Longji Terraces
from US$1294 per person

Yunnan & Guilin Old Town Discovery Trip

Beijing, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-la, Guilin, (Hong Kong)

With a long and brilliant history, China has many beautiful and unique ancient towns with various customs, cultures and sceneries. This Old Town Discovery Trip brings you to appreciate magnificent Beijing, picturesque Guilin and colorful Yunnan. We begin our tour in Beijing, to climb the magnificent ancient construction of the Great Wall, get a brief impression of this big capital. Then we go to Yunnan Province to visit ancient towns and to experience great ancient building style and exquisite art and handicrafts by local people. We go to Longsheng, to admire the spectacular rice terrace fields and to explore more at local villages. Our tour ends in Guilin. You experience a cruise on the world-wide famous Li River through stunning karst landscapes in Guilin and enjoy wonderful natural sceneries in Yangshuo. The famous West Street in this old town will surely intoxicate you in its leisure and modern atmosphere.

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  • Tour Code:
  • CET-AT04
  • Length:
  • Cities Visited/Stayed:
  • Beijing, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-la, Guilin, (Hong Kong)
  • Highlight Attractions:
  • Forbidden City, Great Wall, The Stone Forest, Dali Ancient Town, The Ancient Town of Lijiang, Li River, Yangshuo
  • Experience & Features:
  • Bai Minority Family Visit, Tibetan Family Visit, Longsheng Minority Villages
  • Physical Rating : 2
    (What Is It?)
    • Every CET tour is given a Physical Rating, which indicates how much physical activity is required to participate in it.
    • Rating of 1 ( ) : Always very easy to go! Sometimes getting around on your own, up and down steps and carrying your own small backpack.
    • Rating of 2 ( ) : Light walking or hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.
    • Rating of 3 ( ) : May include moderate hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking and other activities that require only an average/moderate level of fitness to enjoy.
    • Rating of 4 ( ) : May include high altitude hiking of up to 4-6 hours per day some days of the tour or other activities that require a moderately high level of fitness.
    • Rating of 5 ( ) : High altitude trekking suitable only for those with a higher level of fitness and endurance.
  • Cultural Shock Rating : 2
    (What Is It?)
    • Every CET tour is also given a Culture Shock Rating, designed to help you choose a trip that is suitable to your travel tastes and preferences.
    • Rating of 1 ( ) : Little or no adjustment at all is required. The comforts of home are here for the most part.
    • Rating of 2 ( ) : A generally easy trip but there may be the occasional local home accommodation, remote lodging or some public transportation, simple meal or language barrier.
    • Rating of 3 ( ) : Expect an occasional cold shower and remote or even multi-share accommodation, and public transportation or train ride without shower on board…Remember though, this is all part of your CET authentic travel experience!
    • Rating of 4 ( ) : Expect to rough it here and there. This may mean a packed public bus, very remote and rustic accommodation, and no access to western-style food.
    • Rating of 5 ( ) : You are totally off the beaten track with none of the comforts of home, and are exposed to a totally foreign culture to what you are accustomed ... Sounds fantastic, doesn't it!
Itinerary
Pricing & Accommodation
Q & A
Tour Reviews
Trip Notes
Itinerary
Pricing & Accommodation
Q & A
Tour Reviews
Trip Notes
Day 1: Beijing

Arrive in Beijing, our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.

Stay overnight in Beijing.

Meals:


Day 2: Beijing

After breakfast, we go to pay a visit to the [Temple of Heaven], which is a complex of ancient buildings, gardens, pathways and its organization indicates relationship between Earth and heaven. Then, enjoy a walk on the [Tian'anmen Square] -- one of the largest city squares in the world. It is located on the central axis of old Beijing. In the center of Tian'anmen Square stands the Monument to the People's Heroes. Then we go to the [Forbidden City] – the imperial palace for the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The city contains 800 ceremonial buildings, 9,999 rooms, and a courtyard that can hold 100,000 people. Best ancient Chinese architectural styles are well preserved here, consisting an imposing view. Later the day is on your own to explore more about this city.

