Yunnan, unknown wild China

Let yourself be inspired by the breathtaking landscape of China. This trip takes you to one of the deepest gorges in China, across bizarre karst landscapes, which were created by plate tectonics, to historic buildings of the Bai, a minority of China.
Our trip lets you immerse yourself in Chinese culture, you get the opportunity to experience traditional dances and experience regional beekeepers, farmers and silk embroiderers doing their handicrafts.
Tour-Code: CHI01
Photo Tour
People, history & culture
21 days/ 20 nights
Inlcuding the days of arrivals and departure
Number of participants
Groups: 4 - 10 participants
Unterkunft
3* Hotels, 4* Hotels & Boutique Hotels
Features
Impressive places: one of the largest karst stone caves, the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the Erhai Lake and the former property of the Zhou family, UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the famous Hani Rice Terraces, Lijiang and the Shilin Stone Forest
Meals
Full board: 20 x breakfast, 19 x lunch, 20 x dinner
Our local guide will give you insider tips for meals that are not included in the trip
Transfer
All transfers and all excursions
Tour guides
Full-day accompaniment by guide Thomas Böhm and Haiqi Liao Böhm
ITINERARY
DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3
DAY 4
DAY 5
DAY 6
DAY 7
DAY 8
DAY 9
DAY 10
DAY 11
DAY 12
DAY 13
DAY 14
DAY 15
DAY 16
DAY 17
DAY 18
DAY 19
DAY 20
DAY 21
INCLUDED SERVICES
NOT INCLUDED INTO THE SERVICE
NOTE
Arrival and transfer to the hotel in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China
Your driver will meet you at the airport in Kunming and escort you to the hotel. In the evening you can take a leisurely stroll for dinner together with your tour guide Thomas Böhm and Haiqi Liao Böhm.

Overnight in 4 * hotel in Kunming

1st highlight: Green Lake Park
After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to Green Lake Park. Thousands of migratory birds migrate here in winter to hibernate. Why this has suddenly been the case since 1985 remains a mystery. Even ornithologists have no plausible answer to this. Many residents of Kunming come together on this beautiful site to play music together, to sing, to play cards and chess as well as to practice Thai Chi. Here we find endless photo opportunities.

2nd highlight: Shilin Stone Forest
Then we drive to an extraordinary, colorful and bizarre eroded stone landscape. The famous stone forest of Shilin near Kunming is one of the highlights of every Yunnan tour and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon sun, the huge, up to 30 m high karst stone towers appear in a particularly impressive way.

Overnight at the hotel in Shilin

Highlight: drive to Luoping
After breakfast we drive from the stone forest in Shilin to Luoping. At this time, the rape seed fields, which seem to reach the horizon, should shine in bright yellow. In the middle of this "rapsody" are countless black hills of volcanic origin. A truly unique, fascinating sight! Depending on when we arrive, there may still be time for a short walk.

Overnight at the hotel in Luoping

Highlight: A discovery tour through Luoping
After we were able to enjoy the atmosphere of the rape seed fields from a very beautiful viewing point, we continue on a discovery tour. We can experience beekeepers harvesting blossom honey, climb the high hills and watch the locals at work. There may still be time to visit local farmers.

Overnight at the hotel in Luoping

Highlight: Visit to one of the largest karst stone caves in Asia and a village belonging to the Yi minority
After breakfast our journey continues to Lucy. Depending on the weather, we visit one of the largest karst stone caves in Asia or a small, tranquil village. There are around 100 old houses built by the Yi minority. The main building material is clay and straw. This tradition is maintained to this day and is over 600 years old. We have enough time to visit the photogenic village with its small alleys.

Overnight at the hotel in Lucy

Highlight: Drive to Mile and walk along the lake
Our journey continues to the city of Mile with a huge lake in the middle. We have a multitude of interesting photo opportunities around this lake! A beach, which often serves as a backdrop for wedding couples, with great palm groves, rock islands in the lake with cranes. Around the lake we find locals who jog, cycle, fish or dance here.

Overnight in a 3 * hotel in Mile

Travel time: 1.5 h

Highlight: Visit of the world's largest "Happy" Buddha
After the breakfast buffet, we continue to the world's largest, laughing "Happy" Buddha. This one stands high up and looking over Mile on a temple mount.

Option: relax in 5 outdoor pools
In the afternoon, we have the opportunity to take a bath in a very special thermal landscape. Let yourself be pampered in 5 outdoor pools, each of which has different essences mixed in: whether in ginseng, coconut milk, aloe vera, red wine or in the green tea basin, at just under 40 ºC a pure, relaxing pleasure. There is also a small restaurant, seating and relaxation areas as well as a cold water pool and a large swimming pool. Everything here is outdoors, beautifully planted and tastefully arranged with waterfalls and small fountains.

