The Shangrila Discovery is your opportunity for a breathtaking, picturesque adventure through China's Yunnan Province. Depart on a sparkling Li River Cruise and venture to the Kunming Stone Forest with immense, colorful limestone structures. View China from atop the sacred Jade Dragon Mountain near Lijiang and experience the mighty Yangtze River passing through the fantastic Tiger Leaping Gorge. Afterwards, visit the bustling economy of Shanghai, home of the 2010 World Expo. You will be inspired by "The Land of Sacredness and Peace" throughout your Shangrila Discovery.
Guided China Tour
Including Intra-China flights, hotels, meals, tour guides and more
Cruise down the limpid river under blue skies with gorgeous karst peaks at every bend. See the local farmers reap the rice paddies, watch the water buffalo patrol the fields and fishermen float by on bamboo rafts. Experience the breathtaking scenery along the Li River made famous by many Chinese poems and paintings.
The Yangshuo Markets are perfect if you want to experience the "real China". Find a world of bamboo products thanks to the abundance of bamboo in Yangshuo. The Yangshuo Markets is a great meeting place and where you can find local handicrafts.
The cave got its name from verdant reeds growing outside it, with which people make flutes. As you walk in, feast your eyes on the beauty of various stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations. Tourists have described it as if they were in a paradise where the gods live.
The shape of the hill is like a huge elephant drinking water from the river with its trunk. One of the caves, regarded as the eyes of the elephant, provides an ideal position to enjoy the panoramic view of Guilin. Elephant Trunk Hill is the symbol of Guilin and its karst landscape.
Located in the east of Kunming City, Yunnan Province, Stone Forest is an undoubtedly unique natural phenomenon. In an area of 400m2, there are hundreds of differently-styled giant stones scattered in random fashion and giving the appearance of a deep and serene forest. Stone Forest began to take shape in the Carboniferous Period some 280,000,000 years ago. The forest was formed by successive natural and geological upheavals-firstly due to the erosion of limestone in the sea, resulting in countless stone channels and columns; and later, due to the rising of the Earth's crust, the area became a land-mass. The stones themselves were fashioned as a result of these processes, as well as millennia of weather exposure and natural upheavals such as earthquakes. All of these factors have made the stones a truly wondrous sight, startling in their .When viewed from a distance, the stone columns seem to form an impenetrable black forest-hence the name-"Stone Forest".
Dragon Gate (Longmen) is located in the south of Sanqing Pavilion in Western Hill, and includes the whole stone sculpture project in the cliff from north to south. Dragon Gate was constructed by many different craftsmen over many years.
peaceful winding pathway among the flourishing forests will lead you to the mysterious Huating Temple that is one of the grander Buddhist Temples in the region with a history of over 900 years. The repairs and reconstruction make the Huating Temple more attractive and shinning.
Three pagodas, about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) northwest of the ancient city of Dali, occupying a scenic location at the foot of Mt. Cangshan facing Erhai Lake, has a history of over 1,800 years. It is a symbol of the history of Dali City, and a record of the development of Buddhism in the area. As its name implies, Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. This is unique in China. A visit to the pagodas should not be missed by any visitor to Dali City.
Located at the southern section of the Fuxing Lu in Dali City, the Dali Municipal Museum covers an area of 21,510 square meters (5.3 acres).
Once named the Marshal Mansion, the Museum was originally home to Du Wenxiu (1828-1872). Du is well known for leading the Hui ethnic minority revolt against the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in 1856. Once Du conquered Dali, he was elected Marshal of the military forces and the original mansion of Yunnan Province was re-named the Marshal Mansion. The battle lasted 18 years. The mansion was destroyed soon after Du's defeat in 1872. It was not until 1884 that the mansion was restored.
Erhai Lake Park is located at Tuanshan Mountain the southern-most end of the lake, 2.5km away from Xianguan. It was once a lonely miniature peninsular on the lake and a royal deer ranch of the Nanzhao Kingdom, covering an area of more than 15, 000 mu. The Mountain slopes are cocooned in luxuriant pines and cypresses and grass, and embroidered with clusters of camellias, azaleas, primrose, and exotic trees and flowers which can be found only in and around Dali. On the top are the Observation Pavilion and the Long Corridor, where you will have a pleasant view of the jade-like Erhai Lake dotted with sails here and there and the silvery Cangshan Mountain.