Stay overnight in Beijing.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 3: Beijing

There is a famous saying goes "one cannot be a hero unless he climbs on the Great Wall." This morning we drive to the [Jinshanling Great Wall], the most original and less commercial section of the Wall. This historic construction is somewhat a challenge to the climbers as it winds up and down the precipitous ranges. But as a reward, splendid views are available.

People say that a visit to Beijing isn't complete without trying the crispy and tasty Peking duck, so we will recommend a dinner with Peking duck for you at one famous restaurant.

Stay overnight in Beijing.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 4: Beijing-Kunming
This morning we go to visit the [Summer Palace] -- one of China's architectural masterpieces. The beauty of the Summer Palace is deliberated. The pavilions, kiosks, terraces, bridges, dikes, corridors are delicately crafted and placed, well displaying the thousand-year old Chinese landscape gardening. The scenic spots contain a nation's profound philosophical and aesthetic tradition.

After lunch we drive to the airport for a pm flight to Kunming. Upon arrival, be met and transferred to the hotel. If time permits, we suggest you go to the Green Lake Park (Cuihu Gongyuan) - one of the most picturesque parks in downtown Kunming. All year round the park is venue of one sort of exhibition or another, and with its snug seclusion it is frequented by local residents who come here for few hours of leisure.

Stay overnight in Kunming.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 5: Kunming
Let’s have a day tour to the [Stone Forest]. Those magnificent stone masterpieces, various strange and steep intricate formations, and countless labyrinthine vistas make Stone Forest (Shi Lin in Chinese) worthy of the fame as the “First Wonder of the World”. And there goes a local saying, “It is a waste of time without being in the Stone Forest while visiting Kunming”.

Later this afternoon we drive to Kunming Train Station to catch an overnight train to Dali.

Stay overnight on train.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 6: Dali
You are picked up by your guide at Dali Train Station in the morning, transferred to your hotel in the Old Town. The rest time in the morning will be your own.

After lunch, we set out to visit a typical sight of Dali-the [Three Pagoda Temple]. As its name implies, Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. This is unique in China. Enjoy a walk along the old street in [Dali Ancient Town]. It was an important gateway to the Silk Road in Southwest China, and also served as a seat of government and a major military barracks for Yunnan Province in the ancient times. By witnessing some parts of the city wall and the tower remained, we can still explore the mystery belonging to the history. The Dali City layout was uniform, with five main streets from south to north and eight main streets from east to west, while marketplaces were neatly arranged within the city, which has remained unchanged to this date. Traditional Bai ethnic minority folk houses can be seen everywhere, which gives us a different feeling from any other Chinese city. Then we continue to [visit a local Bai Minority Family] for the first hand experience of the local daily life. Their traditional way of life and finished handicrafts will surely impress you.

Stay overnight in Dali Old Town.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 7: Dali-Lijiang

Today we depart for Lijiang by private van/car/bus after lunch. It is roughly a 3.5 hours drive. The beautiful scenery on the way will surely give you some special feeling, and we may stop on the way for you to relax and take some photos. We will arrive in Lijiang by dinner time.

Stay overnight in Lijiang.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 8: Lijiang

Lijiang is the ideal destination for nature lovers and anyone interested in ancient people groups and their customs. This morning we go to the [Jade Dragon Snow-capped Mountain]. With skyscraping snow-capped peaks and its imposing body, it reflects in the interlaced rivers flowing under the old town, composing a fabulous picture. We [take cables to climb the mountain] and be intoxicated in the picturesque scenery. And we also organize a tour in the ancient town. The [Ancient Lijiang City] has no city walls, which is one of the features of this ancient city and different with other China's ancient cities. "The city depends on water for existence and water comes along with the city" has become one of the main features of the old town. The Yuquanshui River includes three mainstreams, which flow towards the west, east and in the middle. The river running into the ancient city includes many branch canals, so the network of rivers mixed with the roads of the five-flowered stones. You can get the beautiful picture that "every house is surrounded by the rivers and the drooping willows", so it is highly spoken by the architects of China and abroad.