Overnight as the day before

Highlight: Yuanyang Rice Terraces (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
In the morning we drive to one of the most famous sights of Yunnan, the countless rice terraces of Yuanyang, which are laid out on an area of over 12,500 ha. For hundreds of years the Hani, who live here, have been creating their rice terraces masterfully. Every day at sunrise and sunset, when the fog that is typical of Yuanyang slowly clears and the sun gains strength, the water-filled surfaces of the rice terraces shimmer in the most beautiful colors and reflections of light. A sight that makes every photographer's heart beat faster. The possibilities and motives are almost inexhaustible. Not to mention the colorful weekly market, where several minorities come to shop every day.

Overnight in a 3 * hotel in Yuanyang

Travel time: approx. 4 h

Highlight: drive to the viewing platform
Before sunrise we leave our hotel early this morning at around 5:00 a.m. The viewing platform, which is located at an altitude of almost 2,000 m, is reached after about an hour's drive. Together with many other, mostly Chinese, photographers, we hope for a beautiful, visible sunrise. The rest of the day still belongs to the Yuanyang rice terraces. Here we enter this cultivated terrace area and marvel at the skills of the locals, how they skillfully cultivate the fields on these steep slopes.

Overnight as the day before

Highlight: Drive to Tien Shui
After breakfast we drive to the tranquil city of Tien Shui, which has a lot to offer with its avenues and old town. The third largest park in China dedicated to Confucius is located here. In the wonderful ambience we can maybe even attend a park concert. Musicians in traditional clothing play ancient Chinese concert instruments for their guests. This atmosphere is something very special! In the afternoon we explore the area around our hotel, which is located in the middle of the city. Before dinner, in a rustic ambience, the beautifully illuminated old city gate can be photographed.

Overnight at the hotel in Tien Shui

1st highlight: Excursion to the former home of the Zhou family
When the former home of the Zhou family opens its doors at 7:30 AM, we will probably be the first to take advantage of this opportunity. On over 20.000 m² there are temples, ponds, waterfalls, exhibition rooms, tea rooms, family houses and beautifully landscaped bonsai gardens. It is not surprising that it took over 30 years to complete this oasis of calm and tranquility. We have the great opportunity to visit old, historical, Chinese garden architecture on the one hand and Feng Shui art on the other hand and to be able to take many photos. We can experience a master calligrapher who has his studio on the premises at work. It may be possible to have an unusual, personal motif of your choice painted and signed!

2nd highlight: Drive to Tuanshan
Then we drive to the small town of Tuanshan (1h) on the way there we pass the extremely photogenic "Two Dragons Bridge, which is one of the 10 oldest in China.With its 17 arches and a temple in the middle, it took two generations of the Qing Dynasty to complete it. In Tuanshan we have a number of photo opportunities that are worth seeing.

Overnight in Tien Shui

Highlight: walk through Lijiang
First, we drive from Tien Shui to Kunming (4 h) and then by express train to Lijiang (3.5 h). Here in the settlement area of the Naxi minority we move into our beautiful quarters (in the old traditional Naxi architectural style). After that we have our first stroll through the lively streets of the beautiful old town of Lijiang. Here at the foothills of the south-east Himalayas, the Naxi are one of the 54 recognized minorities in China. The history of Lijiang dates back to the year 476 BC. Culturally and economically, Lijiang later developed into one of the most important cities on the old tea trade route between Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet on which, in addition to tea, mainly salt was transported.

Overnight in Lijiang

1st highlight: weekly market in Lijiang
Early in the morning we go to the incredibly varied weekly market in Lijiang. Haiqi is happy to answer a number of questions and at the same time we try our way through the many snacks and delicacies.

2nd highlight: bike tour and visit to a silk embroidery
Then we cycle on flat, wide roads with bike paths to Baisha (about 1.5 h). Once, it was the capital of the independent kingdom of the Naxi. We visit an interesting silk embroidery factory with an attached school. This incredibly filigree and difficult handicraft was banned by the Maoists during the time of the Cultural Revolution and almost got distinct. Now attempts are being made to build on this old historical tradition and mainly teach young women from the village. Incredibly beautiful embroidery can be purchased. We may also see women batik handicrafts.

3rd highlight: dances of the Naxi women
Back in Lijiang we might still be able to watch the Naxi women performing their traditional dances that are shown publicly. The possibilities for photography are almost endless here!

Overnight at the guesthouse in Lijiang

Highlight: hike in the Tiger Leaping Gorge - all day
The bus takes us to the Tiger Leaping Gorge early in the morning. We start our trekking tour here around 10 a.m. (2100m). The hike through the gorge, which is approx. 20 km long and up to 4500 m deep, begins. We take the higher path, which is largely not passable by car. Nut trees and grain terraces line the path and deep below us the Jinsha Jiang rushes, later it runs into the Yangtze. During our way up we enjoy the wonderful view (2800m) of the surrounding peaks, which are almost 6000m high. In some narrow placesyou need to be very careful. Those who cannot cope with the short but steep way up can rent a horse with a guide for an additional charge. Our small daily luggage can also be transported on a horse so that we only have to carry our cameras.

