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19 Days Southern China World Heritage Treasures Tour

Few places on Earth boast as many UNESCO world heritages as China. Want to experience both the cultural treasures and incredible natural landscape on your China tour? Go and take this 19 days South China trip itinerary. Visit giant pandas’ sanctuaries, find serenity among Sichuan’s Buddhist and Taoist mountains, soak up the relaxing atmosphere in Yunnan’s Old Towns, and admire the rarely-seen scenery of South China Karst… it is a luxury tour of China, therefore you will travel in style and luxury!

CCT Advantages:

  • 1. Experience the highlights of Shanghai, including the Bund and modern-day wonders, and visit a UNESCO-listed classical garden of Suzhou;
  • 2. Explore Dujiangyan for its three UNESCO World Heritage sites: Taoist Mount Qingcheng, Dujiangyan Irrigation System, and giant panda base - as being a panda keeper;
  • 3. Dive deep into the nature of colorful lakes, waterfalls, valleys and virgin forests on a tour of JIuzhai Valley and Hulong;
  • 4. Explore Buddhist shrines of Mount Emei and see Leshan Giant Buddha standing majestically beside a river; 
  • 5. Discover the uniqueness of China’s ethnic minority cultures, traditions and art on a trip of old towns of Lijiang and Shangri-La;
  • 6. Experience the Karst wonders, admiring Kunming Stone Forest and cruising Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo surrounded by towering karst formations.

19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 1, Shanghai Arrival

Meals: No Meals

Nihao, welcome to China! Arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport where you are met by your private China Culture Tour guide and transferred to your luxurious hotel of a good location. Relax at hotel or explore the surrounding areas on your own for the rest of the day.

Recommended hotels:

  • Shanghai luxury hotels: Peace Hotel, Les Suites Orient Bund, Peninsula or similar
  • Shanghai boutique hotels: Hotel Indigo on the Bund, The Yangtze Boutique or similar
19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 2, Tongli Water Town, Retreat and Reflection Garden

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Around 1 hour’s drive from Shanghai city center, beside the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal (UNESCO), Tongli Old Town in Suzhou is one of the most famous water towns in East China, and a mix of lakes, wetlands and ancient building complexes. Take a boat cruise through Tongli. And visit UNESCO-listed Retreat and Reflection (Tuisi) Garden. It is small in size but very exquisitely designed and constructed, with all the essential elements of classical Chinese garden.  

Make sure you don’t miss the amazing acrobatics show in Shanghai in the evening (optional).

19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 3, Shanghai City Highlights Tour, Shanghai to Chengdu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take a cultural tour of Shanghai, an ultramodern city actually with a history of 6000 years, according to the archaeologists. Today there are still hundreds year-old culture and art to be experienced. Visit Shanghai Museum, to appreciate the wonderful display of ancient Chinese painting, jade wares, ceramics, sculptures, and so forth.

Then ramble around the Yuyuan Market district, including an in-depth visit of Yu Garden, the best traditional garden in Shanghai, Bridge of Nine Turnings, and the old streets lined with different kinds of local specialty shops and food stalls.

Tour the Bund, used to be the foreign concession in the 19th-20th Century and witnessing Shanghai begin its thriving modern history. See the exotic building clusters in the Bund of Shanghai alongside Huangpu River. Then get across the river, here in the bustling Lujiazui district, ascend Shanghai World Financial Center, one of the highest building, for a stunning high-altitude view.  

Fly from Shanghai to Chengdu.

Recommended hotels:

  • Chengdu luxury hotels: The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu or similar
  • Chengdu boutique hotels: BuddhaZen Hotel or similar
19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 4, Chengdu to Dujiangyan, Panda Volunteer Experience

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive from Chengdu to Dujiangyan City, where the panda base is an important part of the UNESCO-protected Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries. After the safety training and putting on working clothes, you’re now an honorary panda keeper for one day. Take good care of those adorable fur balls by cleaning their house, making them the cakes and biscuits and feed them. Meanwhile you will learn knowledge of giant pandas, e.g. how they live in the wilderness.

Besides observing them closely, you can also take photos together with panda by holding it (with extra fee).

Recommended hotels:

  • Dujiangyan luxury hotels: U Villa or similar
19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 5, Mount Qingcheng, Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Dujiangyan to Chengdu

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Have an easy walk up Mount Qingcheng, the place of origin of Taoism and one of the four great Taoist mountains in China featuring verdant forests and home to lots of cultural relics and historical Taoist temples.

