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Holiday Overview


  • Wonderful experience of some of the finest cultural heritage sties and spectacular landscapes in Beijin
  • Get up close with the Terracotta Warriors in Xi 'an
  • Take a ride to see pandas at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre.
  • Experience many of incredible highlights in beijing
  • Enjoy the natural beauty and mysterious villages of Yunnan
  • Enjoy your leisure time in Yunnan's old towns
  • Lijiang highlights and horse riding experience
  • Enjoy the natural beauty of Shangri-La and visit Tibetan families

Our incredible 14 days off the beaten track trip will offer participants a wonderful experience of some of the finest cultural heritage sties and spectacular landscapes China beholds. Due to an ancient history and deeply rich culture, Beijing has a wide range of exciting things to offer and we have developed a tour that will allow you to experience many of its incredible highlights including the amazing Forbidden City. Most importantly, you will also experience a magnificent section of the Great Wall at Gubeikou and a stunning backdrop of mountainous landscapes.

After the Great Wall, our journey then continues in the beautiful city of Xi’an, famous for its old city walls and its impressive bell tower. Xi’an acts as a perfect platform to visit the amazing Terracotta Army (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) that includes more than 6,000 individually crafted soldiers of stunning detail. For lovers of wildlife, Chengdu will also not disappoint as we take a ride to see pandas at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre.

The last station is Yunnan area. Yunnan, a land of natural beauty and mystery, located in the most southwest of China, has a vast territory, magnificent mountains and rivers, abundant natural resources and diverse cultures. Yunnan is a home to 26 ethnic minorities which give a rich color to the land. They contributed with their colorful costumes, their traditional songs and dances to the attractive life.

Brief Itinerary

  • Arrive in Beijing
  • Beijing Highlights (BLD)
  • Jiankou-Mutianyu Great Wall hike –Beijing (BLD)
  • Beijing-Xi’an (BL, by train)
  • Xi’an (BL)
  • Xi’an-Chengdu (BLD, by train)
  • Chengdu (BL)
  • Chengdu-Dali(BL, by air)
  • Dali-Shaxi-Lijiang (BL)
  • Lijiang(BL)
  • Lijiang highlights and horse riding experience (BL)
  • Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge—Shangri-La (BL)
  • Shangri-La -Lijiang (BL)
  • Lijiang/ Home (B)

Map & Itinerary

Holiday Itinerary


    You will be met at Beijing International Airport by our driver (cannot speak English) and transferred to a hotel in central Beijing. Today you will have an opportunity to rest and recover from the long flight.
    • Accommodation 4 star hotel


    In the afternoon, we will continue to visit Tian’anmen Square, the largest public square in the world, then follow in the footsteps of emperors, court ministers and eunuchs and head south to the magnificent and colorful Forbidden City. Forbidden City Beijing, also called Imperial Palace Museum, is located in the very heart of Beijing. It remained the residence of the emperors for nearly five hundred years, from the 15th century to the early 20th century, and was the actual and symbolic seat of imperial power. Popularly known as the Forbidden City, it was built in the Ming Dynasty between the 4th and the 18th years of the Yongle period (1406 - 1420 AD). Many of the buildings of the Palace have been repaired and rebuilt, but their basic form and layout remain in their original state. Hike to Jingshan Park, where gives a nice panoramic view of the Forbidden City at the top of Coal Hill.

    In the late afternoon, enjoy a Hutong rickshaw tour. As the Forbidden City is the symbol of China's royal family, the Hutongs in Beijing show the real life of the common people. When you visit Hutong by rickshaw, you could really taste the life of common people in Beijing. Lotus Market, located in Houhai area, famous for old hutong and modern bars.  

    This evening you could choose to go to watch a Chinese opera performance. Peking Opera has a history of about 200 years, now it becomes more and more popular as it is a combination of stylized acting, singing, acrobatics and colorful costumes. There are four main types in Peking Opera: Sheng, Dan, Jing and Chou. They have different characters, costumes and show their inner world by performance.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BLD


    Your last trekking day is again great for photography! The Jiankou section of the Wall is known to be one of most beautiful part of the Wild Wall near Beijing, loved by photographers. After a half-hour climb upwards, through a gentle wooded area, we will clamber out onto a portion of the Wall not visited by tourists.

