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South East Asia

Xi'an - Luang Prabang via Laos

29 DAYS THROUGH China, Laos
RATING:
PRICE FROM:
$3,320 (USD) + 830 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
29 days
TRANSPORT:
Overland expedition vehicle, Private bus, Ferry, Overnight boat
CREW:
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew
ACCOM:
0%
100%
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:
TRIP CODE:
ZXL
DEPOSIT:
$350 USD

Highlights

  Guided tour of Xi'an's world famous Terracotta Warriors

  Visit the huge former Tang Dynasty royal palace of Daming

  Trek up the Wudang Shan's Tianzu Peak to the Taoist martial arts school

  Visit the three gorges dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world

  Side trip to see the amazing sleeping Buddha in the Dazu Caves

  Visit to the Giant Panda breeding centre in Chengdu

  Trek up the holy mountain of Emei Shan

  See the Dafo Great Buddha, the world's largest rock-carved Buddha statue

  Trek at the world famous Tiger Leaping Gorge

  Trek or raft in the unpoilt landscape of Nam Ha National Park

  SHOW MORE HIGHLIGHTS  

Itinerary

Day 1 - Xi'an ( 14th Sep 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Xi'an, you will most likely enter China at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA code: XIY).

Welcome to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! 

There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.

The rest of the day will be free to explore the city of Xi'an, its famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Xi'an before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Xi'an.

In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the world-famous site of the Terracotta Warriors, an army of 8000 life-size figures built to protect the Emporer Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife

Included in Kitty
Day 2 - Xi'an ( 15th Sep 2019 )

This morning we head out of Xi'an on the truck to the site of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, where we have an included visit and a guided tour. We'll return to Xi'an in the afternoon and have some more free time to further explore this incredible city!

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the impressive Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an's most famous landmark dating from the Tang and Ming Dynasties

CNY 80

Walk or cycle around the Ming Dynasty Xi'an City Wall, the largest city wall in the world

CNY 80
Visit the Forest of Stelae Museum, a collection of 3000 stone tablets of Chinese calligraphy that has been collected here since 1057
CNY 50

Wander through the atmospheric Muslim Quarter and visit the Xi'an Great Mosque, the first mosque constructed in China

CNY 30

Visit the mind-blowing Tomb of Emporer Jingdi of the Han Dynasty, containing 50,000 doll-sized terracotta figures

CNY 90

Learn about the fascinating history of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an at the Shaanxi History Museum, without doubt one of the finest museums in China

CNY 30

Visit the ornate 14th-century Bell and Drum towers, which originally marked the sunrise and sunset

CNY 40
Visit the huge former Tang Dynasty royal palace of Daming, and explore its vast parks and gardens
Free
Day 3 - Wudang Shan ( 16th Sep 2019 )

Today we begin our journey south of Xi'an with a drive to the beautiful Wudang Shan Mountain Reserve, the birthplace of the martial art of Taichi and the location of the filming of 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'.

We will have time this afternoon and the following morning to fully explore the mountain's sights, temples and martial arts schools.

In Wudang Shan we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Day 4 - Xiang Fan, Wudang Shan ( 17th Sep 2019 )

This morning we will spend more time exploring Wudang Shan and the surrounding area, before setting off in the afternoon for a short drive to the pleasant city of Xiang Fan. We will also try to stop at the Purple Cloud Monastery en route.

In Xiang Fan we will stay in a local guesthouse or hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-4 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Trek up the Tianzu Peak to visit the Taoist martial arts school and numerous temples on Wudang Shan

Included in Kitty
Day 5 - Yichang ( 18th Sep 2019 )

Today we will drive from Xiang Fan to Yichang, where we will catch our first glimpse of the mighty Yangtze river. Yichang is a pleasant town, and we will stop here for 1 or 2 nights, depending on the ferry schedule - either way we will have time to explore a little.

In Yichang we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Day 6 - Yichang, Three Gorges ( 19th Sep 2019 )

Today we will have some free time to explore Yichang and the surrounding area, prepare for our 3 day Yangtze River cruise.

We will most likely have an included visit to the incredible Three Gorges Dam today, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, although it is possible this visit may take place tomorrow depending on the ferry schedule.

We will most likely stay in our hotel in Yichang tonight, but our ferry may need to depart tonight, in which case we will have a spare day later in the trip that we can use at our discretion.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

The cruise visits the main sites of the Three Gorges & new Yangtze Dam

Included in Kitty
Day 7-9 - Three Gorges, Badong, Wanzhou, Chongqing ( 20th Sep 2019 to 22nd Sep 2019 )

Today we embark on our Yangtze River cruise. We travel on a local ferry boat used by local people, a much more authentic and interesting way of travelling than on a tourist cruise. We stay in shared cabins (4 members of the group to each cabin) with private bathrooms and air conditioning where possible.