Thereafter, wonder at the ancient Dujiangyan Irrigation System, originally built in 256 BC during China’s Warring States Period. It is the world’s earliest existing hydraulic engineering. After more than 2,200 years, it is still in use today.

Drive back to Chengdu and check-in to hotel.

19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 6, Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Fly from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou in the morning. Pick up and take a nature tour of Hunglong.

A true natural wonder in the world, Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area is a paradise for rare flora and fauna, including giant panda and Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey. Take in the breath-taking views by walking through or passing by snow mountains, virgin forests, valleys, waterfalls and the amazingly colorful lakes.

Recommended hotels:

  • Jiuzhaigou luxury hotels: Howard Johnson Tianyuan Resort, Marriott or similar
19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 7, Jiuzhaigou Valley Tour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After breakfast, enjoy a beautiful trip of Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area. The long zigzagging jiuzhaigou valley is of an average altitude of 30000 meters, and forms a series of forest ecosystems. The scenery is made of a series of narrow, cone-shaped karst formations and spectacular waterfalls. There are about 140 species of birds in the valley, as well as many endangered plant and animal species.

Fly to Chengdu.

Important notice: currently Jiuzhaigou is only partially open since the 2017 earthquake and is expected to be fully open after recovery. Meanwhile, as a result of the flight reductions, passengers can only fly into and out of Jiuzhaigou via Chengdu with night flight. So your tour to Jiuzhaigou is likely to be adjusted accordingly.

19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 8, Chengdu to Mount Emei, Leshan Giant Buddha

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today make your way to Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, which was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1996.

The 8th-century Leshan Giant Buddha, also named Lingyun Buddha, is located on the east bank of Minjiang River. It is a statue of Maitreya, as high as 71 meters – the largest cliff carving statue in China. Take a short cruise on the river so that you can get a full picture of Leshan Giant Buddha.

Stay overnight at the foot of Mount Emei.

Recommended hotels:

  • Mount Emei luxury hotels: Hongzhushan Hotel or similar
19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 9, Mount Emei & Its Temple Complex

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take the shuttle bus up Mount Emei, featuring beautiful views and home to a wealth of Buddhist relics and sites, including architectures, sculptures, ritual, music, and painting. Visit Wannian Temple, one of the oldest temples on Mount Emei, to see the tooth relic of Buddha, the bronze statue of Samantabhadra and Buddhist classics.

Then hike to Qingyin Pavilion, a fine example of Chinese Buddhist temple garden. Observe the wild monkeys around Wuxiangang parking lot. Take shuttle bus down to visit the Baoguo Temple. It is the first and most famous temple of Emei and the local Buddhist activity center.

Drive back to Chengdu

19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 10, Chengdu to Lijiang, Lijiang Old Town, Free Time

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, fly from Chengdu to Lijiang. Pick up and check-in to your hotel in Dayan Old Town. The UNESCO-listed Lijiang Old Town is a well-maintained ancient town inhabited by Naxi ethnic people for generations, and includes Dayan, Baisha, Shuhe and Black Dragon Pool. Relax at hotel and then you’re encouraged to have a leisure stroll through Dayan’s ancient alleyways, beautiful architectures, to experience Naxi culture, and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.

Recommended hotels:

  • Lijiang luxury hotels: InterContinental Resort, Hotel Indigo or similar
19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 11, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Village

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Visit the amazingly beautiful Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a holy mountain for local Naxi people. Ride a cable car to see the mountaintop prairie, valley, river, forests and glaciers. If you prefer, enjoy the show of Impression Lijiang staged in Ganhaizi Scenic Area of the snow mountain.

Then head for Baisha Ancient Town, more authentic and less-crowded than Dayan Old Town. Therefore you can experience a more traditional way of living of Naxi people. Admire the Lijiang Dongba culture relics – the Baisha Mural.  

Tour Black Dragon Pool to visit a Dongba Culture Museum, and see beautiful ancient pavilions and bridges, as well as Jade Dragon Snow Mountain reflected on the pool, creating Lijiang’s iconic image.