Stay overnight in Lijiang.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 9: Lijiang-Shangri-la

Depart Lijiang for Shangri-la by private van/car/bus after breakfast. It will be a long drive, but the scenery all the way is fantastic. On the way, we will stop to view the First Bend of the Yangtze River and the Tiger Leaping Gorge. We also have a lunch stop on the half way. We will arrive in Shangri-la by dinner time.

Stay overnight in Shangri-la.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 10: Shangri-la

Let’s go to visit [Songzanlin Monastery] -- a famous Tibetan style Buddhist temple in China and a spiritual hub for people to discover the mystery and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Tourists are attracted to this scenic spot where they can enjoy the view and be lucky to take photos of girls wearing exquisite Tibetan costumes holding perfectly white fluffy lambs against the imposing mountains and blue sky. Visit to the [old part of the town] and a [Tibetan family] are included in today’s tour as well. The Tibetan built their houses in distinctive religious styles influenced by Buddhism. You can taste Tibetan specialties of yak butter tea, local yogurt and Tibetan barley. Later this afternoon is on your own to walk around. We suggest you get a feeling of local people's daily life by visiting the local market.

Stay overnight in Shangri-la.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 11: Shangri-la-Kunming-Guilin

Take a morning flight back to Kunming. In the late afternoon, catch another flight from Kunming to Guilin. With beautiful scenery, pleasant climate and abundant tourist resources, Guilin is a popular tourist resort in China. Upon arrival, your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is leisure at relax.

Stay overnight in Guilin.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 12: Guilin-Ping'an

Today we go to Longji, a minority area with magnificent terraced rice paddies. The [Longji Terraced Rice Paddies] in Ping’an Zhuang minority village are located in Longsheng County where you may have a chance to take some wonderful pictures of minority people wearing exquisite costumes. Located southeast of Longsheng, the rice terraces are built into the hillsides which look like great chains or ribbons as they wind from the foot to the top of the hill. This ingenious construction makes best use of the limited arable land and water resources in the mountainous area. Before the Terraced Rice Paddies, we will stop to visit [Huangluo Red Yao minority village], where women all keep their hair to a length of more than one meter. You will be marvel at their characteristic red costumes and beauty.

Stay overnight in Ping' an Village.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 13: Ping'an-Guilin

The morning time is free for you to explore this lovely and mysterious Zhuang village yourself. After lunch we leave the village and drive to the local market to see daily life of people and have interesting discovery. Then we drive to Guilin city (about 2 hour drive).

Stay overnight in Guilin.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 14: Guilin-Yangshuo

This morning we embark the boat for the [Li River cruise]. Cruising downstream with a pleasant breeze greeting, you can sit on cushion comfortably or enjoy the open-air viewing platform. Bring lots of films or be sure the memory card in your digital camera is with a large capacity, because this is a photographer's dreamland, where you are able to capture the dramatic landscapes that Chinese artists have been painting for centuries. Lunch will be served onboard. Disembark at Yangshuo Town and walk to the West Street, which has received countless foreigners from all over the world and reputed as "Global Village in China". Today, the 600 meters long street is over 300 cafes, restaurants, hotels art crafts and tourist stores, foreign language clubs, internet centers and Kungfu schools.

This afternoon you are free at leisure, you can enjoy a coffee time at the West Street, or walk around the smallYangshuo town.

Stay overnight in Yangshuo.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 15: Yangshuo-Guilin

In the morning, we drive back to Guilin city, spend the rest of the day in Guilin to discover its shinning scenic spots that make the city unique and especially beautiful. The [Elephant Trunk Hill] is the symbol of Guilin, standing in the Li River and looks like an elephant drinking water from the river. The [Reed Flute Cave] is one of the most spectacular caves displaying karst geographical formation in various shapes. After the visit, we will continue to the nearby [South China Sea Pearl Museum], where we can learn some knowledge of pearls and have the chance to purchase real sea pearl at competitive prices.

