Welcome to Chengdu, the hometown of Giant Pandas. Upon arrival, your guide will meet and escort you to your hotel in Chengdu downtown in a private vehicle. The rest of today is free to explore the leisure city on your own.
Optional Activity: In the evening, you can enjoy a delicious dinner of Sichuan cuisine at a local restaurant.
In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel, then be driven about 2 hours from Chengdu to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Leshan Giant Buddha which is the largest and tallest stone-carved statue of Buddha in the world. It was carved during AD713~803 on a mountain rock cliff by the river, with its head reaching to the mountain top and its feet standing next to the river. The total height is 71m; while the head is 14.7m high and 10m wide, ear is 7meters high, 28 meters between knees and insteps. Its insteps can hold over a hundred people. You may be wondering why such a giant Buddha was built? It is said to have been built to calm the turbulent waters that plagued passing boats and killed many people each year in ancient time. On the right cliff of the Giant Buddha, there is a plank road built along with the Giant Buddha. From the top to foot, the plank road has nine turns, thus it’s called Nine Bends Plank Road. The widest part of the road is 1.45m and the narrowest part is only 0.6m, and there are 217 stone steps in total. You will walk down to the feet of the Giant Buddha for a closer view. Please note you may have to queue up to enter the stone stairway if you visit the Giant Buddha during the busy hours.
After the Giant Buddha visit, drive about 45mins to Baoguo Temple, the biggest temple of Mount Emei at the mountain foot. It has several serene gardens with rare plants, a library of sutras and a huge porcelain Buddha. Another famous historical relic in the temple is the 25-ton bronze Bell, reputedly as the second largest bell in China. While traveling deeper into the temple, you will enjoy different views of Mount Emei.
Lastly, drive to check in your hotel. Have a good rest for tomorrow's Mount Emei trip which has some walkings involved.
Recommended Optional Activity:take a 30 minutes’ sightseeing boat to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Giant Buddha on the river.
This morning after breakfast, meet your tour guide and set out for Mount Emei. As one of the few World Heritage Sites of both cultural and natural heritages, Mount Emei is an enchanted combination of lush forest and cultural relics. It is one of the Four Great Buddhist Mountains in China, also the home to 5000 kinds of plants (more than the total species in Europe) and over 2300 kinds of wild animals.
You will first take your private car to the tourist center, then shift on to an Eco-Bus which will take you up to the mountain top area in 1.5~2 hours. Once you reaching at Leidongping (2400m), keep on walking about 30mins along stone steps to the cable car station, along which you will have a chance to see the wild monkeys. Take a cable car (about 5mins) up to the Golden Summit (3077m) which is the biggest highlight and very essence of Mount Emei. Once you get to the Golden Summit, the first view appearing in front of you is a towering multi-faced golden statue (48m) of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. Next to the golden statue sits the bronze Huangzang Temple which is the first temple established on Mount Emei whose history can be traced back to the 1st century CE. You can stroll around the Golden Summit to explore Buddhist architecture and tradition, and enjoy a panoramic view of Mount Emei and surrounding. On clear days, you can even see the snow-clad of Mount Gongga (7556m), Asia’s largest table mountain - Wawu Mountain and winding rivers flowing through Emeishan city. If weather permits, you will have luck to enjoy its magnificent wonder of Cloud Sea. Sightsee around 1.5 hours on the Golden Summit area, then descend by cable car to Leidoping and take Eco-Bus again back to the tourist center. Your private car is ready to transfer you back to Chengdu (about 2.5~3hrs).
Optional visit to Wanfoding (Ten Thousands Buddha Peak): Wanfoding (3099m), the highest peak in Mount Emei, is currently reopening to tourists who are less 60 years old, but it is only open during 07:00~14:00, and the largest allowed campacity is only 2000 tourists per day. If you want to visit Wanfoding and time allows, please discuss with your tour guide. It usually takes about 2~3 hours to visit Wanfoding.
Read this if you are a hiking lover:
Above itinerary is a classic visit route which is suitable for different ages of tourists. If you want more hiking experience during your trip, please contact your travel consultant to tailor-make the hiking routes according to your time and physical condition. There are routes of 2 hours (Qingyin Pavilion to Wannian Temple), 4 hours (Qingyin Pavilion to Wannian Temple + Leidongping to Golden Summit), one day (Wannian Temple to Leidongping) and 2 days (Qingyin Pavilion to Golden Summit) available.
This morning you will make a stirring visit to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding which is not only the most important panda scientific research center, but also dwelling home to more than 100 Giant Pandas. Walk at leisure through the bamboo framed paths, and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, climbing trees, etc. Don't miss the chance to visit the most adorable panda cubs in the panda kindergartens. If you are lucky, you may be able to see the precious panda babies in the nursery rooms. There is also a very informative Panda Museum where you can learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas.
