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SEA-12 Vietnam and Yunnan

  • Price from: 4648USD per person
  • Trip day:16 days 15 nights days


  Highlights: Hanoi, oldFrench hill station of Sapa, scenery of the Red River valley, Yuanyang rice terraces, minority villages, historic Jianshui, Stone Forest, Dali Town, Erhai lake, colourful markets, Shibao sacred mountain, World Heritage Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Tibetan Plateau, ‘Shangri La’, local food.

  When a Yunnanese Prince crossed the cloud covered mountains of Sichuan Province to visit the imperial Chinese court he informed the emperor his kingdom lay ‘south of the clouds’ and the Mandarin translation – Yunnan – has stuck to the present day.

  Without doubt China’s most diverse and fascinating region, both culturally and scenically. Bordering Burma, Laos and Vietnam, this remote, borderland province includes everything from wild elephants and tropical jungles in the far south to yaks and snow-capped mountains of the Tibetan Plateau in the north, and is home to over 25 different ethnic minorities.

  Linked to our existing range of SE Asian itineraries, our highly original Yunnan tour takes you to China by train through the mountains of Northern Vietnam. For 2 weeks in between we’ll cover our regular mixture of essential sites and hidden gems; - cultural highlights and historic towns such as Dali, Jianshui and UNESCO World Heritage Lijiang, the awesome scenery of Yuanyang, the Yangtze’s Tiger Leaping Gorge and the dramatic mountains of Eastern Tibet as well as leaving plenty of time to explore the exotic markets, check-out the bustling street life and meet the local people, in China’s friendliest province.

  Included in the price:

  * 14 nights accommodation in hotel/guesthouse

  * 1 overnight sleeper train: Ho Chi Ming City/Lao Cai

  * Daily meals out of hotel (as detailed in the tour description)

  * Admission charges where applicable as shown in the tour description

  * English-speaking local guide

  * A/C tourism transportation in the program

  * Service charges for baggage handling between airports/train stations and hotels

  * Service charge and Government tax


  Not included in the price:

  * International or domestic flights and tax

  * Personal consumption

  * Visa fee

  * Tips for drivers, guides and hotel porters

  Airfare: Lijiang/Kunming: 213USD p/p


easy to moderate, maximum hiking – 5-6 hrs on day 13. High altitudes on the Tibetan Plateau but we’ll ascend gradually. Also be prepared for low temperatures in eastern Tibet during the winter season.

Payment should be finished four weeks before the arrival of the group.

Cancellation: You may cancel your confirmed booking, but this must be in written letter (email or fax). But if cancellation occurs after your confirmation to book the tour, or if you fail to pay the full cost of the tour within the specified time, you will be liable to pay cancellation charges.

Cancellation charges are as follows:

  • No less than 30 days before arrival: $150 per person
  • 30 to 15 days before arrival: $300 per person
  • 14 to 7 days before arrival: 60% of the full payment per person
  • 6 to 0 days before arrival: 100% of the full payment per person

 Traveler substitutions are considered reservation cancellations and are subject to the above cancellation fees. After the trip has commenced, we are unable to refund any amount for unused services due to your early departure, late arrival, or missed days on tours.

Refunding: If you have paid for the tour but then have to cancel it more than 15 days before the start of your tour, we will refund all the payment except the deposit ($300 per person). If cancellation has to be made within 15 days, we will charge some cancellation penalty as well as the deposit, according to how much we have to pay to our suppliers. We will try our best to decrease your loss because we know it's not your purpose to cancel it.

