Highlights

An old Chinese saying goes that you can learn more by travelling a thousand miles than by reading a thousand books. Therefore, experts of Yunnan Discovery carefully design and run this true 10 days Yunnan student tour, with which, the teacher and students can get out of the classroom and learn in a totally new environment – a magical world, known as the South of Clouds Kingdom.

Our Yunnan educational tour program, with emphasis on educational element, combines hands-on learning opportunities and escorted sightseeing trips to benefit international students and make sure they get the most out of these experiences.

How do students benefit from this Yunnan educational tour:
  • Meet and learn new culture – evidence of China's ancient civilization can be found in Yunnan, apart from the age-old traditions and customs of the minority groups.
  • Enjoy the hands-on experiences – make tea, cook local snack, make tie-dye cloth, paint a Tangka, fire and make black pottery.
  • Gain new insights – learn from the locals about how to live in harmony with nature, and with other races of people, since Yunnan has 52 ethnic groups.
  • Get endless chances to be close to nature – discover the unspoiled pure land of Yunnan by hiking and trekking, inspiring students through lively outdoor activities.
  • Visit the must-see places of Yunnan, such as Lijiang Ancient Town, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Shangri-La, Ancient Tea Horse Road sites.
  • Travel Style: original, private tour, student tour, educational tour

    Best Time to Travel: all year round

    Destinations: Dali, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Shangri-La

    Day

    Meals Included: No Meals

    Nimen hao, welcome to China! Upon arrival, make your connection flight to Dali, Yunnan. Your private guide of Yunnan Discovery will meet your team at the arrival hall of Dali Airport and give you a warm welcome. Transfer to your hotel in Dali Old Town and check in. Your guide will be very glad to help the teacher with the check-in procedures and look after the students.

    The young boys and girls probably can't wait to explore this new place, meet new people and breath the cool and fresh new air. In Dali, where the modernity has seeped into the ancient civilization, begin your miraculous Yunnan educational tour. First of all, transfer to visit to the iconic landmark of Dali – a majestic architecture complex made of Chongsheng Temple and its Three Pagodas. A wealth of Buddhist classics and cultural relics of Ancient Nanzhao (Dali) Kingdom are kept inside the buildings, from which, teacher and students can discover an over 1000-year-old kingdom and its glorious past.

    Then transfer back to the old town of Dali, the former royal capital of the kingdom, and have been inhabited by friendly Bai ethnic people for generations. Today, the quiet life in Dali Ancient Town has never ceased to appeal to urban residents, and is going to bring an interesting experience for the international students.

    Good to know:

    If you'll make a stopover in Kunming after coming to China, you're highly suggested to take Kunming Dali high speed train, for a safe and comfortable bullet train experience.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Pick up from hotel lobby and transfer to the tea fields on the halfway of Cangshan Mountain (a UNESCO Geopark). Then observe and learn the fun process of tea-making such as picking the tea leaves from the fields, water-remove, frying the tea, and cooling down the tea. And then students can taste the tea they made themselves at an elegant tea house. Also enjoy the panoramic view of Dali from Cangshan Mountain, overlooking Erhai Lake, houses, farms…

    Have a Chinese style lunch at a local restaurant. Perhaps you can learn the way to use chopsticks, an essential tool for eating in China.

    In the afternoon, bike Erhai Lake along the West Ring Road (about 2 hours) – it is one of the best ways to discover the beauty of Erhai Lake and also the rurality of Dali. There are few vehicles on the road, so you can bike freely on the paths of crisscrossed farmlands and see local villagers busy working, go into the idyllic countryside, find pristine fishing villages. Along the way, students can chat happily with classmates about what they see.

    Then transfer back to the hotel and have a good rest.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    After breakfast at hotel, transfer to visit a traditional market at Xizhou Town, where all kinds of foods, vegetables and local specialties are for sale, dazzling and delighting the students. They can also gain a preliminary understanding of local real life situations in Yunnan.

    Then have a guided walking tour of Xizhou Ancient Town – another important settlement for Bai people. Here you will find the best preserved and the largest collection of Bai residential buildings, which fully reflect the architectural talent and artistic creativity of Bai people.

