Whispers of the Mountain Gods

- A Secret Retreats journey -
13 Days/12 Nights
from 5,740 USD /person

 

ITINERARY BOOK
 


Originally from Yunnan, Tina is sharing with us her favorite destinations and sights in Yunnan to give the most interesting experience discovering the rich and diverse cultures hidden in Southern China.

All our itineraries have generally been constructed on the basis of the rooms that have the most charm or best view, and not necessarily the first prices, nor the most expensive suites.
We can of course adjust according to your request.

Highlights of the Journey:

  • Shangri-la: “sun and moon in the heart” in Tibetan language
  • The Stone Forest , Shilin Karst
  • Xizhou Old Town in Dali
  • The Shizhongshan Carved Caves
  • Lijiang and the Naxi Minority Tribe

Dance along the Snow Capped Mountains
A place where cameras cannot do the scenery justice. A place where you need to breathe in the air of the mountains and experience all the resilient cultures hidden amongst the valleys that have survived for centuries. Only when you find yourself in the village centers and learn from the ancient traditions and how the surroundings shaped their livelihoods. From the bottom to the mountain tops to hidden grottoes inside the caves, to ancient sanctuaries and monasteries. An experience that will leave you with an imprint of its beauty within your heart, leaving you yearning for more of the pure mountain snow dew. Breathless.

All our itineraries have generally been constructed based on the rooms that have the most charm or the best view, and not necessarily the lowest prices, nor the most expensive suites. We can, of course, adjust according to your request. This journey is designed for two people with an option to do the trip in reverse. It can be easily combined with other itineraries in China, a stay in the UNESCO town of PingYao, or thanks to the new train connecting Kunming to Laos, with all our programs in Laos.


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Your Journey Day by Day

13 Days/12 Nights from 5,740 USD /person

based on 2 people sharing the same room

 

