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Beijing – Zhuang – Lijiang – Dongba – Guilin – Kunming
China is full of many beautiful outdoor locations and hosts many interesting land formations, bodies of water, and mountainous regions. The Outdoor History Exploration Tour will take you through popular destinations in Beijing, to quaint countryside villages, along elegant rivers, to beautiful mountaintops.
After arriving in Beijing, you’ll take a guided tour of Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and you’ll also attend a Tea Ceremony at Bell Tower. The next day you’ll get to see the magnitude of The Great Wall of China from a gondola.
You will travel along the Lijiang River and take a tour by bicycle of a tiny Zhuang village, enjoying lunch with the local villagers.
In the Old Town of Lijiang, you’ll visit The Black Dragon Pool, a famous pond built in 1737 in the scenic Jade Spring Park. The park offers an amazing view of the region’s tallest mountain – the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Next you will explore villages and visit scenic vistas along the Yulong Snow Mountainside. In Dongba Village, you can feel the traditional atmosphere of national culture from the layout of its yards and buildings to the tools people use and the small details of daily life in the area.
You will also visit the Lijiang Mural. It is stored, preserved and displayed in 15 venerable temples, such as Juexian, Wande, Guiyi temples and Sanbi Garden. Altogether, the mural used to include more than 200 pieces of fresco. However, hundreds of years of historical vicissitudes have left only 55 pieces in good condition.
You will travel along the Lijian valley and see beautiful fields full of wheat and drying haystacks. After rafting to Longpan village, you’ll visit Tiger Leaping Gorge – the deepest gorge in the entire world. You will travel along the Jinsha River and Marble Trail, traversing three marbel tunnels.
After traveling to the Bitahai Lake, you’ll be able to explore the beautiful lake and dense forest, eventually arriving at the Songzanlin Monastery. which has a 300-year-old history and ranks as the most important in southwest China. Here you will get to know the culture characteristic of monastic architecture and the mural (Thangka) as well as the Buddhist scripture. You’ll see traditional Tibetan dances, sip on traditional butter tea, and see an enormous prayer wheel.
The trip will be complete after visiting the Kunming Ethnic Culture Village and staying in a local five star hotel before departing to Beijing and connecting back to the U.S.