Before coming to an end in the East China Sea, the mighty Yangtze River must first pass through the world’s steepest and narrowest canyon – Tiger Leaping Gorge. Stretching for 15-kilometres of almost continuous white water rapids, legend has it that a ferocious tiger leapt the gorge to escape the clutches of a ruthless hunter.
Accommodation: Haikun Hotel or similar, Kunming
On arrival in Kunming you will be met and transferred to your hotel, located right in the middle of town. You will meet your tour leader and other group members at a pre-tour briefing, then head out for an optional group dinner. Local specialities are a highlight, with dishes such as ‘across-the-bridge' noodles and other similarly intriguing Yunnanese fare.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Accommodation: Lan Lin Ge Hotel or similar, Dali
Kunming is a vibrant and bustling city with a flourishing Muslim area, exciting markets, interesting temples and a strong ethnic minority influence. A half-day walking tour will take you to the more interesting parts of the city, including watching the locals practicing morning tai chi in People’s Square, and meandering through the Flower and Bird Market. You will be free to wander around to make your own discoveries. Departing Kunming, you will catch an afternoon bus to Dali.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Accommodation: Lan Lin Ge Hotel or similar, Dali
Dali is a favourite among travellers in China. Resting near the banks of Er Hai Lake with the Cang Shan mountain range forming an impressive backdrop, the town’s cobblestone streets, ancient stone houses, and laid-back charm make it a wonderful place to relax. Dali is home to the proud Bai people, a traditional minority tribe renowned throughout China for their craftsmanship. There is much to explore in your two free days in Dali. There is a chance to go boating on Er Hai Lake and travel across to the village of Wase, or spend a day catching a chairlift up and hiking in the mountains behind Dali (stopping at the occasional monastery along the way). You will also cycle to nearby villages or just stroll around town. Several small stone hamlets lie close to Dali and make for a highly rewarding half-day trip by bicycle or local bus.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
Accommodation: Huishui Guesthouse or similiar, Shaxi
What makes Shaxi so special is that unlike many other ancient towns in Yunnan, it has been restored rather than rebuilt and being off the main highways it hasn't seen the rapid development of the tourist industry as other places like Lijiang and Dali have. Here you can still find the Yi and Bai ethnic minorities living their traditional lives, farmhouses lining the country roads, and the original walled town gates and market square proving that Shaxi was once an important stop on the old Tea Horse Trail. Walk the mountain trails with a local guide to Shizong Temple (4-5 hours return), perhaps taking a picnic lunch along to make the most of the beautiful "danxia" landscape.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
Accommodation: Tina’s Guest House or similar, TLG
Another breath-taking journey on the private mini-bus takes you past the upper reaches of the Yangtze River to one of the world's deepest gorges and China’s most spectacular natural scenery. Part of the Yangtze River (known here as the Jinsha River) thunders through Tiger Leaping Gorge, which is in turn framed by 5000-metre-high mountains. In the gorge, a sheer cliff face rises from the raging torrents. A memorable walk in the gorge is a wonderful way to take in its awesome beauty, passing local villages such as enchanting Ben Di Wan. The facilities in the village accommodation are extremely basic, as we are visiting a remote area frequented only by adventurous travellers. Please note that this walk is geared towards travellers who like to enjoy some physical activity, but it is not an extreme trek for advanced mountain walkers. The walk can be quite challenging for some people depending on the weather conditions, and good footwear, preferably hiking boots, is essential. It is necessary to bring warm clothing, especially for the evenings, and for the cooler months in general. The degree of difficulty on the particular trail that you take will vary greatly, depending on the time of year. Your tour leader may not be able to advise you of the actual trekking itinerary until the last minute.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Sanhe Naxi Hotel or similar, Lijiang
Lijiang, a former capital of the famed Naxi Kingdom. The Old Town is a maze of cobblestone streets, narrow canals, and decorative wooden houses, a wonderful place to wander around and imagine being part of a bygone era. A walk up to the Wangu Pagoda on Lion Hill offers an impressive view of the rooftops of the Old Town. Your accommodation is located right in the middle of the Old Town and set up like a local Naxi house, but the rooms contain all of the facilities that one would expect at home. In the evening, you can witness a performance of the local Naxi orchestra (optional), a unique and entertaining musical experience (please check schedules in Lijiang to see if the show is on during your visit).
