Judy's Creative Adventures   
"Women Exploring the Arts and Cultures of the World"                     480-264-5775

Yunnan China & Ancestrial Tibet Culture, Textiles & Minorities

        Traditional Textiles of Fascinating Yunnan China
                                            A Women's Tour Exploring Northern Yunnan' s 
                                       Many Ethnic Villages and Ancestral Tibet 
                                                        September 15-26, 2017

This fascinating journey will focus on traditional textile dying, weaving, batik and embroidery of Yunnan Province and the unique culture of ancestral Tibet.

Yunnan translates to 'South of Clouds" and the region stands distinctly apart from other parts of China. Within this single province, unmatched in the complexity and scope of its history, landscape and peoples, you will find a mix of geography, climates and nationalities that elsewhere it will take an entire continent to express. Yunnan was traversed by the fabled Tea and Horse Road, an important trading network that rivaled the importance of the Silk Road. Home to almost half of China's 54 minority groups, traditional culture and textile processing can still be readily observed.

Northern Yunnan in the Himalayas contains ancestral Tibet, the renamed region of Shangri La has always exercised a unique hold on the imagination of the outside world.  Despite its increased exposure to modernity, the magical Buddhist kingdom seems to exist in another dimension, and still retains much of the mystery that entranced early travelers to the region.

On this textile oriented journey you will visit several cities and towns in Yunnan, including cosmopolitan Kunming, the ancient independent Kingdom of Dali, magical Lijiang which is a huge UNESCO world heritage site, and Shangri-La where the original old villages and architecture have been well preserved through the centuries. You will meet with the local Yi, Naxi, Bai, Lisu, and Tibetan people plus many other ethnic minorities and enjoy the pristine scenery. See the detailed process of traditional textile dying, weaving, waxing (batik) and embroidery in villages such as Xizhou and Shaxi. Meet the local ethnic people and enjoy the pristine scenery with the backdrops such as Erhai Lake, Pudaocuo National Park and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.  Explore the textiles, folk art and small art galleries during your journey back in time.  As a small group you can enjoy visiting directly with artists and locals.  This is a trip of a lifetime!

                            Itinerary For Yunnan & Ancestral Tibet

Depart the USA:
International airfare is not included in the tour price, as many travelers wish to use their air miles and favorite airlines. You may book your individual air transportation to China or if you wish, we will be booking a transpacific Flight, LAX to Kunming for group members.

Day 1    Arrive Kunming  
Arrive in Kunming in late afternoon.  You will be met by your female Han or Minority guide and male driver and transfer to the hotel.  Evening free to recuperate and adjust to time zone.
Accommodation:  New Era Hotel Kunming (business room).

Day 2   Kunming  -  UNESCO Stone Forest - Textile Demos - Cultural Museum of the Yi Minority People
On your first morning in China  partake of a Western and Chinese buffet breakfast in the hotel.  Kunming city is the provincial capital of Yunnan Province and called 'The City of Spring'. It is well-known for its beautiful landscape, agreeable climate and fresh flowers blooming throughout the year.

This morning's excursion is to the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Stone Forest, an amazing geological location of karst formations jutting from the ground.   Enjoy Lunch in a Yunnan cuisine restaurant.

In the afternoon continue your journey to the autonomous county of the Yi People and visit the Nuohei Shitou Village to see and learn the traditional embroidery processes and local batik making techniques.  Both are ancient arts of China and have been developed over many centuries. 

Next  visit the Cultural Museum of the Yi Minority People.  This museum shows the shape of a typical Yi village tucked between mountains, presenting their customs, homes and arts and crafts.  A glimpse into ancient Yi life styles and customs.
Return to Kunming for dinner (on your own) . This evening a music & dance program "Dynamic Yunnan" richly depicting the flavor of life of the ethnic minorities of SW China. Accommodation:  New Era Hotel Kunming (business room). B-L

Day 3 -  Kunming to Dali - Flight - Dali Old Town  -  Three Pagodas
Breakfast, then transfer to the airport and fly to Dali this morning.  Be met by a Bai minority female guide. Venture to azure Erhao Lake, surrounded by mountains similar to Lake Tahoe.  Enjoy a boat ride on the lake and see the sacred Three Pagodas which have stood through a millennia of earthquakes and invasions. Next tour Dali Old Town with its medieval alleys and lanes filled with traditional medicine and artwork shops.

Finally venture to your boutique hotel,  the Linden Centre (standard room); a renovated former family manor house run by American expats and staffed by Han and minority staff.  Enjoy a superb Bai cuisine dinner at the hotel. The Linden Centre has special cultural demonstrations including music, dance and textile weaving.
Accommodation:  The Linden Centre, Xizhou     B-L-D 


Day 4   Xizhou - Textile Workshops
Breakfast in hotel.   With your Bai guide, tour the nearby Zhoucheng village and visit the local family-run workshops to observe textile dying, tie-dyeing and weaving.  Interact with the weavers and dyers as your guide is fluent in all the local dialects and will help you.   There are beautiful fabrics hanging everywhere.  This may be a fun time to take home some fabric or finished products

Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. 

