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8 days

8 Day Private Tour

Private Travel Discoveries

• Experience local life in Kunming as you explore the flower & bird market and dine on regional cuisine at a charming restaurant set in an historic wooden home.
• Discover the marvelously preserved, centuries-old architecture of historic Lijiang.
• Spend time getting to know the history and ethnic cultures of Dali, an ancient town situated on the shores of Erhai Lake in the mountains of the Tibeto-Burman region.
• Thrill to the magnificent scenery of Tiger Leaping Gorge as you travel to Zhongdian, regarded by many as the fabled land of Shangri-La!

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Welcome to Kunming, China

Check in to the deluxe Grand Park Hotel in the heart of Kunming. Then join your private guide for a stroll through Old Town and along the picturesque shores of Green Lake. At the bustling Flower & Bird Market, you’ll have a chance to experience age-old rhythms of daily local life. This evening, sample regional Yunnan cuisine at a charming restaurant set in an historic city house. Meals D


From Kunming to Dali

After breakfast, your private car and driver will be waiting to take you to the airport for your included flight to Dali. Surrounded by majestic mountain peaks, Dali is a fascinating mix of many different tribal cultures including the Bai, Naxi and Miao. Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the Gurong Hotel, ideally located in the heart of Old Town. After time to refresh, your private city tour begins with the Three Pagodas of Dali which tower over the shores of Erhai Lake. Built more than 1,000 years ago, the central one stands more than 220 feet high and is one of the tallest pagodas of the Tang Dynasty. Continue your exploration with the cultural and architectural landmarks of Old Town including the Catholic Church. Meals B,L,D


Life and cultures of Dali

Get a glimpse into the daily routines of Dali’s multi-ethnic residents as you browse with your personal guide through the bustling Xizhou Morning Market, which has been an integral party of local life for centuries! A scenic cruise across the tranquil waters of Erhai Lake brings you to a traditional lakeside village. See how the village fishermen use trained cormorant birds to catch lake fish before sitting down to lunch in a local restaurant. This afternoon’s excursion to the village of Zhoucheng is an opportunity to immerse in the daily life and traditions of the indigenous Bai people. Dinner tonight will feature local dishes of the Bai.  Meals B,L,D


Journey to Lijiang c

A scenic overland journey with your private car and driver brings you to the ancient town of Lijiang, hailed for its fascinating multi-ethnic cultural traditions and finely-preserved buildings from the Ming and Tang Dynasties. Check in to the 5-star Crowne Plaza Hotel and then join your guide for a private tour including the architectural highlights of Old Town, Mu’s Mansion, Dongba Museum and Black Dragon Pool, a lovely pristine pond fed by the melting snows from the surrounding mountains. This evening’s dinner is an opportunity to sample the local cuisine. Meals B,L,D


Out and about in Lijiang

Your private sightseeing continues this morning at Yufeng Temple, spectacularly situated in a forest meadow at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain just 9 miles from Old Town Lijiang. Continue to Baisha village; founded in the Ming Dynasty, this early settlement of the Naxi people includes a number of unusual landmarks including the celebrated frescoes of the Dabaoji Palace. After lunch, continue your sightseeing at Yuhu Village and the enchanting Old Town of Shuhe before returning to your hotel in Lijiang.  Meals B,L,D


Onward to Shangri-La… Lijiang to Zhongdian

Depart Lijiang this morning and discover the magnificent scenery of Tiger Leaping Gorge. Carved over the eons by the rushing rapids of the pristine Golden Sands River, this is one of the deepest river gorges in the world. Continue through the spectacular countryside with its clear waters and towering mountain peaks to Zhongdian, an idyllic Tibetan town which many believe was the inspiration for the utopian Shangri-La described in James Hilton’s famous novel The Lost Horizon. Enjoy a find dinner of Tibetan-style cuisine and a wonderful 2-night stay at the stylish Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-La, a distinguished member of the upscale MGallery Collection.  Meals B,L,D


Discover Shangri-La!

After breakfast, your private sightseeing begins with the Ganden Sumtseling Lamasery. Built in 1679 and situated at an elevation of 11,000 feet, this Tibetan Buddhist monastery is the largest in Yunnan province. After lunch, continue your exploration off-the-beaten-path with a guided mountain walk from the tranquil Dabao Monastery, rarely visited by other American travelers, to a nearby Tibetan village. Spending time with a local village family offers a rewarding opportunity for authentic engagement with daily life and the cultural traditions of this remote mountain region. Meals B,L,D


Depart Zhongdian

Our tour services end this morning.  Meals B