Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Travel Diary: Yunnan Company Trip

Last month we took a company trip to the Yunnan Province in China, visiting Kunming, Dali and Lijiang. Located in the southwest region of China, the Yunnan Province borders Laos, Vietnam and Burma. Yunnan ("South of the Clouds") is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history and cultural diversity. With 25 different ethnic minorities, it is actually one of the most culturally diverse provinces in all of China.

After a week of exploring this fascinating region, I can now say I've tasted yak meat, been to the top of a 15,000 ft. snow mountain, and visited one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

Here we are in Lijiang before we headed to Jade Dragon (Yulong) Snow Mountain. That's me in the huge yellow scarf.

The cable car on the way up was a quick ride, offering views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Knowing you are thousands of feet above solid ground makes your heart beat faster.

Once we arrived at the top, our handheld oxygen tanks came in handy. The vistas from atop the mountain were breathtaking and it was easy to see why it is called Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

We climbed a few flights of stairs to get a better view. Here you can see the layers of mountains covered in a thin layer of clouds, a scene used in many traditional Chinese paintings.

Our view from the amazing show "Impression Lijiang," directed by Zhang Yimou, who also directed the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony and House of Flying Daggers. Impression Lijiang is performed in an outdoor theater with Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as its dramatic backdrop with a cast of 500 performers from 10 local ethnic groups and a number of horses. The choreography and music demonstrate the traditions of the local cultures and were truly moving. It was definitely one of the highlights of my visit to Lijiang.

Local Naxi people of Lijiang have their own standard of beauty. Women are affectionately called "pang jin mei" (fat gold sister) and it's customary for women to do most of the work while men relax.

Roasted dragonflies. I worked up the nerve to try one and it tasted ... not bad, very crunchy.

Our guide in Kunming

Reflections of the rock formations in the water in the Jiuxiang Caves, the largest cave group in the Yunnan Province.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Only 2 Days Left for Early Booking Discounts!

Time's a ticking....with 2010 just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about your next getaway.

So what will it be?

Don't miss your chance to save up to $600 and book your next vacation by Friday, 12/18!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Deals - Save $600 Now!

This holiday season give the gift of travel.

Treat yourself or your loved ones to that much-needed vacation and visit some of the world's greatest wonders, China's Great Wall or the stunning Taj Mahal. Jet away to Italy and cruise Venice's Grand Canal or take an elephant safari through the jungles of Thailand.

Book any China & Asia or Europe Vacation Package before Dec 18th, 2009 and receive an early booking discount of up to $600 per couple*.

*Actual discount for each tour varies. Please Contact Us for details. Need to book and deposit by 12/18/09.