Cultural Basecamp

Best of Southern China

Hong Kong, China

We customize every trip

Prices From: $5,998 per person

China may be modernizing at a break-neck pace, but the quicksilver skyscrapers and bullet trains are a thin veneer. The world's oldest continuous civilization is bound to pull a cultural artifact or two out of its hat. This trip features two weeks in the stunning south of China. The landscapes here can seem dreamlike at times, but they are grounded in a culture that's had hundreds of years to marinate here. The food is made with ancient recipes, the buildings themselves are at times centuries old, and the people here walk with pride in knowing that.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Hong Kong Arrival

Welcome to China! Upon arrival in Hong Kong's international airport, you will be met by our local representatives and transferred to your overnight accommodations. Rest up after your long travels, and get ready for an active two weeks ahead!

Overnight: YMCA of Hong Kong

Day 2 - Hong Kong Orientation Tour - Guilin

This morning, your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you on a half-day tour of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a fascinating combination of East and West but it has its own unique and distinctive culture. Your half day tour will take in Victoria Peak, Hong Kong's number one tourist destination. It features the 112 year old Peak Tram and Hong Kong's most unusual building, The Peak Tower. Next stop is Aberdeen Harbor which is home to hundreds of people living on fishing junks. If you would like a close up look at this unusual way of life, you can take a sampan ride (US$10-12). Repulse Bay is the last stop today; it is one of Hong Kong's most exclusive residential areas.

After your tour, you will be transferred to the airport in good time to board your flight to Guilin this afternoon. Upon arrival in Guilin, you will be met locally and transferred to your overnight accommodations.

Overnight: Guilin Bravo Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 3 - Guilin: Natural Landmarks Tour

On today's guided tour, you will visit Reed Flute Cave, Fubo Hill, and Elephant Trunk Hill. Located 5 kilometers northwest of Guilin city, the Reed Flute Cave gets its name from the reeds used for making flutes and pipes that grow at its entrance. The cave is regarded as the largest and most impressive cave in Guilin. It is 240 meters long, offering a magic land of stalactites, stalagmites, stone pillars, stone curtains, birds, plants and animals in fantastic shapes and colors. The visit lasts for 40 minutes and there are a lot of steps. Watch your step as the lights are dim.

Fubo Hill is on the west bank of the Li River in the city center. Partially submerged in the river, it was named after General Fubo of the Tang Dynasty who built Mayuan Temple on the hill. Because of its location and height, Fubo Hill can tame the waves and stop the surging waters which then form whirlpools. It is 213 meters above sea level and 62 meters above ground level. There are almost 350 steps to climb to reach top of hill and but then you can really enjoy a birds eye view of Guilin city.

Elephant Trunk Hill is located at the junction of Li River and Peach Blossom River. It is the symbol of Guilin at 55 meters high and got its name because its shape resembles an elephant with its trunk drinking from the Li River. The hill is pierced with many caves and topped with a small pagoda.

Overnight: Guilin Bravo Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 4 - Guilin: Longsheng Day Trip

You and your guide will drive to Longsheng today. The Longji Terraces here are built into the steep mountain range named "The Dragon's Backbone" about 2.5 hours from Guilin. The terraces look like ribbons as they wind from the foot to the top of the mountain. This ingenious construction makes best use of the scarce arable land and water resources in the mountainous area. There are about 66 square kilometers of terraced fields in the district. The Terraces were first built in the Yuan dynasty and completed in the Qing dynasty by the Zhuang people. Zhuang and Yao minority villages dot the area and feature traditional unique architecture where no nails are used in construction. The different minority customs and dressing styles are especially interesting. Sedan chairs are available from the parking lot to the top of the mountain for customers who would like to see the great views but do not wish to climb all the way up to the top; it takes about CNY350 per person for the round trip.

Overnight: Guilin Bravo Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 5 - Guilin River Cruise to Yangshuo

A cruise along the Li River between Guilin and Yangshuo is an unforgettable experience. As you take in the stunning scenery, there's something interesting to see at almost every bend in the river. Between spectacular limestone peaks you'll see graceful bamboo groves, farmers tending rice paddies, and lumbering water buffaloes pulling carts or cooling off in the river. You may see fishermen gliding along on their narrow bamboo rafts, and if you're very lucky you might see one of the famous fishing cormorants. Boats depart from various wharves, according to the height of the river at different times of the year. The Li river cruise is by a medium size boat which can accommodate about 140 passengers.

