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Yunnan Province & Shangri-La. Reaching for Hidden, Historic China.

Meet the minority peoples of China, who live as they have for centuries in picturesque Yunnan Province. First visit the capital of Kunming, then explore old towns such as Dali and Weishan. Continue to lovely and timeless Lijiang. And then Gyalthang, recently rechristened “Shangri-La” by the always forward-thinking Chinese government.

     Did you know you could find heaven on Earth?


Type:Custom Journeys


Sample Journey

This is an 11-day sample itinerary. Remember that R. Crusoe can create a Yunnan Province journey of any length to meet your exact specifications.

Day 1: Asian Gateway City; Kunming, China
• Fly from the Asian Gateway City of your choice to Kunming.
• Yuantong Temple or Green Lake.
Overnight in Kunming

Day 2: Stone Forest, Kunming
• Drive to Golden Taoist Temple, explore Stone Forest.
• Return to Kunming, leisure time.
Overnight in Kunming

Day 3: Jingshan, Dali
• Drive to Jingshan, Dinosaur Valley.
• Drive to Dali.

Overnight in Dali
Day 4: Weishan, Dali
• Weishan old town tour.
• Return to Dali, cable car to old city walls, leisure time.
Overnight in Dali
Day 5: Xizhou, Chouchen, Lijiang
• Drive along Erhai Lake toward Lijiang.
• Xizhou tea merchant mansions.
• Chouchen textile artisans' workshop.
Overnight in Lijiang

Day 6: Lijiang
• UNESCO old town including market and Black Dragon Pool.
• Leisure time.
• Naxi concert with music played on traditional instruments by town elders.

Overnight in Lijiang

Day 7: Yuhu Village, Baisha, Lijiang
• Yuhu old town walking tour.
• VIP seats at "Impression" cultural show.
• Option to Baisha and Yufeng Monastery.
• Leisure time in Lijiang.
Overnight in Lijiang

Day 8: Yangtse River, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Shangri-La (aka Zhongdian or Gyalthang)
• Drive along Yangtse River to Tiger Leaping Gorge.
• Arrive Gyalthang, hotel check-in.

Overnight in Gyalthang

Day 9: Valley of Ringha, Shangri-La
• Drive to Valley of Ringha, Temple of the Five Wisdom Buddhas, tea with a local family at their home, Ganden Sumsanling Monastery, Gyalthang old town tour, free time.
Overnight in Gyalthang

Day 10: Nishi, Yangste River Valley
• Nishi lacquer workshop.
Yangtse River Valley, Gyalthang wood workshops.
Overnight in Gyalthang

Day 11: Gyalthang, Kunming; Asian Gateway City or China; United States
• Fly to Kunming, connect to flights to Asian Gateway City, and fly home. Or continue on in China.

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Sample Pricing

Per person sharing room from $5,980 for this 11-day sample itinerary

For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son tour specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.

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Yunnan, China: Life as It’s Been Lived for Hundreds of Years.

Yunnan is a province in southeast China that borders Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and Tibet. During the second century B.C., it became part of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – A.D. 220). Later, the Mongols took control of the region, as did the Japanese during World War II.

     Throughout China, the vast majority of Chinese people—about 92 percent—are of Han extraction. What’s particularly fascinating about Yunnan—which is far from the modernized cities of Shanghai and Beijing—is that 34 percent of its population is comprised of the minority peoples: Yi, Bai, Hani, Zuang, Miao, and Naxi.

     Many of these people still live utterly traditional lives, in their occupations, their clothing, and their homes. Because of its proximity to Tibet, Yunnan shift from Han Chinese to Tibetan minorities as one travels across the province.

     Aside from its remarkable demographics, Yunnan also boasts dramatic mountains, gorgeous valleys, and sparkling rivers that coalesce to create spectacular natural scenery. Ever heard of Tiger Leaping Gorge? That incredible site, where the Yangtse River gushes past Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the shadow of steep cliffs, is among Yunnan’s visual glories.

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