    Time for hands-on practice – learn to make Xizhou baba, a popular local snack (pancake). With the prepared flour and ingredients, follow the step-by-step guidance of the instructor to make your own Xizhou Baba, and enjoy the fruits of labor.

    Afterwards, transfer to Zhoucheng Village. We arrange you a visit of local Bai family to learn more about their cultural traditions and folklores by chatting with the friendly hosts. Have a family lunch with the Bai people, with delicious local traditional dishes. Also taste the three-course tea – a traditional hospitality etiquette tracing back to Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It makes the guests feel at home and welcome.

    Enhance the knowledge of traditional Chinese art and handcraft by taking a Tie-Dye class in the local workshop at Zhoucheng Village. The whole process is fun for students, and they can make their own pieces of tie-dye cloth with the help of local people. Then transfer back to hotel in Dali.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    It is likely that these youngsters have had an exhilarating night with sound sleep. Continue your wondrous journey to Lijiang (3 hours' drive) and check in to your hotel. Given its sheer size, over 800 years of history and well-kept architecture and layout, the ancient town of Lijiang is the best of its kind in China. The natural scenery of Lijiang and local village life are fascinating, and are waiting for you to discover.

    Lunch will be a served at a local restaurant in Lijiang Old Town – taste popular Lijiang local dishes and snacks.

    Enjoy the afternoon with a guided walking tour of Lijiang Ancient Town, originally named Dayan. Together with Lijiang's breathtaking landscape, it was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site in 1997. Wander around on the historical cobbled streets and along the winding streams. It is said that the old town was built based on the shape of the seal of Lijiang Naxi King. Look into the distance for the towering Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

    Visit Black Dragon Pool, also named Jade Spring Park. Its water nourishes the people of Dayan. Appreciate the beautiful, exquisite ancient bridges and pavilions and see the snow-capped mountains are reflected on the calm, clean water. Stay overnight in Lijiang Old Town.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Enjoy a wonderful morning with an adventure to the great nature of Lijiang. Drive for about 2 hours to get to Wenhai Lake, evolved from an ancient glacial lake and now a wetland nature reserve. There are various kinds of flowers and trees, especially beautiful in spring and summer. If the student tour in Yunnan happens to be in winter, you can see flocks of birds of various species fly from the north and perch in Wenhai Lake. Have a visit of the local Yi villages, locked in isolation, where the traditional lifestyle continues in a real rural China.

    Drive to Baisha Village, the place of origin of the Lijiang civilization and an important part of the Lijiang UNESCO Heritage. The local guide will lead students to visit Baisha Murals, a Buddhist art treasure mostly created in Ming and Qing Dynasties. Later visit an embroidery school, where there are beautiful embroidery works collections on display and people making hand embroidery on-site. There is also chance offered to have a communication with the Dongba (the local shaman of Naxi people).

    This afternoon we also visit the lesser-known Yu Hu Village at the southern foothill of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The earliest inhabitants of Yuhu Village were the deer keepers for the Naxi king. The former home of Dr Joseph Rock, a renowned US naturalist who used to live in Yuhu Village between 1922 and 1949, retains its old look. Students from modern cities will be impressed by its naturel beauty and primitive life. Transfer back to your hotel.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    The following 2 days Tiger Leaping Gorge hiking tour can be a little challenge for the young ladies and gentlemen, but it is also a good chance to build up their strong will.

    Drive about one and a half hours from Lijiang to Qiaotou town, the starting point of the Tiger Leaping Gorge trekking. Learn from your guide about the importance and historical influence of Tiger Leaping Gorge as part of the Ancient Tea Horse trade route, and how the route benefited the local people in the mountainous areas.

    The hiking trail rises alternating between forests and cultivated farmlands. After 2 hours hiking, we arrive at Naxi Family Guesthouse for lunch.

