With a name that literally means south of the clouds, Yunnan province is one of the most diverse in China, in every sense. The Northwest of the province is heavily influenced by Tibet, with which it shares a mountainous border. The South is influenced by its proximity to Laos, Burma, and Vietnam. Since ancient times, Yunnan has served as China's gateway to Southeast Asia and South Asia and is a meeting point of eastern and western cultures. The Southern Silk Road, Tea Horse Road, and other ancient caravan routes have connected China to the rest of the world for more than 2,000 years and traces of them can still be seen in many places.
Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with high elevations in the northwest and low elevations in the southeast. Most of the population lives in the eastern part of the province. In the west, the relative height from mountain peaks to river valleys can be as much as 3,000 meters (9,800 ft). The province is interwoven with tributaries of some of the most important rivers in Asia (Yangtze, Pearl, Mekhong, Red, Salween, Irrawaddy), whose lushness support the largest diversity of plant life in China.
The province is famed for its multitude of ethnic groups, whose diverse customs can still be seen today. Of China's fifty-five officially recognized ethnic minorities, twenty-five can be found in Yunnan: about one-third of the population is not ethnic Han-Chinese.
KTL Adventure’s Yunnan programs combine the region’s incredible topography, rich cultures, and storied history. Our flagship Yunnan programs include hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, river rafting, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to experience the ancient tea-horse road on horseback, and learn the ancient art of paper-making in Lijiang and traditional tie-die technique in Dali.