Opulent Journeys

In the Footsteps of the Plant Hunters - Tour of Yunnan, China

24 May - 10 June 2017

From (AUD)


16 DAY

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1300 219 885 (AU)

0800 456 219 (NZ)


For those who are looking for a tour that combines ecotourism with experiencing unique local cultures and their gardens, this one will definitely fit the bill. Our tour will be following in the footsteps of a host of famous English plant collectors who, in the late 19th and early 20th century, visited Yunnan province in Southwest China. George Forrest, Kingdon Ward, Delavy and Joseph Rock were among the many who found it difficult to stay away from these parts.  They collected a bounty of roots, seeds and cuttings of hundreds of plants which went onto become mainstays of English and indeed worldwide gardens.

Yunnan is one of the most isolated parts of China, and is also one of the most scenic.  The mountains that form the eastern end of the Himalayan plateau are awe inspiring as well as botanically breathtaking.  Yunnan is home to 25 Chinese minority nationalities, each with their own culture, customs and costumes.  Our tour sets aside time to experience the cultural diversity as well as the natural wonders of this unique region.


Dates & Prices

Tour Prices                                    

Per person, twin share (Land & Air)*                    $7,890 N/A N/A
Per person twin share (Land Only)** $6,435          $6,775          $4,950
Single room supplement $1,790 $1,885 $1,400

*Land & Air: Tour price includes international flights with Singapore Airlines from Australia to China.

**Land Only: Tour starts and ends in Kunming.

About your tour leader - Angus Stewart

Angus Stewart is a professional horticulturist. He has turned his lifetime of horticultural experiences to good use to lead tours to famous wildflower regions as well as some of the great gardens of the world. Angus is perhaps best known for his work as a gardening presenter on the ABC, both with Gardening Australia for the last 11 years, and on ABC 702 radio station in Sydney where he has been answering gardening talkback questions for around 25 years.

Angus has written for numerous gardening magazines over the years and is a regular with Gardening Australia magazine at present. Angus is a very experienced tour leader who has taken numerous tours in Australia and overseas and loves to spend time with fellow passengers, getting to know them and sharing his passion for the plants of the world. He has always had a passion for seeking out wildflowers in their natural habitat and has led a number of tours into wild areas to seek out rare and unusual plants. He is looking forward to showing you the treasures of one of the world’s great floral kingdoms in Yunnan, which he recently visited in May 2016.


What's Included
  • International flights with Singapore Airlines from Australia to China
  • Internal flights within China 
  • 16 nights’ accommodation in 5 star or boutique hotels
  • Daily breakfast, meals as stated in the itinerary
  • Comprehensive touring
  • Local English Speaking guides in each city
  • Tour manager with the group throughout
  • Chinese visa fee

Not included:

  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities & porterage fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned above


To enquire or book this tour, please contact

Phone: 1300 219 885            Email: enquiries@opulentjourneys.com.au

Please Click Here to download the tour details.


Fly from your capital city to Singapore.

Fly to Kunming. On arrival, you will be met by our local guide and transferred to the hotel. Then we will visit Kunming Botanical Garden before our welcome dinner tonight.

(Meals: D)

Today we fly to Dali. After we check in to our hotel, we will visit Chongshen Monastery with the three tall pagodas for which Dali is famous. There are extensive Chinese gardens to explore around the pagodas. We will also take a leisurely walking tour in Dali Old Town in the evening.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Cangshan Mountain is one of the richest botanical locations on earth and was a favourite location for 19th century plant hunters, particularly for azaleas and rhododendrons which should be in peak flower. Today we will enjoy a full day scenic and botanic tour with chairlift on Cangshan Mountain. Enjoy a picnic lunch today.

(Meals: B, L)

Today we will take a different chairlift route and enjoy a half day scenic walking tour in Cangshan Mountain. After a picnic lunch, we will travel to a local tea plantation to learn about the tea plant Camellia sinensis which is native to Yunnan Province.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today we say Zaijian to Dali and drive by coach along the scenic road to Lijiang.  Along the way we will visit the Ethnic Bai village and take stops for wild flowers.

(Meals: B, L)

After breakfast, we leave our hotel to visit the Yuhu Village. Situated at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yuhu Village is the last Naxi minority village of the valley. We will call at the house (which is now a museum) of renowned plant hunter Joseph Rock, who lived here for many years collecting plants and studying the Naxi people.We will also explore the flora (including roses, rhododendrons, pieris and primulas) at the base of the famous Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. This magnificent mountain is the southernmost in the Northern Hemisphere that is snow-capped year round.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today we will visit the Black Dragon Pool Park with its stunning mountain back drop. This is followed by a visit of Mu’s Mansion with its magnificent Penjing collection (the Chinese equivalent of Bonsai), terraced on the side of Lion Hill. In the afternoon, we will pay a visit to the Yufeng Lamasery to see, amongst other things, the 10,000-flower camellia and ancient michelias.

(Meals: B)

Today is at your leisure for shopping and individual exploration.

(Meals: B)

After breakfast, it’s a spectacular drive alongside the Yangtze to the awesome Tiger Leaping Gorge. With a drop of 3900 metres it is said to be the world’s deepest gorge. Overnight at Tina’s Guest House at Travertine Pools Town.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today we will visit the breathtaking geological phenomena - White Water Terrace. Besides being a beautifully scenic spot, the White Water Terrace is also the birthplace of Dongba culture of the Naxi Minority Group. Later we continue travel to Shangri-La. Along the way we will make numerous flora stops.

(Meals: B, L)

Today in Shangri-La we will get used to the high altitude and visit Sunsanling Monastery, a large complex of Tibetan Buddhism built in 1679, set beside a beautiful lake, a haven for local water birds that we will explore. In the afternoon, there is a visit to the Napa Lakea  to see yaks grazing amongst the wildflower meadows.

(Meals: B)

A long but exciting day’s drive by the Upper Yangtze Gorge along the Yunnan-Tibet road with spectacular scenery via Baima Pass to Deqin. The Baima nature reserve is the highest reserve in China and an area for alpine medicinal plants and flowers. We pass the reserve on our way to Deqin and stop to walk amongst the spectacular scenery.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Deqin We drive to the base of Kawakarpo Mountain to Meilungtse Village and walk to the base of its glacier on foot, this is a strenuous experience but it is well worth it to explore the wildflowers and Buddhist culture.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today we will continue to explore the Tibetan Buddhist culture and botanical riches of Baima Mountain with a series of short walks visiting a unique local village and small monastery.

(Meals: B, L, D)

After breakfast, we start our return journey to Shangri-La stopping at the craftsmen’s village of Nixi Valley.

(Meals: B, L)

This morning we transfer to airport for flight to Kunming. Upon arrival, we will visit the Daoist Golden Temple and the famous Flower and Bird Market. Later we transfer back to the airport for our Singapore Airlines flight home.

(Meals: B, L)

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