Yunnan – The Old Burma Road
Type: Discovery Tour
Duration: 10 Days
Best Time to Travel: October – April
Places you'll discover
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Yunnan – The Old Burma Road - Itinerary
Meet upon arrival and transfer to your hotel.
Kunming – Stone Forest - Kunming
After breakfast we take a stroll through the nearby Green Lake Park, a popular gathering point for the local population, to see the locals engaged in their morning workouts, practice Tai Chi, show off their birds and enjoy social dancing. Drive to the Stone Forest of Lunan, the most popular tourist attraction in Yunnan which is located about 80km east of Kunming. Years of rain and erosion left behind a bizarre and impressive landscape of limestone pillars which, with a little imagination, indeed resembles a forest. We have a walk through the maze of paths and walkways leading through this natural wonderland and learn more about the Sani people, an ethnic minority populating the area.
Optional: You can visit the Cultural Dance Show “Dynamic Yunnan”, a song and dance medley organized by renowned dancer, Ms. Yang Liping. It shows the different dances of the minority tribes in Yunnan province. It is both vibrant and colourful as the dancers energetically perform in their traditional costumes.
In the evening we board the overnight train to Lijiang.
Kunming - Zhongdian
Early morning flight to Zhongdian, which recently changed its name and is now called "Shangri-La". Zhongdian is situated amongst a stunning landscape on the eastern Tibetan plateau at about 3200 meters above sea level. Upon arrival you drive to a view point from where you enjoy a breathtaking view over the scenic Napa Lake and the surroundings. Continue to the idyllic "Dabao" Monastery which is located about 12km outside of Zhongdian. Dabao Si is the oldest remaining Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) monastery in the area.
In the afternoon visit Ganden Sumtseling Gompa, a 300-year old impressive Tibetan Monastery. From a historical point of view the Ganden Sumtseling Gompa is very significant to the region because it was inaugurated personally in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama. After that, visit picturesque old town of Zhongdian. Time at leisure to explore the picturesque old town of Zhongdian on your own.
Zhongdian Tiger Leaping Gorge – Lijiang
Drive through impressive landscape towards Lijiang. Half way we take a left turn into the impressive “Tiger Leaping Gorge” (Hu Tiao Xia), where the Yangtze waters are squeezed through a narrow, at some places only 15 meters wide gorge. The Tiger Leaping Gorge is the most impressive during the summer months, when water levels of the Yangtze River are the highest.
Our driver will drop you on the road that leads up to the Tea Horse Guesthouse. You walk uphill along a small road for about 1 hour. Along the way you will enjoy spectacular view of the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the “5 Fingers” of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. We have lunch at the Tea Horse Guesthouse. Continue to Shigu village, to see the famous "First Bend", where the Yangtze River is making an abrupt 180 degrees turn and flows for several kilometers, parallel to itself towards the north again. Continue to Lijiang. Check-in at your hotel.
In the morning take a stroll through the apparently countless narrow lanes and canals crisscrossing the picturesque old town. You visit the local market and climb Lion Hill from where you have a wonderful view over the old town. You also learn more about the secrets of the mystic Naxi culture. Lijiang was listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1992.
Visit the wonderful "Black Dragon Pool" Park, from where, weather permitting, one has a spectacular view of the "Jade Dragon Snow Mountain". Visit the Dongba Museum. Rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore Lijiang old town on your own.
Lijiang – Shaxi – Dali
You leave Lijiang and drive through a beautiful landscape towards Shaxi. The picturesque Shaxi village was formerly a pivotal stop on the Tea and Horse Road from Yunnan to Tibet. Over hundreds of years, tea and other goods were transported on this ancient trading route network from the tea producing areas in the southern Yunnan Province to Tibet. During the 1990s Shaxi village has been renovated with the help of the Swiss government. Visit Shibao Mountain with the Shizhong Temple.
