Lijiang Ancient Town Yunnan

Tour Code: CCT18
Destinations: Beijing, Lijiang, Dali, Kunming, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Shanghai
Departure: Daily
Duration: 13 days
Language: English
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Details (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)




Day 1 Arrive Beijing  
Meet and transfer to hotel to check in.

Beijing, the famous portrait of Mao Zedong still looks over this city’s shoulder, as though he’s guarding Communist austerity and discipline.  But the Beijing he stares out upon is hardly the city he left behind. Change is everywhere: in clothes (you could wear them to the office in California or Chicago); traffic (more and more European-brand automobiles jam the streets); electronics (cell phones, cell phones, cell phones); construction (high-rises, high-rises, high-rises). Yet, you can still catch the glimmer of an ancient, lacquered temple or a traditional jadeite bracelet, of course. But it’s the machine-made gleam of chrome and glass that will surprise you.

Day 2 Beijing B.L
Full day city tour: The Fobidden City, Coal Hill, Hutongs with rickshaw ride. And evening Kungfu Show.

Tian’anmen Square is the largest public square in the world. It has long been a gathering place for locals and visitors alike. On the north side of the square is Tiananmen Gate (the Rostrum). It was from the balcony of the Rostrum on October 1, 1949 where Mao Zedong, chairman of the Communist Party, proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Mao gazes south from a huge portrait on the south side of the gate onto Tiananmen Square. Behind the Rostrum lies the Forbidden City, also known as the Imperial Palace.

Forbidden City, 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.

Jingshan Park, also known as Coal Hill, a beautiful royal landscape garden, is situated in the center of Beijing City. Covering an area of 230,000 square meters (about 57 acres), the park stands on the central point of the south-north axis of Beijing City and faces the north gate of the Forbidden City. The mid summit of Jingshan is the highest point in Beijing. Looking from the peak, the visitor is able to get a full and clear view of the Forbidden City.

Hutongs came from the Mongolian language about 700 years ago. The original Mongolian word was hottog, meaning “water well.” In other words, it means a place where people live, because people always gather where there is water. Today in Beijing, the word hutong means a small alleyway or lane. They are typical of the old part of Beijing and are formed by lines of siheyuan (a compound made up of rooms around a courtyard) in which most Beijing residents used to live.

The Legend of Kongfu Show is a unique theatrical production celebrating the philosophy and skill of the martial art of Kong Fu through storytelling, choreography, breath-taking music and dramatic design. Kong Fu shows have traditionally been presented as demonstrations of technical skill. This production breaks the mold with its clear and delightful storyline and its unique blending of ballet, modern dance and Kung Fu movement.

Day 03 Beijing B.L
Star Early moning visit to Great Wall at Badaling. Return to Downtown and visit Summer Palace, 798 area, Sanlitun area and drive by Olympic Green for photos.

The Great Wall of China was built mainly to protect the Chinese Empire from the Mongolians and other invaders. The Wall has been periodically rebuilt and modified throughout history by each reigning Chinese dynasty. Credited with the consolidation of the Walls, Shi Huang Di created the Great Wall, which at the time was known as the Wan Li Chang Cheng (Ten Thousand Li Long Wall). It twists and winds along hill crests, gorges, and rivers. At its greatest, it reached from the China Sea town of Shanhaiguan, over 3,000 miles westward into the Gansu province.

Beijing 798 Art Zone, named after the 798 factory which was built in 1950s, is located in the northeast corner of Beijing city. The Dashanzi Art District (DAD) is its another name as it sits in Dashanzi zone. Beijing 798 Art Zone, characterized by modern art, has become the exhibition center of Chinese culture and art, and also the world- famous cultural and creative industries centralized area. Now Beijing 798 Art Zone has attracted a great deal of attention from the media at home and abroad; and it also has become the new regional mark of Beijing.

Sanlitun is the earliest bar area in Beijing. The first bar here was founded 15 years ago. For foreigners, Sanlitun Bar Street is most famous as well. It is said that 40% of Beijing bars are founded here. That means that there area about 200 bars situated here. All the bars here are delicately designed and decorated in different styles. Sanlitun Street is also within the largest embassy area in Beijing. Many countries’ embassies are dispersed around.