After dinner, we may recommend a cruise in the city's central area on a water system, which will absolutely give you a deep impression of Guilin.

Stay overnight in Guilin.

Meals: (B, L)


Day 16: Guilin-Hong Kong-Departure

Today is on your own to relax and until you are transferred to the airport for a flight to Hong Kong to continue your tour or for departure.

Our service ends at Guilin airport.

Meals: (B, L)

  • Currencies:
  • US Dollar
  • Euro
  • GB Pound
  • CA Dollar
  • AU Dollar
  • HK Dollars
  • Renminbi

  1 person 2-5 persons 6-9 persons ≥10 persons Single Room Supplement
First Class Tour $5132 $3215 $2737 $2180 $1120
Comfortable Tour $4089 $2579 $2093 $1699 $650
Standard Tour $3370 $2174 $1775 $1294 $410
* Price in every box above is for each person.
* The default currency is in US dollar. Please use the Currency Converter to see the equivalent quote in your currency. Price is for references only, it may vary according to your actual travel itinerary, travel time, hotel price rise or fall, US dollar exchange rate fluctuation, car fuel price change and government tax adjustment, etc..
* The price is only for your reference and  it is subject to seasons, high or low.Please send us your inquiry if you are interested.
* The differences between First Class Tour, Comfortable Tour and Standard Tour are mainly reflected in the hotels we use. For First Class Tour, we use mostly 5 star hotels (or hotels corresponded to 5 star ones), 4 star hotels for Comfortable Tour and 3 star hotels for Standard Tour. But there’re exceptions when there come home stay experience, remote destinations and other specified circumstances in the itinerary.

Price Inclusion

  • Attraction Entrance Fees
  • Centrally Located Hotels
  • Authentic Chinese Food
  • Private Experienced Guides
  • Private Cars/Van with Drivers
  • Internal Flights/Train(s) in China
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Airport Taxes and Fuel Fees
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes
  • Travel Insurance

Price Exclusion

  • International Airfare to Enter/Leave China
  • China Entry Visa Fees
  • Excess Baggage Charges
  • Personal Expenses
  • Single Room Supplement
  • Tips or Gifts to Guides/Drivers/Bellmen

How to Pack up
We suggest that each person packs up one rollable suitcase with the weight under 20 kg/44lb. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like iPods and mobile phones.

Checklist

It's only for reference and you may not need all of them. Choose from below according to the tour you pick up:
Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
USD cash and travelers checks
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
ChinaExpeditionTours vouchers and trip dossier
Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Day pack for daily personal items
Wet wipes / Moist towelettes
Alarm clock
Flashlight
Sun hat, Sun block, Sunglasses
Insect Repellent
Water bottle and Plastic mug for train journeys
Ear plugs for train journeys or light sleepers
Small towel and swim wear
Toiletries (biodegradable)
Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
Money belt
Shorts for summer months (June – September)
Long pants
Shirts/T-shirts
Warm clothes for Nov-April. Fleece, Jacket, hat and gloves
Umbrella or waterproof jacket.
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry.
Camera, film and memory chip
Reading/writing material
Binoculars
Pocketknife
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

Local Dress
Generally speaking, the dress standard is more conservative in China than it is in western countries. Things also changes quickly, nowadays the young Chinese share the same hobbies with their western counterparts. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of summers. In predominately Buddhist and Muslim regions we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.

Spending Money
Every traveler is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travelers may drink more than others while other travelers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange
As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to internet for the recent exchange rates. There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and MasterCard and other credit cards in most Chinese cities. We also recommend the use of cash and travelers checks in USD currency. Major credit cards are accepted in big shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. For the small shops and the street venders, they take cash (either Chinese Yuan or US dollar) only.

