yunnan6A brief introductory tour of Yunnan covering the best there is. The provincal capital is Kunming, known as the "City of Eternal Spring" because of its year-long cool climate, and native cultures are everywhere in Kunming. The Jiuxiang Scenic Area consists of a series of caves, river gorges and waterfalls. It's an up-and-coming destination for local Chinese but few foreigners make it out here.

Route: Kunming, Jiuxiang, Stone Forest and Western Hill



check16 Inclusive:

• 4 nights in hotel
• Air-conditioned coach all the way
• English, Thai or Chinese speaking guide
• Entrance fees and cable car and train fares
• Government taxes in Yunnan

stop16 Exclusive:

• International airfare and airport taxes
• Meals (lunches & dinners) as stated in the itinerary
• Tips to guide and driver
• Drinks at meals other than what is served at table (usually Chinese tea)
• Use of mini bar, laundry, phone calls in hotels and expenses of a personal nature



Day 1: Kunming - Arrival (Dinner)

Arrive in Kunming airport or jetty, meet and transfer to hotel. Kunming has a freshness of air to delight anyone, and wherever the eye roves there is something natural and wondrous to see. The old buildings with character are largely gone to be replaced by ugly concrete blocks; but small enclaves of old Kunming still exist in the interesting alleyways. On the way to our hotel for check-in you will see sights of the modernizing city of 3.5 million Yunnanese including Yunnanese Muslims and Buddhists, and ethnic groups found nowhere else in the world. Free to amuse yourself until 6.30pm when we gather for dinner at the New Canton restaurant for your introduction to Yunnanese cuisine. (Check out the herbal medicine stores for the efficacious herbs and teas that Yunnan is rightly reputed for.)
Overnight in hotel, Kunming.

Day 2: Kunming - Jiuxiang (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Breakfast at the hotel. Depart from our hotel at 8.30am to the Jiuxiang National Park, a drive of 2 hours through lovely scenery. We make a stop at Jiuxiang Hotel for lunch. This park has a series of caves with impressive limestone formations, waterfalls and gorges. At 1pm we begin our sightseeing of the Jiuxiang National Park with a 25-minute boat cruise of the Cuiyin gorge, a 60-minute exploration of the underground caves and a waterfall; then a 15-minute cable car ride to where our coach is waiting to take us to the Stone Forest about one-and-a-half hours away. Check into hotel and have dinner here of special Yunnan roast duck. Stroll in the half light to see the strange stone silhouettes. Overnight in hotel, Jiuxiang

Day 3: Kunming - Stone Forest (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Breakfast at the hotel. A full morning's sightseeing of the Stone Forest, one of China's most remarkable natural phenomena, located 98km southeast of Kunming. It consists of 80 hectares of innumerable bizarre-shaped ancient limestone cliffs and peaks created by wind and water erosion some 270 million years ago. Marine fossils found here indicate that it was once under seawater. The Stone Forest area is home to the Sani minority group, a branch of the Yi tribe reputed for their diligence, valour, wisdom, exquisite embroidery, melodious songs and graceful dances. They put on performances showing their cultural activities. Lunch in a Yunnanese restaurant of rice noodle and pot-steamed chicken and be entertained by the Sani show. At about 4pm we go back to Kunming and later to the Jinquan Hotel for dinner this evening. Return to the hotel replete with food and memories. Overnight in hotel, Kunming.

Day 4: Kunming - Western Hill (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Breakfast at the hotel. At 8.30am we leave the hotel to go sightseeing in the Western Hills, a 35-minute drive away on the western side of Lake Dian. Ride the 10-minute cable car all the way up to the mountain peak to experience a great sight of sheer loveliness. (Sometimes the cable car doesn't work. We will then use the train both ways.) From the top a path winds down to the famous Dragon Gate pock-marked by grottoes, sculptures and pavilions gouged into the cliff-face by a Taoist monk in the late eighteenth century, and have a bird's eye view of Lake Dian. To gain some cultural insights of the people we visit the Sanqing Taoist Temple and the Huating Temple on the way. The Sanqing Temple (actually a group of temples, shrines and pavilions) was a country villa of a Yuan prince and the Huating Temple was the most important temple of the ancient Nanzhou kingdom of the Thai people, displaying fine statues, stupas and superbly designed gardens. Then we experience a train ride returning to where our coach waits for us to take us to lunch at Dong's family garden. After lunch stroll in the Grand Lake View Park where you will enjoy the lovely landscape and shops offering a variety of products. At 6.30pm we proceed to Yaolong Hotel for our dinner before returning to our hotel for the night.
Overnight in hotel, Kunming.

Day 5: Kunming - Departure (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. We leave the hotel at about 8.30am to go to the Golden Temple for sightseeing. Marvel at the 250-ton bronze sculpture from a Taoist legend, the Wu Sangui and Chen Yuanyuan's summer palace as well as Yunnan's famous flower garden. Enjoy a lunch of Yunnan wild mushroom and pot-steamed chicken. At 1.45pm transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (A pre-check in will be arranged so that you can have a leisurely lunch.) Board your departure flight to end your tour of spring-eternal Kunming.

End of Programme