+ flight to Guilin and from Kunming back home
14 days

What you get

Villages and mountains
During the entire trip
Professional tour leader traveler
To all attractions
12 nights
Physical grade
Level 2 (easy) out of 5

China. Charming villages, mountains, authentic people and tea

Full immersion in the life and culture of the most vivid national minorities of southern China! Picturesque mountains, rice terraces, and the most beautiful places of the Middle Kingdom on the Li river. 

  • Walk on the endless rice terraces in Longshen and get acquainted with the unusual lifestyle of the Yao people. 
  • Ride bamboo boats on the Li river, enjoying views of the most beautiful places in all of China! 
  • Explore Lijiang and Dali - cozy cities on the Ancient Tea Road. 
  • Observe authentic monastic life in a remote monastery in the mountains where there are no tourists. 
  • Discover one of the biggest tea markets in the world and take part in the tea ceremony.

Trip code
China. Charming villages, mountains, authentic people and tea

The price of the trip includes:

  1. Domestic flight from Kunming to Beijing;
  2. All transportation, including trains, buses, city transport and taxis;
  3. Accommodation throughout the trip;
  4. Entrance tickets to all attractions along the route;
  5. Professional guiding services.

What is NOT included:

  1. Flight to Gulin and from Kunming back home. (Let us know if you need help finding the best deals);
  2. Food ($15-20 per person per day);
  3. Insurance (mandatory);
  4. Visa to China.


Individual Tour
You can choose your date

Day 1 - 2

The town of Xingping Riding bamboo boats on river Li Fuli village

We arrive in Guilin and take a bus to the town of Xingping (approximately one and a half hours on the way). We arrive in the most beautiful places in China, and this is a fact! The local landscapes of the karst cliffs between the bends of the Li River have for centuries inspired the most famous poets and artists of the Middle Kingdom. And now they are depicted on the back of a 20 yuan note. 

We ride bamboo boats along the river, enjoying the views. Wander through the surrounding villages, watching the unhurried and very authentic local life. Boys here fish in rice fields flooded with water and graze buffaloes. Yes, the most famous Chinese landscape - a shepherd with a pipe against the mountains can still be seen in these amazing places! 

We leave for the market in the neighboring village of Fuli. Representatives of the brightest peoples of southern China come here from remote villages. Here we will see the most unusual costumes and often authentic goods.

Day 3 - 4

Longshen rice terraces

In the morning we go to Longshen by bus (about 3 hours on the way). We check into a hotel. Look around - we are among the famous rice terraces on the slopes of the mountains! The local people of the Yao nationality laid them in the mountains 650 years ago and still grow rice there. We walk on the terraces, and see unusual wooden houses. Here locals bake rice with vegetables and tofu in bamboo, and add vegetable oil and spices to their tea. Yao women never cut their hair and knot them at the top of their heads. 

Next morning we take a bus to Guilin, and then we take the train to Kunming (about 4 hours on the way). We arrive in the evening, and check into a hotel.

Day 5

Shilin Stone Forest The city of Kunming Tea market

In the morning we are going to Shilin Stone Forest. Here in an area of 500 square kilometers there are thousands of sharp stone rocks that resemble trees. We can climb some of them to explore the unusual landscape from above. And the passages between other rocks are so narrow that a person can hardly fit there.

We return to Kunming and head to one of the main tea markets in China. Local tea shops have every kind of tea for every taste, and even hundreds of varieties of tea, the existence of which you did not suspect. Old pu-erh, oolong tea, herbal teas, the freshest green, pink, floral ... And the abundance of tea-ware! We will also see the famous traditional tea ceremony here.

Finally, we will try the famous local noodles. The most famous soup consists of chicken, turkey, cabbage, sprout, green onion and rice noodle. Delicious! In the evening we take the night bus to Lijiang.

