truly china travel

National free hotline


home/CHINA TRIPS/13 Days Tour – Essence of Southwest China

13 Days Tour – Essence of Southwest China

Explore local markets in Kunming, wind down in picturesque Dali, get to know the Naxi and Bai people, travel to lofty, legendary-Shangri-la, mingle with Tibetan pilgrims in Ganden Sumtseling monastery, hike one of Asia's finest geological wonders-Tiger Leaping Gorge, roam the lane ways of Lijiang, cycle past scenic Karst formations in Yangshuo, experience Hong Kong’s vibrant contrasts.

Travel Services

  • China (Kunming, Dali, Shangri-la, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lijiang, Yangshuo) - Hong Kong
  • 13 Days (Kunming to Hong Kong)
  • ESC (Essence of Southwest China)
  • Truly China Active
  • Departure is guaranteed
  • Minimum 4, Maximum 18
  • Prices from USD$1198.00


    All accommodations in double rooms with private facilities as specified, including breakfast;

    All private transfers from/to airport/train station;

    Private bus and entrance tickets for excursions to Xizhou, Ganden Sumtseling Monastry in Shangri-la, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Cycling tour in Yangshuo;

    Protection fee of the old town Lijiang and Dali;

    High speed train (Kunming - Dali, Guilin - HK West Kolwoon), 2nd class;

    Domestic flight (Lijiang-Guilin), including Tax;

         Professional Chinese English speaking tour leader.


International flight and departure tax;
Lunches and dinners;
Other optional excursions and entrance tickets;
Tips to drivers and tour guides;
Other personal expense;
Visa to China.


Day 1/Arrive in Kunming

Nimen Hao! Welcome to China. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these ready to provide to your leader. If you arrive early, go for a stroll and get acquainted with this pleasant 'eternal spring city', so called for its temperate nature. Perhaps head to Green Lake Park where you can see locals spending their leisure time on all kinds of activities and games. Check out The Loft, a disused factory area west of the city centre, home to many small galleries and cafes. Or perhaps visit Yuantong Temple, the grandest Buddhist temple in Yunnan province.

Day 2/Kunming to Dali

Travel by high-speed train to your next destination, Dali (approximately 2 hours). For many years this spot has been a favourite destination for foreign travellers and backpackers, thanks to its laidback atmosphere and spectacular surroundings. There are snow-capped mountains on one side and the vast Erhai Lake on the other, making for an impressive sight. This afternoon you will take a guided walk around Dali's ancient town with your leader. Present-day Dali is a city that combines history with modern convenience. It is divided into two areas: the Ancient City and the New District (widely known as Xiaguan). After your tour, enjoy a free evening in this picturesque town. Perhaps circle back to Foreigner Street in the Ancient City, where handicrafts and local culinary delights rightly attract many visitors.

Day 3/Dali

Take a private bus to Xizhou, around 23 kilometres north of Dali on a day trip today. Xizhou is famous for its Butterfly Spring and Bai architecture. Enjoy a guided tour of the town and the local markets – a great chance to learn more about Bai architecture. Interact with some local families living in the traditional courtyards to get a feel for local life. Be sure to try some tasty local snacks such as baba (fried rice cake) or the local cheese. Enjoy some more free time upon your return to Dali - perhaps take the cable car up Cangshan Mountain or stop in at the Three Pagodas.

Day 4/Dali to Shangri-la

Today you’ll travel to a place so beautiful it was officially renamed Shangri-la, a reference to the mythic utopia from James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon. Make the 5-hour drive to Shangri-la and feel the modern world fade away as you head higher into the mountains. This charming Tibetan town lies on an altitude around 3200 metres, so take it easy upon arrival and give yourself some time to acclimatise. Later take a stroll on winding streets past prayer halls and pagodas in Dukezong Ancient Town. A fire tore through the area in 2014, destroying most of the town, but painstaking restoration work continues and the town remains charming. It’s also home to a towering, gilded prayer wheel – the largest in the world.

Day 5/Shangri-la

Learn more about Tibetan Buddhism with a visit the Sumtseling Monastery. Located just outside the city and modelled after the Potala Palace, Sumtseling is the predominant monastery in the region and a popular destination for pilgrims. Constructed in 1681 and subsequently destroyed during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the complex was rebuilt in 1981 and the red and gold buildings now house hundreds of monks. Enjoy a free afternoon in Shangri-la. You might want to hire a van and drive to Xiaozhongdian, where the beautiful landscape is dotted with Tibetan villages. If you're lucky you may even get invited to a local's home to enjoy some Yak butter tea!