The impressive rock carvings of Shibaoshan are over 1300 years old and are testimony of the spread of Mahayana Buddhism in the region. If you like you can make a beautiful walk (1.5 hrs.) along the ancient Tea and Horse Trail back to Shaxi with magnificent views over the Shaxi Valley below. Continue to Shaxi. Make a walking tour around this idyllic village. Continue drive to Dali. Check-in at your hotel.
Dali – Baoshan
Dali is situated on the eastern shores of the stunning Erhai Lake on the foot of the 4000m high Cang Shan mountain range. During the 9th century Dali served as capital of the once powerful Nanzhao and later the Dali Kingdoms, before the town was overrun by the Mongols about 400 years later. Take a walking tour around Dali. You visit the Catholic Church in Bai Style, the former City Gates and the local market.
You leave Dali and follow the infamous "Burma Road" through a stunning countryside towards Baoshan. When advancing Japanese troops cut of the American supply lines in southern Myanmar (Burma) during WW 2, the American General Joseph Stillwell took on the enormous task to build a road from Ledo in India via northern Burma into China to Kunming. You cross the Mekong River and drive along the original remaining parts of this legendary road and reach Baoshan in late afternoon.
Baoshan - Tengchong
In the morning we visit an idyllic, rarely visited temple outside Baoshan with a magnificent reclining Jade-Buddha. The Buddha was a gift from the Burmese Foreign Minister U Nu who visited the area in the 1960s. You follow in the footsteps of General Stillwell and “his” Burma Road. The road leads through stunning landscape into the Nujiang Valley before winding its way through the impressive Gaolingong Mountain Range towards Tengchong. Three hundred thousand laborers and coolies equipped in most cases with only the most primitive of tools, slaved in inhospitable, sub-tropical conditions to connect this stretch of the Burma Road, with an existing link between Xiaguan and Kunming.
On the way, you make a quick detour to Mount Songshan, where a decisive battle took place during World War II on May 11, 1944. After a two-year stand-off on the Salween River, the Chinese Expedition Army was able to decisively repulse the Japanese army at the Battle of Songshan. Together with the Battle of Imphal and Kohima in northern Burma, the Songshan battle is one of the decisive battles in the Burma-India-China Theatre.
Continue to Tengchong. Located on the Fault lines of the Indian Subcontinent and Asian Continent at an altitude of 1’650 meters, the Tengchong surroundings are dotted with countless ancient volcanoes and numerous natural hot springs. Tengchong played an important role in the defense against the Japanese invaders by the allied forces during WW2. Overnight accommodation in Tengchong.
Tengchong - Kunming
In the morning you visit the Tengchong Hot Springs. You take a walk around the bubbling and boiling ponds. Continue to the Tengchong Museum with an interesting display about the Old Burma Road, the “Burma-India-China” theatre and the important role that the area around Tengchong played in the defense against the Japanese invaders during WW2. In the afternoon transfer to the airport and flight to Kunming. Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to your hotel.
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
- Room accommodation in twin share
- Private transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
- Drinking water in vehicle
- Experienced English speaking Yunnan guides
- Flights: Kunming – Zhongdian / Tengchong – Kunming
- Daily breakfast and meals as mentioned in itinerary
- Entrance and sightseeing fees as mentioned in the itinerary
- Airport arrival and departure transfers
What's Not Included?
- International Flights
- Drinks during meals
- Optional tours
- China visa
- Any personal expenses such as laundry, hotel phone etc
- Tips and gratuities
|Kunming||Lost Garden G.H. 2-3*
|New Era Hotel 4*
|Cachet Hotel 5*
|Zhongdian||Outfitting Inn 3*
|Arro Khampa 3-4*
|Songtsam Retreat 5*
|Lijiang||First Bend Inn 3*
|Manxin Hotel 3-4*
|Lux Resort 4*
|Gurong Hotel 4*
|The One Resort Hotel 4-5*
|Baoshan||Jin Yu Tang 3*
|Landu Hotel 3*
|Guang Fang Hotel 4-5*
|Tengchong||Airport Hotel 3*
|Guang Fang 4-5*
|Angsana Hotel 5*