Overnight: Green Lotus Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 6 - Yangshuo - Guilin - Kunming

Take a cycling tour of the countryside around Yangshuo today. Experience the hustle and bustle of the Yangshuo traffic for 10 minutes before you escape onto the country roads, lanes and tracks of the distinctive and beautiful Yangshuo countryside. Biking alongside the paddy field and orchards that surround the famous mountains will give a fascinating insight into life in rural China. Half way through, visit a family native to the area. This is an opportunity to see a real country life and talk to the local farmers. The whole tour takes around 2 hours for a length of 15 kilometers.

You will eventually be transferred to the airport in Guilin in good time to board your flight to Kunming. Upon arrival, you will be met locally and transferred to your local accommodations.

Overnight: New Era Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 7 - Kunming: Stone Forest & The Dragon Gate

Tour the highlights of Kunming today with your guide, beginning with the Stone Forest, a fantastic natural phenomena located 90 km southeast of Kunming. The various shapes of karst landscape was formed due to millions of years' movement of Earth. The Stone Forest area is the home of the Sani people, their folk customs have become one spectacular scene, the colorful embroidery and minority dances combine with the natural sceneries, which will surely leave a deep impression.

Next, visit Green Lake Park. Located just opposite of Yunnan University, it is one of the most picturesque parks in downtown Kunming. There are nine spring outlets at north of the lake, so it was also named "Nine Dragon Pond" in ancient times. Here you may take a leisure walk or enjoy the local people (playing Taiji, Mahjong and local operal). In November and December every winter, huge flocks of red-beaked gulls migrate there from Siberia, constructing a nice scene.

Lastly, visit the Dragon Gate on Xishan. Located 37km west of the down town Kunming, the Dragon Gate in Western Hill is close to the Dianchi Lake. This group of grottoes, sculptures, corridors and pavilions were hacked from the cliff between 1781 and 1835 by a Taoist monk and his co-workers.

Overnight: New Era Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 8 - Kunming - Dali

This morning, you will be transferred to the airport in good time to board your flight to Dali. Upon arrival in Dali, you will be met and transferred to your local accommodations to check in before your afternoon tour of the area.

The Houses of Bai people in Xizhou are located in the Xizhou Town which is 16 kilometers away from the Ancient City of Dali. Xizhou is not only a famous historic city, but also a typical commercial town of Bai people. It is one of the cradles of National capitalism of Bai people, and a famous hometown to overseas Chinese in Yunnan. Some buildings are old and typical ancient architectures, which are the real local house.

The ancient city of Dali is 13 kilometers away from Xiaguan, Dali city, and is located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain. It was built in the year Hongwu 15 of Ming Dynasty (1382 AD). It ranks in the first list of Famous Historic and Cultural Cities of China. The local people have a habit of growing flowers in their gardens, with the clear streams of water, finely decorating the traditional houses.

Cang Mountain (Cangshan) is the main peak of the Yun Cordillera at its Southern edge and comprised of 19 peaks aligned north-to-south. This grand scenic complex is full of natural and cultural surprises. There are six essential factors: cloud, snow, forest, springs, rock and flowers. Yundai Cloud, Eighteen Peaks, Eighteen Streams, Butterfly Spring and Horse-washing Pond are all top of the attraction list. A cable car ride up the mountain will gain you wonderful views over Erhai Lake, the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple and Dali Ancient Town.

Overnight: Dali Landscape Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 9 - Dali - Lijiang

Today you and your guide will drive to Lijiang. It is situated in the middle area of the county, which is more than 2400 meters high above sea level. It enjoys beautiful scenes, a famous city with long history and splendid culture. It is very rare in China that such well-preserved minority ancient city still exists. The old town is quite busy in the afternoon and evening with an active atmosphere of the lights and crowd. An early morning visit will be less crowded.

Check into your hotel in Lijiang for overnight.

Overnight: GuanFang Hotel Qidian (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 10 - Lijiang Tour - Chengdu

Take a tour of Lijiang this morning, including the murals at Baisha Village and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Painted over a thousand years ago, the murals combine the cultures of Han, Tibetan and Naxi people displaying the life stories of the Tibet Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Drop by Dr. Ho's clinic, an experienced traditional Chinese medicine doctor in Lijiang. Visitors will see how Dr. Ho and his apprentices diagnose and treat patients, and get to know about the local clinic and herb culture.

