When it comes to China river cruise tours, what will come into your mind? Welcome to choose our travel agency. Here we will arrange for you an itinerary of 9 days China Yangtze tour from Kunming. In this Yangtze tour including Dali, we will travel through five cities to appreciate the beautiful natural and cultural attractions in the southern part of China. Our Yangtze River Cruise Tour starts from Kunming, generally known as the “spring city” in China. Here you will visit Stone Forest and the China-famous flower market. In Dali, Erhai Lake is a must-visit place. Lijiang is the best place to show the combination of cultural charm and natural beauty. Here, I am sure you will be astonished at the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Xizhou Ancient Town. Then we will start our Yangtze River Cruise from Chongqing. Among all the attractions, the Three Gorges and the Three Gorges Dam Site can be regarded as the highlights of the whole tour. After nine days’ traveling, you will say goodbye to China. Come to join this itinerary and we will blow your mind.
Today, you will arrive at the first stop of our China Yangtze River Tour, Kunming. After arrival, your private guide will wait for you at the airport with a flag and your name sign holding in hands. Then you will be escorted to the hotel downtown. You can unpack your luggage and have a good rest. If you are interested, of course, you can explore this city on your own. In the remaining days, you just need to relax and enjoy the fantastic attractions in the involving cities of Yangtze River tour.
After breakfast, we will drive to Stone Forest. It, located at southeast Kunming, is more than 80KM away from the downtown area. It will take us about 80 minutes to drive here. It is a world-famous geopark recognized by UNESCO. The Stone Forest covers an area of 1,100 square kilometers and is formed about 300 million years ago. It is a place with the largest area of Karst landform in the world. When it comes to Stone Forest, a sorrowful love story must be mentioned. Ashima was a beautiful girl who fell in love with a sheepherder named Ahei. However, Azhi also loved Ashima. He even imprisoned Ashima to force her to marry him. When Ahei came to rescue Ashima, Azhi drowned the couple in a pond. Later, people drained the water in the pond and found that Ahei and Ashima became two stones standing there. Today you can also see the two stones in Stone Forest.
In the afternoon, we will drive back to visit Kunming Dounan Flower Market. It is the largest trading market of flowers in Asia. There are more than 10,000 people in the market every day, trading more than 5 million flowers of 300 varieties. The sum of business transactions in the market every day can reach 3.5-5.5 million yuan. Flowers in the market have been sold to about 80 cities in China, accounting for 70 percent of the market share of these cities. Because of this, the market is recognized as the weather vane of China’s flower markets and it can even affect the price of China’s flower markets. In addition, flowers in Kunming Dounan Flower Market have been exported to 46 countries in the world. Come to the market to see the fresh flowers and immerse yourself in the fragrance of flowers. Maybe you can choose some flowers and buy them for your love or friends as their gifts. Here you can find all the flowers you want. I believe your love and friends will like the gifts you bought for them.
When finishing visiting the Kunming Dounan Flower Market, you will be transferred by your private driver to the hotel downtown to relax and have a good rest. Have a nice sleep tonight. Tomorrow we will go to the next stop of our Yangtze River tour - Dali, which is very famous in China and beyond for its warm weather and beautiful natural scenery.
Today we will take the estimated train D8688 08:55/11:02 to Dali. After arrival, your private guide will take you to the hotel to check in. After that, we will go to Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple. With a history of about 1,500 years, it is one of the oldest and the grandest buildings in south China. As a nationally famous attraction in China, it has been recognized as the symbol of Dali. Combined with Cang Mountain and Erhai Lake, the three attractions in Dali represent the beauty of Dali. For the three pagodas, Qianxun Pagoda is the main pagoda. With a height of almost 70 meters, it is one of the tallest pagodas in China. Same with Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an, it is also a distinctive building in the style of Tang Dynasty(618-907). Come to visit the three pagodas and you will be surprised at the wisdom of ancient Chinese when you see their exquisite structures.
