China Span + One Globe
China is a well-traveled destination and many people are familiar with its most famous landmarks. While its Great Wall and Terra Cotta Warriors attract millions of travelers from all over the world, there are still many hidden gems that are virtually unknown to the western world. China Span has been organizing trips to China for the last 30 years and we are constantly exploring new destinations. After an extensive research and scouting, we are proud to present the Hidden Beauty of China trip, taking you off the beaten track to some of the less traveled beautiful areas.
We will start our journey in Yunnan, China’s most diverse province with extraordinary diversity of its peoples and magnificent landscapes. This is no exaggeration. Literally meaning “South of the Clouds”, Yunnan has an incredible diverse landscape ranging from snow-capped mountain peaks to terraced farmlands, from turquoise highland lakes to tropical rainforest. Among China’s 56 recognized ethnic groups, 25 can be found in Yunnan.
We have timed the trip to catch up Bai people’s folk celebration, March 3 Festival, in Dali. We will have a chance to taste local gourmet food, watch exciting horse race, enjoy singing and dancing performances and linger at the bustling markets where trading take place. Dali has an ancient city that is more than 1200 years old and is also home to Erhai Lake, China’s second largest highland lake. Shaped like an ear, Erhai looks magnificent with its crystal clear waters reflecting high peaks and clouds in the sky. We will continue to Lijiang, a picturesque town in a beautiful valley with spectacular mountains.
The base of Naxi people, Lijiang still retains much of their traditional Dongba culture. Lijiang is also famous for its wood architectures with distinct local style. We will stroll along the cobblestone street in this small and quiet town filled with historical relics, meet with Naxi people in their traditional costume and experience their daily life.
Deep in south Yunnan on the borders of Burma, Laos and Vietnam, live the Dai people, closely related to its neighbors, the Thai. They share a lot in common culturally, including the famous Water Festival to welcome the New Year of the Dai calendar. During the day, crowd gathers at the riverbank to watch the exciting dragon boat races. At night, sky lanterns are released into the sky quickly becoming constellations of floating stars. The festival culminates with the spectacular scene of a huge crowd of people in the thousands gathered at the central park, spraying as much water as humanly possible at each other. Even the local firetrucks join in, dispensing water wherever they go.
Another destination of our trip is Zhejiang Province, where Keren’s home town is located. It is of China’s smaller provinces, but the richest and most densely populated. During China’s long history, many famous poets, painters, writers and businessmen come from here, including the founder of Alibaba. We will explore a coastal town in eastern Zhejiang filled with historical and cultural sites. We will be delighted to find the southern Great Wall originally built more than 800 years ago and extended in the following dynasties. We will take you to a local winery where traditional pottery jars are stacked up high, forming a unique pattern.
Lastly but certainly not least, we will make China’s first “Town of Photography” as our base to explore the fantastic natural beauty of Zhejiang. Here we will be able to capture the classic beauty of Chinese landscape: sail boat glide effortlessly on the calm water veiled in a dreamlike mist; farmer herding water buffalos walks across the bridge with emerald green pinnacles as the backdrop. There are endless photogenic spots waiting for us to discover.
This is a trip exploring some of China’s best hidden beauty and celebrating authentic cultural festivals of China’s diverse people. Come and join us!
Day 1. arrive in Shanghai
Day 2-4. to Dali, Yunnan
Day 5-7. to Lijiang
Day 8-11. to Xishuangbanna
Day 12. to Hangzhou, Zhejiang
Day 13-14. to Linhai, Zhejiang
Day 15-17. to Lishui
Day 18-19. to Shanghai
Day 20. trip ends.
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