South West China (24 day adventure)
We start the day with a traditional Hong Kong breakfast or “dim sum” as it is known. After breakfast we will visit Kowloon, take the famous Star Ferry to Central (on Hong Kong Island), visit the Man Mo Temple, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Hong Kong. During the evening hours we will take the tram up to Victoria Peak to see the sunset over Hong Kong. During the evening hours we will partake in drinks amidst the glitz and glamor of Lan Kwai Fong.
Morning for shopping and/or free time activities—as Hong Kong is THE destination for shoppers. If you need things for the rest of the trip, this is the time to get them. Afternoon we will make our way to the train station to catch the MTR to Lo Wu and the Chinese border. After crossing the border into Shenzhen on the Chinese side, we will catch an overnight bus (coach) to the city of Yangshuo (Guangxi Province).
Morning arrival in Yangshuo (around 6 AM)—after a bit of R’n’R we will hit the road on our rented bikes to explore the countryside. We will have lunch with a local family and sample some traditional Yangshuo cuisine. Afternoon we will take a bamboo boat ride on the Li River and return back to the city for a bit of evening nightlife.
Early morning we will catch a local bus to the town of Fuli, one of the oldest in this region. After exploring the town, we will board another bus and head deeper into the gorgeous Yangshuo countryside to the town of Xingping. In Xingping we will rent a boat and go on a cruise on the Li River—the most magnificent part of the river lies just beyond the town of Xingping.
Early morning bus to Guilin and from Guilin to the town of Longsheng in the central part of Guangxi Province. Once we arrive in Longsheng we will take a smaller bus up deep into the mountains and rice terraces of Pingan village. Late afternoon arrival and a stroll to one of the lookout points for a magnificent sunset over the rice terraces.
Early morning start for a day long hike along the rice terraces of Pingan village. We will pass some breathtaking scenery en route, but the hike itself is not too difficult. We will pack drinks and sandwiches and have a picnic somewhere along the way. Late evening arrival back in Pingan village and a chance to catch up on some rest after an eventful day.
Bus back to Longsheng and another bus towards our next destination, Sanjiang. Sanjiang is a small town famous for its Miao inhabitants who still hang on to their traditions. We will actually stay in the village of Chengyang just outside of Sanjiang, a traditional Miao village with old wooden buildings and drum towers.
Due to the heavy traveling days before, participants will have a choice: either hang out in Chengyang village and relax for a day or join a bicycle tour of the area. We will visit more rice terraces and other, smaller settlements deeper into the mountains.
Early morning bus to the village of Zhaoxing an even more impressive Dong village in Guizhou Province. Stroll in the town and watch the locals watch you (not very many foreign tourists make it to this gem of a a place).
A day of travels. Bus from Zhaoxing to the nearest “big” city of Kaili. Evening arrival in Kaili and a stroll through the city streets to experience small town China.
Morning bus from Kaili to the capital of Guizhou Province, Guiyang. We should arrive just in time to catch the overnight train from Guiyang to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province.
Morning arrival in Kunming. We will visit the Bird and Flower Market (a must see for anyone visiting Kunming) as well as the Black Dragon Pool and its magnificent temples. We will finish the day with a stroll through the bustling streets and sample some of the local cuisine at small hole-in-the-wall restaurants (around the bustling university area).
Morning bus to the city of Dali, further north in Yunnan Province. Afternoon arrival and a stroll through the old city quarter. There will be tons of shopping opportunities to check out along the way (Dali has a long and fruitful history as a trading hub in South-West China going back hundreds of years).
We will visit the famous Three Pagodas of Dali where we can also partake in an amazing view of the countryside. Afterward we will continue to Erhai Lake and board a boat for a very relaxing cruise on this splendid lake. After the cruise we will hike back from Erhai Lake to Dali through farmlands were the locals tend fields like their ancestors did years before (which means all work is done by hand and without machines). A truly wonderful glimpse back in time.
Morning bus even further north to the wonderful town of Lijiang (which is also a protected UNESCO site). Arrival and stroll through the Old Town (where we are probably going to get lost among the maze of small streets and even smaller side alleys).
Bright and early we will head out and travel to the very top of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a hair-raising cable car journey to 4200 meters above sea level. Upon returning to lower elevations we will set out into the surrounding countryside and visit villages that seem to be untouched by the 21st century (well, they do have TV's).
Morning we make time for shopping or just being lazy around the guesthouse. Early afternoon we catch a local bus to the town of Qiaotou from where we will begin one of the most magnificent treks during our South-West China tour—the Tiger Leaping Gorge trek.
Very early morning we set off from Qiaotou and taking the long road we will climb the rocky hillsides along the gorge itself. Our destination for the day is Sean's Guesthouse deep in the gorge itself and it should take all day to reach our goal. Magnificent scenery will be the order of the day. The hiking path is quite steep at times, so please prepare appropriate gear.
We will stay in the gorge for one day and either relax or take part in side treks down into the river. Sean's Guesthouse in Walnut Grove is a very relaxing place to unwind after days of heavy traveling.
Morning we will set off back to Qiaotou (this time along a paved road traveling comfortably in a minivan) and travel onwards to our last destination, Zhongdian, a town very close to the border with Tibet.
We will start the day by exploring the magnificent town of Zhongdian and the focal point, Songzanlin Lamasery, the biggest Buddhist monastery outside of Tibet. As the day progresses we will attend an evening prayer session and experience the nightlife that Zhongdian has to offer.
A day of rest and relaxation before the final push back to Hong Kong. This is the time to pick up last minute souvenirs, send postcards back home and capture those last few Kodak moments.
Express bus from Zhongdian to Kunming, non-stop.
Flight from Kunming to Shenzhen, right on the border with Hong Kong. Crossing back into Hong Kong and off to the airport for the flight home.
- $3499 USD per Person per Trip
- Available Anytime
- Duration: 24 Day(s)
- From 4 to 10 people
- Starts at Hong Kong
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