You will fly back to Kunming today where the tour will come to an end upon arrival at Kunming Airport.
In smaller, rural locations in China we often stay in guesthouses, which are mostly small family run establishments. Facilities are basic compared to hotels and the towels provided are small. Please note that on occasion the group may be accommodated in separate guest houses or home stays within walking distance of each other.
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Itinerary: Please list the destinations you will visit in China in chronological order on your application form. Do not mention Tibet anywhere on your application form. While these areas are not off limits to travellers, they are considered politically sensitive, so including these on your visa application could lead to significant delays or your visa being denied.
Name of Host/Inviting Organisation:
Intrepid Travel Beijing Co. Ltd.
606 InterChina Commercial Building
33 Dengshikou Street
+86 10 6406 7328
We require you to send the following at the time of booking, or no later than 60 days prior to travel:
Clear, colour copy of the personal details page of your passport
Please make sure that this copy is for the passport that you will be travelling on. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip as well.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.Responsible Travel
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
There are a number of books which make interesting reading and provide insight in the history, politics and culture of the country. Suggestions are: Wild Swans-Jung Chang The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices-Xinran Riding the Iron Rooster-Paul Theroux From Heaven Lake-Vikram Seth One’s Company-Peter Fleming Red China Blues-Jan Wong Mr China’s Son: A Villager’s Life-He Liuyi China, Renaissance of the Middle Kingdom-Odyssey Guide China-Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrase Book-Lonely Planet. The following are recommended for travellers on the Silk Road: The Great Game-Peter Hopkirk Foreign Devils on the Silk Road-Peter Hopkirk.
Local Emergency Contacts In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, our Beijing Office can be reached on Tel: +861064067328
Infrastructure and Itinerary Changes
China is a developing country whose infrastructure, values, customs and standards differ from what you are used to at home. Please bear this in mind as you are travelling in this exciting country and respect the fact that you should not impose your standards and expectations on the culture there. The driving habits in China are something for which you ought to prepare yourself for! GUESTHOUSES In smaller, rural locations in China we often stay in guesthouses, which are mostly small family run establishments. Facilities are basic compared to hotels and the towels provided are small. Please note that on occasion the group may be accommodated in separate guest houses or home stays within walking distance of each other.
Occasionally it may be necessary to amend this itinerary for reasons beyond our control, such as bad weather and poor road conditions. Changes to flight and bus schedules can sometimes occur, which may also lead to changes to this itinerary.
Travelling During Holiday Periods
When travelling during local holiday periods, be prepared for some inconveniences. This is especially so during the Spring Festival holiday period (Chinese New Year) and the National Day Golden Week.
In 2014 Chinese New Year day falls on Friday 31st January, ushering in the Year of the Horse. All days from 30th January to 5th February 2014 are designated as public holidays. In 2015 Chinese New Year will be on 19th February (Year of the Sheep) and in 2016 it will be on 8th February (Year of the Monkey). The greeting in Mandarin for ‘Happy New Year’ is ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’, whilst the greeting in Cantonese is ‘Gong Hey Fat Choy’. China’s National Day is on 1st October and this ushers in a 7-day national holiday known as Golden Week. During these holiday periods, most businesses will be closed as the local people usually spend this period returning to their homes and celebrating with their families. This will involve a major burden on all forms of transport, and despite booking in advance, tickets for planes and trains especially are extremely difficult to obtain. Even if bookings are obtained, transport services during this period will be overcrowded and heavy delays are to be expected, so you will need to make sure that you pack your sense of humour. In order to facilitate your travels during these holiday periods, we may need to substitute your train/plane journey with a private bus trip, if required.
Local Tour Leaders
By employing and training local tour leaders to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.
Adventure in China
This is an ‘adventure’ trip and we hope to expose you to all aspects of the local culture. Please be open-minded. Please note that on your tour, you may link up with passengers booked on other tours in our Asia program.
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
27 February 2014