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South of the Clouds - Yunnan and China

15 days from £3985 per person

Explore the magnificent landscapes and distinct culture of the Yunnan Province in south-west China on an itinerary that incorporates the many sights in a region many consider to be China's best kept secret. With a unique indigenous culture, snow–capped peaks and lush alpine flora, this is a wonderful chance to experience a side of China much less visited than the Imperial cities of the north. Visit Kunming, historic Dali and the beautiful heritage town of Lijiang. Continue via Tiger Leaping Gorge to Zhongdian ending in Beijing to visit the Forbidden City and Great Wall.

Route: Hong Kong – Kunming – Dali – Lijiang – Zhongdian – Beijing

Itinerary Highlights

On the shores of Erhai Lake in Yunnan Province, Dali’s history stretches back to the 8th century and the kingdom of Nanzhao. The walled old city contains buildings from the Bai ethnic minority.

Lijiang is home to several ethnic minorities including the Naxi. Its charming old town has cobbled streets, canals and a market. There are great views of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range.

Zhongdian was renamed Shangri-La, in 2001, after the fictional paradise in the novel ‘Lost Horizon’. The pleasant climate and remote location certainly justify the reference.

Itinerary: South of the Clouds - Yunnan and China

Depart London on the British Airways non-stop flight to Hong Kong. (N)
Arrive into Hong Kong and proceed by car to your accommodation in Kowloon. (N)
Accommodation in Hong Kong: Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Peninsula Hotel (or similar)
Today fly from Hong Kong to Kunming the capital of Yunnan Province. In the afternoon visit the Bamboo Temple and later in the evening you may wish to taste Kunming’s speciality – noodles. (B)
Accommodation in Kunming: Empark Grand Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Green Lake Hotel (or similar)
Leave the city for a scenic drive to the Stone Forest – 120kms south east of Kunming. This exotic collection of limestone rock formations dates back over 200 million years with the tallest over 30 metres in height. (B)
Accommodation in Kunming: Empark Grand Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Green Lake Hotel (or similar)
This morning leave Kunming and fly to Dali, a town situated between the Cangshan Mountains and beautiful Lake Erhai. Later visit the attractive Three Pagodas and spend the rest of the day enjoying a cruise the waters of Lake Erhai and visiting the local markets. (B)
Accommodation in Dali: Asia Star Hotel (or similar)
This region is home to the minority Bai people and this morning visit the ancient town of Xi Zhou, north of Dali, which is noted for its Bai architecture. Later return to Dali and take time to explore the old town. (B)
Accommodation in Dali: Asia Star Hotel (or similar)
Drive to Lijiang, considered by many to be China’s oldest city and one which is certainly one of its most beautiful, situated in a valley surrounded by 5,000m snow-capped mountains. Home to the minority Naxi people, later wander through the old town, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore the delightful maze of cobbled streets and old wooden buildings. (B)
Accommodation in Lijiang: Zen Garden Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Banyan Tree Lijiang (or similar)
A full day sightseeing around Lijiang which includes the village of Baisha noted for its temple frescoes, the delightful old town and the Moon-Embracing Pavilion with its white marble bridge. (B)
Accommodation in Lijiang: Zen Garden Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Banyan Tree Lijiang (or similar)
Today it is a beautiful drive full of impressive scenery to the dramatic Tiger Leaping Gorge and from there onto Zhongdian – the edge of Tibet – and 3,300m above sea level. (B)
Accommodation in Zhongdian: Gyalthang Dzong Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Banyan Tree Ringha (or similar)
With snow-capped peaks and immense forests of spruce and pine that surround the town, the next two days are spent visiting the Sumtseling Monastery and this remote, but beautiful, area. (B/L)
Accommodation in Zhongdian: Gyalthang Dzong Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Banyan Tree Ringha (or similar)
Today fly, via Kunming, from Zhongdian to Beijing. (B)
Accommodation in Beijing: Peninsula Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Raffles Beijing (or similar)
This morning visit the beautiful Temple of Heaven before continuing onto Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. Walk through the square to enter the Forbidden City, the seat of supreme power for the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, where you can spend the remainder of the day exploring the courtyards and buildings of this extensive complex. (B)
Accommodation in Beijing: Peninsula Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Raffles Beijing (or similar)
Travel through the countryside to Mutianyu from where you can take a cable car up to the Great Wall. As you stand on the Wall and look at it snaking its way across the top of the mountains, it is easy to imagine ancient armies locked in battle on the misty slopes. Continue across the mountains, after lunch to visit the fascinating tombs of the Ming Emperors before returning to Beijing later in the afternoon. (B/L)
Accommodation in Beijing: Peninsula Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Raffles Beijing (or similar)
Fly non-stop to London with British Airways. (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

Head Office: 8-9 Orchard Business Centre, North Farm Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells Kent. TN2 3XF

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