    Keep on moving, we come to the most challenging part of the trek as the trail rises steeply with "28 bends" to the top of the 'high path' (the hiking path, not the road for vehicle). As we continually hiking along the 'high path', we will be rewarded with amazingly beautiful views of the Tiger Leaping Gorge with gushing river deep below. And look up, you will see the majestic Jade Dragon Mountain seemingly within reach.

    After 4 hours hiking in the afternoon, we arrive at Old Tea Horse Guesthouse, your accommodation for the night. This family-run guesthouse offers simple clean room with private shower and toilet. The students may need time to fit into this simple accommodation.

    Total Hiking Time Today: 6 hours

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    After breakfast, set off to the unknown mystical world, with the refreshing sunlight and morning air. Trace the footsteps of ancient horse caravans and enjoy hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge again today. On the way, the students may encounter the nomadic yak and horse herders and get to know their daily life.

    Hike for about 2 hours along the gorge and enjoy even more beautiful sceneries than yesterday, until we get to the Half-way Guesthouse.From here, we will walk through the vast farmlands and lovely small villages for another 2 hours – the students can fun free and wild, as long as they keep following the team. In the end, we get to the Tina Guesthouse and enjoy a big lunch. Meet your driver, with private transport and transfer to Zhongdian (Shangri-La), a mysterious land.

    Total Hiking Time Today: 4 hours

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Go on an adventure of Shangri-La, the mini-Tibet. First, we pay a visit to the Sumstenling Monastery, embraced by green vegetation. Climb the long, steep stairs to marvel at its majestic architecture and get a bit of the splendid Buddhist culture and art.

    Then visit a Tibetan family living at an original farm house. The hosts are unsophisticated people who will be very glad to chat with the students and tell about the daily lifestyle. With the translation of your local guide, you can understand the Tibetan's local farm life – how they make a living on the humble farmlands.

    Later visit a "hub" of the Ancient Tea Horse Road – the over 1300-year-old Dukezong Ancient Town or the romantic name Moonlight City built on a hillside. Dukezong gradually becomes known to the world after it was introduced as "Shangri-La" in the book of Lost Horizon by James Hilton. Lunch will be arranged at a local restaurant.

    Finish today's adventure by learning to paint a Tangka in the Tangka Culture Center. Tangka is a unique painting art form in Tibetan culture.

    Good to know:

    Shangri-La on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is 3459m above sea level that might cause altitude sickness, so students should not take intense physical activities.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    This morning teacher and students will be transferred to Nixi Tangdui Black Pottery Village, with about 2000-year-old history of pottery making. The black pottery produced in Nixi Village represents a superb artistic accomplishment of Chinese pottery.

    Students will learn from the local artisans to make Tibetan style black pottery wares. With the prepared clay materials, use your imagination and artistic creativities to make pottery yourself. You can take it home as a treasured souvenir of your Yunnan educational tour.

    Lunch will be served in Nixi pottery village.

    In the afternoon transfer to visit Pudacuo National Park – a heave-like place for the students. They will have great fun and learn new things when going through/by the preserved wetlands, primitive forests, grasslands and jewel-like plateau lakes. There is wonderful wildlife such as birds, squirrels, and sheep and yaks grazing on the grasslands.

    Your guide will be able to answer your questions about Yunnan Province's efforts in protecting the environment, the land and natural resources uses, the local Tibetan life and anything else about Shangri-La.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Shangri-La Airport for your onward flight to the next destination or home. Your Yunnan student tour ends, but will still live on in your photos and the topics among your classmates.

    What's included

    • One-on-one travel counseling service with fully tailor-made itinerary
    • Private English-speaking guide, native-born or with years of local life experience
    • Reservations of domestic flights and trains as listed on your itinerary
    • Private driver, with comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle
    • Entry tickets to all attractions on your itinerary
    • Private transfers to airport/hotels/attractions
    • Handpicked accommodations to meet your needs, with daily breakfast
    • Lunch and dinner arranged at local restaurants, for taste of Yunnan
    • International flight tickets or train tickets
    • China Visa (but we can send you the invitation letter to help you apply China visa)
    • Tips for guides, escort, drives, bellman
    • Personal expenses

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