 
Day 1 : Kunming (-/-/-)
Upon arrival at Kunming airport, a driver will transfer you directly to your hotel in the center of Kunming near Green Lake Park in your private vehicle. Enjoy the rest of the day on your own. Walk around the lake, it is a very lively district of Kunming.
HOTEL: Green Lake Hotel (Executive Room)
Day 2 : Kunming (B/-/-)
After breakfast at the hotel, your driver will drive you to visit The Stone Forest. Here, you will experience the landscapes of massive limestone rocks that almost look like giant petrified trees, giving the illusion of a stone forest. You can have lunch at a local nearby restaurant; please note the meal is not included in the program. After your meal, you will be able to head back to the hotel and take some time to relax or explore the surroundings of the lake.
HOTEL: Green Lake Hotel (Executive Room)
Day 3 : Kunming - Dali (B/-/D)
Start your day with breakfast at the hotel, and you can easily take a morning stroll around Green Lake and sightsee many places such as the Army Military Hall, Zhu De’s former Residence, and many bookstores. Please be sure to check out by noon; there will be a private driver ready to drop you at the train station, where you will board a train from Kunming to Dali. Upon arrival in Dali, the Honor Hotel will be awaiting your arrival to transfer you to their hotel and check-in. During your stay, you can enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail or taste all sorts of teas complimentary by the hotel. You may also enjoy their spa treatment for an extra charge. There will also be a shuttle available to the Old Town so that you can explore and immerse yourself in the beautiful cultural city. There will be dinner served at the hotel this evening, so make sure to head back to the hotel to not miss the experience.
HOTEL: Honor Hotel (Superior Room King)
Day 4 : Dali (B/L/-)
Breakfast will be provided at the hotel. After you are full, a driver will pick you up to explore Erhai Lake. Your first destination is Xizhou Old Town, a historically significant economic center and ancient military fortress of the Nanzhao. Because of its favorable geographical situation, before 1949, the town used to be a commercial center that was home to more than 140 national capitalist families including the successful Yan, Dong, the Yin, and Yang families. Visit the Yang family compound ‘Xizhou Tianzhuang’, the most representative of Bai-style residences, which covers an area of about 3,066 square meters, built around the 1920s. As a whole, it is divided into four parts, and each part is cleverly linked together. After visiting this impressive compound, one will admire its magnificence and the Bai people’s architectural gifts. We continue with an important activity in the Bai culture “Tie Dye”. The Bai people have lived in Yunnan for more than 2,000 years. Their complex culture blends influences of Taoism, Buddhism, local deity worship, and Confucianism. They are highly creative and are admired for the grace with which they incorporate the beauty of nature into their artistic creations. One of the Bai people's favorite art forms is tie-dye. The craft has been handed down from one generation to the next for centuries. The creation of tie-dye fabrics is a complex process that reflects the enduring principles of ancient Bai culture. Next, you will follow a road along the lake to reach a serene lakeside spot, where you can unwind and enjoy the surroundings, and be able to enjoy lunch at a historic restaurant. In the afternoon, you will proceed to Shuanglang, once a quaint fishing village that has evolved into a bustling hub of hotels and cafes. Consider stopping at Yang Liping's house café, owned by a renowned Chinese dancer, for a cup of coffee. Finally, return to the old town, where you can relax and enjoy the sunset by the lake.
HOTEL: Honor Hotel (Superior Room King)
Day 5 : Dali - Shaxi (B/-/-)
Check out after breakfast. At 11 am, you'll depart for a 2-hour drive from Dali to Shaxi with a private driver. Shaxi is the only surviving historic market town on China's ancient tea horse road. You can stroll through the old streets, step onto an ancient theater stage, walk along the same paths as the horse caravans, and browse in the artisan shops in Sideng Square. At this point, you will check in at Linden Centre, with its rammed earth buildings - rammed earth has always been a respected construction material when combined with the rubble masonry foundation. After checking in, you will go for a hike to The Shizhongshan Caves. Primarily created in the late Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), the grottoes were excavated for more than 300 years from the Five Dynasties to the Southern Song Dynasty. The Shizhongshan grottoes are one of the first batch of national key cultural relics protection units announced in 1961. The valuable sights of unity between religion and state during the Nanzhao Kingdom (738-902 A.D.), Avalokiteshvara, and “Ayangbai” female divine worship sculptures, are among the many mysteries hidden in this cliff. After this excursion, you will be brought back to rest at the hotel and choose to peruse further into the surrounding ancient neighborhood.
HOTEL: The Linden Centre (Lake View Room)
Day 6 : Shaxi (B/-/-)
After breakfast, today you will explore Shaxi Old Town, ancient temples, and the stage on foot. Shilong village is the original hometown of Bai music and the pilot teaching base for Mandarin and Bai language education. Culinary delights include the region’s best tastes such as wild mushrooms, cured ham, white kidney beans, herb teas, and high-altitude honey. The Bai are warm and genuine as they share their authentic folk traditions with all of our guests. In the afternoon, you can decide to simply relax in the hotel or join some group activities and visits organized by the hotel.
HOTEL: The Linden Centre (Lake View Room)
Day 7 : Shaxi - Lijiang (B/L/D)
After a filling breakfast and checking out, a driver will drive you to Lijiang in a private car. You will arrive at a captivating and tranquil village beneath the Jade Snow Mountain to check in at the Tsingpu Baishu Hotel. You will have the freedom to engage in two activities of your choice, such as crafts-folk and tea experiences, Dongba religious rites, local dance and song, cooking classes, and exploring local ceramic arts. All activities are arranged by the hotel team and will be presented to you so you can decide which one you would like to join. All meals at Tsingpu are included.
HOTEL: Tsingpu Baisha (Premier Room)
Day 8 : Lijiang (B/L/D)
Enjoy your day at Tsingpu. You can join two more activities and enjoy all the meals at the hotel. Or you can simply relax and admire the beauty of Lijiang and its surroundings.
HOTEL: Tsingpu Baisha (Premier Room with an extra bed)
Day 9 : Lijiang - Meili (B/-/D)
After breakfast at Tsingpu and checking out, you will head for a six-hour drive along one of the most scenic roads in China to Meili Snow Mountain with a private driver. You will drive by the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, gradually reaching an elevation of 3,600 meters and the Tibetan Prefecture of Deqin. Check-in at Sunyata Hotel, a beautifully restored ancient Tibetan house. Guided by Tibetan principles, the architecture reflects its ruggedly awe-inspiring setting, surrounded by the Meili mountain range. In the evening, enjoy your welcome dinner at the hotel.
HOTEL: Sunyata Hotel Meili (Muyun Room)
Day 10 : Meili (B/L/D)
Breakfast with a mountain view. We recommend walking slowly and hydrating a lot to adjust to the elevation. Today, enjoy the view and nature by taking a soft trek around the property or photo sessions to capture the majestic view of the mountain. All meals today, including high tea, are provided at the hotel.
HOTEL: Sunyata Hotel Meili (Muyun Room)
Day 11 : Meili – Shangri-La (B/-/-)
After a relaxing breakfast, be sure to check out around 11 am. There will be a driver waiting for you to drive to Shangri-la by car, where you will stay at the very first Songtsam Lodge, which opened in 2001. The lodge is located in Kena Village just below the Songzanlin Monastery, which is only a minute's walk away. It is a beautiful four-story stone building housed in a traditional Tibetan dwelling within a self-sufficient farming village, where founder Pema Dorjee spent his childhood. Facing Lamuyangtso Lake surrounded by mountains, the rooms are decorated in a Tibetan style and balanced with modern comforts. The inside of the property exhibits an impressive collection of hand-picked antique furniture, Tibetan Thangkas, and handicrafts, as well as traditional intricately woven carpets featured throughout the lodge. A peaceful and meaningful place for the end of your journey!
HOTEL: Songtsam Lvgu (Superior Room)
Day 12 : Shangri-La (B/-/-)
No program for the last day, but your guide and driver stand by and can assist you to visit the old town or around the lake and mountains to admire the sceneries and approach the Tibetan culture. The guide will also tell you the story of the “Ancient Tea Horse Road”, aka the “Southwest Silk Road”, a network of caravan paths winding from Pu’er Tea Plantations through the mountains of Yunnan to Sichuan and Tibet.
HOTEL: Songtsam Lvgu (Superior Room)
Day 13 : Shangri-La - Kunming (B/-/-)
In the morning, you can have breakfast and then visit Songzanlin Monastery, so you can receive a blessing from the monks or watch the celebrations. After enjoying your time at the monastery, you can wander around the rest of the village. There will be a transfer provided for you by the hotel to the airport for your flight back to Kunming so you can go home safe and sound.

*** End of our Services.***

Your Accommodation on this Asia Travel Itinerary


Whispers of the Mountain Gods

13 Days/12 Nights
from 5,740 USD /person

based on 2 people sharing the same room

 



The total price includes:
All Accommodation for 12 nights
All transfers by private, spacious, air-conditioned car, with a professional driver.
Train Kunming to Dali and Flight Shangri-La to Kunming.
All meals as mentioned (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
All excursions and activities as detailed within the program with an English speaking Guide
All entry fees for places visited within the program.
Government taxes as currently in force.

The total price does not include:
International flights to and from Kunming
Visa to China
Extra activities and meals not mentioned in the program
Beverages, personal expenses and other services not clearly mentioned
Tipping guides and drivers, which are of course not mandatory, but always appreciated, are subject to your discretion.
Travel insurance (recommended)


This journey has been designed by Sichuan Pacific Travel.

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