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Although they are generally cheaper, Chinese package tours are best avoided, as they tend to be big, loud, and aimed at getting you to buy junk. In Southwest China's larger cities, hotels are often the most convenient places to make transportation arrangements. In travel hot spots such as Yangshuo, Lijiang, and Dali there are plenty of English-speaking local travel agents.
China Minority Travel is one of the oldest travel agencies in Southwest China. Run by a Dutch and Tibetan couple since the 1990s, China Minority Travel has tours exploring virtually every corner of Southwest China. 63 Bo'ai Lu, Dali, 671003. 0872/267-7824. www.china-travel.nl.
Wild China specializes in unique itineraries in Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi and can create journeys tailored to specific interests. Room 801, Oriental Place, 9 Dongfang Dong Lu, Chaoyang, Beijing, 100027. 010/6465-6602. www.wildchina.com).
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