China, we know what you’re thinking: it’s vast, it’s varied and at times it can seem a tad overwhelming. And it’s no wonder – with a population of 1.3 billion (a fair proportion of whom will no doubt want to climb the Great Wall at the same time as you) your trip of a lifetime is at risk of feeling claustrophobic. The answer? Get off the beaten track and under the skin of an unseen, un-crowded China. Here’s how…
experience china without the crowds
Head straight into the heart of Yunnan province, in the southwest of the country, on foot. Beginning at Jinghong and trekking through the villages of the scenic Xishuangbannan region, you’ll be up close and personal with the real China: from ethnic tribes to sub-tropical forests, tea plantations and temples.
From here it’s a quick flight to Lijiang to trek the Tiger Leaping Gorge – not as scary as it sounds, we promise.
This massive canyon links the towering giants of Jade Dragon and Mountains and will introduce you to the breathtaking scenery of the Yangtze River basin. The ancient White Water Terraces will be your next stop, and you’ll be glad of it, as these natural hillside water pools are an unmissable treat for any discerning traveller. The snow white Baishui Terrace at the foot of Haba Snow Mountain is reward enough for such a journey, but it’s not over yet. The final leg of your Oriental trek will take you to Zhongdian and through the valley of Ringha to Tsalong village, an outpost of Tibetan life in deepest Shangri-La.
lovely guesthouses and local families
This is the hidden China; the bits that average tourists don’t get to see. Staying in intimate guesthouses and with local families lets you get a taste for China’s people and their unique customs and traditions on a one-to-one basis.
We’re keen to give you the best of both worlds though, so you’ll also spend some time in Banyan Tree luxury resorts, where the staff will be waiting with foot massages and fluffy pillows at the end of a day’s spectacular trekking. This is China like you’ve never experienced before, and we’re sure it’ll blow you away.
Available Year Round
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Xishuangbanna, Jinghong, Lijiang