Kunming, Dongchuan, Gaoligong & Tengchong
Family Travel, Off the Beaten
Dubbed “Land of the Southern Clouds”, rugged Yunnan offers not only stunning mountains, but also rich ethnic minority culture.
Get acquainted with Gaoligong Mountain, home to half of the nation’s wildlife, as well as its role in jade and amber trade on the Southern Silk Road. Discover phenomenal Ming Dynasty architecture and the old trading routes zig-zagging through the hills of Tengchong, concluding with its famously potent hot springs.
On your way to this remote region, you will also make a stop at Kunming and learn about the cultivation methods employed by ethnic minorities culminating in Dongchuan Red Land.
Transfer to your hotel upon arrival. Depending on your flight times, you may have time to explore Kunming at your own pace with a delightful stroll at Bird & Flower Market, Kunming’s city center or admire Yuantong Temple’s intricate Buddhist decor.
Drive 250km/3.5h to Dongchuan at Wumeng mountain plateau, in lesser-known Northeast Yunnan. Dubbed as “God’s palette”, Dongchuan is renowned for its red soil formed by iron and aluminium oxidization. A photographer’s paradise, it is seasonally covered by melting snow (Jan-Feb), blooming flowers and golden wheat (May-Jun), or white and yellow rape flowers (Sep-Dec). This afternoon, enjoy sunset at Luoxiagou Valley (Sunset Valley) overlooking local villages and farmlands.
Rise early sunrise at Damakan with morning mist over the red slopes (weather permitting), visiting a few more photography spots to seize the changing hues over brightly-coloured fields with locals going about their daily life. Thereafter we transfer 250km/3.5h to Kunming airport.
Fly Kunming/Tengchong MU 5720 1525/1640(1h15m)
On arrival, transfer 53km/1.5h to Vinetree Gaoligong Tented Resort, an expedition eco camp built with low-impact materials with a 1km elevated wooden boardwalk linking tents and public areas, including a wildlife-focused library. Imagine yourself as an intrepid naturalist as you gaze over subtropical rainforest canopy from your private deck. Waste from the resort is taken out of the forest for processing, employees are from nearby local villagers and the chefs use only local ingredients to showcase wonderful Yunnan cuisine.
A UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Gaoligong Mountain is home to half of the nation’s wildlife. Enjoy full day at leisure to explore the area. Alternatively, guided activities can be arranged at additional cost:
Check out and transfer to Tengchong, one of Southwest China’s oldest region with history dating back to the Western Han dynasty. Visit the Beihai Wetland to appreciate the national wetland reserve. End your day with a visit to the 46m high volcanic dam waterfall at Dieshu River.
Start at Yunfeng Mountain, ranked AA Scenic Areas and #1 peak along the China-Burma border. Enjoy a 1,608m cableway ride, taking in scenic views of high forest coverage to the mountain peak (2,449m) to visit a Taoist abbey from 1634AD and the ever-flowing wishing spring. This afternoon, stroll the cobbled-street Heshun old town, once a jade-trading Silk Road town. Discover the elegant ancestral hall, memorial archway, old railway platform and stone columns before continuing to Rehai Park and dip at the geothermal hot springs (own expense).
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport to check-in for your flight home. Not ready to say goodbye yet? We can tailor-make extension to UNESCO-protected Yuanyang rice terraces, Lijiang old town or an off-the-beaten two-day adventurous Mekong River trip to Laos.
Cachet Boutique Hotel Kunming • Keep Time Inn Dongchuan • Vinetree Gaoligong Tented Resort • Kangjia Tea Garden Heshun (Tengchong)
An elegant, comfortable hotel set at Kunming city centre, just 2km from Nanping Pedestrian Street and a walk away from a snack street.View More
Just 5km away from the southern border of Gaoligong Mountain National Nature Reserve at average altitude of 2,300m, stay in this expedition guest tents amidst 1,000m elevated trail amidst twining vines, trees and mists for the ultimate nature discovery near the ancient Southern Silk Road.View More
Committed to offer a spiritual, distraction-free journey, this hotel beautifully integrates its architecture with the surrounding natural ambience of Yunfeng Mountain’s “Ever Young Valley”, courtesy of internationally-renowned architect Mr. Kengo Kuma.View More
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