Also tour Xizhou the Bai Minority Village, the name means "happy town" and is  known for the well preserved Bai traditional houses which are among the best examples of traditional Qing (1644 to 1912) architecture in China and exquisitely detailed.  One such home is the Yan Family Compound, which we will visit.  It has maintained its centuries old artistic and cultural traditions.  Transfer back to Linden v Centre for another great locally sourced dinner.  

Accommodation:  The Linden Centre, Xizhou     B-L-D 

Day 5  -  Shaxi Ancient Town - Sideng Market - Shizhongshan Buddhist Grottoe
After breakfast, drive to the medieval town of Shaxi where you will visit Shaxi Ancient Town.

Shaxi started as a trading point for tea and horses during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). The height of its prosperity was during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368–1912). It is probably the most intact horse caravan town on the Ancient Tea  Horse Road leading from Yunnan into Burma and Tibet .
Visit the historic Sideng Market, also observe textile and embroidery techniques in the local cottage industries. The Square Street which is the center is covered with red sand bricks and a two centuries-old Chinese scholar tree stands in the middle. A stage and temple face each other making this the most complete surviving example of a trading center on the Tea Horse Road.  The unique massive stage has been restored along with some of the other buildings.  Time permitting we will  be able to attend a market here.

Next visit the 1300-year-old  Shizhongshan Buddhist Grottoes carved in the Tang and Song Dynasties with 16 caves and139 sculptured figures.  Check into a local guest house.

Accommodation: The Old Theater Hotel or similar    B-L-D

Day 6 - Lijiang - City Tour - Black Dragon Pool Park -Village of Baisha 
Enjoy a locally sourced breakfast. Drive through amazing alpine scenery to Lijiang, upon arrival hotel check in.  After a Naxi cuisine lunch, meet your amazing Naxi guide Holly Li. Take an afternoon tour of the cobblestone streets and canals of the Ancient Old Town of Lijiang.  It is a well preserved old city of ethnic minorities with brilliant culture. It was first built in the Song Dynasty with a history of more than 800 years, a very prosperous trading area. Today has many restaurants and shops with ethnic goods. 
Continue on to explore the Black Dragon Pool Park which.is a famous pond, built in 1737 during the Qing dynasty.  Lijiang depends on water for its life. Black Dragon Pool is its main water source. It subdivides into many streams which reach every family and street. Due to these aqueducts, there are about 350 different styled bridges, some from the Ming & Qing Dynasties and willow trees grow everywhere. From the Black Dragon Pool you will have a spectacular view of the region's tallest mountain, Jade Dragon Show Mountain.  Visit the Naxi Dongba Culture Center.

Then drive to visit the village of Baisha, the original  settlement of the Naxi people where today they still keep the old traditions.  You will have the opportunity to observe plus have a class in the traditional embroidery techniques of this unique area.  View the mysterious Baisha Murals that were painted over 1,000 years ago, and display pictures of China's main religions. 
Dinner on your own this evening.

Accommodation:   Zen Garden Hotel Lijiang (deluxe room at Lion Hill Branch).           B-L

Day 7   Lijiang  -  Jade Dragon Snow Mountain - Impression Lijiang Show - Maxi Yuhu Village & Shuhe Town
Western and Chinese breakfast, morning tour of Yak meadow in the shadow of Jade Dragon  Snow Mountain (18,300 feet, has only been climbed once) also known as Mount Yulong.   Ride the chairlift to the summit at 13,000 feet. View seas of wildflowers, walk on a wooden sidewalk for breathtaking views below and visit a Buddhist monastery.

Enjoy a magnificent outdoor program of music and dance called "Impression Lijiang" providing an insight into the traditions and lives of the local ethnic people of Naxi, Bai and Yi..

Visit two unique ancient minority villages to observe textile preparations - Naxi Yuhu Village, a very old traditional village in the shadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.  Next visit Shuhe Town one of the earliest settlements of the ancestors of the Naxi people.  It is on the old trade route of the Tea & Horse Road.  It is filled with tradition and a strong culture of primitive simplicity.

Return to Lijiang for dinner on own.  
Accommodation:   Zen Garden Hotel Lijiang (deluxe room at Lion Hill Branch).  B-L

Day 8 Lijiang to Shangri-la - Himalayas - Tiger Leaping Gorge -
Western and Chinese breakfast, travel by vehicle north into the Himalayas to Shangri-la (4 hour drive); along the way tour spectacular Tiger Leaping Gorge of the Yangzi River; over 10,0000 feet deep in parts, considered one of the deepest gorges in the world.

Observe spectacular Himalaya scenery along the way. Check into your lovely hotel upon arrival, later indulge yourself with the amenities at this spectacular retreat. 

Tour the residence of Duke Zong, next visit a local Tibetan Carpet weaving shop to see how these beautiful carpets are made.   

