You will discover in Beijing a historical capital still deeply rooted in the past. From Beijing, we propose an inevitable discovery of the Chinese wall. Note that if you want to hike off the beaten track on the wall, we can offer you, instead of the discovery of the Ming tombs, to do on the still wild section of Gubeikou to Jingshanling (4 to 5h walk) video preview here: hiking Gubeikou Jingshanling.
Your hotel in Beijing will be very typical, in the heart of a traditional Beijing hutong building: Shadow Art Hotel Beijing.
From Beijing, you will take a domestic flight to Kunming. Yunnan is considered the most beautiful province of China, contrasting with beautiful old towns and villages, very different minorities (Naxi, Tibetan, Bai) and ever-changing mountain landscapes.
You will discover emblematic sites (Stone Forest, old cities of Dali and Lijiang), but also more remote and authentic regions, like Weishan / Weibaoshan, the surroundings of Shangri La or Shaxi.
For a walk in a beautiful nature site, we offer a small trek on the way to the top of the Gorges du Saut du Tigre, among the deepest in the world.
Finally, the discovery of Chengdu in Sichuan, and especially its giant pandas, is planned like a little cherry on the cake thanks to a long stop possible (but not mandatory) between flights Lijiang Chengdu and Chengdu Paris.
Daily program: Beijing, Yunnan and Sichuan pandas (15 days) Download the PDF brochure
Day 1: Departure from Paris
Booking flight Air China to Beijing:
Choice n ° 1: departure from Paris CDG at 12:25, arrived in Beijing at 4:45.
Choice n ° 2: departure from Paris CDG at 19:30, arrived in Beijing at 12:35.
Day 2: Arrival in Beijing ~ 1h transfer
Arrival at Beijing Airport. Welcome by your driver with a sign to your name, then transfer to the boutique hotel Shadow Art. Rest of the day free for a first discovery of the city of Beijing, and Hutong district around your hotel.
Day 3: Beijing (B)
Meet with your guide and driver at 9:00. Beginning of visits to Beijing, with that of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, once home to the Chinese emperors and center of political power. It is the largest and best preserved architectural ensemble in China. Walk to Tiananmen Square, Heavenly Peace Gate, and Coal Hill from where you can enjoy 360-degree views of Beijing. Continuation towards the districts of the lakes of Beijing for a pleasant stroll. Meals (not included). Overnight at the boutique hotel Shadow Art
Day 4: Beijing & Great Wall of China (B)
Departure at 8:00 for the Great Wall in Mutianyu: built over 6700 km long to protect the Middle Kingdom from the invasions of the Barbarians of the North, listed as World Heritage of Humanity. Ascent by gondola and / or downhill walk. Lunch on the spot. On the return to Beijing, visit the summer palace outside Beijing, former residence of Empress Cixi. Walk around the inner lake. Dinner (not included). Overnight at the boutique hotel Shadow Art
Alternative program day 4: Hike on the Chinese wall (B, L)
Departure at 8:00 to the Chinese Wall and the Gubeikou section. Meet with your local guide speaking a little English. A simple picnic will be planned. Walk along the wall still wild, where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Great Wall winding the ridge of Yanshan. Gubeikou, Shanhaiguan and Juyongguan passes were considered strategic points for the military companies. The protection of these three passes was of considerable importance to Beijing’s security against the Mongol attacks. End of the trek on a better-developed section at Jingshanling, contrasting with the start of the hike. The hike lasts 4 to 5 hours today. Find your driver for the return trip to Beijing. Overnight at Shadow Art Hotel.
Day 5: Beijing (B)
Free day. You can visit the Temple of Heaven nestled in the huge park of Tiantan Gongyuan, whose majestic triple-roofed rotunda is one of the most beautiful achievements of Ming architecture. Discovery of the hutong district around the drum and bell towers, and possibility to visit the lamas temple. Meals (not included). Overnight at Shadow Art Hotel.
Note: for the French-speaking guide, visits and driver this day, have an extra charge of 125 € per person (based on 2 travelers), 70 € per person (based on 4 travelers), 55 € per person (based on 6 passengers).
Day 6: Beijing - Kunming (B)
Transfer to Beijing Airport for flight to Kunming CA1403 to Kunming (07:00 to 10:30) or CA4172 (11:50 to 15:40). Welcome, then transfer to the 3 * Home Inn located in the center of Kunming. You can easily walk to the emerald lake, where locals love to walk, sing, dance and play music. Attend Yunnan’s beautiful Yunnan minority dance and song show titled “Dynamic Yunnan” (8pm-9: 30pm, option at € 25 per person). Overnight at the hotel Home Inn Plus 3 *
Day 7: Kunming - Stone Forest - Dali (B). 1H30 + 30min drive
Meet with your French speaking guide at 9:00. Road to Shilin, for the discovery of the site of the Stone Forest. We offer you a walk of about 2 hours inside the site, between rocky peaks and sometimes through narrow paths, away from the trails crossed by many Chinese tourists. Then take the fast train directly from Shilin to Dali (3 hours). Welcome, then transfer to the Yunxi Boutique Hotel located in the heart of the old town of Dali.