Thanks for the 29th Summer Olympics, Beijing has been well-known for travelers all over the world. This hospitable metropolis of China has been mixed with lots of modern elements, which is also a new part for its mysterious orient civilization. There are so many representative buildings displaying this international metropolis, such as the Beijing National Stadium and the National Aquatics Center for 2008 Olympics and the China Century Monument

The Summer Palace is one of the finest landmarks in Beijing. It has long been a royal garden and was considerably enlarged and embellished by Emperor Qianglong in the 18th century. It was later abandoned. Empress Dowager Cixi began rebuilding it in 1888 using money that was supposedly reserved for the construction of a modern navy. Three quarters of the area is occupied by the lovely Kunming Lake.

Day 04 Beijing B.L
Morning visit the Temple of Heaven, afternoon free at silk Market for shopping.

The Temple of Heaven is the most holy of Beijing’s Imperial temples. For this is where the Emperor came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest. Since his rule was legitimized by a mandate from heaven, a bad harvest could be interpreted as his fall from heaven’s favor and threaten the stability of his reign. So, it was not without a measure of self-interest that the Emperor fervently prayed for a very good crop.

Despite its name, the Silk Market has much more than just silk. The silk products here are cheap, and therefore popular. But there are also a lot of cashmere garments, down jackets, leather goods, shoes, hats, watches and some handicrafts and trinkets. These items make great gifts for friends back home. Most of the sellers speak a little English, at least they know how to say “you say how much!”, “I give you good price.” And of course numbers are their specialty. You’ll enjoy good bargain here.

Day 05 Beijing-Lijiang  B.L
Morning transfer to airport for flight MU5717 (09.05-12.20) to Kunming
Own connect at airport for flight CZ3487 (14.45-15.20) to Lijiang
Arrive in Lijiang, meet and transfer to visit Ancient Town and the Dongba Museum.

The Old Town of Lijiang With a history of more than 800 years, the Old Town of Lijiang, also named Dayan Town, is a well-preserved old city. As a result of the combination of the multinational brilliant culture and the progress of Naxi ethnic minority, the buildings in the town incorporate the best parts of the architectural traits of Han, Bai, and Tibet into a unique Naxi style. In 1997, this old town was put on the list of the world cultural heritages.

Naxi Dongba Museum The Naxi are one of the 56 national minorities in China. Naxi people live in the foothills of the Himalayas, in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. One of the distinctive traits of the Naxi culture is that this is a matriarchal society. Naxi people have their own language, religion and script. In the Museum, you can see a pictograph that was developed by the Naxi people 1,000 years ago. The pictograph is still used today.

Day 06 Lijiang B.L
Morning drive to Yunshanping and visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, chairlift is included. Visit Baisha Village and Chinese Medicine Clinics.

Ten miles from Lijiang is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain; its landscape includes one of the southernmost glaciers in the modern world. Shanzidou, the main peak of the mountain at 18,000 feet above sea level, looks like a gigantic dragon clad in white snow all year round. Access to the mountain is provided by a cable lift to Dragon Spruce Meadow, halfway to the Glacier Peak. About half of China’s plant species originated in Yunnan province, and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is home to about half of these, including trees, flowers, and medicinal herbs and plants. The mountain’s many ravines, creeks, cliffs, and meadows all have Naxi names and provide settings for the myths and legends of the people who have made the plain their homeland for 1,000 years.

Located to the north of Lijiang Old Town, Basha Village was the first settlement of Naxi people as well as the economic and political center of Lijiang during the Ming and Qing dynasties (14th to early 20th century). You could visit a Naxi family to learn more about the local customs and Naxi people’s life. Besides the ancient palaces and pavilions, the most attractive site you will see is Baisha Murals which absorbed the styles of Han, Tibet and Naxi, reflecting that Buddhism, Taoism and Tibetan Buddhism coexisted harmoniously.

Day 07 Lijiang B.L
Morning visit Black Dragon Pool, then drive to Tiger Leaping Gorge and the First Bend of Yangtze River for hiking tour.Return to Lijiang.

Black Dragon Pool Park Somewhat idiosyncratically known as Black Dragon Pool, the Jade Spring Park to the north of Lijiang derives its name from the waters which sparkle like jade and are as clear as spring water. The entire park is green with grass and shaded by swaying willow trees. Under the Shuocui Bridge, a waterfall creates a constant roar as it cascades downstream. At the far side of the pool, there are renovated buildings used for art exhibitions, the Moon-Embracing Pavilion with its own white marble bridge across the water, and the Five-Phoenix Temple built during the Ming Dynasty.

Tiger Leaping Gorge, which is the longest, deepest, and narrowest gorge in the world, and the First Bend of Yangtze River, which is where the Yangtze River, following a northwest course, plunges head – on into a high and cragged cliff, takes a sharp U-turn – believed to be the river’s first bend as it flows on – and changes its course in a northeast direction.

