Meet Yunnan, meet it's cultures. In these 9 days you meet many of the 26 minorities that live in this part of China. Culture and language are important to minorities, expressed in clothing, sometimes very old housing, local handicrafts and much more. Besides, you will experience Yunnan's richness in natural resources, exceptional rice terraces, mountainous areas alternated with plateaus, rivers, rain forest... Welcome in Yunnan.
Day 1: From the airport in Kunming to Jianshui
Our driver and guide will pick you up at the airport in Kunming. They will be waiting for you with a billboard with your name on it. You will directly be heading to the south to Jianshui. Once Kunming is out of sight, it is time for your lunch. In the afternoon after approximately 4 hours driving, you will reach Jianshui where you will check in into your already booked hotel. If you have some energy left, stretch your legs since the age-old history, splendid culture and glorious tradition have produced many historic sites in Jianshui.
Day 2: Walking through Jianshui
Jianshui holds more than 100 ancient temples, 50 ancient bridges, and 56 state-protected cultural relics. Jianshui is devoted to developing local handicrafts, among which Jianshui earthenware is the most well known as it is one of the four celebrated potteries in China.
Fish ponds, 45 courtyards, and astonishing woodcarvings make the Zhu Family House - built in 1611 during the Qing-dynasty - most famous. Many movies were once filmed here. Furthermore, you will visit the ancient North Gate, which is located near the Confucius Temple. This is the biggest temple in Yunnan and the second largest Confucius Temple in China. All these objects are on walking distance from your hotel.
Day 3: From Jianshui to Yuanyang; the land of a thousand mirrors
Before heading off to Yuanyang, you have to experience the 17-arch Double Dragon Bridge just outside Jianshui.
It will take about 5 hours to get to Yuanyang, with en route lunch. Yuanyang is a collective name for the villages that lay - almost invisible - high in the mountains. The mountain slopes resemble a thousand mirrors; stairs of bright green in summer, yellow-green in autumn and after the harvest of rice the irrigated fields form a thousand mirrors reflecting pink mornings, silver-blue days and golden evenings. The 'Tiger Mouth' is most scenic and requires a photo stop.
You will arrive in Xinjiezhen - Yuanyang's Old Town - in the afternoon.
Day 4: Exploring the villages and natural wonders of Yuanyang
Tourism hasn't yet encountered this unique region. Yuanyang is home to minorities as Miao, Yi, Yao, and Hani. The population is still living a traditional life; in winters, women weave their own clothes and stitch their headgear, while in warmer periods the fields are worked.
Today you can enjoy the sunrise in the mountains, we visit the rice terraces in Bada, Laohuzui, and Duoyishu.
You also will visit some Hani-minority villages and a local market.
Once back in Yuanyang, it is time to enjoy the beautiful sunset.
Day 5: Heading to Pu'er
After breakfast, but still early morning, we leave Yuanyang. Be prepared for a long, but really worthwhile drive, of 500 kilometers to Pu'er. You will arrive in the afternoon.
Day 6: Everything about Pu'er
This morning you visit the top of a hill covered by tea plantations and with astonishing views. Once you have soaked it all in, you head off to a minority Christian church. In the afternoon you visit a minority park with traditional houses and people playing traditional music and singing songs that originate from the minorities in this region. There is a small museum that exhibits the history of tea as well.
After freshening up in your hotel, the guide will suggest having a delicious Dai minority dinner together in a restaurant out of town.
Day 7: Through the rain forest: from Pu'er to Jinghong
It's tea-tasting-time! In one of the many tea shops that are blooming in Pu'er, all kinds of tea will be displayed and free to taste. Don't worry, you don't need to buy anything. When you have had enough tea, you will continue to Jinghong. On our way, you can visit a Rain Forest Park. After arrival in the tropical town Jinghong and checking in in your hotel, it's already time for dinner.
Day 8: Jinghong's local life and the Tropical Botanical Garden in Menglun
About 80 kilometers from Jinghong, the in 1959 established Tropical Botanical Garden is waiting for you. The lush, beautiful and tranquil garden covers an area of 900 hectares and has a collection of over 4000 plants. You might forget time once exploring this magical garden. The garden hosts one of the most poisonous plants in the world, the 'Upas Tree', also called the 'Tree of Death'. If the sap of the tree enters the bloodstream, through a cut, for example, it's said that the victim will make nine steps only before he dies.
Once back in Jinghong, you can go out to explore Jinghong into depth. Take a look at the dancing and singing near the Peacock Lake and visit the night market near your hotel.
Day 9: Jinghong - airport / next destination
The driver and guide will escort you to the airport or your next destination. You could, for example, extend your travel in Dali, Lijiang or Shangri-La. Take a look at these modules or at the highlights.