Leaving the panda center, you will be taken to a hidden spiritual Buddhist temple in the bustling downtown of Chengdu - Wenshu Temple. Marvel at the exquisite Buddhist architecture, soak in the reverent atmosphere, and wander on the peaceful paths. Adjacent to the monastery is a small bazaar (Wenshufang) where you can enjoy a leisure stroll through to experience local market and living style.
Chengdu is famous for its relaxing and leisure pace throughout China, which will be proved after a stay in Renmin Park. Sit down, order a pot of Chinese tea, make a casual chat with your friends and watching locals indulging themselves in different kinds of folk entertainment - napping in a lively teahouse, playing mahjong, disco dancing, neck massage, ear cleaning... Next is an impressive trip to the famous Jinli Old Street. Time steals away from you quietly while walking on the lively streets which are full of delicious local snacks, delicate artifacts, interesting folk shows, etc.
At the end, your guide will escort you to your hotel.
Recommended Optional Evening Activities: 1) enjoy a delicious dinner of Sichuan cuisine (or hotpot) at a local restaurant; 2) watch a wonderful performance of Sichuan Opera which includes folk opera, face changing, fire spitting, rolling lights, and other delightful entertainment (usually performs during 20:00~21:30).
After breakfast, you will be escorted to Chengdu Airport to catch your flight to Lijiang (about 1.5 hours).
Welcome to Lijiang, a very impressive ancient city! Upon arrival at the airport, your guide and driver will meet you at the arrival hall and transfer you to the hotel in ancient town area with a private car which is comfortable, air-conditioned and non-smoking.
After a short break, you’ll start a memorable tour in Lijiang Ancient Town (Dayan Ancient Town). Established in the Ming dynasty as a commercial center, Lijiang Old Town is a well-preserved 800-year-old town for Naxi ethnic group, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Walk to the central area of the old town and visit Mufu Palace. A saying goes “there is Forbidden City in the North, Mu’s Residence in the South”. Mu’s Residence was called the miniature Forbidden City. Looked from a far distance, it likes a grand imperial palace and it is famous for the grandness and architectural buildings. Getting into the palace, you can know Tusi’s ruling history and appreciate Naxi people’s brilliant culture and fine arts. Then, wander through the old alleys, old bridges, featured shops and bars to Sifang Street Square, a mingling ground to enjoy lively atmosphere and unwind yourself. If time permits, join the Naxi people and tourists to dance happily in a round. (Optional Activity: Take a leisure walk up to the Lion Hill and climb up the 33-meter-tall Wanggu Tower - the landmark building of Lijiang to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole old town and overlook the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance.)
Have a good sleep in your hotel in Lijiang!
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred out of Lijiang Old Town to Yuhu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Walking into this authentic Naxi Village, you’ll see unique stone houses, Naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, kids playing, a tranquil Yuhu Lake…explore leisurely around the village and then go to explore the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, who was an Austrian-American Botanist came to Lijiang and stayed in Yuhu Village for 27 years and made huge research work on Naxi minority.
Later, head to Baisha Village and appreciate the ancient Baisha Mural Paintings. Houses here are arranged on a north-south axis around a central, terraced square. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which depict subjects relating to Buddhism, Taoism and the life of the Naxi people, incorporating cultural elements of the Bai people. (Optional experience: You can have in-depth cultural experience to learn how to make Baisha embroidery instructed by the local masters in Baisha Village.)
Then, it is followed by a relaxing trip to Shuhe Ancient Town - one of the earliest settlements of Naxi people as well as the well-preserved stop of the Ancient Tea Horse Route. This ancient town is less crowded than Lijiang Dayan Old Town. Take a nice stroll here to explore local cultures, folk customs and traditions over several centuries.
After that, transfer to Dongba Culture Museum where more than 10,000 Dongba cultural relics show mysterious Dongba culture of the Naxi people. Take a gentle walk to Black Dragon Pool Park to enjoy gorgeous view and peaceful surroundings. If weather permits, get to the best spot to overlook the snow-capped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and shoot some amazing pictures.
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, drive about 52 kilometers from Lijiang to view the First Bend of Yangtze River. The upper reach of the Yangtze River is Jinsha River coming down from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and when it arrives at Shigu Town, it is obstructed by Hailuo Mountain and forms a V-shape turn. Then it changes the direction and goes to the northeast. You’ll reach the observation deck to catch a panoramic view of the bend, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before your eyes. You’ll have a look at local market and Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in Shigu Town.
Later, be transferred to visit the one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyon in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. It is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site called Three Parallel of Yunnan Protected Areas. This steep gorge is situated between the 5596 meters Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the south and 5396 meters Haba Snow Mountain to the north. Measuring 17 kilometers in length, the whole gorge is divided into three parts: upper, middle and lower gorge and you’ll pay a visit to the maturest section - Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge. Walk about 1,000 stairs along the plank road from the entrance to the Tiger Leaping Rock. Take a moment to enjoy the magnificent gorge view and rolling waves. (Travel tip: This gorge is suitable for most travelers with easy walk. Comfortable shoes are recommended.)
