The Southwest Dragon

Dramatic contrasts in scenery from sub-tropical jungle to snow-covered mountain peaks of Tibet's foothills and traditional festivals in isolated valleys with China's minority nationalities are the delights of this series.

XISHUANGBANNA- - is in a long isolated area near the Burma and Laos borders. It features Dai minority people with a written language similar to Thai. The April Water Splshing Festival celebrates their traditional New Year

DALI - is beautifully located between Erhai Lake and snow covered peaks of the Cangshan Mountains. The area became part of China when conquered by Kublai Khan in 1253 A.D. Historically it was a customs post on the southern route to Burma and India and was one of the places in China visited by Marco Polo!

LIJIANG - a UNESCO World Heritage site, is set in the foothills of Tibet. It is home to the Naxi people and its Dongba culture is one of the oldest in Asia with a totally unique written language. Much of the Nexi music and song is still performed.

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THE SOUTHWEST DRAGON
featuring minority nationalities & spectacular scenery
Scheduled Group Departures - April to October

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DAY 1 Thursday depart USA
Depart from a gateway city across the Pacific and the International Dateline to Asia .

DAY 2 Friday arrive HONG KONG
Arrive in the evening and transfer to The Royal Pacific Hotel.

DAY 3 Saturday HONG KONG/KUNMING (D)
The morning is free time in Hong Kong . Just after noon fly to Kunming , known as China 's "Spring city" for its year-round flowers. Transfer to the Bank Hotel. Dinner features minority performances.

DAY 4 Sunday KUNMING (B, L)
Visit the Stone Forest to see the Karst Rock formations and the home of the Sani minorities. Also visit Western Hills and Huating Temple .

DAY 5 Monday KUNMING/JINGHONG (B, L, D)
This morning visit the old streets of Kunming and the Yuantong Temple and park. After lunch fly to Jinghong in Xishuangbanna. This is the center of many minorities and minority festivals including the Water Splashing Festival, a tradition in much of Southeast Asia as part of their new year’s traditions. Transfer to the Tai Garden Hotel.

DAY 6 Tuesday XISHUANGBANNA (B, L, D)
Visit Dai villages, local Buddhist temples, the market at Menghun and travel to Menghai to see Aini minority peoples and their unusual stilted bamboo homes.

DAY 7 Wednesday JINGHONG/DALI (B, L, D)
This morning visit Manting Park and the Nationalities Park . Later fly to the ancient town of Dali , home of the Bai minority people. Stay at the Asia Star Hotel.

DAY 8 Thursday DALI (B, L, D)
Visit the Shaping market near the end of Erhai Lake , the old walled town, take photos at the Three Pagodas, Butterfly Spring and cruise on Erhai Lake .

DAY 9 Friday DALI/LIJIANG (B, L, D)
Drive North over narrow mountain roads to the quaint town of Lijiang . Lijiang, in a valley surrounded by snowcapped mountains is home to Naxi and Tibetan minorities. Stay at the Grand Hotel.

DAY 10 Saturday LIJIANG (B, L)
Visit Baisha village, Black Dragon Park , the Dongba Institute and Lijiang Old Town .

DAY 11 Sunday LIJIANG/ZHONGDIAN (B, L, D)
See a Tibetan Lamasery and Yufeng Temple before driving to the Zhongdian Tibetan Autonomous area. Stay at the Guanguang Hotel.

DAY 12 Monday ZHONGDIAN (B, L, D)
Local sightseeing in this ‘shangri-la’ area of China including glacier fed lakes, Tibetan family visit and a ‘Yellow Hat’ Tibetan lamasery.

DAY 13 Tuesday ZHONGDIAN/GUIYANG (B, L, D)
Fly to Kunming and connect on to a flight to Guiyang . Overnight in Guiyang at The Miracle Hotel.

DAY 14 Wednesday GUIYANG/KAILI (B, L, D)
This morning visit the fish and bird market. Then drive to the Miao minority nationalities village area of Kaili. On the way visit scenic Mt. Qianling and Hongfu Temple . Stay at the Guo Tai Hotel.

DAY 15 Thursday KAILI (B, L, D)
Tour the Kaili Folklore Museum and visit with master weavers and embroiderers while exploring local villages on foot.

DAY 16 Friday KAILI/ANSHUN (B, L, D)
Drive to Anshun. Stay at the Huang Guo Shu Hotel. Spend the rest of the day at the spectacular Huangguoshu Waterfalls, an underground cave only accessible by boat, and shop among the Bouyi minority peoples.

DAY 17 Saturday ANSHUN/GUILIN (B, L)
Tour the waterfalls, the minority villages and the local markets. This evening return to Guiyang and fly to Guilin , China 's most scenic city. Transfer to the Lijiang Waterfall Hotel.

DAY 18 Sunday GUILIN/HONG KONG (B, L)
Spend most of the day on a cruise along the Li River to see the beauty of the karst rock formations. Shop in the village of Yangshuo before the evening flight to glittering Hong Kong . On arrival, transfer back to the Royal Pacific Hotel.

DAY 19 Monday HONG KONG/USA
Depart for the States arriving back on the same day.

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2013 Schedule

 

Code Depart/Return
SD1 • April 11-29
SD2 • May 9-27
SD3 • June 13-July 1
SD4 • July 11-29
SD5 • August 15-September 2
SD6 • September 12-30
SD7 • October 10-28

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