19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 12, Lijiang to Shangri-La, Tiger Leaping Gorge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning depart Lijiang and heard for Shangri-La. On the Way, enjoy the magnificent views of the First Bend of Yangtze River at Shigu Town. It is a big V curve formed when the Yangtze River stopped by a hill. Then stand amidst the breathtaking Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the biggest and most famous gorges on Earth, and a paradise for nature lovers. You will never be tired of its sheer beauty and serenity.

Arrive in Shangri-La, more isolated and mysterious than most places in the world.

Recommended hotels:

  • Shangri-La luxury hotels: Shangri-La Resort, Songtsam Lodges, Songtsam Linka or similar
19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 13, Ganden Sumtsaling Monastery, Potatso National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy the morning by visiting the 17th-century Ganden Sumtsaling Monastery, which makes you feel you are amid an ancient Tibetan castle with golden-topped buildings, artistic decorated chambers and many cultural relics and works of Buddhist art.

Then experience the extreme serenity and take in sights at Potatso National Park, boasting a perfect eco-system of virgin forests, alpine meadows and rivers. You may encounter small cute wild animals like squirrels in the middle of the road. 

19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 14, Dukezong Ancient Town, Shangri-La to Kunming

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, visit the old town of Shangri-La, named Dukezong, a bustling commercial hub on the great Tea-horse Road, and inhabited by humble Tibetan people for over a thousand year. Walk on the slabstone paths to appreciate the Tibetan dwellings, walk the Moonlight Square and climb up Guishan Hill to see world’s largest prayer wheel.

In the afternoon, fly from Shangri-La to Kunming, named the “spring city” in China.

Recommended hotels:

  • Kunming luxury hotels: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza Kunming City Centre Green Lake Hotel or similar
19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 15, Stone Forest, Kunming to Guilin

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, have a visit of the Stone Forest (Shilin) UNESCO Global Geopark, part of South China Karst, with a forest of karst geology that began to form 300 million years ago. Wonder at the grotesque karst pinnacles, caves, bridges and waterfalls. And also you can experience the ethnic Yi traditions in Shilin County.

Thereafter transfer to the airport of Kunming and fly to Guilin, known as the most beautiful places to visit in China.

Recommended hotels:

  • Guilin luxury hotels: Shangri La, Sheraton or similar
  • Guilin boutique hotels: Aroma Tea House, Jolie Vue Boutique Hotel or similar
19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 16, Guilin to Yangshuo, Li River Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Further explore South China Karst by taking a 4 to 4.5-hour cruise through Li River, embraced by ragged Karst peaks. Picture yourself boating on a Chinese landscape painting. If you’re lucky, you may see local fisherman fishing with cormorants. 

Go ashore in Yangshuo. Roam the bustling West Street, time-honor alleyways lined with snack stalls, souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants…

Thereafter, ride a bicycle or sit on your private vehicle to tour the countryside of Yangshuo. Soak in the amazingly beautiful surroundings of limestone hills, green vegetation, twisting rivers, vast farmlands stretching to ancient villages…

Enjoy Impression Liu Sanjie night show, performed in the outdoor with real landscape as the backdrop (optional). 

Recommended hotels:

  • Yangshuo luxury hotels: Banyan Tree or similar
  • Yangshuo boutique hotels: Mountain Retreat or similar
19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 17, Reed Flute Cave, Guilin to Hong Kong

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive from Yangshuo to Guilin. Explore Reed Flute Cave, the most spectacular karst cave in Guilin, featuring a grand, mystical underground palace of a series of stalactites and stalagmites, lighted up by gorgeous colorful lights.

Take high speed train from Guilin to Hong Kong, which is getting closer and closer with the Mainland, with bullet trains and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge – world’s longest sea-crossing bridge.

Recommended hotels:
Hong Kong luxury hotels: Harbour Grand, The Langham or similar

19 Days Shanghai Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Lijiang Shangri-La Kunming Guilin Hong Kong Tour

Day 18, Free Time in Hong Kong

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

One of the busiest metropolises and one of the most popular destinations in the world, Hong Kong fascinates people with its free, laid-back atmosphere, numerous amazing shopping malls and wonderful foods. Enjoy yourself the free day in Hong Kong, relaxing and go shopping.

Day 19, Hong Kong Departure

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a transfer with your private guide and driver from hotel to the airport and board your onward international flight. China Culture Tour service ends. Farewell and safe journey!

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