Day 08 Lijiang – Dali via Xizhou B.L
Early start in the morning, drive to Dali and visit to Xizhou Market en route, and visit in Zhang’s Garden, and cruise on Erhai Lake.

Located northwest of the Yunnan Province, 300 kilo-meters (186 miles) northwest of Kunming, Dali City is the economic and cultural center of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. The area is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south, and has the Erhai Lake in its center. Here you will find 25 ethnic minorities, which have created a unique cultural heritage amidst the area’s picturesque surroundings.

Zhang family’s garden in Garden, It is the typical Bai residential house, in the north side of the Buddhist temple of the founding the Dali country, the square of an area of 8 acres, building area of 4700 square meters and with the 36 most unique rooms. Zhang family’s garden is surrounded by the camellias, azaleas and Erhai Lake which is called the mother lake by 18 streams disemboguing  into, backing the Cangshan with flowers and gentian and other vegetables. It is called by all to have been “the first park in Yunnan Province” and “dreaming Bai houses “.

Erhai Lake is the largest highland lake next to Dianchi and one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China. It means, ‘sea shaped like an ear’, in Chinese. Implying that the lake is ear shaped and as large as a sea, hence it was so named. The lake covers an area of 250 square kilometers and is located about two kilometers east of Dali. It is like a crescent lying between Cangshan and Dali city as seen from Cangshan Mount. In a sunny day, the crystal waters of Erhai Lake and the snow mantled Cangshan Mount radiate with each other. Thus the scene was commonly described as ‘Silver Cangshan and Jade Erhai’.

Day 09 Dali – Kunming B.L
Morning flight to Kunming and visit stone forest.

Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, with a history of more than 2400 years, owes its importance to the fact that it was the gateway to the celebrated Silk Road that facilitated trade with Tibet, Sichuan, Myanmar and India. Today the city is the political, economical and cultural center of Yunnan and the provincial center for transport, science and technology and consequently has become the most popular center for tourism in Southwest China. Kunming enjoys a pleasant climate and does its best to live up to its title of ‘the City of Eternal Spring’. Whenever you are planning to go, the temperature is always pleasant.

Stone Forest is in Lunan Yi Nationality Autonomous County, which is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Kunming. It has long been one of the most famous scenic spots in China, at least since the Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644 A.D. The Stone Forest is divided into several scenic areas with names like Greater Stone Forest, Lesser Stone forest, Outer Stone Forest, Underground Stone Forest, Stone Forest Lake, and Da Dieshui Fall. It contains peaks, pillars, stalagmites, depressions, underground rivers, and caves. The fantastic stone pinnacles rising abruptly from the ground resemble a huge, dense forest.

Day 10 Kunming – Shanghai B.L
Morning transfer to airport to Shanghai. Shanghai visit: Oriental Pearl Tower, Super Brand, Shanghai Museum and Synagogue.

In the 1990’s, Shanghai emerged as the center of China’s economic resurgence. A gathering of cultures, this was once a place where rich ‘taipans’ walked the same streets as gamblers, prostitutes, and beggars, and Europeans fleeing the Holocaust lived alongside Chinese intellectuals and revolutionaries. Resting on the Yangtze River delta, Shanghai marks the point where Asia’s longest and most important river completes its 3,400-mile journey to the Pacific. Until 1842 Shanghai’s location made it merely a small fishing village. After the first Opium War, the British named Shanghai a treaty port, forcing the city’s opening to foreign involvement.

Shanghai Museum has been famous for its large collection of rare cultural piece. The museum now houses over 120,000 pieces of cultural relics in twelve categories, including Chinese bronze, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy, and artifacts. As for the scholarly research, Shanghai Museum has published over 80 special museum catalogues. Nineteen research subjects of the cultural relic’s preservation have won awards.

Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum located on Changyang Road in Hongkou District, it is also known as the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue. During the World WarⅡ, it is the center of religious activities for Jewish refugees in Shanghai. For a while, it was also the head office for Jewish youth organization. At present, it collects the most character and object documents related to Shanghai Jewish refugees, attracting more and more people, especially the offspring of those Jewish refugees, to come and muse over the memories of the past.

Day 11 Shanghai – Hangzhou – Shanghai B.L
Day tour to Hangzhou with roundtrip train: Leifeng Pagoda, West Lake Cruise and Huagangguanyu to see the fish. Visit the Lingyin Temple, Tea Plantation and visit Huxueyan Estate. Late afternoon return to Shanghai.

Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, is one of the ancient national capitals in China. When Marco Polo came to Hangzhou in the 13th century, he acclaimed that “It is the most beautiful and elegant city in the world”. There is also a popular saying: “Above there is heaven, below there are Hangzhou and Suzhou.” Hangzhou attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world. Besides its natural beauties, Hangzhou is also famous for silk and tea.

Lei Feng pagoda was constructed in 975 at the order of Qian Hongchu, the King of Wuyue Kingdom to celebrate the birth of a son by one of his favorite concubines – Huangfei. It was therefore called Huangfei Pagoda at that time. Since the pagoda was located outside the west gate of the city, it was also known as the Brick Pagoda of West Gate.

The pagoda became a household name in China thanks to the popular folk tale, “The Legend of the White Snake”, a touching love story about a girl who changed into a snake and a young man. In the story, the couple are separated by an evil old monk with magical powers, who had the snake girl imprisoned under the Leifeng Pagoda for years. She is finally rescued by her son who caused the collapse of the pagoda.

West Lake is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Hangzhou China. For centuries, the West Lake has been well known both for its picturesque landscape and for cultural heritage surviving yet illustrating the past dynasties. The landscape area of the West Lake includes the surrounding hills and nearby historical sites as well as the lake itself. The lake area covers around 60 square kilometers consisting of 5.68 square kilometers of water area.

Lingyin Temple Aside from the West Lake, Lingyin Temple (Temple of Inspired Seclusion) is one of the biggest and most famous ancient Buddhist temples in China. It was first built by an Indian monk named Huili in 326A.D. The temple was named Lingyin Temple (Temple of Inspired Seclusion) for its environment is very beautiful and serene and suitable for “gods rest in seclusion”.

A nice break from the lake is the Longjing tea plantation area. Hidden away in the southwest corner of the lake are some secluded walks and the village of Longjing itself. Longjing actually means, “Dragon Well” and according to legend, the Dragon Well was discovered in about 230AD!! This fresh spring water encouraged the people of Hangzhou to develop their own quality tea, and thus Longjing tea was born.

The former residence of Hu Xueyan is probably the best preserved late Qing Dynasty residences in the city. Hu Xueyan was a famous businessman and founder of the Huqing Yutang Tranditional Medicine Store. It was built in the 11th year (1872) of the regin of Emperor Tongzhi at enormous expense. There is a lot going on in this seemingly little area just across the road from the Drum Tower.

Day 12 Shanghai – Suzhou – Shanghai B.L
Day tour to Suzhou with roundtrip train: visit Humble Administrator Garden, Silk Factory and cruise on Grand Cannel. Return to Shanghai and evening enjoy Era Show, regular seats.

Garden of Humble Administrator (Zhuozheng Yuan) Located in the northeast Suzhou city, the Garden is the largest classical garden in Suzhou and one of the four most famous classical gardens in China. It was originally built in 1513 A.D by Wang Xianchen, an imperial censor who had just been demoted and sent back to his hometown. The garden consists of three parts with different types buildings around streams and ponds.

China is known for its silk. So it’s a must to visit a silk factory. A silkworm spins all its silk till its death and a candle won’t stop its tears until it is fully burnt.” This Tang poem accurately describes the property of the silkworm. Despite technological development, a silkworm can only produce a certain amount of silk—1000 meters in its lifespan of 28 days. The rarity of the raw material is the deciding factor of both the value and the mystery of silk.

China Grand Canal is one of the greatest projects constructed in ancient China, famous for its oldest and longest canal in the world, begins from Beijing and ends at Hangzhou, so called Jinghang Dayunhe in Chinese. In ancient China, the Grand Canal plays an important role to connect river systems for navigation between the north and south in China, promote the economic and cultural exchange and strengthening the unification of the country.

Era Show as a multimillion-dollar stunning acrobatic extravaganza, the first of its kind in China, ERA is a multimedia odyssey whose inspiration is a direct result of the combination of traditional Chinese acrobatic arts and modern technology. Just like Shanghai, ERA evolves through a constant collision between the past and future.

Day 13 Depart Shanghai B.L
Transfer to airport for departure. End of services.

Service included
A. Hotels (twin share basis) with breakfast
B. Domestic flights or trains as listed in the itinerary.
C. Private car or van with driver
D. English speaking tour guide
E. Entrance fees
F. Meals as listed in the itinerary.

Service excluded
A. International airfare or train tickets.
B. Tips to guides and drivers.

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