Erhai Park that exists today was built in 1976 and includes an arboretum (with camellia, azalea and rare snow lotus), a zoo, a children's playground, and a public swimming pool. Winding paths weave through the hills in the park. The spot best for a good view of the Lake from the park is Guanertai, a pagoda that overlooks the surrounding scenery.
Dali Old Town, also called Yu Town, is located on the foot of the picturesque Cangshan Mountain, about 13 kilometers to the new city of Dali. It was built in Ming dynasty in 1382, and named as the one of the first historical and cultural cities. Lying on the edge of Erhai Lake at the base of the splendid Cangshan Mountains, Dali Old Town is a truly beautiful setting. The city is the home of the Bai ethnic minority and its ancient quarter still retains its old world charm with narrow cobbled streets and traditional stone architecture within original city walls.
Nowadays, only the south and north gate towers are left intact. Dali is an ancient but pleasant town with well-preserved traditional houses of the Bai ethnic minority. The ancient streets are an ideal place for a gentle walk. Walking in the city, you will enjoy the minority flavored historical relics, ancient buildings and rich minority customs, such as the Foreigners Street, the ancient Yuxi School, antique shops, tea houses, Chinese and Western restaurants. All will definitely leave a lasting memory in your life.
Xizhou is located 18 kilometers north of Dali Old Town. It adjoins the Erhai Lake on the east and the Cangshan Mountain on the west. It's an important cultural center of the Bai people, with the largest number of the Bai-style residential houses. The visitors may find the Three Tea Courses (Sandaocha) performance of Bai people interesting while visiting this place.
The Old Town of Lijiang, a well-preserved old city of ethnic minorities with brilliant culture, is a central town of the Lijiang Autonomous County of the Naxi Ethnic Minority in Yunnan Province. Located on the plateau which is 2,400 meters (7,874 feet) above the sea level and embraced by the tree-covered Lion Mountain in the west, Elephant and Golden Row Mountains in the north, vast fertile fields in the southeast and crystal clear water running through, the old town looks like a big jade ink slab, therefore got the alias the Town of Big Ink Slab (Dayanzhen).
Mu's Residence is situated in the southwest of the Old Town of Lijiang. It is the Tusi Mu's Yamen of the Naxi Ethnic Group in Yunnan. Tusi Mu was the ruler of Naxi during the Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644), and Qing (1644-1911). During their reigning, this residence was the center of politics, power and wealth in ancient Naxi. Although it is simply a residence, it holds the majestic essence of a palace. In the heyday of the Tusi Mu, it covered an area of over 100 mu (about 16 acres) and consisted of almost one hundred buildings. It could be said that it was a miniature Forbidden City. Unfortunately during warfare in the Qing Dynasty most of the residence was destroyed. The present day Mu's Residence was rebuilt from 1996-1999. The reconstruction is based on the original site and captures the magnificent image of what life was like at this great palace
Located between 100 04'-100 16'east longitude and 27 03'-27 40' north latitude, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Mountain) is the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. Consisting of 13 peaks, among which Shanzidou is the highest with an altitude of 5,600 meters (18,360 feet), the mountain stretches a length of 35 kilometers (22 miles) and a width of 20 kilometers (13 miles). Looking from Lijiang Old Town in the south which is 15 kilometers (nine miles) away, the snow-covered and fog-enlaced mountain resembles a jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence the name.
At the southern foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, 13 kilometers (nine miles) northwest away from the Old Town is a small lamasery named Yufeng Temple - one of the Scarlet Sect lamaseries of Lijiang. First built in 1756 during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, it used to have nine courtyards, but only the gate tower, the main hall and two courtyards have remained after so many years' historical vicissitude. The beautiful sceneries around Yufeng Temple are special gifts from the deity. The temple backs onto a snow mountain and faces a meadow. It is surrounded by the flourishing forest and a never-dried river. All this makes it a really good place to visit.