Overnight in lodge

Walking time approx. 5 h, 700 m difference in altitude
PS: We can leave unneeded luggage safely stored in Lijiang

Highlight: hike in the Tiger Leaping Gorge - all day
Today we hike comfortably from our quarter with great views to the end of the Tiger Leaping Gorge (4 h). We make a photo stop, among other places, at an old Buddhist temple by the side of the road. In the early afternoon, we reach our hotel at the end of the gorge. The rest of the day is free until dinner.

Overnight at hotel

Highlight: hike in the Tiger Leaping Gorge - all day
Today it will be a bit adventurous because we descend into the gorge. First, we walk through wild vegetation on some serpentines and later on a narrow but easy to walk path along the rock to the bottom of the valley (1720m). From here we can experience the tremendous power of the Yangtze River up close. With loud thunder and huge, powerful waves and swirls, it squeezes through this narrowest part of the gorge, which is only 30 m. This is followed by the ascent via ladders, or on the normal path, back up to our quarters at 2210 m after about 4-5 h. After a short break and some refreshment, we drive to our quarters in Lijiang.

Overnight in lodge in Lijiang

Highlight: Drive to Dali
After breakfast we will take the bus from Lijiang to Dali. In the afternoon, we a stroll to the large city gate and the city wall that surrounds the old town.

Overnight in a lodge in Dali

1st highlight: Three Pagoda Park
After breakfast, a visit to the beautifully landscaped Three Pagoda Park is on the program. These complexes were built in the old, traditional style of the Bai between 823 and 859. It spreads over several terraces, from one huge Buddhist temple complex to the next. Many believers from all over the country come here to pray in this spiritual area. It is the largest area of its kind in China!

2nd highlight: Cooking dinner with our hosts
In the evening we have the rare opportunity to cook or grill a Chinese dish with our hosts! You'll be amazed!

Overnight at the hotel in Dali

1st highlight: excursion to the highland lake "Erhai"
Today we cycle through idyllic village landscapes down to Lake Erhai near Dali. With a total area of 250 km², it is the second largest highland lake in China. Here we have the opportunity to watch the local villagers working on their fields, as well as craftsmen working on huge marble slabs. After lunch we drive to a beautifully situated tea plantation with a small restaurant area, from where we have a fantastic view of the lake. It makes sense that teh combination of Dali and its lake is called "Florence of Asia" since it has more than 200 sunny days a year.
We will cycle back.

2nd highlight: free time in Dali
In Dali you have the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.

Overnight in lodge in Dali

1st highlight: walk in Dali
This morning we still have a little time in the old town. Afterwards, the high - speed train takes you back to Kunming.

2nd highlight: city stroll in Kunming
After the check-in there is still time for a little stroll through the town and a last dinner together.

Overnight in a 4 * hotel in Kunming

Return flight from Kunming
Your return flight ends the tour.

See you on a new journey!
Transport by taxi, jeep or mini bus/van, as well as high-speed train
Rental fees for bike or tandem
4 nights in 4 * hotels
3 nights in a 3 * hotel
3 nights in boutique hotels
8 nights in lodge
1 night in the night train / sleeping car 1st class (4-person compartments)
20 x breakfast, 19 x lunch, 20 x dinner
all tickets
German-speaking tour guide: Thomas Böhm & Haiqi Liao Böhm
Alcoholic drinks, coffee and juices
Foreign health insurance
Hot springs in Mile
Massages
Visa
Tips for drivers
Note for people with reduced mobility: This product is generally not suitable for people with reduced mobility. When booking, please ask whether it still meets your individual needs.
DATES & PRICES
We will be happy to prepare further appointments for you on request!

In addition to the trips already created on our website, we would be happy to work out an individual program for you according to your wishes.

Thomas Böhm works as a magazine author and freelance photographer for various international agencies. For almost 30 years he has mainly been traveling to North America and Asia. Ladakh ("Little Tibet") in the Indian Himalayas became his second home during this time. He often spends the majority of the year here. He is considered to be an absolute connoisseur of this very familiar region. Nobody in German-speaking countries led more winter expeditions "Chadar" on the frozen Zanzkar River. Whether in Nepal, Burma, China or Ladakh, his positive nature is contagious and motivating at the same time. He likes to pass on his photographic knowledge and experience.
Guide Haiqi Liao-Böhm
Haiqi Liao-Böhm met her husband in Yunnan, her home province in south-central China. Both have a passion for photography, diving and a curiosity for everything unknown. As a freelance photographer, she is a recognized member of the "Chinese National Geographic Society". She gained further international experience on various individually organized trips of several months through Asia. Haiqi organized and led the tour on the Silk Road independently with great success.
Guide Thomas Böhm
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Note for people with reduced mobility: This product is generally not suitable for people with reduced mobility. When booking, please ask whether it still meets your individual needs.