What you get
China. Pandas, Avatar park and towns on the Ancient Tea Road
All contrasts of the Middle Kingdom - in a unique journey through the most vivid places. We will walk in noisy megacities and enjoy incredible mountains. See tranquil monasteries and charming Chinese countryside. Also, we will meet some of the most unusual people of the country.
- Watch funny pandas in their natural habitat at a Chendu reserve
- Walk in the famous "Avatar park" between unreal hanging rocks and cross the world's longest glass bridge over an abyss
- Ride a boat in the old city, known as the Venice of China
- Enjoy traditional Chinese opera and shadow theater
- Explore the biggest tea market and enjoy traditional tea ceremonies
Day 1 - 2
We arrive in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. We check into a hotel, rest and go for a walk in the city. Hungry? Sichuan is famous for its excellent cuisine! We will try veal with soy sprouts, eggplant in spices and other local dishes. The famous Sichuan pepper is the mandatory ingridient in all local dishes. It has nothing to do with red or black pepper. These are the husk around the seeds of the tree of the citrus family. Delicious!
We head to Du Fu park, where the hut of the famous Chinese poet of the 8th century is located. Here he wrote his best poems. Move back to the present and visit the largest shopping center in the world - the New Century Global Center. It boasts the area of 1 million 700 thousand square meters! In addition to shops, there is, for example, a whole artificial beach with sand, an Olympic-sized ice-skating arena, a "Mediterranean village" and a pirate ship.
In the evening we head to the traditional Sichuan opera. An hour and a half of national music and singing, shadow theater, acrobats and mask shows.
Next morning we go to the Wolong Panda Research Center Panda Reserve. Here, on an area of 2 square kilometers, more than 150 individuals of the big panda live. We will learn more about these unique animals, which have become a kind of symbol of China and will observe how pandas live in their natural environment. There will be a lot of bamboo and cute scenes!
In the evening, we take the train and head to Emeishan (1 hour on the way). We check into the guesthouse at the foot of the mountain.
Day 3 - 4
In the morning we take a cable car to the top of Emeishan mount. Buddhists believe that one of the main disciples of the Buddha, the bodhisattva Samantabhadra, reached enlightenment here. On the mountain, between the wild jungle, there used to be more than a hundred Buddhist temples. But they all suffered greatly from the Cultural Revolution of the Communists. Now some temples are restored. For example, we will visit the 9th century temple, which boasts an ancient statue of Samantabhadra on the elephant.
Next morning we head to the nearby Leshan. Here we will visit the famous 71-meter tall statue of Buddha, built in 8th century. It used to be the tallest statue in the world. We will marvel at the statue standing next to it`s feet. Walk up to the viewing deck to see the Buddha’s tranquil face. And then ride a boat on the river to admire landscapes and watch local fishermen.
Day 5 - 7
We return to Chengdu and fly to Zhangjiajie. We check into a hotel in the Wulingyuan National Park. It is known to the whole world as "Avatar park". It was here that the beautiful scenes of flights over the weightless rocks of the famous Hollywood film "Avatar" were filmed. In reality, the rocks are not less impressive!
Thousands of years of winds cut these karst rocks into bizarre forms. In the mornings the fog envelops the steeples, and it seems that you soar above the clouds ... We will walk on the roapways, admiring the views and enjoying the cleanest mountain air. We will walk in the jungle along the rivers, looking out for strange birds and exotic plants. But the main thing - of course, is the highest glass bridge in the world over the abyss! We will walk 300 meters above the canyon. Yes, it feels like flying slowly! Ready?!
Day 8 - 9
In the morning we take a bus to the city on the water - Fenghuang, also known as the Venice of China (about 4 hours on the way). This is a completely different China! The old city here looks like the scenery for the historical film. Wooden houses on stilts above water, locals riding boats on canals. And the people here are different. They wear unusually bright national clothes and speak their own language. They are Miao people - one of the national minorities of China.
We will explore the canals on boasts. watching the unchanged traditional life, visit local temples and enjoy the original cuisine - for example, cakes with river shrimps, crabs on sticks in the dough, crispy cookies from pork blood and soy broth. On the last evening in the city, we take the night train to Liuzhou.
Day 10 - 12
In the morning we arrive in Liuzhou and take a bus to Yangshuo (approximately 3 hours on the way). We check into a hotel in the nearby town of Xingping. We literally hit the most beautiful places in all of China! These landscapes of the bends of the Li River and karst rocks covered with jungles have for centuries inspired the most famous poets and artists of the Middle Kingdom. Now they are even depicted on the back of a 20 yuan note.
And life in the surrounding villages is still unhurried. Children do their homework sitting on wooden stools right on the narrow streets. Adults gather fruit in orange groves and go fishing in the rice paddies. People of the most vivid national minorities of China come to the bazaar in the neighboring village of Fuli from their remote villages. This is where we will see their bright costumes and often very interesting objects that they come to sell.
In the morning of the last day we go to see the rice fields in Longsheng. Yes, local farmers came up with the way to grow rice in the middle of the mountains! Terraces go around every mountain, like winding snakes - the view from the top is simply unforgettable.