The journey itself usually takes 3 days/3 nights and heads through some areas of stunning scenery, especially near the Three Gorges - the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges. The boats usually stop at the Fengdu (Ghost City), Shibaozai Tower, home to the Lanruo Dian (Orchid Temple) and at the three Lesser Gorges at various points on the trip. However due to local conditions, stops cannot always be guaranteed.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
Cruise down the mighty Yangtze River for 3 nights on a local sleeper ferry
Included in Kitty
Stop off to visit the 1700-year-old Zhang Fei temple, famous for its exterior red-light decoration
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Stop off at the White Emperor City, a very scenic spot featured on the Chinese 10 Yuan banknote!
CNY 180
Stop off to take a boat ride through the stunning Three Mini Gorges
CNY 220
Day 10 - Dazu, Chongqing ( 23rd Sep 2019 )

Today we will disembark our ferry when it docks in Chongqing in the early morning, and rejoin the truck and our co-driver!

From Chongqing we have a short drive to Dazu, where we visit the Bei Shan and Baoding Shan caves, famous for their brightly-coloured freizes and carvings.

In Dazu we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Side trip to see the amazing sleeping Buddha in the Dazu Caves

CNY 135
Day 11-12 - Chengdu ( 24th Sep 2019 to 25th Sep 2019 )

Today we have another short drive on to the incredible city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, where we will stay for 2 nights. On arrival we will have a free afternoon to explore the city's parks, streets, and museums, and visit the fascinating and incredibly photogenic Jinli Old Town.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day we will have an included visit to the fantastic Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre. We'll then return to Chengdu for another free afternoon to further explore the city.

In Chengdu we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit to the Giant Panda breeding centre in Chengdu

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore the Jinsha Archeological Site, the capital of the Bronze Age Shu Kingdom who were one of the most ancient civilisations to settle in the area

CNY 80

Freely explore the narrow streets of the atmospheric Jinli Ancient Street and visit the nearby Wuhouci Shrine

CNY 60

Explore the cobbled streets of historic Lijang

CNY 85
Explore the mountain complex of Qingcheng, one of the ancient cradles of Taoism in China
CNY 190
Visit the impressive Tang Dynasty Buddhist temple of Wenshu, containing more than 450 Buddha statues
CNY 5
Head out for an evening performance of a traditional Sichuanese Opera
CNY 220
Day 13-14 - Leshan, Emei Shan ( 26th Sep 2019 to 27th Sep 2019 )

Today we continue our journey south to the town of Leshan to visit to the Leshan Grand Buddha - at 71m tall, this statue is the largest Buddha rock carving in the world!

After our visit we will continue to the small town of Emei Shan.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore Emei Shan Mountain, one of the holiest sites in Chinese Buddhism and the site of hundreds of temples and an incredible golden statue of the deity known as Samantabhadra. It is possible to walk all the way up the stairs from the base of the mountain, joining the many pilgrims in their journey to the temple complex at the mountain summit, or take the cable car up instead!

In Emei Shan we will stay in a local guesthouse.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Day trek up the lush mountain of Emei Shan, one of the most important pilgrimage treks in China

Included in Kitty
See the colossal Dafo Great Buddha in Leshan, the world's largest rock-carved Buddha statue
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Ferry trip down the river to see the huge Dafo Buddha in Leshan

CNY 70

Take a cable car ride to the top of Emei Shan

CNY 120
Day 15 - Panzhihua ( 28th Sep 2019 )

Today we have a long drive south through stunning mountain scenery towards China's Yunnan province.

We will aim to stay in the town of Miyi tonight in a  comfortable local hotel. 

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

Day 16-18 - Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge ( 29th Sep 2019 to 1st Oct 2019 )

Today we drive further into Yunnan province to the beautiful 'Old-China'-style town of Lijiang, the base for visiting the world famous Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

On the following 2 days we will have free time to explore the town of Lijiang and its surroundings. One very popular excursion here is to go on a 2 day/1 night trek along the high trail above the Tiger Leaping Gorge - this is by far the best way to see the gorge from some truly incredible vantage points, and we will have the opportunity to take this trek during our time here (staying in a local guesthouse on the trail on the first night and returning to Lijiang for the second night). For those that don't want to do the full trek, your crew will also be able to arrange a trip to the low sections of the gorge, where there is a flat walkway to various viewpoints.

