The energy and excitement of these great cities in China is hard to describe, as is the serenity of a landscape dominated by bamboo and rice terraces. Open yourself to the wonder and magnificence of this dynamic blend of old and new China while enjoying the region’'s finest cuisine and luxury accommodations. Experience the true variety of China with the electric mix of the past and the future in Shanghai. Allow Guilin'’s gorgeous terrain to inspire you as it has moved poets and painters for centuries. You'’ll discover that history classes never offered the wealth of fascinating cultural lessons that you'’ll uncover in Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian and Sanya. Every moment of your journey opens your eyes and your mind to new horizons and fresh perspectives.

Tour Details


Starts any day. January to December

17 days from $6395.00

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Day 1

Arrive Shanghai, China

Welcome to Shanghai. You are met on arrival, and transferred to your luxury hotel located in the heart of this vibrant city.

Day 2

Shanghai Sightseeing

Ancient tradition and modern ambition meld in Shanghai, and the contemporary Shanghai Museum embodies both, with its stunning architecture and more than 123,000 extraordinary cultural artifacts.

Continue your sightseeing by touring the city’s Old Town – stroll the serene paths of the classical Yu Yuan Garden, and visit the Jade Buddha Temple famous for its rare, white Burmese‐jade Buddha statue. Explore the renowned “Bund,” Shanghai’s waterfront quay filled with historic buildings and shops overlooking the Huangpu River. ​(B)

Day 3

Shanghai to Hangzhou

This morning, enjoy your First Class seat aboard the train to Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.

After a chance to relax in your hotel, spend the afternoon touring this city of natural beauty and important cultural and historical heritage. Take a boat ride on scenically beautiful West Lake (Xi Hu) and explore the gardens in Guo Village. ​(B)

Day 4

Hangzhou Sightseeing

Today enjoy a full day tour through this 2,200-year-old area. Visit the Ling Yin Temple, one of the most famous Buddhist temples in China. See the Liuhe, or Six Harmonies Pagoda, originally constructed in 960, then destroyed and re‐built over the next 500 years. Explore the former residence of Hu Xueyan, the richest merchant in the Qing Dynasty, and continue through the peaceful tea plantations. (B)

Day 5

Hangzhou to Guilin

This morning fly to inspirational, artistic Guilin, an important cultural city with more than 2,000 years of history. You are met upon arrival, and taken to your hotel.

This afternoon tour Daxu Ancient Town with its ancient buildings dating back to the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties. ​(B)

Day 6

Guilin Sightseeing

Guilin is surrounded by green mountains and crystal‐clear waters. Today explore the area with a journey down the Li River - see the beautiful karst peaks, with water buffalo patrolling the fields, peasants working in the rice paddies, and fishermen floating on bamboo rafts. Then explore scenic Yangshuo, with its simple atmosphere and local specialty cuisine. (B)

Day 7

Guilin & Kunming

This morning, enjoy a city tour of Guilin, including the ancient Elephant Trunk Hill and its stunningly beautiful Reed Flute Cave.

This afternoon fly to Kunming, capital of the Yunnan Province known as ‘the city of Eternal Spring.’ You are met upon arrival and taken to your hotel. ​(B)

Day 8

Kunming Sightseeing

Today you take a full day excursion to the Stone Forest, a rare 270 million year old geological phenomenon. Covering 96,000 acres, the area is full of lakes, waterfalls, and karst limestone pillars in fantastic shapes that create a labyrinth of amazing vistas. This is also home to the Sani Tribe, a branch of the diverse and scattered Yi minority, renowned for their diligence, embroidery and dancing. ​(B)

Day 9

Kunming to Dali

Early this morning take a short flight to Dali, capital of the Dali and Nanzhao Kingdoms dating back 1300 years.

Upon arrival, visit the Three Pagodas, built 1000 years ago during the Tang and Song Dynasties, and the symbol of Dali. Next, take a cruise on Erhai Lake, part of the Mekong river system, and named for its ear-like shape. This afternoon discover old town Dali. ​(B)

Day 10

Dali to Lijiang

This morning drive north to Lijiang, stopping en route to explore the morning market in Xizhou, a village with architecture typical of the Bai minority.

Arriving in Lijiang, visit the Old Town, a UNESCO city of World Cultural Heritage. See the peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, as they provide a dramatic backdrop for the Moon‐Embracing Pavilion at Black Dragon Pond.