Day 6/Shangri-la to Tiger Leaping Gorge

Travel by private bus to Qiaotou (approximately 3 hours), the starting point for your trek through the magnificent Tiger Leaping Gorge. This is one of the deepest and most spectacular gorges in the world. The entire canyon is 16 km long and rises up to 3,900 metres above the waters of the famous Yangzi River. Though the gorge has become very popular in recent years, and the area has developed rapidly, it's still an incredibly rewarding travel experience which many cite as a highlight of their time in China. Prepare a day pack (your larger luggage will be stored for two nights) and embark on your hike. There will be regular stops to rest as needed. The first part of the trek is quite arduous – this is not flat terrain by any means. After a slow and steady climb you will reach the 24 bends (the most challenging part of the trek), a steep and twisting path where you'll really gain some altitude. After stopping for a break, continue along the flatter section of the gorge to your accommodation. This is a simple but comfortable guesthouse with shared facilities (upgrades to private facilities at your own cost may be possible, depending on availability).

Day 7/Tiger Leaping Gorge

Your second day of trekking starts with a nice, easy section that has spectacular views. There are only a few uphill battles (and one slippery downhill stretch) before you reach your destination for the night – Walnut Grove. Those with the energy can enjoy further hikes to some excellent lookout points from here. Otherwise, this a tranquil place to simply sit back, relax, enjoy the scenery and rest your weary legs. It's important to note that Tiger Leaping Gorge is subject to dramatic and unpredictable weather conditions. We have scheduled departures in the more stable seasons, but the possibility still exists that conditions may make travelling through the gorge dangerous.

Day 8/Tiger Leaping Gorge to Lijiang

Travel by private transport to Lijiang (approximately 3 hours). This World Heritage-listed town is home to the Naxi people, a matrilineal society descended from Tibetan nomads. After arrival, enjoy some free time. Maybe visit the Wangu Pagoda, situated at Lion Hill in a small park and has amazing views over Lijiang. Or visit he picturesque Heilongtan Park and wander the cobbled streets in the old town and take the chance to do some shopping. In recent years, Lijiang has become very popular with domestic tourists, so don't be surprised if you see the streets full of tourists from home and abroad.

Day 9/Lijiang to Yangshuo

This morning you’ll fly from Lijiang to Guilin, after arrival at Guilin airport, then transfer to the hotel in Yangshuo. Surrounded by limestone karsts, Yangshuo is super popular with both international and domestic tourists, which isn't a bad thing if you're into your cafes and bars. It's one of the best places in the country to get a feel for local culture and traditions while having plenty of fun at the same time. Take a walk through the town with your leader on arrival and head down to the Li River to get a feel for a landscape immortalised in plenty of Chinese paintings.

Day 10/Yangshuo

The dramatic countryside surrounding Yangshuo is best seen on an optional cruise down the Li River. Float past limestone monoliths, rice paddies, and water buffaloes drinking at the river's edge. For those feeling active, why not jump on a bike and explore the splendid green surrounds and nearby villages or perhaps participate in a peaceful Taichi session. Enjoy a guided walk through a local market before visiting a converted country house to learn to cook local specialties.

Day 11/Yangshuo

A great optional activity for the day is picking tea leaves, tea making, drinking tea and listening to the rhyme leisurely at the Seven Fairies Peak tea plantation; mountaineering Xianggong hill and viewing Li River meandering, enjoy sunlight and shadow、clouds sea、sunrise、the sunset、the rosy clouds; Discovery the mystery of the Ancient Stone Village. You are highly recommended.

Day 12/Yangshuo to Kong Kong

Leave Yangshuo and continue your journey to the final stop, Hong Kong. You'll be transferred to Guilin and then hop on the high-speed train (approximately three and half hours) to Hong Kong West Kowloon High Speed Railway Station, from there head to your centrally located hotel. Go on a walking tour with your leader, then maybe check out the Temple Street night market or the light show at Victoria Harbour. Take the chance to celebrate your final night with the group in this awesome city.