Day 6 - 7

The town of Lijiang Baisha village Jade Dragon Mountain

In the morning we arrive in Lijiang and check into a hotel in the old district. This city is more than 800 years old, it appeared as a stop on the Ancient Tea Road. Now the old center with cobbled narrow streets and old houses is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. We will walk along the historical streets, sit in the cozy tea houses, where locals still like to hang out and try unusual local dishes - yak meat, cookies with roses and different types of vegetables.

We will also visit the nearby Baisha village to get closer to the culture of the Nakhi people who live in the area around Lijiang. In China, they are known primarily as excellent musicians and dancers. They are also famous for their matriarchy. Nakhi women work the fields together with men, and children inherit the property and the last name only from the mother.

Next morning we go to the national park at the foot of Mount Yulongshan with a stunning view of the Jade Dragon Mountain. To the top of 4506 meters above sea level we will get by the cable car. Then we will walk to the height of 4680 meters. In the evening we return to the hotel.

Day 8 - 10

Tiger Leaping Gorge The town of Shangri-La Songzanlin Monastery

In the morning, we take a bus to the Tiger Leaping Gorge (approximately 4 hours), where the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, begins its journey. We will leave the things in the village of Qiaotou and begin our two-day trek in the gorge. We will enjoy incredible mountain views, fresh air and sounds of wildlife. In two days we will do approximately 24 km, and spend the night in simple houses.

We take a bus to Shangri-La (about 4 hours), to the foot of Southern Tibet, where we will stay in the guesthouse. Shangri-La is an old town in a valley populated predominantly by Tibetans. More recently, this city was called differently, but the Chinese renamed it, giving it a name coined by renowned science fiction writer James Hilton. Does this place look like a country of eternal youth and an earthly paradise from Hilton's novel? You decide!

We will walk in the local colorful bazaar and visit the Songzanlin Monastery, one of the largest Tibetan monasteries outside the Tibet Autonomous Region, also known as the Little Potala. Currently about 700 monks live in the monastery. We take a bus Shaxi(4 hours on the way) and check into a hotel.

Day 11 - 12

Shibaoshan monastery The town of Dali

In the morning we go to the Shibaoshan monastery on the mountain. Here we will see ancient statues of Buddha and his disciples and unique wall paintings, which date back to the heyday of the Nanzhao kingdom in the 9th century. By bus we go to Dali, the former capital of the ancient state of Nanzhao and the Kingdom of Dali of 10-13 centuries (2-3 hours on the way). We check into a hotel and walk around the old town, visiting the "Three Pagodas" of the 9th century and get acquainted with the local Bai people.

Perhaps we will see the traditional tea ceremony of the Bai people. To put it mildly, it is very different from the traditional Chinese. Tea is brewed three times. The first time the water with the leaves is shaked, creating bubbles. The second time sugar and nuts are added in the tea. And third time, they add Sichuan pepper, honey and ginger! 

Day 13 - 14

Wu Wei monastery

In the morning we drive to the Buddhist monastery Wu Wei in the mountains. This is a very small temple, with very few visitors. This will be a complete immersion in the monastic life and a lot of new knowledge about Buddhism. We will meet with the abbot of the temple - a real Kung Fu master and we will observe the lesson that he teaches monks and students every day. We will also take part in the Buddhist ceremony in the temple of the monastery, see the tea ceremony and have lunch with the monks.

We return to the city for the night. Our next day is free. On the last day, we take a train to Kunming (2 hours on the way) and fly to Beijing. There we transfer to the flight home.

Tour leader

Olga WuWei
tour leader

Is this trip for you?

This trip is of easy level of physical activity. It includes long walks in the cities and villages. We will also spend two days walking an easy trek for about 24 kilometers. We will travel by buses and trains (transfers lasting up to 6 hours). Accommodation in double/twin rooms tourist class hotels and guesthouses. All will have their own bathroom with hot water and wi fi internet. One night during the trek we will spend in simple houses.


Citizens of almost all countries need a visa to enter China. 

A visa should be arranged for before the trip at the Chinese Embassy in the country of residence. 

We provide free visa advice for clients.

Additional options

3g mobile internet in China
Price: + $30
Prepaid local sim card (no international calls) with 2GB internet package

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