20 Days Grand South China Speed Train Tour with Minorities Discovery

Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi all boast stunning natural sceneries and rich minority cultures. During this High Speed Train Tour, we will explore the modern Shanghai; visit the top cities of Yunnan tour including Shangri-La, Lijiang, Dali, Kunming; discover the ethnic villages in Guizhou; also enjoy the best highlights of Guilin and Yangshuo.


  • Explore the modern Shanghai;
  • Visit the top cities of Yunnan tour including Shangri-La, Lijiang, Dali, Kunming;
  • Discover the ethnic villages in Guizhou;
  • Enjoy the best highlights of Guilin and Yangshuo.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Shanghai Arrival
  • Day 2: Shanghai
  • Day 3: Shanghai – Hangzhou
  • Day 4: Hangzhou
  • Day 5: Hangzhou – Changsha
  • Day 6: Changsha – Kunming
  • Day 7: Kunming – Dali
  • Day 8: Dali
  • Day 9: Dali – Shaxi – Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Day 10: Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-La
  • Day 11: Shangri-La – Lijiang
  • Day 12: Lijiang
  • Day 13: Lijiang – Guiyang
  • Day 14: Guiyang – Kaili
  • Day 15: Kaili – Rongjiang
  • Day 16: Rongjiang – Zhaoxing
  • Day 17: Zhaoxing – Yangshuo
  • Day 18: Yangshuo
  • Day 19: Yangshuo – Guilin
  • Day 20: Guilin Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities:Arrive in Shanghai

Upon your arrival, meet you local tour guide and driver, then transfer to the hotel for rest.

Day 2 Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities:Yuyan Garden, Yuyuan Market, Shanghai Museum, Nanjing Road , the Bund, the cruise tour in Huangpu River
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Star your tour from Yuyuan Garden. The elaborately crafted halls and pavilions are with great wisdom arranged to join the lotus lake, greenery to make various pretty images before your eyes. So fully appreciate the Garden in 1.5 hours or so. Neighboring Yuyuan Garden is Yuyuan Market, where you can feast your eyes with numerous Chinese arts and crafts in a lively atmosphere.  

Continue to make a tour of Shanghai Museum (without earphone ) Located in the center of Shanghai in People’s Square, Shanghai Museum is a large museum of ancient Chinese art. Its style and presentation surround visitors with artifacts demonstrating ancient wisdom and philosophy.

Afterward, you will stroll on the famous Nanjing Road. Today it is a must-see metropolitan destination attracting thousands of fashion-seeking shoppers from all over the world. After the Opium War (1839-1842), Shanghai became a treaty port. Nanjing Road was first the British Concession, then the International Settlement. Importing large quantities of foreign goods, it became the earliest shopping street of the city.

Then stroll along the Bund which is located along the Huangpu River, the center of Shanghai. It is the scenery line of Shanghai. It has the Shanghai landmarks Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jinmao Tower in the opposite across the Huangpu River. It is a must-see place while enjoying your Shanghai Tours. 
In the evening, enjoy the night view of Shanghai by a cruise tour by public boat in Huangpu River.

Day 3 Shanghai-Hangzhou

Sightseeing and Activities:Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Former French Concession
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Morning departure from hotel to visit the Oriental Pearl TV Tower (the 2nd ball floor ) located in Pudong Park in Lujiazui, Shanghai. Surrounded by the Yangpu Bridge in the northeast and the Nanpu Bridge in the southwest, it creates a picture of ‘twin dragons playing with pearls’. 

Then continue to visit the Former French Concession. Also known as French Town, it is a famous place for its historical factors. During the period from 1849 to 1946, it was a foreign concession in Shanghai. Due to its location covers the districts of Lukawei and Xujiahui, the main police depot and prison of the French concession is in Lukawei area, while Xujiahui is the centre of Catholic Shanghai. 

Move to railway station to take the 1 hour high speed train to Hangzhou. After arrival, you will move to check in hotel in Hangzhou .

Day 4 Hangzhou

Sightseeing and Activities:Cruise tour of West Lake, Linyin Temple, Six Hamonies Pagoda, China Tea Museum
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Today is a joyful day with firstly take cruise tour of West Lake (50 m by the public boat – reputed for beautiful scenery, a multitude of historical sites, brilliant cultural relics, and a profusion of native products. 
After that, go to Lingyin Temple – a site famous for not only as a Buddhism temple but also an attraction to catch beautiful scenery. After lunch, continue to pay a visit to Six Harmonies Pagoda – ensure a view of the Qiantang River and a far view towards the misty horizon. The final site of today is China Tea Museum– you can have close touch with the China tea history and know more about the tea producing process.. After that, drive back to your hotel and have a rest of this day.

