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Journey along roads less traveled past remote farming villages and vast shimmering rice terraces, from Yunnan’s Ailao Shan Mountains to the villages and lively markets in the northern most tip of Vietnam. Yunnan is home to 25 of China’s minority groups and the Stone Forest with its towering limestone pillars. En route view cascading waterfalls, row little wooden boats on winding waterways, and walk in a scenic Bouyi village. Stop at historic towns to view Ming period architecture. Stay in a Qing period garden home with pavilions, pool and flower hall. Visit an old walled village and admire the symmetry of the Confucius temple and gardens. Learn about the engineering feats of a Qing period Double Dragon Bridge. Explore hillside villages and meet the Yi, Yao, Dai and red hat Hani minorities on market days. See the100-year old Yunnan – Vietnam railway route before crossing the border to Vietnam.
Be astounded by the plethora of tribes in their striking red and black costumes and brightly colored head scarves, roam the lively markets. Stay in a country home; meet tribal elders in their quaint thatched roof houses, and playful kids on stilts and buffalo carts. Bicycle or walk around idyllic mountain villages, all the while photographing the colorful Tay, Red Dzao, Nung and seldom seen Lantern tribes, with rarely another tourist in sight! Drive along the highest mountain pass in Indochina to view the spectacular Tonkinese Alps. At Ma Pi Leng Pass see some of northern Vietnam’s most stunning countryside scenery. The Lo Lo practice ancestor worship, live in grouped villages and the women dress in colorful hand embroidered costumes and batik dyed head gear. After an incredibly rewarding experience enjoy the creature comforts in Hanoi, visit historic landmarks, a tribal art gallery selling museum quality art, antiques and textiles, and savor mouth watering French / Vietnamese cuisine.
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