Summary

Travel Style:
Destinations: Asia
  • 13 Days From
    R 31500
  • Trip code: ACJ
  • Activity: Culture, Natural Wonders, Cultural Wonders
  • Min age: 16
  • Group size: 5 - 16
Leisurely / Moderate

In depth exploration of Yunnan Province; south-west China

Key information
  • 12 days land only/ 14 flight inclusive
  • Travel by train, private minibus and internal flight
  • 9 nights comfortable hotels, 2 nights basic hotels
  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners included
  • Optional single supplement, available on request
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
Activities
  • 12 days land only/ 14 flight inclusive
  • Travel by train, private minibus and internal flight
  • 9 nights comfortable hotels, 2 nights basic hotels
  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners included
  • Optional single supplement, available on request
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
Highlights
  • Discover Kunming; ‘City of Eternal Spring’
  • Snow-capped mountains and panoramic rice terraces
  • Trek through the stunning Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Visit ethnic villages and local markets
  • Sample the famous ‘Crossing the Bridge’ noodles
  • Visit the heritage towns of Lijiang and Dali
What's included
  • Food

Highlights

  • Discover Kunming; ‘City of Eternal Spring’
  • Snow-capped mountains and panoramic rice terraces
  • Trek through the stunning Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Visit ethnic villages and local markets
  • Sample the famous ‘Crossing the Bridge’ noodles
  • Visit the heritage towns of Lijiang and Dali

Dates & Pricing

 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
01 Sep 2019
13 Sep 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 31600
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
22 Sep 2019
04 Oct 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 32500
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
18 Feb 2020
01 Mar 2020
Available
R 35200
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
10 Apr 2020
22 Apr 2020
Available
R 35200
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
30 Aug 2020
11 Sep 2020
Available
R 35200
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
20 Sep 2020
02 Oct 2020
Available
R 35200
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
11 Oct 2020
23 Oct 2020
Available
R 35200

Reviews

What's wild about Yunnan

As a first visit to China, this trip is perfect. There's not much about it nthat is 'wild' - it seems that everything in China has been turned into an namenity and is carefully managed and controlled as part of a growing tourist nindustry. So if you're looking for untouched natural environments this isn't nthe trip for you. The local ethnic minorities are still holding onto their nculture and this contrasts with the vibrant modernity of the cities. The food nis very much part of the experience!nnWe had just 8 clients in our group which was perfect. What the experience nwould be like with 16 is difficult to imagine.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Extending the trip to visit the Giant Panda Centre is well worth while. Truly niconic animals - adored by the Chinese. The grandeur of Tiger Leaping Gorge nis worth experiencing. The rice terraces of Yuanyang are a full-blown, ncarefully managed tourist experience which is rather curious and detracts nsomewhat from the authenticity. However, if you 'go with the flow' they are nwell worth seeing! The architecture and cultural sites visited are all very ninteresting.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Our group leader was charming. He spoke good English and was good-humoured nthroughout. He was sensitive to the needs of clients in the group and willing nto engage in conversations about Chinese history and culture.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Go to China with an open mind. It is was it is - changing fast! If you want nto see something of China but don't want to do the 'usual' tourist nhigh-lights, this is an excellent trip. We came back feeling we had learned a nlot and have a better 'handle' on Chinese culture and history. It's a busy ntrip with some very long drives, so not for the 'faint-hearted'. We went end nof February and the first week of the trip was pretty cold, so go prepared. nWe stayed off-line throughout: go on - be brave - it's such fun just watching nthe Chinese obsession with their smart phones instead!

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • Thank you Exodus for adding another trip to your 'portfolio'.

Highly recommended. Fantastic scenery, culture and food!

I was blown away by the variety of this trip, from the sheer walls of Tiger nLeaping Gorge which we did a day trek through (not many companies offer nthis), to the historic towns of Dali and Lijiang, the UNESCO rice terraces nstretching to the horizon in Yuangyang Country, and contemporary Kunming. I nwas expecting grand scenery but the unexpected highlights for me were the npeople and the food - we met people from at least five different ethnic nminority groups, dressed in their traditional clothes. Visiting the local nmarkets was an experience and a half, the noise, smells and hustle and bustle n- just nice seeing people going about their daily life. The food was nincredible - lots of fresh produce, different delicacies as you move from nnorth to south Yunnan. I was also impressed by the quality of the hotels - nsome were modern international properties but we also stayed in some nbeautiful historic hotels full of rustic charm too, and all were centrally nlocated.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Too many to list! If I had to pick.. probably an unplanned visit the local nmarket in Yuangyang Country.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Our leader (Leon) was exceptional - he was highly efficient and organised - nnothing was too much trouble. His personality came out more and more as the ntrip went on and he had us all in stitches (not always intentionally I don't nthink) as he took to the microphone on the bus.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Take some warm clothing for the evenings.