Day 13/Hong Kong (Departure Day)

Your China tour comes to an end this morning. There are no activities on the final day and you are free to leave your accommodation at any time. Kindly Reminder: the check out time normally is 12:00. If you have booked an airport transfer through Truly China Travel, please confirm the pick up time with your tour leader in advance.

Start date Finish date Price  
10-Mar-19 22-Mar-19 1198 BOOK NOW
14-Apr-19 26-Apr-19 1198 BOOK NOW
5-May-19 17-May-19 1198 BOOK NOW
2-Jun-19 14-Jun-19 1198 BOOK NOW
7-Jul-19 19-Jul-19 1295 BOOK NOW
4-Aug-19 16-Aug-19 1295 BOOK NOW
1-Sep-19 13-Sep-19 1295 BOOK NOW
13-Oct-19 25-Oct-19 1295 BOOK NOW
3-Nov-19 15-Nov-19 1198 BOOK NOW
Truly China Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.

Kunming Longteng Hotel

Kunming Longteng Hotel is located in city center and it is convenient to reach every corner in Kunming. The rooms are tidy and quiet. Free wifi will be available during your stay.

Dali Shiguang Boutique Hotel

The hotel just locates at south gate of old town, rooms are very comfortable and good service. You can feel at home here.

Lijiang Gengjia Inn

The guesthouse is located outside of old town. You can go to old town or anywhere at reaching point.

Shangrila Tibetan Inn

The hotel is located near old town. The service and rooms are perfect.

Yangshuo New Century Hotel

The hotel is very close to the famous west street. Good room and food. Perfect service.

Hong Kong Harbour Plaza North Point

The hotel is only two minutes walking to the subway, and very close to the shopping center. You can have a good view of North Sea. The hotel has a swimming pool.

Click to view larger map


  • Chengdu

  • Shanghai

  • Beijing


Why travel with Truly China Travel?

Truly China Travel is a locally owned company, locally priced, organized travel to China with enough choice and freedom for the most independent traveler! Book a private trips for two or more. Explore nature, historic sites, discover Chinese classical architecture, arts and crafts, find out the true stories of Chinese cuisine, and enjoy authentic minorities cultural experiences with active travelers, of all ages. The services of local, English-speaking guides are available. Choice, flexibility and time for independent exploration are important components of our trips. For unaccompanied time, the guide will offer safe alternatives for dining and activities. We lodge and dine at comfortable, local establishments. For a little extra, you can book any itinerary as a private trip to China for two or more. Contact us if you want to travel on a tailored or personalized tour.

Why Book This Tour?

This adventure is ideal for travellers with less time to spend and who want to see the very best bits of this incredibly diverse destination. We have designed the tour to make the most of the time available to showcase the key highlights and cities of China. You can choose between a private tour or group adventure. Private trips can be booked for two to twenty travelers. Book a custom departure date, set your own pace, enjoy more one-on-one attention from the guide, and if you would like, upgrade your hotels. This is a great ideal for families, friends, company employees and social clubs as there is something for everybody. If you prefer group travel, you can choose from our most adventurous trips, with international groups travelling with participants of all ages from western countries.

Speak to a specialist

Our specialists are ready to help you plan your next vacation. You can call us on 00867738827158 or complete this form and we'll contact you to begin planning your next vacation.
Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm

Your Vacation Inquiry

  • Where would you like to travel to?*

  • Which tour interests you?*

  • When are you looking to go?*

  • How many passengers?*

Your Vacation Inquiry

  • Title*

  • First Name*

  • Surname*

  • Email Address*

  • Telephone

  • What prompted you to contact us today?*

  • How would you like us to contact you?*

  • We would love to be able to send you details of all our latest offers and travel inspiration.

Speak to a specialist

Our specialists are ready to help you plan your next vacation. You can call us on 00867738827158 or complete this form and we'll contact you to begin planning your next vacation.
Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm

Your Vacation Inquiry

  • Tour Name

  • Which tour interests you?*

  • When are you looking to go?*

  • How many passengers?*

Your Vacation Inquiry

  • Title*

  • First Name*

  • Surname*

  • Email Address*

  • Telephone

  • What prompted you to contact us today?*

  • How would you like us to contact you?*

  • We would love to be able to send you details of all our latest offers and travel inspiration.