Day 5 Hangzhou-Changsha

Sightseeing and Activities:Wuzhen Water Town
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Morning departure from hotel to visit Wuzhen Water Town. Wuzhen is one of the six famous ancient water towns south of the Yangtze River. It’s within the triangle formed by three top tourist cities: Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou. It has charmingly restored architecture and canals. Though some people complain about its commercial atmosphere, restored buildings, and the crowds, the charm and the elegance of this ancient water town is undeniable.

After the tour, drive to Hangzhou railway station for your overnight train to Changsha.

Day 6 Changsha-Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities:Yuelu Academy
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, we will first have a visit to the Yuelu Academy.  It was the most important of all the four academies of the Song as well as China’s earliest government-funded institution of higher learning. The buildings extant on the premises are mostly a Qing legacy. Since the Song many famous scholars had lectured and studied in this academy. Also taste the Changsha snacks for lunch.

In the afternoon, take the high speed train to Kunming. Upon arrival, meet the tour guide at train station and transfer to your hotel.

Day 7 Kunming-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Stone Forest, Green Lake Park, The Flowers and Birds Market
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Large Stone Forest in Shilin County, Kunming

At 8:30am, Our English speaking guide pick you up at the hotel lobby, then departure from hotel,  drive 1.5 hours to visit the Stone Forest which vividly expresses the deep love of the local people toward this world wonder. The quintessential karst landscape makes every tourist lost in wonder. 

After the tour, transfer back to Kunming downtown. Stroll in Green Lake Park and Flowers and Birds Market. Before the evening transfer to railway station to take the high speed train to Dali. 

Day 8 Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Dali Old Town, Dali Ancient City Wall, the Foreigner Street, the Three Pagodas Temple, Xizhou Old Town, Zhoucheng Village, Erhai Lake Cruise by small boat
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Reflection Park of Three Pagodas in Dali City

Today visit the Three Pagodas which is made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. Afterward, you’ll cruise on Erhai Lake by the small boat in the east Erhai Lake. You will enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas from a far as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake.

Later, you will head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture. Visit Zhoucheng Village and the Bai people’s Tie-dying cloth workshop where you can take some special souvenir with the Bai ethnic style.

At last, you will visit the Ancient Dali Town, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the relax time with local people. 

Day 9 Dali-Shaxi-Tiger Leaping Gorge

Sightseeing and Activities:Shaxi old town, Tiger Leaping Gorge
Accommodation:Tiger Leaping Gorge
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive to visit Shaxi Old Town and then further drive to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. Stay overnight at local guesthouse.

Day 10 Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Songzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Songzanlin Monastery in Shangrila

Morning drive to Shangrila, the former Zhongdian which is well-known as the paradise destination for every tourist. Upon arrival in Shangri La, you will have entered the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys. 

Visit the Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere. Walk around Songzanlin Monastery.

And afterwards you’ll visit the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park. Pudacuo National Park is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. While the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China’s land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species.

Day 11 Shangri-La-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Dukezong Ancient Town, Guishan Hill, Lijiang Old Town
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, stroll around Dukezong Ancient Town, an important town of the Ancient Tea-horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India. Walk up to the top of Guishan Hill or tortoise Hill, you will see the largest Prayer Wheel of the world and have a panoramic view of Shangrila city and Dukezong Ancient Town.

Then drive to Lijiang and visit Lijiang Old Town.

Day 12 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Glacier Park, Impression Lijiang Ethnic Show, Ganhaizi Meadow, Black Dragon Pool, Shuhe Old Town
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

The Glacier Park of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang

This morning, drive to Jade Dragon Mountain to make your day tour of the mountain. Upon arrival, visit the Glacier Park(3356m) which is 4500m above sea level. See the No. 1 Whitewater Glaciers that was formed 40.000 years ago.

Later watch the outdoor performance “Impression Lijiang” directed by the renowned China director, Zhang Yimou. Finally have a stop at Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M).

Then go to Black Dragon Pool Park, which was built in 1737 during the Qing Dynasty. Afterwards stroll at Shuhe Old Town before the evening. 

Day 13 Lijiang-Guiyang by Flight

Sightseeing and Activities:Jiaxiu Tower, Qingyan Old Town
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Take the flight to Guiyang, the Capital of Guizhou Province. Your local guide and driver will meet you at the airport and then transfer to hotel. Visit Jiaxiu Tower and Qingyan Old Town in the afternoon.

Day 14 Guiyang-Kaili

Sightseeing and Activities:Shiqiao Miao village, Matang village
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

This morning make 3hrs driving to Kaili. Kaili is the capital city of the Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Southeast Guizhou, and also the base of southeast Guizhou’s ethnic culture tour. Today’s first stop is Shiqiao Miao village. Shiqiao Miao village is famous for its old technology of papermaking. The ancient traditional methods of production method can be traced back to the Tang dynasty. You can learn how to make paper in local family.

After lunch continue drive to Matang village, where you can see Gejia group, who are not listed into 55 minority groups in China. The Gejia people of Matang adore bow and arrow. As a legend goes, the ancestors of the Gejia people was hero who could shoot the sun with the arrow. You will appreciate the traditional Gejia batik in the village, and learn the art of batik. In the evening drive to hotel in Kaili.

