Wan-Da Tour

...providing quality tours since 1997 for the young at heart and adventurous of spirit

Call T/F 888 369 2632

Picturesque Yunnan, China

 

2014 China Highlights/Land of Shangri-la 24 days/22 nights
Duration 24 days (full package)
23 days (land only)
Places Visited: Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Long Sheng,* Yangshuo, Chengdu, Lijiang, Zhongdian, Kunming, Chongqing, Yangtze River, Yichang, Shanghai, Suzhou
* Included for groups of 10 or more
UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Terracotta Warriors, South China karst formations, Lijiang Old Town, Three Parallel Rivers, Stone Forest, Suzhou canals and bridges
Max Group Size: 16
Departures
(Individual tours or groups under 10)
Sundays
(subject to availability)
Departures
(group tours with 10 or more participants)
Click here
Prices Click here

Route map, Land of Shangri-la

"An outstanding trip. We soaked up every minute of it. Every stop was enjoyable and different. We enjoyed the guides and their terrific service. There was a good balance of city and rural.

Burke and Helena W, Calgary. AB

 

HIGHLIGHTS
• Climb the Great Wall, enter the Forbidden City, stroll through the Summer Palace and visit the Temple of Heaven
• Savor special meals including Peking Duck and Mongolian Hot Pot
• Attend unforgettable performances including Peking Opera (Beijing), famed acrobatic show in Shanghai and the Tang Dynasty Show in Xian
• Gaze upon the army of terracotta figures guarding the tomb of China's first emperor
• Enjoy a cruise on magnificent Li River through one of China's most picturesque regions
• Meet colorful minority nationalities
• See pandas closeup and go to one of the most enigmatic archaeological sites ever discovered in China
• Visit the land of Shangri-la, the World Heritage city of Lijiang and the impressive Snow Berg Mountain
• Enter the Stone Forest, one of the geological wonders of China.
• Revel in a downriver cruise on the Yangtze aboard a five-star luxury ship with your own private balcony.
• Visit the Three Gorges Dam Site, the world's largest hydroelectric project
• Discover the sublime gardens, canals and bridges of World Heritage Suzhou
• Tour Shanghai and marvel at its astonishing modernizations

INFORMATION

 

2014 ITINERARY

Days 1-2
Your journey takes you over Canada, Alaska, parts of eastern Russia and Japan. You'll lose a day crossing the International Date Line. You arrive at Beijing's Capital Airport in the aftrenoon. You'll be met and taken to your hotel.

Presidential Plaza

Day 3 BEIJING
After a hearty breakfast (all breakfasts are buffet style with Western and Chinese menu choices), enjoy a tour of the Chinese capital, starting with Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, the city’s two most important sites. Tiananmen means the Gate of Heavenly Peace and the square in front is the largest in the world. Chairman Mao still dominates the square 34 years after his death, with his giant portrait at the north end and his mausoleum at the south. Behind imposing red walls is the Forbidden City, a vast collection of buildings reputed to comprise 9,999 rooms. It was home to emperors of both the Ming and Qing dynasties — a span of more than 500 years. Afternoon enjoy a ride through one of Beijing’s old residential sections called hutongs, which are fast disappearing as the city modernizes. Remainder of day at leisure. Tonight enjoy Peking Duck, a local specialty.

Presidential Plaza B L D

Day 4 BEIJING
Today you’ll go to the Great Wall, China’s best-known heritage site. The wall extends thousands of kilometers across northern China and is actually a collection of walls built over two millennia. The section of wall you’ll be visiting rises and falls along the ridges of the Yin and Yan Mountains at Mutianyu, a two-hour coach ride north of the city.  After lunch, you’ll go to the Summer Palace, once a favorite haunt of the Empress Dowager Cixi, de facto ruler of China until her death in 1908. Tonight enjoy a performance of traditional Chinese opera. The tales are drawn from China’s rich history and include myths and age-old traditions.

Presidential Plaza B L D

Day 5 BEIJING/XIAN
orning visit the beautifully symmetrical Temple of Heaven. It was here emperors would troop in splendid procession each year to render homage to Heaven and pray for a good harvest, communing with Heaven from a stone altar. The temple’s exquisite blue glazed dome is a defining symbol of the capital.  Afternoon fly to Xian, capital of Shaanxi Province and one of China’s most storied cities. Stop at the City Wall, one of the most complete and best preserved in China.

Howard Johnson Ginwa Plaza B L D

Day 6 XIAN
Today you'll visit the amazing display of terracotta figures guarding the vast tomb of China's first emperor. This extraordinary treasure was discovered 34 years ago by some farmers digging a well, although its existence had been rumored for centuries in legends. You will also go to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda built in the 8th century to house Buddhist scriptures brought from India. In the evening dine on dumplings, a local specialty, and attend a glittering performance of song and dance from the Tang Dynasty, 1300 years ago, when Xian, then called Chang’an, was capital of China and one of the grandest cities in the world.

