The California Native International Adventures

Since 1983
Click to Receive Information by Mail

China Tours

9-day Yunnan Explorer

Our Yunnan Explorer tour takes us to the most fascinating destinations in the province. Accompanied by an English-speaking guide, we experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the province, whose cultural landscape is as varied as its geographic one. The unique cultures of its 25 ethnic tribes make each stop a new and different experience, and the mystery of its alluring landscape beckons the traveler ever deeper.

1st Day: We arrive in Kunming, the “City of Eternal Spring,” where we are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Located atop a mile-high plateau, the capital of Yunnan Province enjoys a moderate climate, abundant flora and beautiful landscape. We enjoy a welcome dinner and have the evening free to relax.

2nd Day: Today we depart on a full-day tour of the Stone Forest, a vast limestone karst formation. An immense expanse of water covered the area 270 million years ago, but geologic uplift exposed the floor to the elements, which over millenia eroded the stone into myriad peaks, pinnacles and caves. Humans, animals and mythical beasts can be seen in surreal formations that tower overhead.

3rd Day: This morning we fly to Shangri-La, located on the doorstep of Tibet. Formerly named Zhongdian, the city was officially renamed “Shangri-La” in 2001. We visit Songzanlin Monastery—the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province—which was built in 1679 after the fifth Dalai Lama chose the site through divination. We then head into the mountains along the Tibet-Yunnan highway to visit the remote Dong Zhu Lin Monastery and view the First Bend of the Jinsha River (the local name for the Yangtze). Back in Shangri-La we tour the old town and market and enjoy the nightly dance in the main square.

4th Day: Today we travel to the spectacular Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest river canyons in the world, where the Jinsha River thunders between massive mountains in a series of rapids. Legend has it that a tiger, trying to escape from a hunter, leapt across the gorge at its narrowest point—a distance over 80 feet! We continue to the town of Lijiang, one of the best-preserved ancient towns in China, where we walk through a maze of cobblestone streets and canals. In the evening we enjoy a concert of Naxi Ancient Music, a traditional ethnic artform performed by octogenarian musicians from the Naxi tribe. During the Mao era they buried their instruments to prevent them from being destroyed.

On this day we also have the option of embarking on a two-day trek of the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

5th Day: We visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a small, cloud-enshrouded mountain range of 13 peaks that resembles a dragon lying in the clouds. It’s highest peak, Shanzidou (18,359 ft.), has never been summited. We ride a cable car to a glacier to experience the majesty of this massif up close. In the afternoon we travel to Baisha Village to see the famous Baisha Murals. Painted over a period of 300 years by expert artists from different nations and religions, each colorful and detailed scene contains at least 100 unique portraits.

6th Day: We travel to Dali, an ancient city that first appeared on a map in the 2nd century AD. Its abundant historical sites, colorful ethnic culture and beautiful natural setting make it a popular destination. We visit the Three Pagodas—the largest, 230 ft. tall, was built over 1100 years ago. In the afternoon we stroll through Dali Old Town, former site of the capital city of the Nanzhao and Bai Kingdoms. At its heyday it was the economic and cultural capital of Yunnan. We then fly to the tropical city of Jinghong, where we overnight.

7th Day: In the morning we visit the Xizhou morning market, Bai Villiage and Zhouchen Village. After lunch we’ll transfer to the airport for the flight to Jinghong.

8th Day: In the morning we travel to Ganlanba, a traditional Dai town, where we visit the morning market, Dai water villages, the Burmese Temple and Rubber Orchard. After lunch by the Mekong, we explore Wild Elephant Valley. A nature reserve for elephants, this valley is covered by rainforests, crisscrossed by rivers and streams, and teeming with such endangered species as wild Asian elephants and green peacocks. We take a half-hour cable car ride through the primitive rainforest, then enjoy a traditional Dai barbecue dinner before returning to Jinghong.

9th Day: This morning we fly from Jinghong to Kunming to connect with our departing flight.

What’s included: Accommodations, English-speaking guide, domestic airfare, ground transportation, transfers, entrance fees to mentioned sites, and meals.

Price: Two to five persons: $3490*

Six to nine persons: $2780*

Ten or more persons: $2430*

Single room supplement: $  520*

Departures: Daily

Minimum Number of Persons: Two

*Note: Prices subject to change without notice.

For more information, contact us at:
6701 W. 87th Place, Los Angeles CA 90045
Download our Brochures or Receive Information by Mail.

China, Yunan Province, Lady at Stone Forest
China, Yunan Province, Monastery at Shangri-La
China, Yunan Province, Naxi Ladies
China, Yunan Province, Figure from Bamboo Temple in Kunming
China, Yunan Province, Naxi musician in Lijiang
Find Us on Facebook