Continue north to Dongba, located between Dali and Tibet, the Dongba culture mixes the cultures of Tibetan, Han Chinese and the Bai minority. ​(B)

Day 11

Lijiang Sightseeing

Today visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, home to China’s rarest animals and plants. Take a chair lift up to Yak Meadow for wonderful vistas. See the Yufeng Monastery, with its 500-year-old camellia tree that boasts of 10,000 blossoms. Visit Baisha Town, including the Liulidian Temple and Daobaoji Temple. Explore the simple Naxi minority Yuhu village, and botanist’s Dr. Joseph Rockʹs House. ​(B)

Day 12

Lijiang to Zhongdian

Today climb to 10,000 feet as you drive towards Tibet to Zhongdian (Ringha). En route, visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, the Yangtze River’s best-known gorge after the Three Gorges in Sichuan. (Please note the Banyan Tree Ringha rooms have two levels with the bathroom on the second floor.) ​(B)

Day 13


Zhongdian is “Shangri‐La.” the fabled land in the book “The Lost Horizon.” At 10,800 feet, it is a plateau dotted with beautiful hills, flowers and alpine lakes. Visit Ganden Songzanglin Monastery, founded in the 17th century during the reign of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama. Nicknamed the Lesser Potala Palace, it houses 700 monks and one living Buddha. A cultural highlight is your visit with a Tibetan family in the old town. ​(B)

Day 14

Zhongdian to Kunming & Sanya

This morning fly to Kunming. You are met upon arrival and taken on a tour of the city. Visit the Western Hills (or the ‘Sleeping Buddha Hills,’) the Golden Temple, the largest copper temple in China, and the Bamboo Temple (Buddhist Qiongzhu Temple) that is surrounded by a bamboo forest.

This evening, board another flight to the beach town of Sanya, located in the southern Hunan province. You are met upon arrival, and taken to your luxury hotel. ​(B)

Day 15

Sanya Sightseeing

Today’s full day tour of this unique tropical area includes the Nanshan (South Mountain) Temple, and the South China Sea’s Bodhisattva Quan Yin statue – at 355 feet it is the fourth tallest statue in the world. This afternoon relax with a traditional Tea ceremony. ​(B)

Day 16

Sanya Activities

Sanya has clear blue waters, white sand beaches and lush green mountains - truly a tropical paradise. Today enjoy your choice of a golf or fishing excursion. ​(B)

Day 17

Depart Sanya

Today, you are taken to the Sanya airport for your departing flight home or on to your next destination. ​(B)


The Peninsula Shanghai, Shanghai

The Peninsula Shanghai hotel’'s 235 gloriously comfortable guestrooms and suites represent the return of classic luxury to Shanghai. The city’'s most spacious, they have it all, from Art Deco elegance to breathtaking Huangpu River and skyline views, plus the newest Peninsula room technology. Every room features a 46-inch plasma TV, Nespresso coffee machine, iPod docking station, free local and international calls and Wi-Fi access. A 2015 Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel

Banyan Tree, Hangzhou

Discover priceless tranquility in Banyan Tree Hangzhou. Let the splendour of nature and centuries old cultural legacy enthrall you. Enveloped in lush greeneries and calm waters, Banyan Tree Hangzhou sits within China’'s first wetland reserve, the Xixi National Wetland Park, home to an amazing wealth of thriving plant and animal life. Within Xixi National Wetland Park, a ‘living water park’ has been preserved by recovery of wetland areas and restoration of ecological systems, paving the way for the establishment of fish ponds and reedbeds, and reintroduction of 270 biological species such as persimmon, mulberry, bamboo, willow and camphor trees. Guests may visit various attractions within the reserve, including the Plum Villa, Autumn Snow Temple, Yanshui Fishing Villa, and Xixi Family House, which lend historical and cultural background to your visit in the Hangzhou region. From its tiled roofs and ivory walls, to the elaborate décor of each suite and villa, Banyan Tree Hangzhou is an exemplary depiction of traditional Chinese architecture and modern comforts, set within tranquil natural surroundings. A 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List Hotel

Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin

Overlooking the picturesque banks of the legendary Li River, this classic Chinese-style hotel sits on an impressive 12-acre site, from which Guilin’s leading tourist attractions - including Diecai Mountain and the city's charming pedestrian tourist area - are easily accessible. The hotel's 449 guest rooms and suites are the most spacious in the city, and guests are offered a diverse selection of recreational facilities and an interesting variety of dining opportunities during their stay. With exceptional levels of service and comfort, Shangri-La Hotel, Guilin is the premier choice for discerning visitors to this remarkable city. A 2015 Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel

