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 Huanglong 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 2019...
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 9
Southwest China & the Tibetan Kham
Hong Kong
19
8
$5,825 + air



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"Calendar & Costs" for Journey Availability

For the Day-by-Day itinerary and included/excluded costs, call us toll-free at
1-866-CALIDEX, or e-mail to
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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. Tour the city and fly to Jinghong in Xishuangbanna in late afternoon. Night in Jinghong.

Day 2: Drive to Menghai. Walk to Aini minority villages of Banpo or Zhulin. Visit Bulang people in Menghung Village and ancient tea plantation on South Jinghuo Mountain. See Dai people and 18th Century pavilions in Jingzhen Village. Night in Jinghong.

Day 3: Visit Dai bamboo village of Manyan and other Dai villages along the Mekong River. Walk in tropical rain forest to visit Jinuo minority village of Bapiao. Night in Jinghong.

Day 4: Fly to Dali via Kunming in the morning. Visit Three Pagodas and walk the Dali Old Town. Night in Dali.

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

Day 6: Drive to ancient Lijiang. Visit Shizhongshan and Shibaoshan Grottoes en route, and Baoxiang Temple. Walk Lijang's old town and nearby hill for panoramic views. Night in Lijiang.

Day 7
: Drive to Qiatou and Tiger Leaping Gorge. Have lunchon the high-trail at "Tea-Horse Guesthouse"; walk through Yachajiao & Bandiwan Vilages to "Halfway House" for dinner & the night. A 6-mile hiking day.

Day 8: Descend to the Yangtze River and Tiger Leaping Rock. Hike to Walnut Garden Village and the roadhead to meet minivan. Drive to ethnically Tibetan Zhongdian (town name changed to "Shangri-La" in 2002) for the night. A 6-mile hiking day.

Day 9: Walk Zhongdian's old town, Guishan Park and local market. Visit Ganden Sumtseling Monastery. Night in Zhongdian.

Day 10: Day free to wander and explore Zhongdian. Fly to Chengdu early evening; night in Chengdu.

Day 11: Visit Chengdu panda base and drive to Leshan, home of the largest Buddha statue in the world. Sichuan dinner & night in Chengdu.

Day 12: Shop Chengdu in the morning; fly to Huanglong in the afternoon, one of China's most scenic areas. Night in Huanglong area.

Day 13: Day free to explore UNESCO World Heritage Site Huanglong and its stunning natural sites. Night in Huanglong.

Day 14: Return to Chengdu by air. Walk Jinli Old Street/Promenade. Dinner & night in Chengdu.

Day 15: Morning drive to Ya’an and Giant Panda Breeding & Research Center at Bifeng Gorge. Walk the Gorge in search of wild pandas. Drive to Shangli old town; continue to Kangding on the Tibetan Plateau for the night.

Day 16: Morning drive to Tagong on the Tibetan Plateau via the Zheduo Shan Pass. Visit the 13th Century Tagong Si (Lhagang) Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. Continue to Bamei and Danba; visit Tibetan minority villages in Danba District and night in Danba.

Day 17: Drive to Luding. En route explore the Qiang Watchtowers and Qiang stone fortress villages of Zhonglu and Suopo. Night in Luding.

Day 18: Continue overland to the Mt. Qingcheng-Dujiangyan Scenic Area. Reach Mt. Qingcheng in mid-afternoon; night in Dujiangyan.

Day 19: Visit Jianfu Palace Temple, Tianshi Cave and other famous Taoist temples in the Mt. Qingcheng-Dujiangyan Scenic Area. Return overland to Chengdu to connect with the afternoon Chengdu-Hong Kong flight and onward connections to home.



  • 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, monasteries 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 travertine ponds, lakes and crimson Fall colors in Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area;

  • Walking Bifeng Gorge in search of Giant Pandas, 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 to Szechuan 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 SCENIC & HISTORIC INTEREST AREA
Huanglong Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Pools in Huanglong National Park
THE GALLERY: THE TIBETAN KHAM & WESTERN SICHUAN
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, Chinese domestic airfares, English-speaking guide at all locations, permits and entry fees and activities as described in the itinerary. International airfares, expenses of a personal nature and gratuities are not included.

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