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Venture into Yunnan province in the far southwest of China, one of the country's lesser-visited and more ethnically diverse regions. The city of Lijiang has a wealth of history, cultural sites and some charming hotels, but the main attractions lie beyond, where the scenery is remote and spellbinding, with evocatively named locations such as Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Tiger Leaping Gorge.
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Arrive in Chengdu and connect with a domestic flight to Lijiang. You will be met at the airport and transferred into Lijiang's historical centre, once a staging post for travellers on the Tea Horse Road. Stay at the LUX* Hotel Lijiang for 3 nights. (N)
Take a guided tour of the historical centre, then drive out to Shuhe Ancient Town, a village north of Lijiang that was once home to members of the Naxi minority ethnic group. Visit the Mu Family Mansion, the former residence of Naxi chieftain, and wander the well-preserved cobbled streets to explore gardens, temples and museums. Optional evening Naxi music performance. (B)
Full-day tour to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, including a visit to Baisha village to see the Baisha Frescoes, a collection of murals depicting scenes from traditional village life and Tibetan Buddhist iconography. (B, L)
Drive to north to Zhongdian, a city with a strong Tibetan influence due to its proximity to Tibet. Stop en route for views of the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the first bend of the Yangtze river at Shigu. Stay 2 nights at the Songtsam Retreat Hotel. (B, L)
Morning tour of Songzanlin Tibetan monastery, which is modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa and has a delightful setting against a backdrop of dramatic mountain scenery. Afternoon visit to the Pudacuo National Park, home to a diverse array of karst features and beautiful landscapes. (B, L)
Drive north to Benzilan in the foothills of the Meili mountains. Stay 2 nights at the LUX* Tea Horse Road Hotel. Benzilan, set on the ancient Tea Horse Road trade route, has preserved its authenticity and opens an extraordinary window onto Tibetan culture. Spend the following day walking scenic mountain trails overlooking the Yangtze river, trying local produce or visiting the lamasery of Dongzhulin. (B)
Drive to Diqing Shangri-La airport near Zhongdian and fly to Chengdu. Transfer into the city centre and overnight at the Buddha Zen Hotel, a traditional courtyard-style building near the Wenshu monastery. (B)
Transfer to the airport and fly home*. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
Chengdu is famous for a number of giant panda research centres located in and around the city, so if you would like to extend your tour to see these iconic animals, please speak to your travel consultant.
This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
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