynasty, this vast complex contains not only the King’s private residence, stables and ministries but also over fifty temples including Wat Phra Kaeo, Thailand’s oldest temple which houses the thousand year old Emerald Buddha. Afterwards visit the Reclining Buddha at Wat Po, then the atmospheric flower market before boarding a private long-tail boat to cruise the quiet canals of the Chao Phraya River. End the day at Wat Arun for a panoramic view of the Grand Palace and river. (B/L)
Accommodation in Bangkok: Ariyasom Villa (or similar)
Upgrade option: Mandarin Oriental Hotel (or similar)
Today transfer back to Bangkok Airport to catch the British Airways flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

01892 515 966 Request a Quote

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