    After a simple breakfast, hike eastwards to Mutianyu Great Wall. The hike itself is quiet and beautiful - in about four hours of passing deserted sections of the Wall in its original state, we will get to the well-known restored section of the Wall - Mutianyu. What a difference between the tourist section and the original Wild Wall we have just seen!

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Distance driving:Beijing-Jiankou 93km; hiking: Jiankou –Mutianyu 10km

    • Meals BLD

    • Time driving:Beijing-Jiankou 2hrs; hiking: Jiankou –Mutianyu 4-5hrs


    In the early morning, after breakfast, we will go to see the local people doing their morning exercises. Then we will visit the Temple of Heaven. Temple of Heaven was the venue for the Ming and Qing emperors to offer sacrifices to the Heaven and pray for harvest. This temple was built in the 18th year during the reign of the Ming Emperor Yongle in 1420.

    At the end of visit, transfer to Beijing West Railway station; take a high speed train to Xi’an. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel and have a rest.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BL


    After breakfast, we will drive to visit the magnificent Qin Terra-cotta Army, one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in the world: a life-size clay soldier poised for battle. Qin's tomb was built in about 2500 years ago and was filled with more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots and 520 horses as well as models of palaces, pavilions, fine vessels, precious stones and rarities. UNESCO listed it in 1987 as one of the world cultural heritages. In the afternoon, drive back to Xian city. We will go to visit the Ancient City Wall, which represents one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. Bicycle or sightseeing car will be arranged on the wall to go around.

    Continue to visit the Great Mosque, and Muslim Quarter.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BL


    In the morning, take a high speed train to Chengdu. Located in the heart of eastern Sichuan, Chengdu is the capital of this southwestern province. Geographic and political remoteness have always contributed to the free-spirited nature of the Sichuan people, and the modern cosmopolitan nature of Chengdu reflects this. Chengdu’s identity as a fast-growing metropolis, gateway city to Tibet, and source for some of Sichuan’s most delicious cuisine, makes it one of the most interesting cities to visit in China

    Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel, check in and have a short rest, then go to visit Wenshu Temple in the afternoon, where you can spend some time sitting in its tea house to enjoy a cup of tea and absorb the special atmosphere of Chengdu.

    After dinner, attend the Sichuan Opera—a dazzling show performed with local instruments, hand shadows, candle storytelling, fire spitting, and face changing. Wandering around the local market and bar street Jinli, take local delicacies yourselves and enjoy the leisure life with local people.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BLD


    In the morning, we will go to the Chengdu Research center of Panda Breeding to have a real chance to get intimate interaction with lovely panda. It has been created and imitated the natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. We will spend the whole morning visiting different panda rooms. Here, we can explore the daily life of the cute pandas, eating bamboo at their active time (from 9 o’clock to 11 o’clock), and other rare and endangered wild animals including with black-necked cranes, white storks etc.

    After lunch, take a 1.5hrs drive visit Leshan Giant Buddha, the looming Leshan Giant Buddha is a Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) relic that is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world at 71 meters. The Buddha, build in AD 713 by a Chinese monk named Haitong to calm the river waters, was crafted from a cliff face. It seems that so much stone from the carving process fell into the river below that it did indeed calm the area’s waters. While often crowded with tourists and battling the effects of pollution, Leshan is nevertheless an exquisite UNESCO world heritage site that is not to be missed for its impressive size and beautiful surrounding area.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BL


    Then, we will go for a boat tour on Erhai Lake, watching queues of captive cormorants waiting on the edge of the boat for their turn to do the fishing. The whole lake area is full of interesting and beautiful sites. Lining its banks in the valley is the ancient city of Dali. You can watch the people live their daily lives in a traditional way. That is an interesting backdrop for the scenery. We'll head to Xizhou, an old quiet town which will give you a chance to experience the Bai minority's local market where traders and merchants gather to do the business.