Visit the largest Tibetan Buddhist Lamasery in Yunnan Province, Songzanlin Lamasery, which was built in the style of Potala Palace in Lhasa and represents the Tibetan culture, housing Buddhist statues and many precious cultural treasures.

Accommodation:   Songtsam Retreat Hotel Shangri-la (superior room).   B-L


Day 9 - Deqin - Ethnic Textile Villages - Dongzhulin Temple 
This morning enjoy a drive to Deqin with your Tibetan female guide.  En route, visit the old Nixi Village which is famous for black pottery kilns, where you can watch this centuries old process. Lunch in a local restaurant.

Visit Dongzhulin Temple in nearby Benzilan village situated on the upper Yangzi River. Built in 1667, it is one of the thirteen most well-known monasteries, and can hold 2,000 monks sitting and chanting

Drive by Shusong and visit the Shushu Buddhist Nunnery. Drive up the flanks of the Baima Snow Mountains.. Upon arrival in Feilaisi, enjoy a stunning sunset view of Meili Snow Mountain (elevation 22,100 ft) and the 13 white pagodas from afar. 

Accommodation: Regalia Resorts & Spa (Hill view rooms)   B-L-D


Day 10 -  Deqin to Shangri-la - Pudacuo National Park 
After breakfast drive back to Shangri-La, tour the stunning alpine scenery of UNESCO Pudacuo National Park, easy walking around Shudu Lake and Bita Lake.  Enjoy our farewell dinner and then spend another cozy and luxurious night at Songtsam Retreat Hotel.

Accommodations:  Songtsam Retreat Hotel Shangri-La      B-L-D

Day 11 - Shangri-La to Kunming - Departures
Good Morning, this is your last morning in Yunnan, China.  After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Kunming.  This is where you will connect to your home bound flight.  This is the end of your amazing tour of Yunnan, China.  Have a good flight home and we hope to see you on another of our Judy's Creative Adventure Tours.

Beijing Extension -
If you have chosen to continue on to the Beijing Extension, you will fly to Beijing with a stop in Kunming.  You will be met in Beijing and transferred to your hotel.

For the Beijing Extension itinerary - Click Here

Dates -
Travel Date:   September 15, 2017
Arrival Date:
   September 16, 2017
Return Date:  September 26, 2017
Number of Days:   12 Days/10 Nights

Tour Pricing - 
All prices are in US Dollars -
Per Person/Double Occupancy
Tour Price:  $4980.00 USD
Single Supplement: $950.00
Deposit$650.00 - To secure your reservation
Note:  Prices listed are our cash discount prices and are payable by cash, check, money order or bank transfer. Credit card payments carry a 3% bank fee.

Per Person/Double Occupancy
- Two persons sharing a twin bedded room.
Finding a roommate - We will be happy to try to match you with a roommate.  If we are unable to do so the Single Supplement price will apply.
Single Supplement - One person in a single room.

This Tour Includes -
  • 12 Days
  • 10 Nights Luxury/Deluxe Lodging—Double Occupancy    
  • Daily Breakfast + meals as indicated                          B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D-Dinner
  • All village entrance and textile demonstration & materials fees
  • Arrival and departure transfers on tour dates & per itinerary
  • Transfers and luggage (1 piece of 45 pounds per person)handling
  • All sightseeing, activities, and cultural events listed In the itinerary
  • All tour related domestic taxes within China
  • Private English-speaking professional female Tibetan, Naxi and Bai local tour guides in each city/region
  • Private, clean vehicle with a/c and professional driver
  • Pre-departure information packet
  •  Small Group 8-14 members
  • Accompanied by Judy Berry, President of Creative Adventures


  • International Airfare
  • Immigration & Custom Fees, Chinese Visa, all departure taxes, security fees, or airport fees. 
  • Meals not indicated on itinerary
  • Gratuities for guides, drivers, porters, escorts, and hotel staff.
  • Optional Entrance Fees
  • Personal Items (phone calls, or access charges in hotels, internet/Wi-Fi fees, room service, laundry, personal items charged to rooms, etc.)
  • HEALTH, ACCIDENT, BAGGAGE & TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE.  We urge you to purchase Health, Accident, Baggage and Trip Cancellation Insurance.  This may be purchased through Creative Adventures, your travel agent, or with your insurance company.

Registration -
Group size is limited, early reservations will insure your space on a first come basis. 

To Register:  Complete your Registration Form Now
and make your deposit or full payment

Telephone registrations are accepted, deposit due within  5 business days.
Information or to Register:  
Call us at  480-264-5775
or Email : Judy@JudysCreativeAdventures.com                                      

Registration Form:   Sign Up Now

    Home     Africa / Bali / Cambodia / Cornwall / Costa Rica / Czech Republic / Germany / Hungary / Italy / New Mexico/ Slavokia / Vietnam / Wales /     Top of Page

                                                                                            Tel: 480-264-5775   Email:  Judy@judyscreativeadvemtures.com 

                                                                             Content copyright 2017. www.JUDYSCREATIVEADVENTURES.COM. All rights reserved