Howard Johnson Ginwa Plaza B L D

Day 7 XIAN/GUILIN
Enjoy a leisurely morning before flying to Guilin in south China's picturesque Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The city is famed for is beautiful geological formations. Tonight, dine on your own.

Lijiang Waterfall Hotel B L

Day 8 GUILIN/YANGSHUO
Today revel in a half-day cruise on the Li River downstream to Yangshuo. The scenery here is quintessential China. The conical hills. lush foliage and soft flowing waters have inspired poets and artists for ages past. Lunch will be served aboard the river cruiser. The trip ends at Yangshuo, a lively port which in recent years has become very popular with western travelers. We spend a night here so you may attend the brilliant water and light show, Impressions of Lijiang, directed by Zhang Yimou who directed the opening and closing Olympic ceremonies in Beijing. The show is optional as it is performed only when weather permits.

Paradise Hotel or equivalent B L

Day 9 YANGSHUO/GUILIN
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Yangshuo before returning to Guilin, stopping en route at the Reed Flute Cave, noted for its magnificent limestone formations.

Lijiang Waterfall Hotel B D

Day 10 GUILIN/CHENGDU
Today will be free to explore Guilin on your own. Optional is a day trip to Long Sheng. This is an included activity for groups of 10 or more. Long Sheng, the Dragon's Backbone, is famous for its rice terraces which have been cultivated continuously since the Song Dynasty, more than 1000 years ago. The trip includes a visit to a Zhuang village. The Zhuang people are the largest minority nationality in this region. They are also the largest minority in China. Late afternoon fly to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province.

Wang Jiang Hotel BD

Day 11 CHENGDU
In the morning visit the Panda Breeding Research Centre for closeup looks at the endangered panda, symbol of the World Wildlife Fund. In the afternoon go to Sanxingdui, where Neolithic remains have been found revealing a culture no one knew existed until its discovery 80 years ago.

Wang Jiang International Hotel B L D

Day 12 CHENGDU/LIJIANG
In the morning take a one-hour-10-minute flight to Lijiang, centre of Naxi minority culture and a World Heritage Site.
Visit Yufeng Temple, housing an ancient camellia, go to the impressive Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, stop at Baisha Village to see amazing murals, and stroll through the old town of Dayan. Evening attend a concert of traditional Naxi music.

Lijiang Grand Hotel B L D

Day 13 LIJIANG
Enjoy a free day in this delightful town and region.

Lijiang Grand Hotel B L D

Day 14 LIJIANG/ZHONGDIAN
Today you'll ravel to Zhongdian, a centre of Tibetan culture on the fringe of the Tibetan Plateau. The elevation here is around 10,000 feet, so go slowly. The ride will take the better part of a day, with stops at Stone Drum Village at the First Bend of the Yangtze and the awesome Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest in the world.

Guan Guang Hotel B L D

Day 15 ZHONGDIAN
Zhongdian has taken the identity of Shangri-la for its own. Visit the splendid Tibetan monastery Songzangling and also a Tibetan family.

Guan Guang Hotel B L D

Day 16 ZHONGDIAN/KUNMING
Fly to Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province. Journey by coach south of the city (80 km) to the Stone Forest, one of the geological wonders of China. Visit a colorful Flower and Bird market.

Bank Hotel Hotel BD

Day 17 KUNMING/CHONGQING
Morning free to explore Kunming further on your own. In the afternoon fly to Chongqing, the giant megalopolis at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers.

Hilton Hotel BD

Day 18 CHONGQING/YANGTZE RIVER
Today enjoy a tour of Chongqing including a visit to Chongqing Zoo to see to lovable pandas. Optional is a day trip to Dazu, 165 km northwest of the city, to visit famed Buddhist grottoes dating back 1500 years, another of China’s World Heritage Sites. The trip is an included activity for groups of 10 or more. In the evening enoy a special hot pot dinner before boarding the deluxe Victoria Cruise ship for the start of a three night, three-day journey on the Yangtze through the spectacular Three Gorges.

Victoria Cruise Ship B L D

Days 19-20 YANGTZE RIVER
Your cruise includes shore excursions to the Three Gorges Dam Site, Shennong Stream or Daming River, and Fengdu or Shibaozhai. The captain hosts welcome and farewell banquets. Many shipbpoard activities await. Evening entertainment invites passengers to join in the fun.