Day 8: Dali (B)
Departure to the Weishan region. On the way, stop at the village Hui (Muslim minority) of Donglinghua. Still preserved from tourism, this city is home to a very charming and smiling population, for a very pleasant free stroll in its small streets. Lunch. Discovery in the afternoon of Weibaoshan mountain, located at 2500m altitude. As part of one of the 13 sacred Taoist mountains of China, the site is calm, exudes a certain serenity, and it is good to walk there to discover its small temples where Daoist monks reside. Return to Dali. Overnight at Yunxi Boutique Hotel.
Day 9: Dali - Xizhou - Shaxi (B) ~ 2h30 drive. Altitude: 2050m
On the road to Shaxi, Xizhou morning market discovery, walk from your hotel. road then to Shaxi. Lunch (not included) en route. In the afternoon, discover the Shibaoshan Mountains, a superb set of Buddhist sculptures carved into the rock and very Zen temples. After the visit, it is possible to walk down a small path leading to the old town of Shaxi, if not by car. Discovery of Shaxi, former big trading center on the caravan route of tea and horses. Accommodation in the heart of the old town at the boutique Aoding Courtyard. Dinner (not included).
Day 10: Shaxi - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Shangri La (B) ~ 4h drive. Altitude: 3200m
Morning drive to the Tibetan region of Shangri La. On the way, take a nice walk of 3h on foot, on the path located at the top of the Gorges du Saut du Tigre, among the deepest in the world in which flows the Yangtze River, between the Haba mountain (summit at 5400m) and the jade dragon mountain (summit at 5600m). You will climb in a small minivan, to walk on a nice flat road for about 1h30, then a path down for the same duration. Continue to Shangri La. Upon arrival, check into the Timeless Inn B & B located in the heart of Shangri La Old Town, first stroll and dinner (not included).
Day 11: Shangri La (B)
Visit Shangri La and its region, starting with the beautiful Tibetan Songzanlin Monastery. Walk to the local market, then walk through the old town, including the Bai Ji Si temple with beautiful views of Shangri La and the Shika Mountains. Lunch (not included). In the afternoon, explore on foot or by bike the Tibetan countryside (several possible routes, to discuss in the morning with your guide according to your desires and abilities). Random stop of the road and your meetings with a Tibetan family, always welcoming, to taste the Yak butter tea, “Tsampa” and Yak butter cheese, local specialties and bases of their daily food. Attend and participate if you wish in spontaneous dances in the evening of locals in the Old Town Square. Dinner (not included). Overnight at your bed and breakfast.
Day 12: Shangri La - Lijiang - Shuhe (B) ~ 4h drive. Altitude: 2300m
Morning route to Lijiang. Lunch (not included) in the heart of Lijiang’s old town, and stroll through its narrow streets, now very tourist and shopping, then to the park of the black dragon pond. Find your car for the short transfer to the Naxi village of Shuhe, located in the heart of the Lijiang Valley. Installation at the superb hotel Arro Khampa Shuhe, nice point of your trip (2 days on site). Dinner (not included).
Day 13: Shuhe (B)
Discovery of the small Naxi villages of the Lijiang Valley including Baisha and Yuhu, located at the foot of the jade dragon mountain. Numerous possibilities for stops and visits along the way, to discover the rural lifestyle around Lijiang. You can also reach the village of Wenhai, see hiking to Yuhu, if you wish (5h walk, to predict in advance). Night at the beautiful Arro Khampa Shuhe.
Day 14: Shuhe - Lijiang - Chengdu (B)
Transfer to the airport for flight CA4452 to Chengdu (8h50-10h10). Welcome by your English-speaking guide, then transfer and visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Center in Chengdu. Walk through the ancient district of Jinli, and discover a traditional tea house. If time permits, visit the Qinghang Temple (it closes at 17:00). Dinner, then transfer to the airport for the direct flight Air China CA457 from Chengdu to Paris.
Day 15: Arrival in Paris
Departure from Chengdu at 01:40, arrival at Paris CDG at 6:20. End of our services.
Note: if you do not wish to make the stopover in Chengdu, day 14 in Shuhe will be free, before transfer to Lijiang airport for flight CA4452 to Chengdu (5:40 pm-6: 50 pm), before going on the flight direct to Paris on day 15 (01h40-6h20). This results in a reduction of 150 € per person (based on 2 travelers), 85 € per person (based on 4 travelers), 65 € per person (based on 6 travelers).