    Then extend your tour to the native's hand-made clothing process - tie-die cloth workshop, taste local snacks when your walk along the small streets. By visiting this small town, you gain a better understanding of the history of this ingenious people and an appreciation of a culture that has been important in Chinese history.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BL


    In the morning we will make a 1.5-hour drive to Shibao Shan, a stone treasure mountain, which is famous for its red rock formations called Danxia landscape and the Buddhist grottoes that feature unique stone-carving nestled into the pine-forested mountain. Shizhong(Stone Bell) Temple, one of the three largest scenic spots of Shibao Shan, where the bodhisattva Guanyin and other Buddhist images are carved into the rocky mountainside, are over 1300 years old and evidence of the spread of Mahayana Buddhism into Yunnan from Tibet. The Buddhist grottoes contributed to Mount Shibao being known as the ‘Mogao Caves of Yunnan’, in reference to the famous Buddhist frescoes in the desert of Dunhuang in northwest Gansu province. Walking in the mountain there are dense forests and flowing streams, which makes a beautiful picture.

    Then walking 2 hours down from the mountain to Shaxi village, a historical village at the foot of Shibao Shan, nested in a valley. Shaxi village, World Monuments Fund has listed it as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world. This area was once a bustling trade station on the Southern Silk Road (Tea and Horse Caravan Road), that linked China and Tibet with Southeast Asia, so the ancient remains, frescoes, art and graffiti on the mountains show a mixture of cultural influences from other parts of the world.

    • Distance hiking: 8km ; driving: Lanping/Shaxi 90km

    • Meals BL

    • Time hiking: 2-3hrs ; driving: Lanping/Shaxi 1.5hrs


    After lunch, you will enjoy the Impression Lijiang Ethnic Show directed in Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M). A cultural show demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area. The show takes place inside Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park at 3500m in an outdoor theater specifically designed to showcase the mountain which is used as a backdrop. The production itself was designed by Zhang Yimou, Fan Yue and Wang Chaoge, a cast of over 500 people, and a number of horses

    After that, drive to visit Black Dragon Pool and Dongba Culture Museum. Then drive back to hotel.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BL


    In the morning drive to Yuhu village, Yuhu is a simple village of Naxi minority with the former residence of Dr.

    Tour to Baisha village and visit Baisha Frescoes, north of Lijiang Country finds the Liulidian Temple and Daobaoji Temple at Baisha village, housing 558 mural paintings on 12 walls that date back to the Ming Dynasty in 1385. Buddhism, Taoism and Lamaism manifest in integration in styles of the Han Chinese, the Tibetan, the Bai and the Naxi people on the murals, a proof of exchange on politics, economy, culture and religion between the mainland and the frontiers of China. They are now rated as key cultural relics under national protection.

    Then go to Lashihai Lake. Lashihai Lake, a nature reserve rich in biodiversity. You will start your horse-riding around Lashihai Lake.  With an area of 5,330 hectares, Lashihai Lake is about 9.3 km long from south to north and 8.2 km wide from east to west. It is the largest lake in Lijiang County. Surrounded by the mountains, the catchment of Lashihai is about 256.6 square meters.The Rivers of Meiquan and Keluokang are merged together into Lashihai. With good quality of water, which meets water quality requirement of Grade II. It is one of the reserved drinking water sources for the city of Lijiang. Drive back to Lijiang in the late afternoon.

    • Meals BL


    After breakfast, take private bus to Tiger leaping gorge is a canyon on the Yangtze River – locally called the Golden Sands River  – located60 kmnorth of Lijiang City. This gorge is formed by two mountains—theJadeDragonSnowMountainand the Haba Snow mountain, with the river flowing in between called theGoldenSandRiver. This gorge is about3700mfrom the top of the mountain to the water surface, and about15 kmin length. It is said that once, in order to escape from the chasing of a hunter, the tiger has to leaping from this side to the other side of the river, the rock that the tiger used now is become the core of this gorge—the ‘tiger leaping stone’ also called the ‘upper tiger leaping gorge’, which is only 30 meters in between the two sides of the river. There we will do a short hike race to exercise the student team consciousness, after lunch, visit the upper tiger leaping gorge.

