Yunnan (example of a previous client trip)
Dec 24 th 2011 – Jan 2 nd 2012
Local festival, Shaxi
Tiger Leaping Gorge Erhai Lake Elderly Yi lady
Temple lodge View over Xizhou Shaxi
‣ This trip was designed for a couple looking to combine some challenging day hikes with an
opportunity to explore the ancient tea horse towns and cultures of Northern Yunnan. .
‣ Obviously, all custom trips are individually designed to suit the preferences of each individual
client. All clients will receive a full trip document which will include their specific schedule, an
exact costing and payment details (although these have been omitted from this example).
Day 1: Saturday December 24 th 2011
Fly to Lijiang via Kunming. Whistling Arrow will provide advice on the optimum flights and connections. The
transfer in Kunming is relatively convenient and easy.
You will be met at Lijiang airport and transferred to your accommodation set amongst the cobble-stoned streets of
the old town. This is a beautiful and meticulously managed traditional Naxi courtyard lodge. We will reserve a
lovely, bright room with large windows situated next to a gurgling canal.
Day 2: Sunday December 25 th 2011
After an early breakfast you will be met by your guide for the next few days; a friendly local Naxi lady called Lily
who has years of experience in showing guests around her native region, and is fluent in English. You will spend
a couple of hours exploring the ancient town of Lijiang with its cobbled streets, bridges and canals and visit the
fascinating local market.
Later in the morning you will drive to the small village of Yuhu, nestled in the foothills of the majestic Jade Dragon
Snow Mountain. This iconic, 5500 metre massif has 13 spectacular peaks and will provide a scenic backdrop for
the next few days hiking. Yuhu was once the home of the fabled explorer Joseph Rock, National Geographic’s
“man in China” in the 1930’s and 40’s. Lily will take you to her friend’s local Naxi homestay for lunch before
heading off on a four hour hike up the slopes of the mountain to the village of Wenhai. The trail from Yuhu climbs
steeply with panoramic views over the Lijiang Valley before leveling out through a knarly old pine forest.
You will overnight in a traditional Naxi lodge in Wenhai. The rustic village is surrounded by snow- capped peaks
and is located on the edge of a stunning seasonal lake. You will have the opportunity to meet and dine with the
local Naxi owners.
Day 3: Monday December 26 th 2011
After breakfast, you will embark on another stunning hike up the slopes beyond the lake to reach a scenic plateau
carpeted with wildflowers. Yaks graze while Jade Dragon Snow Mountain looms in the background. The path
descends to a Yi settlement with views over Lashi Lake, where you will stop for tea and a simple lunch. The Yi
women are noted for their bright yellow pleated skirts and black headdresses as large as kites. After lunch you
will hike down to the Naxi village of Nanyao, located on the banks of the lake and stay in Lily’s family house. The
accommodation is basic but the hospitality is truly unforgettable.
Day4: Tuesday December 27 th 2011
After breakfast, you will cycle around beautiful Lashi lake. The north shore of the lake is scattered with fields of
barley and Naxi settlements. Peer into the courtyards and dodge the odd water buffalo before visiting the 17 th
century Zhiyun Tibetan monastery where the young monks will gladly show you around amongst the fluttering
You will then be met at the road and transferred to a Naxi family guesthouse at the entrance to Tiger Leaping
Gorge (http://www.whistlingarrow.com/tailor_yunnan-Activities1.htm). There will be time to spend the afternoon
relaxing and soaking up the magnificent setting.. The gorge is one of the world’s deepest and most dramatic and
was formed by the mighty Yangste River dropping 5000 metres from its source on the Tibetan plateau and forcing
tonnes of water through a narrow geological fault between Jade Dragon and Haba Snow Mountains.
Day5: Wednesday December 28th 2011
The following morning you will start the dramatic hike along an old miner’s trail that snakes along the mountain
side. The day’s hiking starts with a tough climb up the ’28 bends” before leveling out to give you a magnificent
view of both the valley and the sheer 3000m granite walls.
The hike takes about 5 hours before you reach your simple lodge for the night. Here there is a panoramic balcony
from which to admire the majestic mountain scenery.
Day 6: Thursday December 29 th 2011
After an early breakfast you will complete the hike through Tiger Leaping Gorge passing more dramatic scenery,
thundering waterfalls and small temples before descending down to the road. The hike takes about 3 hours to
You will be met at the road by your driver who will transfer you to the 1000 year old town of Shaxi
(http://www.whistlingarrow.com/tailor_yunnan-Activities2.htm). Shaxi is nestled in a fertile valley and is one of the
best preserved towns along the ancient tea-horse trail into Tibet and India. The Sideng town square with its
raised stage and temple was meticulously restored with the help of the Swiss Institute of Technology. Your
accommodation for the next two nights will be a rustic lodge (http://www.whistlingarrow.com/tailor_yunnan-
Accom5.htm) complete with its own raised stage and temple. It is managed by a friendly retired English school
teacher, Mr Wu and his wife, who is a fantastic cook. You will also say goodbye to Lily who will be heading home
Day 7: Friday December 30 th 2011
Today, Mr Wu will arrange for you and a guide to hike through the sacred hills of “Shibaoshan” which are dotted
with Buddhist grottoes containing ninth century stone carvings and murals. The panoramic hike back down the hill
into the Shaxi valley passes through beautiful pine forest.
You will have time to spend the late afternoon biking along the river to Shaxi. Alternatively just relax in the
traditional courtyard and drink some local tea or if you prefer, it is possible to organize a visit to the local school.
For dinner you will have the opportunity to taste some wonderful home-cooked local Bai food.
Day 8: Saturday December 31 st 2011
In the morning Mr Wu will drive you to your final destination: a beautifully restored ancient Bai house
(http://www.whistlingarrow.com/tailor_yunnan-Accom2.htm) in the town of Xizhou, on the banks of Erhai Lake.
The accommodation for your last two nights ends the trip with a little luxury. The rooms are beautifully appointed
and the property has four lovely courtyards, a sunny balcony and is decorated throughout with wonderful Chinese
artifacts. There is also a library and meditation room.
Spend the afternoon relaxing or take a wander through the streets of the old Bai town of Xizhou to watch the local
artisans or walk down to the banks of the lake to see the local cormorant fishermen.
Enjoy a few drinks at the bar to bring in the New Year.
Day 9: Sunday January 1st 2012
Today you have several options. Firstly, if you are still in the mood for some hiking you can be guided along
magnificent mountain trails in the nearby Cangshan mountains and visit a local Daoist temple.
Alternatively, if you are in the mood for something else there are a variety of activities available including a trip to
the fascinating local markets, a bike ride along the banks of Erhai lake, a trip by horse and cart through the
neighboring villages or learning to cook some local Bai delicacies.
Day 10: Monday January 2nd 2012
In the morning, transfer to Lijiang airport. This will take approximately 2 1/2 hours.