Wild Yunnan

Thanks to our fantastic guide, Jane, we had a real insight into the culture nand history of Yunnan. She filled our days (completely!) with a taste of real nlife.nTiger Leaping Gorge was not so intimidating as we had thought, no particular nnarrow paths or sheer drops to worry about. Part of the hike was blocked, but nJane took us on an exhilarating walk from our guest house down to the river nbelow.nThe cities of Dali and Jianshui were very interestingnand we all enjoyed these very much, and of course the sureal scenery of the nrice terraces, and meeting freindly locals in their villages. Food was nexcellent, lots of fresh unusual vegetables, and such a variety...we ate very nwell.nAll in all a fabulous trip, full of variey and interest all the way through, nand definately recommended.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Walking through the rice terraces and the villages, and also Tiger Leaping nGorge and watching the sun go down from the terrace on Tina's Guest House.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Excellent, passionate and enthusiastic about her country, very knowledgeable, nloved to take us to various markets and to sample lots of different and nunusual foods.She had a good rapport with the locals and ourselves, and we nenjoyed her company.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • In Dali we tried to change Stirling in a bank, but could only do this if we nopened and account...not sure if this is the case thoughout the province, so nwould suggest changing at the airports or hotels where this facility is navailable. ATMs are numerous, but we did not use them as we had stirling with nus.

Accommodation

Hotels and Guesthouses

On this trip you will spend 10 nights in comfortable hotels and 2 nights in simple guesthouses.

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary, however, accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. Most of the accommodation is in traditional characterful buildings and some of these have pretty gardens, terraces or courtyards. In a couple of locations, such as Kunming and Tuanshan, we stay in modern high-rise buildings to take advantage of the central location. The accommodation in the most remote part of our trip, in Yuangyang Country is a little more basic and the restaurant service in particular is not of international standard. All of the hotels are comfortable however and are generally rated locally as 4-star or above. In Tiger Leaping Gorge we stay in family-run guesthouses - whilst comparably simple, they are not too basic, have fantastic views and are equipped with everything that you should need.

All of the hotels are centrally located but please be aware that in some of the historic towns, the coach/minibus may not be able to park directly outside the hotel and in this event you will need to be able to carry or wheel your own luggage for a few hundred metres.

Please also be aware that beds/mattresses in this region are often harder than you may be used to, but it is always possible to request an extra quilt or bedding at the hotel if this is an issue. 

*Additional Accommodation*

Should you wish to extend your stay in China, it is possible to book extra nights accommodation before the tour in Chengdu, or after the tour in Kunming, through Exodus - please enquire for details. 

*Single Supplement (optional)*

A limited number of single supplements are available throughout the tour and these are allocated on a first come first served basis. Please request this at the time of booking  if you would like to have your own room. 

Landscape Hotel, Dali, Yunnan, China

Essential Info

Eating and Drinking

This trip includes the following: all breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners. One of the major draws of China is its exciting and varied cuisine. On this trip, you will be able to try many dishes that will be carefully selected with your leader's guidance and based on the group's dietary requirements and preferences. Meals generally consist of shared dishes, which is the best way to experience many different ingredients, and try things you might not ordinarily choose! Cuisine in Yunnan is typically referred to as Dian cuisine, and takes its flavours from the neighbouring countries of Tibet, Sichuan, Burma, Laos and Vietnam. Examples of popular dishes include the famous 'Crossing the Bridge' noodles (rice noodle soup), steamed-pot chicken, which includes herbs native to Yunnan, and Xuanwei ham (dry cured). Baba is a type of bread that is cooked over hot coals and eaten as a snack or side, and the local cheese 'rubbing' is a fresh goat cheese often served pan-fried with salt and chilli.

There is an abundance of tea as Yunnan is one of the main tea-producing regions in China. 

There are many dishes to try and the leader will always try and accommodate tastes, but if you do tire of Chinese food there are usually opportunities to eat Western-style dishes in the cities you visit. For vegetarians or those with dietary requirements, many of the traditional dishes can be amended to omit the meat products.

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. Please bring a reusable water bottle with you. There are kettles in most, if not all, hotel rooms and we encourage you to boil tap water at night so that it is cool and ready to drink by morning. Where available, your tour leader will buy large containers of drinking water for you to refill from during the day.

Is this trip for you?

*This trip is graded 2: Leisurely/Moderate*

This holiday is designed that so you can see the highlights of Yunnan Province and is generally fairly fast-paced. There is a lot to see, but everything is scheduled so that it doesn’t feel too rushed. There are a few drives of 3-5 hours and the longest drive on the itinerary is approx. 8 hrs on day 7 (Kunming to Yuangyang Country).

You should come ready for an intrepid experience. China can sometimes be hard work and when it is hotter some of the busier sights can be a little overwhelming, however, this itinerary mainly focuses on more rural areas so there is plenty of time to find some peace and quiet and see a different side to the country.

Good mobility and a degree of fitness are required for the walking tours of the historic towns, steps to the viewpoints in Yuangyang Country (around 500 steps) and for the walks in Tiger Leaping Gorge and the rice terraces in Yuangyang Country.

The walk in Tiger Leaping Gorge will take approximately 4-5 hours (the distance is around 11km / 7 miles) and is not recommended for those who suffer from vertigo as it is cut into the side of the gorge. The last half of the walk involves a long descent of several hundred metres on a rocky trail, which is steep in parts. There is no rush and we will take our time and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Please be aware that the region surrounding Tiger Leaping Gorge is subject to dramatic weather changes. If you prefer not to do the gorge walk, it is posible to transfer straight to the next guesthouse by road instead. 

The maximum altitude on this trip is 2700m and in rare instances, some passengers may experience minor discomfort.