China & East Asia Journeys with

Cross a threshold into a special world of seldom-seen cultures and remote, spectacular terrain. The traditional hill tribes of Southwest China in Yunnan Province bordering Burma and Laos are among the most colorful in the world. Kham, the ancient Tibetan Empire, retains western Sichuan and northwest Yunnan in its cultural embrace. Soaring Himalayan peaks edge vast grasslands dotted with yaks and nomadic Tibetan herders, and abyssal river gorges slice mountain ranges in the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan UNESCO World Heritage Site. We move from tropical jungles and bamboo villages to mountainous high country, trek the incomparable Tiger Leaping Gorge far above the Yangtze River, and marvel at ancient still-active Tibetan Buddhist monasteries (gompas). In Juizhaigou National Park, a Chinese natural treasure, we walk through forests flamed by Fall colors, visit island-spiked turquoise lakes and waterfalls, and search for wild pandas in their native habitat. Lodging is in 4-star hotels and best-available guesthouses in remote parts of the country.

for 2016...
SOUTHWEST CHINA & THE TIBETAN KHAM
Colorful Hill Tribes, Hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge, Old Tea Road Towns & Tibetan Buddhist Gompas
THE CARTOGRAPHY
YUNNAN PROVINCE, CHINA
SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA
TIGER LEAPING GORGE HIKE—ELEVATION PROFILE
RENDEZVOUS
DATE
JOURNEY
RENDEZVOUS
CITY
NO. OF
DAYS
GROUP
SIZE
MAX
TRIP
COST
October 6
Southwest China & the Tibetan Kham
Hong Kong
18
8
$7,925 + air



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THE DAY-BY-DAY BRIEFS
THE HIGHLIGHTS


Day 1 (Rendezvous Day): Group members rendezvous at Hong Kong Airport and fly to Kunming, China and Jinghong in Xishuangbanna in late afternoon. Night in Jinghong.

Day 2: Visit Aini minority villages and market in Xidi. Tour Jinghong and tea plantation on South Jinuo Mountain. Night in Jinghong.

Day 3: Visit Ganlanba Market and Dai villages. Walk through tropical rain forest to visit a Jinuo minority village. Night in Jinghong.

Day 4: Visit morning market in Jinghong. Fly to Dali in afternoon. Tour city highlights; night in Dali.

Day 5:
Visit Xizhou morning market, Wase and Shuanglang villages. Ascend Cangshan Mountain by cable car for panoramic views of Dali and Erhai Lake. Night in Dali.

Day 6 : Visit Bai minority Monday market in Shaping. Drive 3 hrs to Shibaoshan and visit Shizhongshan and Shibaoshan Grottoes. Continue overland to ancient Lijiang. Walk the old town; night in Lijiang.

Day 7
: Drive to Tiger Leaping Gorge and hike 14 km to Halfway House for dinner and the night.

Day 8: Descend to the Yangtze River and Tiger Leaping Rock. Hike to Walnut Grove, meet vehicle and drive to Zhonghian for the night.

Day 9: Tour ethnically Tibetan Zhongdian. (Town name changed to "Shangri-La" in 2002). Fly to Chengdu early evening; hot-pot dinner and night in Chengdu.

Day 10: Fly to Jiuzhaigou in morning. Drive to Huanglong Scenic Zone. Hike the forested valley and terraces and visit Huanglong Monastery. Drive to Jiuzhaigou National Park; night at guesthouse in Shuzeng village.

Day 11: Hiking day in Jiuzhaigou National Park. Night at guesthouse in Shuzeng village.

Day 12: Morning in Jiuzhaigou National Park then fly to Chengdu. Walk Jinli Old Street; night in Chengdu.

Day 13: Morning drive to Ya’an. Visit Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center and walk the Bifeng Gorge to look for pandas. Drive to Shangli old town; continue to Kangding for the night (8 hrs).

Day 14: Morning drive to Tagong on the Tibetan Plateau. Cross the Zheduo Shan to Tagong and continue to
Bamei and Danba. Night in Danba (8 hrs).

Day 15: Visit Tibetan minority village in Danba District and stone fortress Qiang villages of Suopo and Danba.
Drive to Luding for the night (7 hrs).

Day 16: Drive to Dujiangyan City (7 hrs) near Mt. Qingcheng. Night in Dujiangyan.

Day 17: Visit Jianfu Palace Temple, Tianshi Cave and other Taoist temples on Mt. Qingcheng. Return overland to Chengdu in afternoon. Night in Chengdu.

Day 18 : Transfer to Chengdu Airport for morning flight to Hong Kong and homeward-bound flights. Trip ends at Chengdu Airport.



  • The scale and dynamism of major Chinese Provincial capitals Kunming and Chengdu;

  • The ethnic diversity and traditional lifestyles of Chinese minorities in Xishuangbanna along the Burma and Thai borders;

  • Ancient Buddhist gompas and ethnic Tibetan culture in the Tibetan Kham of western Sichuan and northern Yunnan;

  • The majesty of Tiger Leaping Gorge above the Yangtze River, and an exhilarating 12-mile hike
  • Old Chinese towns such as Lijiang, Shuanglang and Zhongdian with their labyrinthine cores of cobblestone alleyways and tiny shops;

  • The Grottoes of Shibaoshan and Shizhongshan in Yunnan;

  • The turquoise lakes and crimson Fall colors in Jiuzhaigou National Park;

  • Walking Bifeng Gorge and the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center:

  • Qiang watchtowers and stone fortress villages of Suopo and Danba;

  • Tagong on the Tibetan Plateau and its yak-dotted grasslands;

  • Mt. Qingcheng's Taoist temples;

  • The regional delights of Chinese gastronomy, from Yunnan duck roasted with pine needles toSzechuan hot-pot





SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERIES
THE GALLERY: HILL TRIBES OF YUNNAN
Dai women in market, Dali, Yunnan
Yao tribal women, Yunnan
Tribal woman in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
Tribal women, Yunnan
THE GALLERY:TIGER LEAPING GORGE
In Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Rock and the roaring Yangtze River in the narrowest part of the Gorge
THE GALLERY: HUANGLONG & JIUZHAIGOU NATIONAL PARK
Huanglong Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Pools in Juizhaigou National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site
THE GALLERY: THE TIBETAN KHAM, SOUTHWEST CHINA
Sumtseling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery ("Little Potala Palace"), Zonghdian, Yunnan
Tibetan Buddhist celebration, Yunnan
Small Tibetan Buddhist temple in Danba, Sichuan

Ethnic Tibetan Qiang house and watchtower, Danba, western Sichuan. The Qiang people in the wake of the Mongol invasion built hundreds of stone watchtowers in their tribal area

Tibetan Buddhist temple in Tagong, on the Tibetan Plateau,Yunnan

DISCOVER THE NATURAL AND MAN-MADE WONDERS OF SOUTHWEST CHINA

Southwest China is rich in dramatic landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and ethnic diversity—the largest number of minorities in the country inhabit Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces. Upon receipt of your 25% deposit you'll receive a trip kit with maps, the detailed day-by-day itinerary, recommended clothing & equipment and flight information. Journey cost include lodging, breakfasts, ground transport, English-speaking guide at all locations, permits and entry fees and all activities as described in the itinerary. Airfares, expenses of a personal nature and gratuities are not included.

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