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Kunming - Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Zhongdian (Shangri-La) - Kunming

Yunnan girls

Yunnan, in China's far southwest, is a land of diverse landscapes, from tropical forests to alpine mountains. It is also home to many of China's ethnic minorities with their own distinctive cultures. This tour goes to northern Yunnan, with its mountainous scenery and includes a two-day trek through the Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world's deepest canyons.

Day 1  Arrive Kunming, capital of Yunnan province. Transfer to 4-star hotel.

Day 2  Excursion to the Stone Forest, a fascinating landscape of eroded sandstone spires. (B, L)

Day 3  Transfer to airport for the short morning flight to Lijiang. Transfer to 4-star hotel. Rest of the day free to explore Lijiang old town with its cobbled streets, wooden houses and shops and running watercourses. (B)

Day 4  One day excursion to Baisha village, once the capital of the Naxi kingdom, with important frescoes in its temple, the Yufeng Lamasery, returning to Lijiang to visit the picturesque Black Dragon Pool. (B, L)

Day 5  Travel by car to Qiaotou to start your trek along Tiger Leaping Gorge, where the Yangtze River forces its way through the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range in a deep canyon. Follow the trail high above the river before staying overnight at local guesthouse about halfway along the gorge. (B, L, D)

Day 6  Continue your trek for a few more hours before rejoining your transport and travelling onward to Zhongdian, the centre of the Tibetan ethnic region. Stay at 4-star hotel. (B, L).

Day 7  Morning: visit the Songzhulin Monastery - the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan - founded by the Fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century. In the afternoon excursion to Bita Hai, a forest-fringed lake lying some 3,500 metres above sea level that is also a nature reserve for rare and protected species. (B, L)

Day 8  Transfer to airport for flight to Kunming (included) (B)