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Ancient Tea & Horse Caravan Trail

Day 01 Dali

Dali Old TownArrive in Dali city, the economic and cultural center of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. Check into 4-star Dali Landscape Hotel. Enjoy a leisure stroll in Dali Old Town in the evening.

Day 02 Dali (B, L)

Following breakfast today is drive to Xizhou Village which is located about 18 kilometers north of Dali. Xizhou Village is one of the Bai ethnic minority villages around the Erhai Lake. You are escorted to visit the houses of local residents which are characterized by a traditional Chinese rectangular courtyard with a screen wall facing the gate. You will be greeted with the genuine tea ceremony of the Bai minority and treated to a song & dance performance by local Bai people.

Enjoy the authentic local food at Linden Center where resides in an expansive and luxurious courtyard home in Xizhou village. After lunch, you will drop in on some local farming families and be guided to see the local Bai people's typical way of life by taking a visit to the pretty Fishing Village of Shuanglang. Also you can stroll along Erhai Lake for a while. Following this is a visit to local Indigo Workshop where you can appreciate the traditional way of indigo dying. In the afternoon, continue to visit Three Pagodas. Originally built a thousand years ago, they still stand intact as a marvel of architecture. Drive back to Dali.

Shibaoshan GrottoesDay 03 Dali / Shaxi (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 3 hours to Shaxi Ancient Town where is the only survival ancient bazaar on the tea-horse ancient road which was a main channel linking China and India for merchants carrying commodities including tea on horseback. Nestled in a beautiful green valley, Shaxi is a good place for traveling.

Today you will visit Shibaoshan, a peak dotted with Taoist and Buddhist monasteries. It is the home to the mythic 1,200 year-old Shizhong Grottos. There is a rich collection of Buddhist statues with delicate carving, vivid image, unique meaning and strong local ethnic features to admire. Check into local best Shaxi Wenhua Zhongxin Guest House and rest.

Day 04 Shaxi / Lijiang (B, L)

Sidengjie VillageToday you will take a leisure stroll in Sidengjie Village. It was once an important market where three major lines of the Ancient Tea and Horse Road met during the Qin and Han dynasties. In 2002, Sidengjie village in Shaxi was listed as a protected world architectural heritage site by the World Architecture Foundation. Every Friday morning from 9am-3pm, you will have chance to pay a visit to the historic Sideng Market which is assumed as the only surviving market along the Ancient Tea and Horse Road.

Escorted with your tour guide, you will embark on your hiking of the ancient caravan trail and dining with local Bai minority villagers in their native homes. Then drive to Lijiang Old Town which has been inscribed by UNESCO on the World Natural and Cultural Heritage List. Check into 4-star Lijiang Old Town Impression Hotel.

Day 05 Lijiang (B, L)

Suhe Old TownFollowing breakfast is drive to Suhe Old Town. Located 4 kilometers away from Lijiang, Suhe Old Town is a traditional Naxi village where you can explore the Naxi ethnic life by your own way. With a history of more than 1000 years, this village used to be the former city center of LiJiang. It is alive with the strong culture of primitive simplicity and you will enjoy the tranquility of country life there.  

Following this is the visit to Black Dragon Pool Park located at the foot of Elephant Hill. It was built in 1737 during the Qing Dynasty and offers a spectacular view on the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Proceed to visit the Dongba Culture Exhibition Museum, which represents the Dongba Pictographic Characters and Naxi Minorities mysterious Culture, some of which still use the matriarchal social system up till today.

Day 06 Lijiang (B, L)

After breakfast, drive to Puji village. You start the hiking, passing through rolling hills and pine forests for an hour before arriving Puji Monastery which is a Tibetan Buddhism monastery built three hundred years ago. The hike on the way down gives you a beautiful view over the entire valley.

Continue to Baisha Village which was the original settlement of the Naxi people over a thousand years ago. There are old temples with interesting frescoes originally made from 1385AD to 1619 AD. They employ the artist energies of Chinese Taoists, Tibetan and Naxi Buddhists and local Dongba shamans. Then carry on to Yuhu Village where you can visit the famed explorer Joseph Rock's former residence. Located at the base of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yuhu Village is a tranquil reminder of a former time. Drive back to Lijiang in the late afternoon.

Day 07 Lijiang (B)

After breakfast, transfer to the next destination and service concludes.

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