After lunch, we will go to appreciate the enchanting Erhai Lake. It covers an area of about 246 square kilometers. With a total length of 40 kilometers from south to north, it is regarded as the second largest lake in Yunnan province. The name “Erhai” comes from its shape. On the one hand, the lake just looks like an ear of people(‘Er’ means ‘ear’.). On the other hand, the lake is called “hai”(‘Hai’ means ‘sea’.) as the local people yearn for living near the sea. Cang Mountain situates next to Erhai Lake, which presents a beautiful picture to people. There is a love story about the two attractions. It is said that there used to be a married princess. She had to separate from her husband because he needs to join the army. The princess had been waiting for her husband’s returning for nearly two decades. One day, she accidentally heard her husband was dead. She was too sad to stop crying. Her tears became the Erhai Lake. Not soon, she died. Later, her husband came back. After knowing that his wife had died, the husband was so sad that he miraculously became a mountain safeguarding the Erhai Lake. In this case, the couple can stay together forever to accompany each other, just like the lake surrounding the mountain.
In the afternoon, we will arrange the Erhai Lake Cruise for you to admire the scenery of Erhai Lake. The cruise ship is equipped with many modern facilities, you can enjoy a comfortable trip on the ship. There is a special performance hall on the ship. You can enjoy the authentic show characterized by the culture of the Bai ethnic group. The Erhai Lake cruise is also favored by the leaders of government. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, former Prime Ministers Zhu Rongji and Li Peng had come here to experience the popular Erhai Lake cruise.
Free Time Suggestion:
At night, you can go to Dali Old Town to enjoy your free time. Dali Old Town was first constructed in the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644), but its history can be traced back to as early as the Tang Dynasty. It was the political, economic, and cultural center of Yunnan province in the Tang(618-907) and the Song(960-1279) dynasties. There are about 14 cultural relics protection units in this old town. Because of this, Dali Old Town can be regarded as the core area of tourism in Dali. At night, you can go to Fuxing Road to go for a walk. There are many stores selling fantastic souvenirs, including marble cravings and Chinese-style clothes. You can buy some for your families and friends. I am sure they will like them! Besides, there are delicious snacks on the streets. There are many bars where you can take a sip. And you can relax by chatting with your friends while listening to dulcet Chinese music.
This morning we will go to experience the folk culture of the Bai minority of Yunnan province in Xizhou Ancient Town. As one of the famous historical and cultural towns featured by Bai culture in Yunnan, it has a long history of more than 1,000 years. After being built, it has always been a hub of political, economic, and cultural exchange of the nearby areas. Besides, it can be regarded as the birthplace of Yunnan’s industry and business. There were many business organizations formed in the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty(1636-1912). They even became famous around the country after their rapid development for several decades. Besides, there are more than 100 distinctive buildings of the Bai minority in the style of three different periods, the Ming Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, and the Republic of China(1912-1949). With all these buildings, the town can be recognized as the museum of buildings of Yunnan province. If you are interested, you can taste the delicious Baba, a special snack of Yunnan that is made of flour.
In the afternoon, your private driver will take you to Lijiang. It is about 145KM north of Xizhou Ancient Town, which will take us about 2 hours to drive there. Then, we will start our tour in the attractive Lijiang Ancient Town. First constructed in the late period of the 13th century, it is one of the famous cultural ancient towns in China covering an area of 7.27 square kilometers. The ancient town is constructed at the foot of a hill and beside a stream, creating a fantastic combination of natural and cultural landscape. The whole town is paved with red breccia. With its distinctive style of ethnic groups, the ancient town can be regarded as a remarkable achievement of China’s architecture. Besides, the town is famous for its cultural connotation. Torch Festival is a traditional festival in this ancient town that is held from June 25th to June 27th of the lunar calendar. It is known as the “Carnival in the East” because of its lively atmosphere and grand celebration activities. During this festival, people will gather together to participate in activities, like horse racing, wrestling, and bullfighting. Besides, people will sing and dance around the bonfire and some people will hold a torch in one hand. About this festival, there is a also story. Once upon a time, the Jade Emperor was jealous of the happy life of people in this town. So he dispatched his troops to destroy this town. However, the leader of the troops was reluctant to do it. So he decided to put a fire in other places for three nights to cheat the emperor. Later, the troops returned to heaven and told Jade Emperor that this town was destroyed in the fire. In order to thank the troops for protecting this town, the local people decided to hold the Torch Festival every year. Hence, the Torch Festival was retained to today.
