Encapsulated in the few days of this tour is the full range of environmental experiences for you to treasure – traditional architecture and artefacts of the built environment; exposure to ethnic minorities living and lifestyle in the cultural environment; scenic wonders of the landscape sculpture of rice terraces in the rural environment; and the phenomenon of the natural environment in the dramatic karst landscapes.
|Vehicle||Air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver|
|Guide Service & Language||Professional English-speaking guide|
Your tour guide and driver will pick you up from your Kunming hotel in the morning to travel to the Bird and Flower Market, a vibrant shopping and sightseeing center with a true local flavor. Enjoy a multitude of shops and stores along the long and narrow streets displaying a huge variety of flowers, various kinds of plants and all sorts of seeds. Bonsais and tree-root carvings are also available. In addition, ornamental birds, goldfish and red carp, fish tanks and fishing tackle can also be found here. The market also acts as a trading center for various kinds of antiques, including jade objects, ink slabs, ancient coins, porcelain and other handicrafts. Teahouses and shops selling interesting delicacies, such as sweet wine, braised bean curd and more are dotted throughout the market for the convenience of visitors.
After a 1.5 hour drive 90 km along the highway, arrive at the Stone Forest where you can marvel at the phenomenon of the broad expanse of karst limestone pillars in fantastic shapes that resemble a forest when viewed from a distance. Formed by the movement of the earth 270 million years ago and exposure to wind and running water, these extraordinary formations are of considerable interest to geologists, while the forest is home to the Yi minority renowned for their diligence, embroidery and dancing.
Commit to memory the extraordinary images as you enjoy the beautiful views from different lookouts as you spend about 2-3 hours in the park.
Overnight you will stay at the hotel in Shilin town nearby.
Meals included: None
After breakfast, a 300 km drive through the countryside over about 4.5 hours will take you to Yuanyang Scenic Area. First visit the land sculpture scenic spectacle of the Bada Rice Terraces, admiring views of the extensive terraced valley from different vantage points. A visit to descendants of the originators of the ecological rice terrace system, the Hani ethnic minority, in Qingkou Village, will stir admiration. Here you will see little changed in the traditional residences of clay walls and straw roofs built along stone roads in true Hani ethnic style. Later in the afternoon, travel to the rice terraces at Laohuzui where, weather permitting, the colorful sunset presents an extraordinary spectacle for photographers as light reflects from the terraces. You will then be checked into the hotel for the evening.
Meals included: Breakfast
A truly memorable travel and photographic experience is witnessing sunrise over the Yuanyang Rice Terraces from Duoyishu Village, home of the Hani and Yi ethnic minorities, who developed the ecological and aesthetic masterpiece of rice terrace farming. Capture images of the swathes of clouds rising above the village and the reflection of the light from the new day shimmering on the fields. Get into the spirit of the region when visiting a local street market in Shengcun, where the people of surrounding villages – often ethnic minorities – gather to buy and sell all sorts of food and life supplies.
Relax on the 3.5 hour 130 km drive to Jianshui, along the way stopping to explore Tuanshan Village, famous for old heritage mansions and unique local architectural style. Take a peek into the lifestyles of the rich and powerful of imperial times when exploring the exceptional Zhu’s Family Garden, built during the Qing Dynasty. Admire the wonderful visual art and artefacts in this extraordinary family residence and ancestral hall set amongst courtyards and traditional gardens. Round off the day in good spirit when you gain a sense of the wisdom and peace of the inspiration radiating out of the Confucius Temple preserved in the buildings, gardens and tranquil setting. Afterwards stay overnight in Jianshui.
Meals included: Breakfast
One of the most important foods of the area is tofu, so after breakfast, you’ll be treated to a local tofu workshop (about 30 minutes), where you’ll gain an appreciation of the origin and significance of the local food, how it is used, and perhaps sample some.
During the 210 km 3.5 hour drive back to Kunming, at a stop in Xingmeng, you will be introduced to Mongolian culture at the Yunnan Provincial Museum, which exhibits both archeological finds and ethnic cultural artefacts. Further soak up the local culture in colorful Guandu Ancient Town, exploring the temples, pagodas and stately homes as you mix with the locals in the bustling marketplace on the shores of Kunming Lake. Your tour ends when you are returned to your hotel or airport/train station for the departure to your next destination.
Meals included: Breakfast
Inclusions / Exclusions
- Admission fees: to sightseeing spots & activities specified.
- Activities specified in the itinerary.
- Excellent professional English-speaking guide.
- Ground transport in an air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver as specified.
- Accommodation: 4-Star hotels with breakfast in Shilin and Yuanyang, boutique hotel with breakfast in Jianshui, based on double/twin occupancy as specified.
- Battery car ride at Stone Forest.
- Travel Agency Liability Insurance during the tour.
- Government taxes & fees.
- International/domestic flights and trains to/from Kunming.
- China visa.
- Gratuities to guides and drivers and any expense of personal nature.
- Accommodation in Kunming.
- Meals: Lunches and dinners are excluded allowing you flexibility around meal choices. Your guide will make recommendations and order for you, if required.
- Our tour package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase travel insurance before your trip to protect for any unforeseen circumstances.
- This is a private tour for your group of family or friends. No other travelers will join you. It’s always available for your schedule!
- Smart casual dress and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
- Prices based on twin occupancy.
- The prices shown above are not valid during China’s Official Holidays (such as National Day and Chinese Spring Festival etc.).