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Visit Guizhou and Yunnan two of China’s most interesting provinces. Arrive in Shanghai with its stunning skyline of modern and neoclassical architecture, avant-garde art scene, museums, historic teahouses, classical gardens and sensational hotels. Enjoy a scenic river cruise past stunning lime stone mountains, stay amidst cascading rice terraces, and enjoy countryside walks. View the astounding dragon spine rice terraces sculpted into 2000-foot mountain sides. Escape to Guizhou’s melting pot of 14 ethnic groups that lend a splash of color and diversity, seen in its markets and villages. View the array of minority crafts ranging from musical instruments to exquisitely embroidered textiles. The native Miao make elaborate festival costumes that are not only their most important possessions, but also a major living visual art form of their culture. The decorative techniques, patterning, and stitches distinguish one ethnic group from another.
Travel past silent rivers and misty mountains, walk to villages set in bamboo groves to meet the Bird, Baisha, and Buffalo Horn Miaos. Relish the traditional salt or sour fish hot pot and admire the mysterious drum towers and wind and rain bridges of the Dong people that have fascinated anthropologists for ages.
Explore Gyalthang (Shangri-la), a sacred land of lamaseries, mountains and innate Tibetan culture. Explore the old town, visit the largest living monastery of Yunnan, and admire the flower filled meadows of these nature reserves. Drive through the timeless villages at the base of the Lanze Mountains and bask in the rarified beauty of the Tibetan highlands. Enter the kingdom of the Naxi where the ancient trade routes influenced everything from religion to language. Amble along Lijiang’s narrow stone streets with its wooden houses, Naxi Orchestra and fascinating Dongba art and religion. Add a day to see the famous Stone Forest.
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