Meals
Eating is a big part of your traveling in China. Travelling with ChinaExpeditionTours you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally breakfasts and lunches are included except dinners to give you the flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. Your group leader or local guide will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip.

Emergency Fund
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD200 (or equivalent) as an "emergency" fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control, necessitate a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping
It is customary to tip service providers in travel industry in Asia, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from $6-$10 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service, for driver, it could be half. If necessary, ask your tour leader or call your ChinaExpeditionTours tour advisor for specific recommendations based on the circumstances. If you have a tour leader for the whole tour, at the end of the trip if you felt he/she did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. However as a guideline $6-10 USD per person, per day can be used.

Local Flights
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are all e-tickets. They are issued locally and You will be given the information of them prior to the flight departure.

Laundry
Generally laundry facilities are offered by our hotels for a charge. You also can go to a laundry service center near your hotel to have your clothing washed at a lower cost. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Safety and Security
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers' checks, cash and other valuable items. Many of the hotels we cooperate with have safety deposit boxes which are the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. When travelling on a trip, please note that your group leader or local guides has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your leader or local guides will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader or local guides will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time.

A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of China but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is not acceptable for ChinaExpeditionTours travelers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. Use of illegal drugs is completely contrary to this philosophy and local law. Our group leader or local guides has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or used.

Health
If you want to fully enjoy your trip abroad, a good health and confidence in physical strength are important. This trip may contain a fair amount of walking up and down steps in towns or climbing mountains. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders or local guides are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In China pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting a tour please carefully read the itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. For travelers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is highly suggested to bring forth. ChinaExpeditionTours reserves the right to exclude any traveler from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our group leader or local guides they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Medical Form
It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an "average level of fitness and mobility" is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own bags at a minimum. Travelers over the age of 70, or travelers with a pre-existing medical condition, are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that senior travelers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders or local guides work hard to ensure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. You must have comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalization, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. Please take your insurance policy with you when you travel. You may take other cover, of course, but we require you to be adequately insured before we can allow you to participate in our programs. Your ChinaExpeditionTours leader or local guides will need to see and record your policy details at the pre-tour briefing at the starting city, so please bring a copy along to the meeting. If you arrive without travel insurance your tour leader or local guide will require you to purchase a policy before you continue your journey with us.

If you are covered by a policy arranged through your credit card company you will be asked to provide evidence of this cover, as well as a 24-hour emergency contact number. Many credit card companies do not provide an insurance policy number. In this instance, the tour leader or local guides will need to record your credit card number, as this is required to activate any request for emergency assistance. You should also bring along the travel insurance information booklet provided by your credit card company. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the requirements set out by your credit card company in order to be effectively covered and that the cover offered is of a suitable standard.

Passport & Visas
Well before travelling, please ensure that you have a current passport, with an accurate photo, that is valid for at least six months after your scheduled return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport.

Please note that visas for China and Hong Kong are the responsibility of the individual traveler. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. Americans, British, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders do currently require a visa for China. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your government. For the most up to date information please check your governments' foreign ministry website. It is important that you check for yourself. For most travelers there will probably have an embassy and consulate in the country that you live in. Please note if you are travelling from China, into Hong Kong then back into China, you will need a double entry Chinese visa. Note that on some occasions people transiting through China on way to Hong Kong have been made to go through immigration and had their single entry visa stamped making this invalid. Do not allow your visa to be stamped if you are only going through transit.

Keeping in Touch
If you need to be contacted while travelling we recommend that you set up an email address that can be accessed on the road, rather than relying on postal mail. Email cafes are becoming increasingly commonplace and cheap throughout the country, and have quickly become the preferred way for our leaders and travelers to stay in touch. If someone wishes to contact you in an emergency while you are on one of our trips we recommend that they contact us so we can get into touch with your tour leader or local guide quickly by their cell phone and they can pass their cell phone to you! We recommend that family and friends don't try to contact you through phoning hotels en route, as our hotels are subject to change.

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