South of the Clouds - Delve into China's Yunnan Province
11 days from £6,610 per person
South of the Clouds is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Family-friendly Itineraries.
Yunnan - which literally means "South of the Clouds", due to its location just south of the Tibetan Plateau - is home to some of the most diverse cultures, ecology and terrain in China. With verdant low-lying valleys, spectacular white-capped mountains, rustic towns and villages, and a lively mix of ethnic minority communities, Yunnan has long inspired poets and travellers alike.
Fly into Beijing and take in some of the famous sights that this ever evolving city has to offer. Then fly on to the less frequently visited western fringes of China, to Dali, where you will begin your tour. Tucked between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake, Dali is a Ming-era town that has retained much through the ages. Here you will explore the Old Town, take a boat ride around Erhai Lake and take part in a traditional Bai Tea Ceremony. Drive on to spend one night in the small town of Shaxi to visit the town and have a delicious authentic dinner.
Next, you will continue north to Lijiang, know as the Venice of the East, which lies in the shadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. This is an ideal place for trekking, cycling and even horse riding or simply enjoying nature whilst staying at the luxurious Banyan Tree. Drive further north via the first bend of the Yangtze River & Tiger Leaping Gorge to the infamous Shangri-La. There is another chance for hiking and visiting remote villages in the area. Then fly on to the ultra modern metropolis of Shanghai for your final stop before your onwards flight home. There are many other options in Yunnan, please ask for further details.
This luxury holiday is purely a suggested itinerary. It can be booked as is or alternatively used as a starting point for creating your own ideal tailor-made trip to China.
11 days from £6,610 per person
- Day 1 - In Transit
Overnight flight to Beijing.
- Day 2 - Aman Summer Palace - Beijing
Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Summer Palace. Walk around the Hutong neighbourhoods.
- Day 3 - The Linden Centre - Dali
Morning flight to Kunming and transfer by car to Dali. Explore Dali Old Town and experience the Bai Tea Ceremony
- Day 4 - The Linden Centre - Dali
Visit Xizhou Village and it’s local markets. Take a boat ride on or cycle around Erhai Lake, stopping at the local ethnic Bai villages.
- Day 5 - LUX* Tea Horse Road - Lijiang
Drive to Lijang via Shaxi Village, connecting Tibet and Eastern China during the Tea and Horse Caravan Road era. Arrive in Lijang and spend the evening at your leisure.
- Day 6 - Songtsam Retreat - Shangri-La
Spend the day sightseeing around Shangri – La. Yangtze River and Tiger Leaping Gorge.
- Day 7 - Songtsam Retreat - Shangri-La
Visit Songzanlin Monastery, before exploring Shangri-la Old Town. Dinner in the Old Town before joining the locals’ evening festivities.
- Day 8 - Songtsam Retreat - Shangri-La
Hiking in the Napahai Valley and visit the Nixi artisan village. Horse riding across the neighboring wetland if desired.
- Day 9 - The Peninsula Shanghai - Shanghai
Transfer to airport for your onwards flight to Shanghai.
- Day 10 - The Peninsula Shanghai - Shanghai
Your choice of sightseeing in Shanghai.
- Day 11 - In Transit
Morning flight back to the UK.
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
- Susan Ford, India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Leslie Siben, India