Lion Hill is a must-visit attraction in this ancient town. Located in the central part of the ancient town, it is the best place to have a panoramic view of this town. As the hill looks like a sleeping lion on the ground, it is named Lion Hill. Next to Lion Hill is a lake that looks like a dragon on the Elephant Hill. The two attractions look like a lion playing with an elephant. It covers an area of 15 hectares, about 90 percent of which is covered by lush trees. More than 40 percent of these trees are cypresses and many of them have an age of about 800 years old. On the hill stands a Wangu Tower which is made of wood. The tower can be recognized as the most representative building in Lijiang. It has a total height of 33 meters. In Chinese, “Wangu” has a meaning of eternal life. Here it means the people in Lijiang can enjoy happy life forever. So the tower also implies the good wishes of people here. Standing on it, you can overlook the whole Lijiang Ancient Town and admire the spectacular Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance. It is the best place to take some beautiful photos of Lijiang Ancient Town. Come here to experience the beauty of this old town from a distinctive position.
After visiting these two attractive attractions, your private driver will take you to the hotel. And then you can enjoy your free time at night and have a good rest.
After breakfast, we will drive to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which is about 20 KM away from the north of Lijiang Ancient Town. It will take us about 40 minutes to drive here. In the Naxi language, jade dragon(“Yulong” in Chinese) means heavenly mountain. There are 13 snow peaks in total in this scenic area. They stand together from south to north, and the combining outline of these 13 peaks looks like a dragon wandering forward. So it is called Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The mountain is believed to be the incarnation of an immortal that blesses the people of Yunnan. So the mountain is worshiped by the local people.
At first, we will go to visit the Blue Moon Valley in the scenic spot. It is famous for the spectacular snow mountain scenery and crystal water. The lake in the valley is in the shape of a crescent moon. When the blue sky is reflected in the crystal water of the lake, the lake water seems being dyed blue. Just because of this, the valley is called Blue-Moon Valley. It is said that the valley is the prototype of the valley in the book Lost Horizon written by a famous British writer named James Hilton. The valley is formerly called the Baishui River(Baishui means white water.). The river bed is accumulated by the limestone alongside the river. As the limestone is white, the water color also seems like white. That is the reason why it is also called Baishui River. If you look carefully, you will find that there are actually several different small lakes in the valley. When looked in different positions, these small lakes will present different colors in sunny day. It is also one important reason for Blue Moon Valley attracting so many people every year.
Next, we will take the cable car to appreciate the Spruce Meadow. With a height of 3,240 meters, it is a large meadow in a primitive spruce forest. Looked from the distance, it seems like a large green carpet. In the Naxi language, “Spruce Meadow” means a place where people die for love. There is a love story about the Spruce Meadow. Kai Mei and Yu Leipai is the first couple died for love in the Spruce Meadow. They loved each other very much, so they married and lived a happy life. However, their happy life was broken because of the feudal polygamy marriage system. They both yearned for free marriage life. So they both climbed up to the Spruce Meadow and died for love. At the Torch Festival, people will make some paper men in memory of this couple, and they also express their hope for happy family life in this way. If lucky, you may see young people singing songs and dancing to show their enthusiasm to the visitors. Welcome to come here to enjoy the distinctive culture of the ethnic group!