You will be transferred to the airport later this afternoon in good time to board your flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival in the city, you will be met locally and transferred to your accommodations for overnight.

Overnight: Tianfu Sunshine Hotel Chengdu (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 11 - Chengdu: Panda Breeding & Research Center

Today you will visit Chengdu's Panda Breeding Research Center. Located 6 miles north of Chengdu City, it is home to giant pandas, red (or lesser) pandas, and other endangered species. Visit the nursery to see the highly successful breeding program, among the bamboo groves and shady walkways, and to view the pandas at rest or play. There is also a panda museum where you can further learn about the center's efforts to preserve this unique species.

You will then visit Wangjiang Park, located two kilometers east of Chengdu, on the south bank of the Jinjiang River. The park is renowned because the famous poet, Xue Tao (768-831), once lived here. She originally came from Chang'an and later moved to Chengdu with her father.

Overnight: Tianfu Sunshine Hotel Chengdu (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 12 - Chengdu - Leshan - Emeishan

Your guide will drive you to Leshan today, home to a famous Buddha. The Great Buddha in Leshan is located to the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province and on the Lingyun Mountain where Min River, Qingyi River and Dadu River meet. It is the largest stone carved sitting Buddhist statue in the world so far. Enjoy the view of the Buddha from a boat on the river.

Continue onto Emeishan where you will spend the night.

Overnight: Hong Zhushan Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 13 - Emeishan - Chengdu - Guangzhou

Greeting the day in Emeishan this morning, you will take a tour of Emei Mountain, the Monastery of Ten Thousand Years, and take a cable car up to the Golden Summit before returning to Chengdu. Emei Mountain is one of the most famous mountains for Buddhism in China. It has many temples and beautiful scenery. Baoguo Temple lies right at the foot of Mt. Emei.

Monastery of Ten Thousand Years was built in the 4th century. It was burned several times in the following centuries. The present brick building was reconstructed in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The Brick Hall, a domed building with small stupas on it, was built of bricks. In the hall is a statue of the Bodhisattva. Puxian on a white elephant, 8.5 meters high, cast in copper and bronze.

To reach the Golden Summit Temple along the prepared path (three and one eighth miles long), it takes the average walker one day to climb to the top and the same time to descend. The walker experiences all four seasons while traveling along this path. And on the summit you can see the gold temple, silver temple, copper, and also a very big statue.

You will then be driven to Chengdu, completing the circuit from Leshan, where you will board your flight to Guangzhou. Upon arrival in Guangzhou, you will be met and transferred to your local accommodations.

Overnight: Hong Zhushan Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 14 - Guangzhou City Tour

You'll see the highlight sights of Guangzhou today, including Shangxiajiu Walking Street, one of the most famous commercial streets in Guangzhou. It is 1218 meters long and is home to more than 300 various stores. The architecture styles of the buildings along this street are of Qi characteristics, which reflect the Lingnan (south) culture,and attract lots of vistors from home and abroad.

After a walk through Yuexiu Park, visit Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, a memorial building built in 1931 with the funds raised by the Guangzhou people and overseas Chinese in memory of Sun Yat Sen.

Overnight: Ocean Hotel Guangzhou (Breakfast, Lunch included)

Day 15 - Guangzhou Departure

Today you will be transferred to the airport in good time to board your flights home!

Accommodation Information

YMCA of Hong Kong

The YMCA Hong Kong is situated at the tip of Kowloon Peninsula with magnificent views of Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong Island. It is in prime location of the business, shopping and entertainment district of Tsimshatsui and is adjacent to the Cultural Center, Space Museum, Museum of Art, Museum of History, the historic Clock Tower, the Waterfront Promenade and the Avenue of the Stars.

Guilin Bravo Hotel

The Guilin Bravo Hotel(formerly Holiday Inn Guilin) is located in the city center of the city. The Guilin Bravo Hotel is one of the quintessential hotels in Guilin that is ideal for both business and leisure travellers. The city center and night market are both with in 10 minutes walk. 28km from Guilin Liangjiang International Airport. 3km from Guilin Railway Station.