After the hiking tour, you’ll be driven to Shangri-La. With 2 hours' driving, enjoy the enchanting natural scenery along the way. Welcome to Shangri-La (Zhongdian, altitude: 3459meters), the Garden of Eden! Upon arrival, check in your hotel and explore this earthly paradise on your own.
Today is a full day to explore the earthly paradise described in the famous novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton.
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you'll be transferred with 7 kilometers' driving to Songzanlin Monastery (Ganden Sumtseling Gompa), reputed as the "Little Potala Palace" for it was built according to the complex of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Established by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679, the monastery belongs to Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and it is also the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province with around 700 monks and lamas. Walk 147 steps to get atop of the monastery and pay clockwise visit to the three main lamasery buildings where you can not only see the Buddhism treasures, but also enjoy large number of monks of all ages going about their daily routines, praying, chanting, cooking and resting. It should a nice trip to get in-depth understanding about Tibetan Buddhism. If time permits, take some quiet time to walk around the peaceful Lamuyangcuo Lake and shoot panorama view of Songzanlin Monastery with reflection in the clear water.
Then, drive about 27 kilometers to Pudacuo National Park. This 1,300-square-kilometer national park is notable as the first national park in China to meet International Union for Conservation of Nature standards. It is renowned for well-preserved primitive landscape, which is endowed with lakes, wetlands, forests, meadows, streams, brooks, rare plants and animals. Throw yourself into the lush green forest with diverse species of flora and fauna, walk along the plank road to catch the gorgeous scenery. There are also many hiking opportunities. (Notes: 1) the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m so you should avoid strong activities to avoid high altitude sickness; 2) part of the national park is currently closed for environment protection and recovery.)
After the merry time in the park, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family to experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people and taste some special Tibetan snacks and butter tea. (Optional Experience: If you are interested in the Tibetan people's daily drinks, you can follow the locals to involve in the process of making butter tea.)
After breakfast, be escorted to the airport for your flight to Kunming (about 1 hour), the Spring City of China! Upon arrival, the local tour guide and driver will meet you in the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel and help you check in.
After a short break, you’ll start a tour to the famous Western Hills which is called “Sleeping Beauty Hills”, looking like a beautiful young lady lying beside Dian Lake (the largest freshwater in Yunnan and famed as the “Pearl on the Plateau”). It is a particularly pleasant experience to walk in such verdant forest mountain park with elegant sightseeing and a series of cultural relics and sites, including some old temples. You will not miss the symbolic visit to the magic Dragon Gate as it says “If you do not visit Western Hill, you haven't visited Kunming; if you do not come to Dragon Gate, you haven't been to Western Hills”, where to admire the colorful old grottoes on the wall and catch the panoramic view of the large peaceful Dianchi Lake and Kunming City. (You can visit the temples if interested. Huating Temple and Taihua Temple are included in the ticket.)
Then, go to visit Kunming Green Lake. This pretty park with a lovely lake, old-styled pavilions, corridors, flowers, etc. is the most popular place for an authentic feeling of local Kunming people’s leisure life with citizens singing, dancing, talking, exercising, etc. During November to the next March, Black-headed Gulls from Siberian will never be late to fly there for their expecting comfortable warm winter holiday. Do not miss playing with those adorable and vigorous elfin during your relaxing roam!
Later, drive back to your hotel in Kunming.
After breakfast, your local guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and then escort you to discover Stone Forest first for about 1.5 hours’ riding (85km)!
Kunming Stone Forest as the “Essence of World Karst Landform” has been listed as the UNESCO World Natural Heritage with the incomparable coverage of 12 square kilometers’ stone pinnacle groups. Take the sightseeing bus to visit the Greater Stone Forest Scenic Area to admire the typical concentrating cinerous stone pinnacles by walking through the maze of stone peaks and jumping high for the panorama of the forest of protruding stone peaks. Also, you will see the famous peak on many photos and even stones towering over 40 meters.
Then, continue to ride the bus to explore the Lesser Stone Forest to closely look at the iconic stone “Ashima” like a young lady, listen to the touching love story of Ashima, and fill your eyes with the emerald garden-like park of wilder stone peaks surrounded by lush green plants and blossoms. Take the sightseeing bus to exit the scenic park.
After the tour, be escorted to the airport or railway station for your flight / train (after 17:00) to next destination or home. Service ends!
The quotation for this trip is from Request Per Person
1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
Professional licensed English-speaking guide;
Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;
Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);
Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;
Domestic flights (economy class) and high-speed trains (second class) as listed in the itinerary;
Airport (and train station) pick up and drop off;
Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;
All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);
Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.
Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;
Single Room Supplement;
Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
Recommended optional activities;
Flights or trains not listed in the itinerary;
Excess Baggage Charges;
Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.
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