Day 15 Kaili-Rongjiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Langde Miao Village, Datang Miao Village, Qiaotu Shui village
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning pay leisure visit to explore Miao’s history and culture in Langde Miao Village and Datang Miao Village. Langde is a village of Long Skirt Miao. This village is considered to be the live museum of Miao Culture. Most wooden buildings were built from 1616-1911.Datang Miao Village is a Short Skirt Miao village, it is another branch of Miao live for hundreds years. Women in Datang are well known for their beautiful short skirts and hairstyle, they have worn a kind of traditional short skirt for 500 years. Another highlight in this village is the granary built over a pond with the multi-function of fire-proofing, rat-proofing and ant-proofing.

After lunch further driving to Rongjiang, on the way stop at Qiaotu Shui village, which villagers usually dress in black and blue. Men have long gowns and black turbans, and women wear collarless blue blouses, black trousers and aprons, all of which are embroidered.

Day 16 Rongjiang-Zhaoxing

Sightseeing and Activities:Basha village, Zhaoxing village
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast drive to explore Basha village, a hidden kingdom occupied by the legendary Basha Miao people. Enter the Last Gunmen’s Tribe in China. All the men wear their hair in a bun. when the boys grow to 16 years of age, an “adult ceremony” will be held for them. The man adult of Basha Miao Village carries a hunting gun on his shoulder and a gunpowder bag , a bullet bag and a knife around his waist, making himself up like an ancient warrior.

This afternoon continue the drive to Zhaoxing village. Zhaoxing is the biggest Dong village with over 1,000 Dong households in China. It has a history of nearly 2000 years. The village is divided into five natural sections. Each section has a clan and each clan has a drum-tower, a Wind-Rain-Bridge and a stage.
Overnight in Zhaoxing village.

Day 17 Zhaoxing-Yangshuo

Sightseeing and Activities:Tang’an village
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you have chance to visit Tang’an village. Tang’an village is situated at a mountain slope and encircled by rice fields, green trees and hills. It has been accepted jointly by China and Norway as an ecological museum of the Dong ethnic group. It is the only eco-museum of Dong Minority on the earth. Hike 2.5 hrs from Tang’an Village to Zhaoxing village, you will passing the rice fields on the way .

This afternoon you will take high-speed train to Yangshuo.

Day 18 Yangshuo

Sightseeing and Activities:Silver Cave, West Street
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

You will take a boat trip to the Li River (Xingping section). You will feast your eyes with the reflection of fantastic peaks with various shapes, crystal clear water, green hills, bamboo groves, the river passes an endless procession of distinct peaks and bamboo groves and the stunning landscape. Then you will pay a visit to Silver Cave -The cave is deep and irregular, with a great number of stalactites of thousand charms, which, in lights glint like silver, hence the name of the cave. These majestic, diamond-like stalactites decorate the cave and make it into a dazzling place. Strolling along the West Street where is famous for its antiquated style and courtyard like environment.

Day 19 Yangshuo-Guilin

Sightseeing and Activities:Mulong Lake Park, Li River boat cruise
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast. Transfer back to Guilin. Along the way we will visit Shangri-La and get a tour of elegant scenery, ancient bridge brook river, deep pool limestone cave and fallen village. Continues the trip to Mulong Lake Park. It features the integration of historical culture into the nature. To the north of Mulong Lake, visitors can find a group of manmade sights such as Dongzhen Gate and the site of the City Wall in Song Dynasty. A very large building complex is scattered around where visitors can admire forest, grass, falls and streams. Then go to take Li River (city section) boat cruise where you can view the ten famous hills like Elephant Truck Hill, Fubo Hill etc.

Li River: The Li River that flows from Guilin to Yangshuo is the most famous tourist attraction in Guilin. Boasting the No.1 Guilin Landscape among all the waters and mountains in the picturesque Guilin, Li River was listed as one of the top ten watery wonders in the world. When traveling to Guilin, a Li River cruise will take you to enjoy the spectacular scenery of verdant mountains, towering karst peaks, water sights, grotesque rocks and caves along the river.

Day 20 Departure from Guilin

Sightseeing and Activities:Departure from Guilin

Departure from Guilin. Service ends.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostel
Kunming Softel Hotel Wenhui Hotel Jinhua Hotel T&T Story Hotel
Dali Hilton Dali Resort & Spa Shouyi Boutique Hotel Dali Taihe Boutique Inn Dali Fengxue Gucheng
Lijiang Pullman Hotel Wangfu Hotel Liwang Hotel Baisha Holiday Resort
Tiger Leaping Gorge / / / Local Guesthouse
Shangri-La Shangri-La Hotel Shangri-La Old Town Hotel Moon City Hotel Wu Fu South Yunnan Boutique Inn

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • High speed train tickets(2nd class seats).

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.