Green Lotus Hotel

Yangshuo Green Lotus Hotel, enjoying the convenient traffic, is adjacent to the ancient Li River Fu'an Wharf; therefore, you can walk on the bank of Li River without leaving the hotel. In addition, it is only about one-hundred-step distance from the renowned Yangshuo West Street. In the hotel, you can take a distant view of the performance place of "Impression of Sanjie Liu". The hotel near mountains and rivers, enjoys the graceful and elegant environment.

New Era Hotel

New Era International Hotel is a 4 star business hotel in the high and new economic technical development area of Nanjing. 281 guest rooms in the hotel are designed as business rooms, administrative rooms, and business suites. Free WiFi in public areas, gym, English newspaper, satellite TV, mini bar are availabe. The hotel has a Chinese restaurant and a Western style restaurant. There is also a gym, sauna, beauty salon, night club, table tennis, and more in the recreation center.

Dali Landscape Hotel

Opened in 2002, the Dali Landscape Hotel is located in the famous Old Town of Dali, Yunnan Province. This hotel is built in traditional Bai Nationality style. It is 13km away from the City Center, 15km away from the Railway Station and 25km away from the Dali Airport.

The Dali Landscape Hotel offers a total of 315 guest rooms, including standard room and single room, etc. All rooms are provided with IDD/DDD phone and 24-hour hot water and so on. The Chinese restaurant in the hotel mainly provides local specialty foods.

GuanFang Hotel Qidian

The GuanFang Hotel Qidian is in the center of Lijiang and faces Yulong Mountain. Its 288 rooms boast modern facilities and comfortable and welcoming accommodations.

Tianfu Sunshine Hotel Chengdu

Designed by global first class company Hirsch Bender, Chengdu Tianfu Sunshine Hotel, a four-star hotel with oriental charm , is located in the Chunxi Road Commercial Circle,the downtown area of Chengdu. The hotel lies near to historic tourism site WenShuFang and ecologic water park, bringing you the oriental life of Chengdu. With hotel's spirit of "Dedicate to Perfect Service", you will enjoy the most honorable experience here.

Hong Zhushan Hotel

Opened in 1958 and renovated in 2007, the Hong Zhushan Hotel is located in the foothills of Mount Emei which is one of the World Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites. It is less than 200 meters away from the world famous temple-Baoguo Temple. The hotel was awarded the best resort hotels in Sichuan Province from 2005 to 2007. Moreover, the hotel won the "Golden Pillow" Award -"China Top Ten Resort" in 2007.

Ocean Hotel Guangzhou

Opened in 1986 and refurbished in 2006, the Ocean Hotel Guangzhou is located in the most efficient business center Huangshidong Road in Guangzhou, which enjoys convenient transportation. It takes only 5 minutes by bus from the Hotel to the express train station and 20 minutes to Pazhou Complex. It is 4.5km away from the Railway Station and 37km away from the Guangzhou International Airport. Free shuttle buses are available from the hotel to the Complex during the Canton Fair.


Region: Asia - North and East

Hong Kong


Breakfast Breakfast

Day Tours Day Tours

Ecologically Responsible Ecologically Responsible

Hiking Trekking Hiking Trekking

Wildlife Wildlife

Archeology Indigenous Archeology Indigenous

General Information

Price Includes

  • Accommodation as shown
  • Meals as shown
  • Domestic Flights
  • Cell phone for use in China**
  • Private Transfers between hotels scenic spots while sightseeing by private air conditioned vehicle with a driver and Englishspeaking guide (as listed above).
  • Tours/activities as shown (Private Basis)
  • Private Local Englishspeaking guide and driver will be provided in each city. Our full day private tour packages provide a guide and van for a maximum of 8 hours.
  • Entrance fees to scenic spots as listed in the itinerary
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Full telephone support from Englishspeaking staff in China, including 24/7 emergency line
  • **Our free cell phone package includes one cell phone and SIM card (with prepaid value of CNY 50), delivery and collection in China. Return the phone to your guide when you depart.

Price Excludes

  • International Airfare or Train Tickets to enter or leave China
  • China Entry Visa Fees: All travelers to mainland China require a valid China visa.
  • Travel insurance (ask us for a quote)
  • Meals other than those detailed
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the itinerary
  • Taxes & Fees
  • Gratuities, Tips to Guides or Drivers
  • Optional activities
  • Other services not mentioned