Green Lake Hotel, Kunming

Green Lake Hotel, a five-star business class hotel in Kunming, has been voted by Forbes as China'’s Best Business Hotel 2007 & 2008. Finely decorated by international designers, the Green Lake Hotel has a continental style and cultural Chinese atmosphere. Enjoy modern, sophisticated design with custom-made, comfortable furnishings and accessories. Green Lake Hotel has a wonderful natural environment and has also been called, “"a heaven of peace in the metropolis". A peaceful land in the noise.” We are also the first hotel to offer 24-Hour Butler Service in western China. The hotel combines the personality and style of an intimate hotel with the functionality, reliability and attentive service of a major business and leisure hotel. The property provides the kind of environment today'’s savvy traveler needs and holds the highest standards of service and hospitality.

The One Resort Dali

The One Resort Dali is a courtyard hotel situated in Dali ancient town and about a five-minute walk from local scenic spots like the Honglongjing. During their spare time, guests may socialize at the bar or just sit in the yard to enjoy the moonlight. Services for both business and leisure guests include valet parking, ticket booking services, international credit card use and free parking.

Banyan Tree, Lijiang

The pulse radiating from Lijiang resonates a symphony full of soul, peace and ethnic harmony. To the north of this beautiful city rises the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a sacred sanctuary which has protected the ethnic minorities and their unique cultures since ancient times. Another splendor is the Old Town of Lijiang, regarded as the Venice of the Orient because of the many bridges and canals that lace through the maze of cobbled streets. This historic town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 for its ethnic charm, historical milieu and architectural landscape. Banyan Tree Lijiang Resort & Spa's luxurious villas reflect the rich fabric of this locale through their design and furnishings. For souvenirs, visit the inimitable Banyan Tree Gallery and bring home exclusive handicrafts – each traditional memento has a story to tell about the misty hamlet of Lijiang. A 2014 Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel

Banyan Tree, Zhongdian

Behind every myth is at least a grain of truth — a comforting thought for someone in search of James Hilton's evasive Shangri-La. In his acclaimed novel “Lost Horizon” Hilton masterfully describes a distant and secluded hideaway of great beauty and peacefulness, a remote paradise on earth hidden in a Tibetan valley of snow-capped mountains, where harmony reigns, where the gods walk among the people, and where man and nature embrace. A utopian dream perhaps or surprisingly close to reality?Banyan Tree Zhongdian Ringha is found in China's Yunnan province, a mountainous area that has been designated as the official Shangri-La by the Chinese government and is part of Greater Tibet, both historically and culturally. At 3,200 meters above sea level, the setting is spectacular with day-trips and overnight excursions taking you to divine mountain peaks touched by the clouds, awe-inspiring ridges, deep canyons, torrential rivers, mystical plateaus, endless valleys, crystal-clear streams and the most tranquil of lakes.In true Banyan Tree style, the Banyan Tree Zhongdian Ringha resort architecture reflects the local Tibetan culture. All 32 spacious resort lodges and suites are traditional Tibetan farmhouses with intricate woodcarvings, smoky fireplaces and wooden balconies that have valley or river views. Impressive pine pillars add enormous character to both the interior and exterior of each house. And of course, there is the heavenly Banyan Tree Spa.

Banyan Tree, Sanya

The exclusive Banyan Tree Sanya Resort & Spa, located at Luhuitou Bay, Hainan Island, is an all-pool villa resort in Sanya, China. Boasting 49 lavish pool villas nestled in the tropical lagoon landscape of the enchanting Sanya vacation resort, this 5-star hotel in Sanya, Yalong Bay is set to be another jewel in Banyan Tree’s collection of properties; featuring a spa and hydrotherapy development, signature dining outlets, and extensive conference facilities. A private sanctuary designed for 2, the Pool Villa in the Banyan Tree Sanya features a private garden as well as a 45 sqm sized private swimming pool. Look up into the dazzling sky from your open-air bathtub in this Sanya holiday resort set in a charming Lotus pond, or take in some sun in the pool sized lounger while you work on your tan. Villa facilities include: two twins or one king sized bed, working table, separate living pavilion, mini bar, IDD telephone, mini stereo system, DVD player, mini safe, large bathroom with shower accessories, hairdryer, plasma TV, coffee/tea making facility, turndown service, pillow selection service, outdoor terrace table and seating.