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Warriors, Gorges & Holy Mountains Luang Prabang - Xi'an

Trip Overview

Southern China and northern Indo China are extraordinary regions and should be seen together. This trip takes the traveller from some of China’s real tourist highlights such as Xi’an and the Terracotta Army and the Giant Pandas at Chengdu, to some of its wonderful hidden gems such as the trekking in the beautiful Tiger Leaping Gorge or climbing to the summit of Wudang Shan, birthplace of Tai Chi.

Of course you can’t travel through this region without embarking on a three gorge cruise, or climbing to the summit of Emei Shan with the other Buddhist pilgrims to see the hundreds of temples.

Deep in the south of the country is the extraordinarily beautiful landscape that surrounds the picturesque city of Dali and then crossing into Laos, we can trek and hike through the forested national parks of the north before arriving at the wonderful city of Luang Prabang.

29 DAYS THROUGH China, Laos
RATING:
of 0 reviews
PRICE FROM:
$3,710 (USD) + 800 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
29 days
TRANSPORT:
Overland expedition vehicle, Private bus, Ferry, Overnight boat
CREW:
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew
ACCOM:
0%
100%
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:
TRIP CODE:
ZXL
DEPOSIT:
$350 USD

Highlights

  Guided tour of Xi'an's world famous Terracotta Warriors

  Visit the huge former Tang Dynasty royal palace of Daming

  Trek up the Wudang Shan's Tianzu Peak to the Taoist martial arts school

  Visit the three gorges dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world

  Side trip to see the amazing sleeping Buddha in the Dazu Caves

  Visit to the Giant Panda breeding centre in Chengdu

  Trek up the holy mountain of Emei Shan

  See the Dafo Great Buddha, the world's largest rock-carved Buddha statue

  Trek at the world famous Tiger Leaping Gorge

  Trek or raft in the unpoilt landscape of Nam Ha National Park

  SHOW MORE HIGHLIGHTS  

An easy paced trip with plenty of 2 and 3 night stays. Ideal for people who enjoy history, culture, good food and walking. A wonderful journey of discovery with no camping. Ideal for those who want to see more than just the highlights.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Luang Prabang ( 1st Apr 2020 )

Border Information: If joining in Luang Prabang, you will most likey enter Laos at Luang Prabang International Airport (IATA code: LPQ).

Today will be a free day to explore the beautiful city of Luang Prabang until the evening. There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader on arrival at the joining hotel with more information about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Luang Prabang before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Luang Prabang.

In Luang Prabang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Enjoy the tranquility of beautiful colonial city Luang Prabang

Free

Visit the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang, a fascinating blend of Lao and French architecture

LAK 30000

Learn how to prepare some local Lao specialities at one of Luang Prabang's excellent cooking classes

USD 25

Explore the temple of Wat Xieng Thong, the oldest and one of the most beautiful temples in Luang Prabang

LAK 20000

Witness the sunrise from the panoramic viewpoint at the summit of Phou Si hill

LAK 20000

Visit the incredible site of Kuang Si and explore its beautiful waterfalls and pools

LAK 20000
Learn all about the traditional art and lifestyles of Laos's many diverse ethnic groups at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre
LAK 25000
Day 2-4 - Luang Namtha ( 2nd Apr 2020 to 4th Apr 2020 )

This morning we drive through the stunning countryside of northern Laos to the small town of Luang Namtha.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

In Luang Namtha we will have two free days to enjoy the many optional activities available in and around Luang Namtha and the nearby Nam Ha National Park. Popular activities here include hiking and trekking in the National Park.

In Luang Namtha we will stay in a local guesthouse.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Cross the border into Laos and relax in peaceful Luang Nam Tha

USD 35

Optional rafting, kayaking and trekking in Nam Ha National Park

USD 25
Get into the heart of the Nam Ha national park by trekking deep into the forests and mountains of the area (1 or 2 day treks available)
USD 20
Take a relaxing river boat cruise down the Nam Ha or Nam Tha River to explore the beautiful national park from the water
USD 20
Learn how to prepare several unique northern Lao dishes at a cooking class in Luang Namtha
USD 30
Day 5 - Mohan ( 5th Apr 2020 )

Border Information: Exit Laos at Boten, enter China at Mengla.