Victoria Cruise Ship B L D

Day 21 YICHANG/SUZHOU
The ship reaches historic Yichang in the early aftrenoon. You’ll fly to Shanghai and travel by coach to nearby Suzhou, a historic city famous for its beautiful gardens, canals ... and women. An old Chinese saying goes: There's Heaven above, and Suzhou and Hangzhou beneath.

Garden View Hotel B L D

Day 22 SUZHOU/SHANGHAI
Today revel in a tour of Suzhou, visiting gardens, canals and the Grand Canal, which once ran from Hangzhou to Beijing and is one of ancient China's greatest building undretakings on par with the Great Wall. You'll also visit a silk factory. Late afternoon you'll travel by coach to Shanghai. Tonight, attend a performance of Shanghai's renowned acrobats.

Grand Mercure Hongqiao Hotel B L D

Day 23 SHANGHAI
Enjoy a tour of China’s most populous city and commercial hub. You’ll go to the modern Shanghai Museum, one of the best in China, stroll on the waterfront Bund, where Western traders set up shop in the 19th and 20th centuries, and visit beautiful Yu Garden, a fine example of private garden dating back 400 years. A camellia found there was said to have been planted by the original owner.

Grand Mercure Hongqiao Hotel B L D

Day 24 SHANGHAI/HOME
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home OR extend your stay in Shanghai or exit through Hong Kong. Ask us for details.

B

Accommodations
5-star Presidential Plaza Hotel, Beijing
5-star Howard Johnson Ginmwa Plaza, Xian

Lijiang Waterfall Hotel

Yangshuo Regency Holiday Hotel, Yangshuo
Wang Jiang Hotel lobby, Chengdu
Lijiang Grand Hotel, Lijiang
Guan Guang Hotel, Zhongdian
Bank Hotel, Kunming
Hilton Hotel, Chongqing
5-star Victoria Cruises
4-star Garden View Hotel, Suzhou
5-star Grand Mercure Hongqiao, Shanghai

 

SHANGRI-LA

Friar William Rubruck brought back many weird and wonderful stories from a journey he made to the Eastern Parts of the World in 1253.

He cited monstrosities: dog-headed people, Cyclops, people who lived on the odor of wild apples and nothing else; people without noses, people with protruding lips that shaded their face from the sun’s rays, people who were speechless and used signs instead of language.

He spoke of a place in the east of Cathay (as China was called in those days) where strange little humans less than two feet tall dwelt in high rocks and had a weakness for a potent mead that hunters would leave out for them.

When the creatures had their full and were quite drunk and in a stupor, the hunters would slit a vein in their neck to take a few drops of blood that was used for creating a purple pigment. The hunters would then set their inebriated captives free.

He told of another place in western China where anyone entering would keep their age for as long as they remained there.

Seventy-five years ago British writer James Hilton took up the legend in his novel, Lost Horizon, about survivors of a plane crash discovering a community ruled by wise and benevolent lamas who lived, if not forever, then for a very long time, indeed. The protagonist was modeled after British adventurer Mallory who disappeared while climbing Everest in 1924. Hilton called the place Shangri-la.

Tibetan Legend of Shanbala may have been source of name. The prophecy of Shambuhala, found in the scriptures of the Kalachakra initiation, projects a huge, mythical kingdom ruled by a congenial monarch, shaped like a lotus and encircled by a range of snow peaks. The kingdom may be in the minds; or it may be real.

Shangri-la may be just a myth, but it's pleasant to think it could exist somewhere in our frenetically charged world, and Western Yunnan with its rugged mountains and deep gorges is as good a place as any to pinpoint its location.

Indeed, the prefecture of Deqen has taken it so much to heart it has renamed Zhondian County, Shangri-la County.

 

REGISTRATION

 

FORMS

 

CHINESE VISA

 

INSURANCE

 

 

2014 Prices and Group departure dates
Prices are in Canadian dollars per person based on double occupancy
Full package departs from Vancouver, BC Add-on airfares other cities click here
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If you are taking the Land Only package, you might want to consider coming to Beijing a day or two early. We'd be happy to arrange aditional nights at your hotel for you.
Add-On Airfares
Victoria $150
Edmonton, Calgary $250
Regina, Winnipeg $380
Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal $425
Halifax $550
Seattle,Portland $150
For other cities please contact us

 

Full Package
Start Date
Land Only
Start Date
Tour
Ends
Full Package
Price
Land Only
Price
 
May 8 May 9 May 31 $6850 $5895
Sept 4 Sept 5 Sept 27 $6850 $5895
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
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For Reservations contact Wan-Da Tour at 888 369 2632 or email us at wanda@pacificcoast.net
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Wan-Da Tour, 3346 Haida Drive, Victoria, BC CANADA V9C 3P1 TEL: 888 369 2632 or 250 384 0858