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South of the Clouds - Delve into China's Yunnan Province

10 days from £6,610 per person

This itinerary features in our Top 10 Family Holidays.

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 onward 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 it is or used as a starting point for creating your very own tailor-made tour of China. If you are feeling inspired and would like to see similar trips, take a look at our collection of Family Holidays and Honeymoons; as well as our Active, Trekking and Culinary itineraries.


Itinerary details

10 days from £6,610 per person

  • Day 1 - Aman Summer Palace - Beijing
    Arrive in Beijing and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon sightseeing including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Summer Palace. Walk around the Hutong neighbourhoods.
  • Day 2 - 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 3 - 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 4 - 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 5 - Songtsam Retreat - Shangri-La
    Spend the day sightseeing around Shangri – La. Yangtze River and Tiger Leaping Gorge.
  • Day 6 - 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 7 - Songtsam Retreat - Shangri-La
    Hiking in the Napahai Valley and visit the Nixi artisan village. Horse riding across the neighboring wetland if desired.
  • Day 8 - The Peninsula Shanghai - Shanghai
    Transfer to airport for your onwards flight to Shanghai.
  • Day 9 - The Peninsula Shanghai - Shanghai
    Your choice of sightseeing in Shanghai.
  • Day 10 - In transit.
    Morning transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
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I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had dealings with. Everything – from the individual care and attention in helping to plan the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round.
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