This morning we will cross the border into China and begin our journey through the southern Chinese region of Xishuangbanna. We spend the next few days overlanding through this beautiful area, stopping off at towns, villages and local markets along the way.

Tonight we will stay in the border town of Mengla while your crew finalise the paperwork to enter our truck into China.

Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.

Day 6 - Xishuangbanna ( 6th Apr 2020 )

Today will be a full day's drive through Yunnan province towards Kunming, most likely reaching the town of Mojiang or Yuxi en route.

Tonight we will stay in a local hotel en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

Day 7 - Shilin Stone Forest ( 7th Apr 2020 )

This morning we will complete our drive to the incredible Shilin Stone Forest. We will have a free afternoon exploring the stunning and bizarre rock formations of the Stone Forest.

We will stay in a loel hotel tonight near to the Shilin Stone Forest.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the maze of limestone pinnacles in the Stone Forest

Included in Kitty
Day 8 - Kunming ( 8th Apr 2020 )

Today we will drive to Kunming, the vibrant, modern capital of Yunnan province. We will have a free day to explore the city's sights.

In Kunming we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Overnight stay in Yunnan's laid back capital, Kunming

CNY 6
Visit the Yunnan University Wu Mayao Museum of Anthropology in Kunming, and learn all about the history of the province
Free
Learn all about the area's minorities at the Yunnan Provincial Museum, and visit the nearby markets
Free
Day 9 - Kunming ( 9th Apr 2020 )

Border Information: if joining in Kunming, you will most likely enter China at Kunming Changshui International Airport (IATA code: KMG).

There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.

The rest of the day will be free to explore the city of Kunming, its museums and its parks.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kunming before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kunming.

In Kunming we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Overnight stay in Yunnan's laid back capital, Kunming

CNY 6
Visit the Yunnan University Wu Mayao Museum of Anthropology in Kunming, and learn all about the history of the province
Free
Learn all about the area's minorities at the Yunnan Provincial Museum, and visit the nearby markets
Free
Day 10-11 - Dali ( 10th Apr 2020 to 11th Apr 2020 )

Today our journey begins with a morning drive to the beautiful Naxi town of Dali, where we will stay for 2 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day we will have a free day to fully explore the area and for optional activities such as some short treks in the nearby Cangshan mountains or hiring bicycles to ride around the Dali lake.

In Dali we stay in a friendly hostel or guesthouse with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Time for sightseeing in the lakeside town of Dali, home to the minority Bai people

CNY 40

Learn how to make dumplings and traditional Yunnanese cuisine at one of Dali's fantastic cooking classes

CNY 150

Discover the ornate 9th-century Three Pagodas of Chongsheng, some of the tallest pagodas in China's history and the symbol of Dali

CNY 120

Head out by bicycle to explore the region in depth and visit various Bai villages and Qing Dynasty bridges en route

CNY 50
Experience the incredible ancient art of cormorant fishing with the fishermen of Xizhou on Lake Erhai
CNY 100
Day 12-14 - Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge ( 12th Apr 2020 to 14th Apr 2020 )

Today we drive further north through Yunnan province to the beautiful 'Old-China'-style town of Lijiang, the base for visiting the world-famous Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following 2 days we will have free time to explore the town of Lijiang and its surroundings. One very popular excursion here is to go on a 2 day/1 night trek along the high trail above the Tiger Leaping Gorge - this is by far the best way to see the gorge from some truly incredible vantage points, and we will have the opportunity to take this trek during our time here (staying in a local guesthouse on the trail on the first night and returning to Lijiang for the second). For those that don't want to do the full trek, your crew will also be able to arrange a trip to the low sections of the gorge, where there is a flat walkway to various viewpoints.

