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Your China birdwatching tour starts in Kunming where you will be met by our representative at the airport and escorted to your hotel.
Markedly more cosmopolitan, modern and crowded than the rest of Yunnan, the provincial capital of Kunming remains very laid back, especially compared to the hyperactive metropolises of coastal China. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” because of its year-round temperate weather, Kunming is girded by mountains on three sides and a lake to the south. Though it has undergone considerable development in recent years and its population has ballooned to 4.5 million, many of its old structures still stand. Kunming is home to no fewer than 25 different ethnic minorities, each of which celebrates its own holidays. It is a great city for leisurely urban adventures.
You have the rest of the day at your leisure and you can opt to stroll around the hotel in the Green Lake area. Your day will end with dinner at the hotel.
Today you will embark on the journey to Gaoling Nature Reserve. You will take an early flight to Baoshan, a journey of around 45 minutes where you will be met by our representative at the airport.
From Baoshan you will drive to Baihualin, a small village tucked away in the Gaoling Mountain Range. Venturing along the Southern Silk Road that crosses the southern portion of the Gaoligong Mountain range you will have opportunities to view some rare indigenous birds.
You will reach you guest house and relax till dinner time. Soak in the mountain air as you sleep for a good night’s rest.
The next two days will be the most important part of your trip where you will have umpteen opportunities to explore the reserve and sight many bird species in China.
The dramatic misty mountains and rich green plant life that make up the Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve provide some of China’s most gorgeous natural scenery. Located near the border of Burma, the reserve is geographically diverse, and includes forests, mountains, and deep valleys. Established in 1986, the reserve was designated an A-level grade protection area by the World Wildlife Fund, and protects 405,200 hectares of the higher slopes in the Gaoligong mountain range, 8,550 or which are open for tourism; it is the largest nature reserve in Yunnan province and ranges in altitude from 5,128 meters (16,800 feet) at the summit of Gawagapu, Gongshan county, to less than 210 meters (688 feet) in Yingjiang county.
There are a total of 154 mammal species, 419 bird species, 21 amphibian species, 56 reptile species, and 49 fish species in Gaoligongshan, making it one of the most biodiverse regions in China. Species located on the reserve include the Hylobates hoolock, (a species of primate), the Philippine's leaf monkeys, the rare macaca assamensid monkey, the giant squirrel, as well as other other wild animals including macaque monkeys, black bears, and red pandas.
Today you will bid goodbye to Gaoling after a well spent sojourn and embark on your next destination Tengchong. The drive is for about 5 hours and you can take several stops en route.
Tengchong was an important station on the Southern Silk Road, which linked Southwestern China with Tibet, Burma and India. Located near the border of present-day Myanmar, (formerly Burma), it now draws an increasing number of domestic visitors thanks to its jade processing sales centers and geothermal hot springs. Its proximity to the Gaoligong Nature Reserve makes Tengchong a convenient launch pad for exploring the splendid nature and wildlife of that protected mountainous area.
You will spend the night in Tengchong.
Today on agenda is exploration of the Tengchong area with visits to the village of Heshun and a drive to Laifeng Mountain for birding.
Heshun is a 600-year-old village outside of Tengchong and was a trading hub on the Southern Silk Road. Many ethnic Chinese living in Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries, trace their ancestry to this location. The wealth accumulated by these emigrant families is reflected in Heshun’s library, which houses a collection of over 80,000 volumes, making it one of the largest privately funded libraries of its type in a Chinese village.
There is the Tengchong Cemetery of National Heroes which is devoted to soldiers who perished during World War II and contains the graves of fallen British and U.S. soldiers who helped liberate Tengchong from Japanese forces. Stone bas-reliefs commemorate critical chapters from this front of the war, notably the construction of the Burma Road and exploits of the famous Flying Tigers.
You will later go for a birding walk after lunch at a local restaurant. You will return to your hotel at the end of the day.
Your trip to Gaoling ends today and you will board a flight to Kuming for a connecting flight back home.
Requires a spirit of adventure and some degree of fitness, as the trip might consist of many activities or long journeys. These adventures involve walking, trekking, hiking, cycling, rafting, sea kayaking, or driving for long hours, at times for up to six to eight hours a day at a steady pace. The maximum altitude is 3000m, so it requires you to be reasonably physically fit because you may be travelling in extreme weather conditions. The trips are usually 6 to 12 days in duration.
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