After lunch, we will go to admire the exquisite Baisha Murals. Created in the Ming Dynasty, the Baisha Murals is the fruit of the fusion of the Naxi nationality with other nationalities. The heyday of Baisha Murals is from the late Ming Dynasty to the early Qing dynasties, which lasts for about 500 years. You will see these murals in Baisha town, which is a traditional town with a history of more than 1,000 years. Baisha Murals is an important part of Lijiang culture and it is a world cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO. These Baisha Murals are painted by painters of different ethnic groups, such as Zang and Bai minorities. Apart from this, the Baisha Murals is also the fruit of Dongba culture and Taoism. The contents of Baisha Murals show a nice combination of cultures of different ethnic groups and religions. When you see these murals, I am sure you will be surprised at these fabulous works.
The last destination of our trip in Lijiang today is Shuhe Ancient Town. In the Naxi language, it is called “Shaowu”, which has a meaning of “a village at the foot of a grand mountain”. It is the best-preserved ancient town on the Ancient Tea Horse Road. The Ancient Tea Horse Road refers to the international trading routes stretching from southwest China to areas, like East Africa and West Asia. It is a witness of the opening up of the Naxi nationality, showing the transition from agricultural civilization to commercial civilization that happened in Naxi. In the ancient town, there is a bridge called Qinglong Bridge, which can be regarded as the most representative stone bridge in Shuhe Ancient Town. It is built in the Ming Dynasty, which means it has a history of about 400 years. In ancient times, this bridge played a key role in promoting the cultural and economic exchanges of Shuhe Ancient Town with other places in Yunnan. Besides, there is a story about this ancient bridge. Once upon a time, there was a Buddhist master called Ge Mama chasing a monster and trying to kill it. When he came to the bridge, he jumped high toward the monster with a bound. Finally, the Buddhist master caught up with the monster successfully and killed it. Since then, a footprint was left on the bridge. When you come here, you might as well try to find this footprint.
After breakfast in the hotel, you will take an estimated flight G54006 12:30/14:15 to Chongqing. Your Chongqing guide will pick you up from the airport and then take you to Chaotianmen Wharf to start the Three Gorges cruise. The wharf is about 28KM south of the airport, which takes about 40 minutes to drive there. After assisting you to check in, your guide will disembark. You should notice that the cruise will start at 21:00. So you should embark before 20:30. Then you can enjoy your time on the ship. The cruise between Chongqing and Yichang is the most magnificent part of the Yangtze River cruise. The ship we have arranged for you in this Yangtze River Cruise tour is equipped with satisfying facilities, comfortable rooms, delicious food and entertainment venues, like bars, cafes, and sightseeing platforms. In addition, it also provides some activities with Chinese characteristics for visitors. Setting off from Chongqing means the start of the Yangtze river cruise, which is the highlight of this itinerary.
In the morning, you can enjoy the buffet as your breakfast after a nice sleep. If interested, you can join in the activity to do Tai Chi with Chinese masters. It is good for your health if you learn and do it every day. You can also drink a cup of coffee on the deck. With the refreshing wind, you will feel relaxed and energized.
Today you will enjoy a shore excursion in Shibaozhai Pagoda. It is a pagoda with a height of 56 meters. Built in the Ming Dynasty, it is famous for its buildings and interesting stories. It is divided into two parts, nine layers resting on the mountain and three layers above the mountain. There is a Rice Flowing Hole in the pagoda. It is related to an interesting story. Once upon a time, there were several monks who lived in the pagoda. One day, in the pagoda, a monk found a hole from which rice would flow out every day and the rice was exactly enough for them to eat. Since then, the hole was called Rice Flowing Hole. Later, an older monk also found the hole but he thought it was too small. So he ordered his followers to make it larger. However, no rice flowed out from that hole anymore. It was the older monk’s greed that took away what was endowed.