In Lijiang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore the beautiful natural scenery and traditional buildings in the Black Dragon Pool Park
CNY 80
Head out for a day of trekking around the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, taking in some of the most incredible scenery in China on a clear day
CNY 80
Explore the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain area by cable car
CNY 280
See the incredible 'Impressions Lijiang' cultural show, demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area
CNY 270
Freely explore the area by bicycle and discover the Naxi villages surrounding Lijiang, such as the beautiful village of Baisha
CNY 20
Head out for a 2-day self-guided trek along the high ridge of the sensational Tiger Leaping Gorge
CNY 200
Go on a shorter trek along the flat base of Tiger Leaping Gorge to enjoy the scenery from below
CNY 125
Day 15 - Panzhihua ( 15th Apr 2020 )

Today we have a long drive north through stunning mountain scenery towards China's Sichuan province.

Tonight we will stay in a comfortable local hotel en route. 

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

Day 16-17 - Emei Shan ( 16th Apr 2020 to 17th Apr 2020 )

Today we will continue our drive to the small town of Emei Shan.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore Emei Shan Mountain, one of the holiest sites in Chinese Buddhism and the site of hundreds of temples and an incredible golden statue of the deity known as Samantabhadra. It is possible to walk all the way up the stairs from the base of the mountain, joining the many pilgrims in their journey to the temple complex at the mountain summit, or take the cable car up instead!

In Emei Shan we will stay in a local guesthouse.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Day trek up the lush mountain of Emei Shan, one of the most important pilgrimage treks in China

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Take a cable car ride to the top of Emei Shan

CNY 120
Day 18-19 - Chengdu, Leshan ( 18th Apr 2020 to 19th Apr 2020 )

Today we continue our journey north to the town of Leshan to visit to the Leshan Grand Buddha - at 71m tall, this statue is the largest Buddha rock carving in the world!

After our visit we will continue to the incredible city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, where we will stay for 2 nights. On arrival we will have a free afternoon to explore the city's parks, streets, and museums, and visit the fascinating and incredibly photogenic Jinli Old Town.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will have an included visit to the fantastic Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre. We'll then return to Chengdu for another free afternoon to further explore the city.

In Chengdu we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit to the Giant Panda breeding centre in Chengdu

Included in Kitty
See the colossal Dafo Great Buddha in Leshan, the world's largest rock-carved Buddha statue
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore the Jinsha Archeological Site, the capital of the Bronze Age Shu Kingdom who were one of the most ancient civilisations to settle in the area

CNY 80

Freely explore the narrow streets of the atmospheric Jinli Ancient Street and visit the nearby Wuhouci Shrine

CNY 60

Explore the cobbled streets of historic Lijang

CNY 85
Explore the mountain complex of Qingcheng, one of the ancient cradles of Taoism in China
CNY 190
Visit the impressive Tang Dynasty Buddhist temple of Wenshu, containing more than 450 Buddha statues
CNY 5
Head out for an evening performance of a traditional Sichuanese Opera
CNY 220
Day 20 - Dazu ( 20th Apr 2020 )

From Chengdu we will continue to the small village of Dazu, where we visit the Bei Shan and Baoding Shan caves, famous for their brightly-coloured freizes and carvings.

In Dazu we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Side trip to see the amazing sleeping Buddha in the Dazu Caves

CNY 135
Day 21 - Chongqing ( 21st Apr 2020 )

Today we will drive on the Chongqing, where we will have time to explore the city and prepare for tomorrow's ferry cruise on the mighty Yangtze River!

We will most likely stay in a local hotel in Chongqing tonight, but on occasion our ferry may need to depart tonight, in which case we will have a spare day later in the trip that we can use at our discretion.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

Day 22-24 - Wanzhou, Three Gorges, Badong, Yichang ( 22nd Apr 2020 to 24th Apr 2020 )

Today we embark on our Yangtze River Cruise. We travel on a local ferry boat used by local people, a much more authentic and interesting way of travelling than on a tourist cruise. We stay in shared cabins (4 members of the group to each cabin) with private bathrooms and air conditioning where possible.