    Then drive to Shangri-la. Upon arrival in Shangri La, you will have entered the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys. If time is enough, walk around Dukezong Ancient Town, an important town of the Ancient Tea-horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BL


    Today we’ll spend our day doing more sightseeing around Old Town of Shangri-la and getting further adjusted to the high elevation. 
    This area is rich with Tibetan-style architecture and dates back 1300 years! We’ll eat breakfast and drive to Songzanlin Monestary, 5km north of the old town center. The Songzanlin Monestary (constructed in 1679) is the largest Tibetan Monestary in Yunnan and is nicknamed the “Lesser Potala” due to its resemblance to the magnificent structure in Lhasa. We’ll visit for 2 hours until lunch at a local restaurant.
    After lunch we’ll go to visit Napa Lake about 6km away. The Napa Lake Nature Reserve is the country’s largest grassland and most scene area of the plateau. We’ll have time to walk around and take everything in, enjoy the Tibetan culture and take lots of photographs before riding back to Old Town. 
    Drive back to Lijiang in late afternoon.

    • Accommodation 4 star hotel

    • Meals BL


    Relax yourself in Lijiang Old Town in the morning. Lijiang, a well-preserved old city of ethnic minorities with brilliant culture, is a central town of the Lijiang Autonomous County of the Naxi Ethnic Minority in Yunnan Province. Located on the plateau which is 2,400 meters above the sea level and embraced by the tree-covered Lion Mountain in the west, Elephant and Golden Row Mountains in the north, vast fertile fields in the southeast and crystal clear water running through, the old Town looks like a big jade ink slab, therefore got the alias the Town of Big Ink Slab (Dayanzhen).

    Picked up by our guide and driver at the appointed time, transfer to the airport, take a flight back home.
    • Meals B


This price includes

1. Entrance Fees: to scenic spots as listed in the itinerary

2. All the activities fee mentioned in the itinerary: Peking Opera in Beijing; Cycling on the Ancient City Wall in Xi’an; boating on Erhai Lake in Dali, Impression Lijiang Ethnic Show, round trip cable car and shuttle bus in Jade Snow Mountain; horse riding experience in Lashi Lake.

3. Private Transfers: Transfers between airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing during the trip by private air conditioned vehicle with a driver.

4. Meals: All meals as indicated in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)

5. Guide: as outlined in the itinerary an English-speaking guide and driver will be provided in each city, who will remain with you throughout your time in that city. A new guide and a new driver will meet you at each city on your tour, to provide you with the best local knowledge available

6. Hotel: hotel fees are based on two people sharing one room with twin-bed. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. Please kindly check the hotel list below:

7. Internal flights

** Day 08/   Flight from Chengdu to Dali (based on economy class);

8. Trains

** Day 04/   High speed train from Beijing to Xi’an (based on 1st class);

** Day 06/   High speed train from Xi’an to Chengdu (based on 1st class);

9. Arrangements: the tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges

10. Travel Agency Liability insurance


The price does not include

1.      International airfare or train tickets to enter or leave China

2.      China entry visa fees

3.      Excess baggage charges

4.      The medicine for the sickness or accident while on the way

5.      Personal expenses: expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone calls, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the tour itinerary

6.      Meals: lunches and dinners which are not specified in the tour itinerary

7.      Please notice that the price will be much higher during the festival of Labors’ Day, National Day, spring festival

8.      Single room supplement

9.      Tips to tour guide and driver (recommended USD8-10/guest/day).

10.    Tourist accident insurance. NB - you are strongly suggested to buy travel and health insurance before you start out from your home country.


Holiday Information

Enough films and batteries, Sun-cream with the protection index of 40-60, sunglasses with a sun protection factor of 15, the lip creams and balms with SPF rating, towel, toothpaste, electric torch, Snack foods.