Day 1: Arrival Hanoi D
Arrival in Hanoi and check-in to a downtown hotel. Afternoon free to relax or explore the city before an evening performance of the highly original water-puppets.
Overnight in Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi - Lao Cai B/L
Day tour of some of the city’s sites, including Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, the 11th century University, Hoan Kiem Lake and a walking tour of the narrow streets of Hanoi’s bustling old commercial quarter. Evening departure by sleeper train for Lao Cai in the far north.
Overnight on train
Day 3: Laocai - Sapa B/L
Morning arrival and transfer to nearby Sapa. This picturesque old French hill-station overlooking a spectacular valley, lies in the shadow of the mist shrouded Fansipan Mountain – at over 9,500 ft the highest summit in mainland SE Asia. Afternoon at leisure to explore the town or roam the bustling hill- tribe market.
Day hike through the area’s incredible scenery – known to the French as the Tonkinese Alps – Hmong and Dzao minority villages, lush forest, towering peaks and crystal clear waterfalls.
Overnight in Sapa
Day 5: Sapa - Yuanyang B/L
Crossing the Chinese border into Yunnan Province, we’ll follow the scenic Red River Valley North West into the Ailao Ranges and the small mountain top town of Yuanyang. Afternoon visit to the region’s famous rice terraces - carved out of the mountain sides over thousands of years by the local Hani and Yi minorities - a truly spectacular site.
Overnight in Yuanyang
Day 6: Yuanyang - Jianshui B/L
The morning at leisure to explore Yuanyuang’s lively market, a trading centre for the myriad local minority peoples. Afternoon drive to historic Jianshui and a visit to some of the Town’s famous sites including the 14th Century Chaoyang Tower and Confucian Temple, the second largest in China, and the amazing ‘Zhu Family Garden’ mansion, a complex of 42 courtyards and 250 rooms.
Overnight in Jianshui
Day 7: Jianshui - Kunming B/L
Morning trip to the fascinating village of Tuanshan, one of the very few remaining medieval, fortified villages in SW China. This Ming dynasty village receives very few visitors despite being recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Leaving Jianshui district we’ll continue north, via the picturesque Fuxian Lake, to the Province’s capital, Kunming.
Overnight in Kunming
Day 8: Kunming B/L
Free morning in Kunming, relax in one of the local coffee shops, or check-out the city’s famous ‘Bamboo Temple’, before an afternoon trip to the spectacular karst formations known as the Stone Forest – another site added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2006.
Overnight in Kunming
Day 9: Kunming - Weishan - Dali B/L
Morning drive along the route of the old Burma Road, to Weishan Town – one of the oldest and best preserved towns in Yunnan yet one of the least visited – before arriving at our day’s destination, Dali.
Overnight in Dali
Day 10: Dali B/L
Day at leisure to explore this scenic old walled town, former capital of the ethnic Bai people and beautifully situated between the slopes of the Azure Mountains and the shores of Lake Erhai.
Day 11: Dali - Shaxi - Lijiang B/L
Early departure to catch the bustling morning market in the lakeside, Bai village of Xizhou, before continuing north to Lijiang by way of the superb cave temples of sacred Shibao Mountain.
Overnight in Lijiang
Day 12: Lijiang B/L
Discover the ancient centre of the ethnic Naxi Culture and now World Heritage Site of Lijiang - wander the beautifully preserved cobbled streets that line the streams running through the picturesque old town – dramatically situated beneath the towering peaks of the 5,500m Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Overnight in Lijiang
Day 13: Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Walnut Grove B/L
Day hike along the famous and picturesque Tiger Leaping Gorge to the village of Walnut Grove for our overnight stay in a local family run guesthouse.
Overnight in Walnut Grove
Day 14: Walnut Grove - Zhongdian/Shangri-la B/L
Head up to the Tibetan Plateau itself and the town of Zhongdian – now officially renamed Shangri La by the Chinese Government. Evenings stroll around the old streets of Shangri La with a chance to catch some traditional Tibetan dancing in the town square.
Overnight in Shangri-la
Day 15: Shangri-la B/L
Visit the town’s spectacular Tibetan monastery with an afternoon hike through the surrounding hills to check out the scenery, the local Tibetan style villages and last but not least the amazing yaks!
Overnight in Shangri-la
Day 16: Shangri-la - Kunming and departure B
Free morning and afternoon transfer to Kunming and end of tour.