Day 13 - 14
We leave by train to Kunming - the capital of the southernmost province of China - Yunnan (approximately 4 hours on the way). We check into a hotel in the center. Next morning we are going to Shilin Stone Forest. Here in an area of 500 square kilometers there are thousands of sharp stone rocks that resemble trees. We can climb some of them to explore the unusual landscape from above. And the passages between other rocks are so narrow that a person can hardly fit there.
We return to Kunming and head to one of the main tea markets in China. Local tea shops have every kind of tea for every taste, and even hundreds of varieties of tea, the existence of which you did not suspect. Old pu-erh, oolong tea, herbal teas, the freshest green, pink, floral ... And the abundance of tea-ware! We will also see the famous traditional tea ceremony here.
Finally, we will try the famous local noodles. The most famous soup consists of chicken, turkey, cabbage, sprout, green onion and rice noodle. Delicious! In the evening we take the night bus to Lijiang.
Day 15 - 16
In the morning we arrive in Lijiang and check into a hotel in the old district. This city is more than 800 years old, it appeared as a stop on the Ancient Tea Road. Now the old center with cobbled narrow streets and old houses is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. We will walk along the historical streets, sit in the cozy tea houses, where locals still like to hang out and try unusual local dishes - yak meat, cookies with roses and different types of vegetables.
We will also visit the nearby Baisha village to get closer to the culture of the Nakhi people who live in the area around Lijiang. In China, they are known primarily as excellent musicians and dancers. They are also famous for their matriarchy. Nakhi women work the fields together with men, and children inherit the property and the last name only from the mother.
Next morning we go to the national park at the foot of Mount Yulongshan with a stunning view of the Jade Dragon Mountain. To the top of 4506 meters above sea level we will get by the cable car. Then we will walk to the height of 4680 meters. In the evening we return to the hotel.
Day 17 - 19
In the morning we go to the Tiger Leaping Gorge by the bus (approximately 4 hours on the way). This is where the Yangtze River begins its journey - the longest river in Asia. We will leave most of our things in the village of Qiaotou and walk the two-day trek along the Gorge. Are you ready for stunning views of one of the deepest canyons in the world? Also, we will enjoy clean crispy air and untouched nature. In two days we will walk for about 24 km on a good road and mountain bridges. We will spend the night in simple houses in the village.
We take a bus to Shangri-La (about 4 hours on the way), to the foot of Southern Tibet, where we will stay in the guesthouse. Shangri-La is an old town in a valley mostly populated by Tibetans. Just recently this city had a different name, but the Chinese government renamed it, giving it a name coined by renowned science fiction writer James Hilton. Does this place look like a country of eternal youth and an earthly paradise from Hilton's novel? You decide!
We will walk in the local colorful bazaar and visit the Songzanlin monastery, one of the largest Tibetan monasteries outside the Tibet Autonomous Region, which is also called Little Potala. Now about 700 monks live in the monastery. We go by bus to Shaxi(4 hours on the way) and check into a local hotel there.
Day 20 - 21
In the morning we visit the Shibaoshan monastery on the mountain. Here we will see ancient statues of Buddha and his disciples and unique wall paintings, which date back to the heyday of the Nanzhao kingdom in the 9th century. By bus we go to Dali, the former capital of the ancient state of Nanzhao and the Kingdom of Dali of 10-13 centuries (2-3 hours on the way).
We check into a hotel and walk through the old town, visiting the famous "Three Pagodas" of the 9th century and get acquainted with the local Bai people. We might even see their traditional tea ceremony which is very different from the traditional Chinese. Tea is brewed three times. The first time the water with the leaves is shaked, until the bubbles are formed. The second time they add sugar and nuts to the tea. For the third time, Sichuan pepper, honey and ginger are mixed in the tea. Tastes.... interesting!
Day 22 - 23
In the morning we drive to the Buddhist monastery Wu Wei in the mountains. This is a very small temple, with very few, if any, visitors. Ready for the complete immersion in the monastic life and new knowledge about Buddhism? We will get acquainted with the abbot of the temple - a real Kung Fu master and will observe the lesson that he teaches monks and disciples every day.
We will also take part in the Buddhist ceremony in the temple of the monastery, participate in the tea ceremony and have lunch with the monks.
We return to the city for the night. Next day is free. On the last day, we take a train to Kunming (2 hours on the way) and fly to Beijing. There we transfer to the flight home.
Подходит ли вам это путешествие?
Стоимость путешествия включает:
- Domestic flights;
- All transportation, including trains, buses, city transport and taxis;
- Accommodation throughout the trip;
- Entrance tickets to all attractions along the route;
- Professional guiding services.
What is NOT included:
- Flight to Chengdu and from Beijing back home. (Let us know if you need help finding the best deals);
- Food (about $ 15-20 per person per day);
- Insurance (mandatory);
- Visa to China.
Citizens of almost all countries need a visa to enter China.
The visa should be obtained in the Chinese embassy in the country of residence before the trip.
We provide free visa advice for clients.
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