Yangtze River, considerd the mother river of China, flows majestically through the center of China and is the third longest river in the world. Starting from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Yangtze River surges southeastward until it meets the Hengduan Mountain Range. About 44 miles outside of Lijiang, unusual geological phenomenons force the Yangtze to make a sudden V-shaped bend and flow to the northeast. This extraordinary turn, nearly180-degrees, creates beautiful and marvelous views that startle the imagination. Here, the river is wide and the water flows in a gentle, slow pace. Large willow trees grow luxuriously alongside the river that is banked on both sides with lush, fertile deep green vegetation and immense, steep mountains that rise up from the river to touch the clouds in the blue sky above. The whole sight is like a wonderful landscape painting that never ends. This is the First Bend of the Yangtze River - a world-famous geological phenomenon and an extraordinary panoramic scene whose vistas you will long remember with great pleasure.
About 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Lijiang Old Town lying between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Xueshan) and Haba Snow Mountain (Haba Xueshan) is Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Gorge), which is believed to be the deepest gorge in the world. From the top of the gorge you look down the steeply angled (70-90 degrees) mountain sides to the rushing Golden Sands (Jingsha) River with its 18 frothing rapids more than 200 meters (about 700 feet) below.
Being the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, Songzanlin Monastery, also known as Guihua Monastery, is one of the famous monasteries in the Kang region. It is located near Shangri -La County, at the foot of Foping Mountain.
Shudu Lake is accessible lakes in northeast of the city. Located within 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), legend says these "pearls of the land" are pieces of a mirror broken and scatteredby a fairy while she was fixing her makeup.
Traditional Tibetan food consist mainly barley, meat and dairy products. Vegetables are scarce in the high altitude. Tsampa is the staple food of Tibetan people, which is consumed daily. It is actually barley flour made from parched barley, unhusked and ground into fine flour. Put some flour with salted butter tea in a bowl, rotate the bowl with the left hand and mix the food with your fingers of your right hand, roll it into small lumps, then squeeze it into your mouth with your fingers. Other ingredients may also be added to add flavor. Tibetan people eat Tsampa at every meal and bring it as instant food in travel. The salted butter tea is an indispensable Tsampa pal. Boiled tea is poured into a long cylindrical churn along with salt and yak butter. Vigorous churning makes the ingredients well blended and ready to serve. The local people drink it throughout the whole day. Yak butter is very important local food and it is separated from yak milk by hard churning. After butter is separated from milk, the residue becomes sour and can be made into milk curd which is a nice thirst quenchable and can be made into milk curd pastry with barley flour.
The giant pandas are not only a Chinese national treasure but are also beloved by people the world over. They are found only in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. In total there are fewer than 1000, of which 80% are distributed within the territory of Sichuan province. Therefore, when visitors from home and abroad come to Chengdu, Sichuan Province one of their main objectives will be to see the giant pandas for themselves.
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture. The Buddha is located to the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. The statue makes itself the most renowned scenic spot in that city. In December, 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites. Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, the Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story.
Dujiangyan is the oldest and only surviving no-dam irrigation system in the world; and a wonder in the development of Chinese science. The project consists of three important parts, namely Yuzui, Feishayan and Baopingkou scientifically designed to automatically control the water flow of the rivers from the mountains to the plains throughout the year.
Du Fu, a very famous poet, lived in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Just as its name implies, the Thatched Cottage of Du Fu was his home more than a thousand years ago.
Du Fu was born in Gongyi City, Henan Province in 712. In 746, he took the official examination in Chang'an (now known as Xian) and continued to live there for more than ten years after the failure. But, in order to get away from the An-Shi Rebellion breaking out in 758, he fled to Chengdu in 759. With the help of friends, the thatched cottage was built in 760 beside the Flower Bathing Brook on the western outskirts of Chengdu. During the four years stay there, he composed more than 240 poems that are considered to be precious national treasures.
Located in Wuhou Street, at the South gate of Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, Wuhou Memorial Temple is a shrine integrated with tombs of Liu Bei, the King of Shu during the Three Kingdom period in Chinese history, and Zhuge Liang, a great prime minister of the Shu Dynasty. It is the only temple with the Emperor's tomb and his officials' tomb integrated together. The temple was built during the Tang Dynasty, and neighbours the Zhaolie Temple, the temple of Liu Bei. When it was rebuilt in the first year of the Ming Dynasty, Wuhou Temple was combined with Zhaolie Temple, which gave birth to the Wuhou Temple. The temple was then rebuilt in the year of 1672 during the Qing Dynasty. In 1984, a museum was built on the base of the temple with an area of 140,000 square meters (about 35 acres), and is the most influential relics of Three Kingdoms in China.