In Lijiang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore the beautiful natural scenery and traditional buildings in the Black Dragon Pool Park
CNY 80
Head out for a day of trekking around the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, taking in some of the most incredible scenery in China on a clear day
CNY 80
Explore the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain area by cable car
CNY 280
See the incredible 'Impressions Lijiang' cultural show, demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area
CNY 270
Freely explore the area by bicycle and discover the Naxi villages surrounding Lijiang, such as the beautiful village of Baisha
CNY 20
Head out for a 2-day self-guided trek along the high ridge of the sensational Tiger Leaping Gorge
CNY 200
Go on a shorter trek along the flat base of Tiger Leaping Gorge to enjoy the scenery from below
CNY 125
Day 19-20 - Dali ( 2nd Oct 2019 to 3rd Oct 2019 )

Today we will drive through more stunning scenery to the beautiful Naxi town of Dali, where we will stay for 2 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to fully explore the area and for optional activities such as some short treks in the nearby Cangshan mountains or hiring bicycles to ride around the Dali lake.

In Dali we stay in a friendly hostel or guesthouse with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Time for sightseeing in the lakeside town of Dali, home to the minority Bai people

CNY 40

Learn how to make dumplings and traditional Yunnanese cuisine at one of Dali's fantastic cooking classes

CNY 150

Discover the ornate 9th-century Three Pagodas of Chongsheng, some of the tallest pagodas in China's history and the symbol of Dali

CNY 120

Head out by bicycle to explore the region in depth and visit various Bai villages and Qing Dynasty bridges en route

CNY 50
Experience the incredible ancient art of cormorant fishing with the fishermen of Xizhou on Lake Erhai
CNY 100
Day 21 - Kunming ( 4th Oct 2019 )

There will be a group meeting at 18:00PM. The evening free to explore the city. Overnight in comfortable hotel.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Overnight stay in Yunnan's laid back capital, Kunming

CNY 6
Day 22 - Shilin Stone Forest ( 5th Oct 2019 )

This morning we will drive to the incredible Shilin Stone Forest. We will have a free afternoon exploring the stunning and bizarre rock formations of the Stone Forest.

Tonight we will stay in a local hotel near to the Shilin Stone Forest.

Estimated Drive Time - 2 - 3 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the maze of limestone pinnacles in the Stone Forest

Included in Kitty
Day 23 - Xishuangbanna ( 6th Oct 2019 )

Heading south from Shilinzhen we  have a full days drive towards the southern region of Xishuangbanna. 

Tonight we will stay in a local hotel en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

Day 24 - Jinghong ( 7th Oct 2019 )

Today we drive to Jinghong. Overnight in a local guesthouse.

Day 25 - Luang Namtha ( 8th Oct 2019 )

Border Information: Exit China at Mohan, enter Laos at Boten.

Short morning drive to the border with Laos, cross border and drive on to Luang Namtha, a small laid-back town on the edge of the Nam Ha Protected Area. 

Estimate drive time 4- 5 hours

We stay here for 3 nights at a comfortable friendly guesthouse lodge.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Cross the border into Laos and relax in peaceful Luang Nam Tha

Included in Kitty
Day 26-27 - Luang Namtha ( 9th Oct 2019 to 10th Oct 2019 )

We have two full days in Luang Namtha for optional activities. There are many Hiking and trekking options available in the national park, or you could use this time to simply kick back and relax back at our guesthouse.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Optional rafting, kayaking and trekking in Nam Ha National Park

USD 25
Day 28 - Luang Prabang ( 11th Oct 2019 )

This morning we drive through the stunning countryside of northern Laos and make our way to Luang Prabang where we stay in a friendly local hotel. 

This afternoon there will be free time for any optional activities. 

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Enjoy the tranquility of beautiful colonial city Luang Prabang

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore the temple of Wat Xieng Thong, the oldest and one of the most beautiful temples in Luang Prabang

LAK 20000

Discover the thousands of Buddha statues at the Pak Ou caves outside of Luang Prabang

LAK 25000

Learn how to prepare some local Lao specialities at one of Luang Prabang's excellent cooking classes

USD 25

Witness the sunrise from the panoramic viewpoint at the summit of Phou Si hill

LAK 20000

Visit the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang, a fascinating blend of Lao and French architecture

LAK 30000
Day 29 - Luang Prabang ( 12th Oct 2019 )

Border Information: If finishing in Luang Prabang, exit Laos at Luang Prabang Airport.

Free time in Luang Prabang.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Witness the sunrise from the panoramic viewpoint at the summit of Phou Si hill

LAK 20000

DATES & PRICES

This group overland journey has multiple departures.
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Trip Notes
Departing: 27 Mar 2019
Returning: 24 Apr 2019
Duration: 29 days
Route: Luang Prabang - Xi'an
$3,320 USD + $820 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 14 Sep 2019
Returning: 12 Oct 2019
Duration: 29 days
Route: Xi'an - Luang Prabang
$3,320 USD + $830 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 1 Apr 2020
Returning: 29 Apr 2020
Duration: 29 days
Route: Luang Prabang - Xi'an
$3,710 USD + $820 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available