Cloth that you bring must be warm enough and can be removed easy enough according to the weather, including Jacket, hat, Cotton underwear, Socks, Long-sleeve Shirts, T-shirts and Pants (Shorts are not appropriate at any time while hiking), comfortable shoes, rain gear (long rain coat is better).

In addition to the normal medications for traveling, just like the Aspirin and medicine for diarrhea, siriasis,sunstroke and carsickness.

US$ is acceptable only in a very limited range, e.g. tips. However, for convenience, Chinese currency is the best choice. If you want to change US$ to Chinese currency in the tour, you can change it in the Hotel you stay or in the Bank of China. You could draw cash only from Bank of China in the big city, the ATM there doesn't always work properly and the bank is not easy to find. Please bring some cash at hand to use.

a) Eating is an important part of your China experience. Generally breakfasts are included in the itinerary and offered by hotels. China Highlights recommends local Chinese restaurants that are popular with local people for lunch. You can order dishes with the help of your guide. We usually leave dinner for your own choice — Western food can be found in most large cities.

b) We have tried to arrange various food in different cities. But you may still think the food is simple and not as delicious as in the big cities especially while trekking in the mountains and villages. If you have any priority of the food (eg. If you are vegetarian or you are allergic to MSG, peanut oil, fish and peanut, etc) please inform us early, we will try to alternate the food accordingly. At the same time please prepare some of your favorite snacks and substitution food in case of need.

c) Meals in the home stays will be different from the cities but clean, which leave you a good chance to experience the ethnic minority culture. We will pack a breakfast for you of cold cereal, milk, toast, fruit, and jam for the home stay. d) It is very important to drink a lot of water and eat enough fruit in your tour especially while trekking in the mountains and villages. You are advised not to drink tap water.

Hotels in China are bound by Government laws which mean that air conditioning is switched on nationally in May and the central heating in November (this may vary slightly depending on the region).

In some remote areas, sometimes shower maybe not available in the home stay. A married couple is not allowed to share a room in the Miao's home-stay due to the local customs.


It is customary to tip service providers in the travel industry in Asia, depending on the service. Tipping is expected — though not compulsory — and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Recommendations for tipping drivers (3 USD per person per day as a guideline) and local guides (8 USD per person per day as a guideline) would depend on the quality and length of the service.

We use comfortable sedans or vans with air-conditioning. The comfort and safety of our customers is of utmost importance, so we ensure that all of the vehicles we use are well maintained and always very clean. Our drivers take pride in their vehicles.

It is a must before going, please provide us the confirmation of insurance company when sign up.

In some provinces with many minorities (like Guizhou, Guangxi, Tibet, Xinjiang and etc.), the customs and habits of local people are different from place to place. The local guide will inform you what should care. Respect the local customs and religions. The people are very kind and hospitable. You can feel free to talk with them. But there are some rulers you should go by! 
a. Do not photo them without getting the permit, please show the respect to them! 
b. Don't talk the sensitive topics like the political and the religion matters!

When you sign up for the trekking tour, you acknowledge that there are risks involved in trekking in high altitude and confirm that you are fully aware of and accept these risks. It is customer's responsibility to determine whether the tour he/she choose is suited to his/her physical condition. Customers are responsible for the cost of any medicines or medical care they may require during the trip for any reason. Please make sure you have adequate personal medical insurance to meet any medical emergency which might arise. In some cases, if you need medical care during the tour, you may be required to pay for it at the time it is rendered and seek reimbursement from your insurer after you return home. Please check with your medical insurer for details. In the event of a medical emergency, we will make every effort to assist you in obtaining necessary care. Also, please tell us in writing if you suffer from any allergies or other physical conditions which might affect you during the tour (if you hasn't tell us in writing before going, you are supposed to be healthy enough to take the tour). Finally, please check with your doctor to find out what inoculation may be recommended for the areas you will be visiting. It is your responsibility to obtain all necessary inoculations. We reserve the right to decline to accept any person as a member of the tour, or to decline to retain any person, if such person's physical condition, mental well-being or behavior interferes with the operation of the tour. There will be no refund in such cases.

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