Embark upon a 14-night cultural adventure to the enchanting Yunnan Province nestled way off the beaten track in southern China. Being such a vast and diverse country it can sometimes be hard to know where to begin, rest assured with our inside knowledge and expert guides you will see the very best China has to offer and experience a journey you won’t forget. Starting in bustling Beijing steeped in ancient culture, to the Panda capital of the world Chengdu and finding your Zen in the ancient highland cities of Lijiang and Shangri-La. Here you’ll hole up in some of our favourite hideaways, Banyan Tree Lijiang and Banyan Tree Ringha where you’ll trek deep into Tibetan highlands to discover ancient hill tribes, before ending your trip in style in Shanghai. Have a read of our favourite highlights below and get ready to embark on a enlightening adventure.
Explore ancient Beijing
Your adventure kicks off in Beijing where you will be met by one of our specialist guides from the airport. A short journey will whisk you off to the cosmopolitan Opposite House hotel, where you can spend the day waving off the jetlag in preparation for exploring China’s ancient capital. Start off your day by embracing ancient Chinese culture and exploring the enchanting Forbidden City and its archaic ‘hutong’ neighbourhoods – after all that walking why not rest your legs with lunch overlooking the peaceful Houhai Lake. For an immersive way to see local life, we’ll arrange a unique experience by the way of a private Taiji lesson with a Taiji master in the stunning setting of Jingshan Park. Truly a one-off. Of course, no trip to China would be complete without visiting the awe-inspiring Great Wall and with Beijing’s close proximity we have organised for you to appreciate the panoramic views and beat those crowds with a visit to the remote Mutianyu section before all the tourists get there. Here you can enjoy the incredible site and its history with just your expert guide at hand.Read more
Home of the Panda
Just a short flight from Beijing and you will arrive in the Sichuan Province (or Heavenly state as it’s known) capital; Chengdu. Check in to the sophisticated Temple House and rest up before an evening spent sampling the delights of traditional folklore at the 200-year old Sichuanese Opera. Now it’s time to meet China’s universally adored national mascot and spend your morning holding baby pandas at the Chengdu Giant panda research base, however, we warn you, you may become attached. No visit to Chengdu would be complete without trying the fiery Sichuan cuisine and for the adventurous immerse yourself in the vibrant street-food culture and try an authentic Chengdunese snack – it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Yunnan and the Tibetan Highlands
From Chengdu it’s a short flight to Lijiang or the ‘Venice of the east’ as it’s also known, the old town of Lijiang is a UNESCO world heritage site and it’s easy to see why. Spend your day taking in the Naxi architecture and stunning scenery by navigating the peaceful streets and beautiful arched bridges of Lijiang old town. Here you can take a trip to the nearby Xuehua Yi village where you’ll enjoy a traditional Bimo lunch and receive a blessing before getting those hiking boots on for a scenic hike at the Wenhai Valley. Relax in a classic Naxi family courtyard for dinner before retiring to the luxury of your hotel Banyan Tree Lijiang for an authentic age-old spa treatment.
A scenic two-hour drive will take you to Qiaotou to begin the true adventure and hike across one of the deepest canyons in the world; Tiger Leaping Gorge. Ascend the famed ’28 bends ’; a steep path of twists and turns and although somewhat tiring, the view at the top is sensational- trust us it’s worth it. Next stop is Shangri-La where the feelings of peace and serenity are overwhelming – wander through the incense-filled rooms of Songzanlin Monastery and spend your afternoon with a hike through the pristine grasslands of Napahai valley – could it get any better?
Shanghai in style
It’s time for the last stop on your all-encompassing Chinese adventure and where better to round of your trip in true style than sophisticated Shanghai. After your flight from Shangri-La it’s time to head to your home for the next two days; the luxurious Waldorf Astoria – why not experience a slice of 1920’s Shanghai glamour with a drink at the award-winning Long bar. Shanghai truly has something for everyone, enjoy lunch in one of the numerous chic cafés of Xintiandi or indulge in an afternoon of art and culture at the Shanghai Museum. Spend another day walking down the elegant tree-lined French concession soaking up all that old-world residential charm and end your trip on a high at the awesome ERA Acrobatics show – a wonderful fusion of traditional Chinese art and modern technology. Enjoy one final meal at one of our favourite local Shanghai eateries to reminisce about your incredible adventure before flying home the next day.