The journey itself usually takes 3 days/3 nights and heads through some areas of stunning scenery, especially near the Three Gorges - the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges. The boats usually stop at the Fengdu (Ghost City), Shibaozai Tower, home to the Lanruo Dian (Orchid Temple) and at the three Lesser Gorges at various points on the trip. However due to local conditions, stops cannot always be guaranteed.

We will arrive in the city of Yichang and disembark our ferry to rejoin our truck and co-driver and have some free time to explore Yichang and the surrounding area.

We will most likely have an included visit to the incredible Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, on the last day.

In Yichang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
Cruise down the mighty Yangtze River for 3 nights on a local sleeper ferry
Included in Kitty
Stop off to visit the 1700-year-old Zhang Fei temple, famous for its exterior red-light decoration
Included in Kitty

The cruise visits the main sites of the Three Gorges & new Yangtze Dam

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Stop off at the White Emperor City, a very scenic spot featured on the Chinese 10 Yuan banknote!
CNY 180
Stop off to take a boat ride through the stunning Three Mini Gorges
CNY 220
Day 25 - Xiang Fan ( 25th Apr 2020 )

This morning we will have some free time in Yichang or visit the Three Gorges Dam if we did not have time yesterday. After lunch we will drive to the town of Xiang Fan, en route to Wudang Shan. 

In Xiang Fan we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Day 26-27 - Wudang Shan ( 26th Apr 2020 to 27th Apr 2020 )

Today we will continue our journey with a drive to the beautiful Wudang Shan Mountain Reserve, the birthplace of the martial art of Taichi and the location of the filming of 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'. We will also try to stop at the Purple Cloud Monastery en route if time allows.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-4 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore the mountain's sights, temples and martial arts schools.

In Wudang Shan we will stay in a local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Trek up the Tianzu Peak to visit the Taoist martial arts school and numerous temples on Wudang Shan

Included in Kitty
Day 28 - Xi'an ( 28th Apr 2020 )

Today we will drive to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! We will have a free afternoon on arrival to explore the city of Xi'an, its famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 29 - Xi'an ( 29th Apr 2020 )

Border Information: if leaving in Xi'an, you will most likely enter China at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA code: XIY).

This morning we head out of Xi'an on the truck to the site of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, where we have an included visit and a guided tour. We'll return to Xi'an in the afternoon and have some more free time to further explore this incredible city!

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Xi'an. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the world-famous site of the Terracotta Warriors, an army of 8000 life-size figures built to protect the Emporer Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Wander through the atmospheric Muslim Quarter and visit the Xi'an Great Mosque, the first mosque constructed in China

CNY 30

Learn about the fascinating history of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an at the Shaanxi History Museum, without doubt one of the finest museums in China

CNY 30

Visit the impressive Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an's most famous landmark dating from the Tang and Ming Dynasties

CNY 90

Walk or cycle around the Ming Dynasty Xi'an City Wall, the largest city wall in the world

CNY 90

Visit the ornate 14th-century Bell and Drum towers, which originally marked the sunrise and sunset

CNY 50

Visit the mind-blowing Tomb of Emporer Jingdi of the Han Dynasty, containing 50,000 doll-sized terracotta figures

CNY 90

Visit the Forest of Stelae Museum, a collection of 3000 stone tablets of Chinese calligraphy that has been collected here since 1057

CNY 75
Visit the huge former Tang Dynasty royal palace of Daming, and explore its vast parks and gardens
Free

DATES & PRICES

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Trip Notes
Departing: 1 Apr 2020
Returning: 29 Apr 2020
Duration: 29 days
Route: Luang Prabang - Xi'an
$3,710 USD + $800 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 19 Sep 2020
Returning: 17 Oct 2020
Duration: 29 days
Route: Xi'an - Luang Prabang
$3,710 USD + $810 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 31 Mar 2021
Returning: 28 Apr 2021
Duration: 29 days
Route: Luang Prabang - Xi'an
$3,805 USD + $800 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 18 Sep 2021
Returning: 16 Oct 2021
Duration: 29 days
Route: Xi'an - Luang Prabang
$3,805 USD + $810 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available