You can also go to Fengdu “Ghost City” if you want. Covering 2,190 square kilometers, it is a famous historical and cultural city in the Han Dynasty(202BC-220AD). It is famous for the buildings in the netherworld, such as the Nothing-To-Be-Done Bridge and Tianzi Palace. The Nothing-To-Be-Done Bridge is a bridge existing in Chinese netherworld(same to the hell in western culture). According to the Chinese netherworld culture, people must walk across the bridge to reincarnate after death. And there is an old woman called Mengpo standing on the bridge with a bowl of soup holding in her hands. After drinking it and walking across the bridge, the ghost of dead people will forget all the things that happened to them in their previous lives. Then they can realize reincarnation without any sorrow. In addition to the Nothing-To-Be-Done Bridge, there are also many other unique buildings and designs about Chinese netherworld in this place.
One thing is that you should pay an additional bill to the shipping company if you want to go to visit the Fengdu “Ghost City”. Besides, there will be different shore excursions if you choose different cruises. You’d better ask the shipping company to book what you like during the cruise. You can enjoy the buffet on the ship at lunchtime and attend the welcoming cocktail party hosted by the shipping company at night.
After buffet breakfast and Tai Chi morning exercise in the morning, you will continue your Yangtze River cruise. Today the ship will pass through the Three Gorges. It is world-famous because of its unique and grand natural and cultural attractions. The Three Gorges are Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge from the west to the east. Qutang Gorge is the shortest but the most precipitous one. Wu Gorge is the most spectacular one for the grand cliff and winding river. Xiling Gorge is the longest one famous for its raging water in this area. At Wu Gorge, you will be arranged to take a boat to visit Goddess Steam located on the south bank of the Yangtze River. The stream is 15 kilometers long. Taking a boat to admire the cliffs and Yangtze river scenery will let you have closer contact with nature. If lucky, you may see traditional Chinese performances in this area.
You can enjoy the buffet on the ship at lunchtime and attend the farewell dinner at night. Just relax and immerse yourself in the wonderful performance this night!
After the buffet in the morning, we will visit the Three Gorges Dam Site, the largest hydroelectric plant in the world. It is a project in China used to control floodwaters and to generate power. It is 185 meters high. In this area, there is a gorge exhibition hall that shows the construction history of Three Gorges Dam Site. It displays different pictures and facilities during the construction process, which can help visitors know more about the dam. In addition, there are other four areas to admire this grand project, Tanziling Park, 185 Park Zone, Dam Crest Scenic Area, and Interception Memorial Park. And the Tanziling Park is the best place to overlook the whole dam area. Besides, you can choose to board sightseeing-ferry sailing through TGP Ship’s elevator. If you are interested in it, you need to pay an additional fee to the shipping company for that activity. Built in 2014, this TGP Ship’s elevator has the largest load of 15,550 tons and a maximum rising altitude of 113 meters, which can help the ships pass through the area of Three Gorges Dam Site within 40 minutes. In the past, it takes about 3.5 hours to pass through this area. From this aspect, we can know the great significance of this project.
After visiting the dam site, we will drive to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal, which marks the end of your Yangtze River tour. I believe you have had a memorable tour and hope you are satisfied with our service. Then you will be escorted to Yichang airport by our driver and guide according to your flight schedule. It’s our pleasure to accompany you on your China tour. We wish you a happy homebound journey and sincerely hope that we can meet again in your next meaningful China journey.
Author: Jingjing Liu
Proofreader: Yan Liu
|City||Five Star hotel list||Four Star hotel list|
|Kunming||Grand Park Kunming||UChoice Hotel|
|Dali||The One Hotels & Resorts||Landscape Hotel|
|Lijiang||Wonderport International Hotel||Lijiang Wangfu Hotel|
|Yangtze River Cruise||Victoria Anna||Victoria Anna|
About your child or infant, please contact us for a discounted price.
We started with a few days in Beijing & ended in Shanghai, from where we visited the Forbidden City and Great Wall. In between we visited Terra Cotta Warriors Museum, Panda Base, Shanghai Disneyland.
We had a wonderful holiday in China which will remain long in the memory. China is a breathtakingly beautiful country full of splendid temples and palaces, mountains and rivers, peaceful rural scenes and bustling shopping streets.