Friends' Tour to China

Tues 3 — Tues 17 June 2014

9.00 am
Yunnan, China
Yunnan, China
Booking forms can be requested from the Membership Office on 0131 552 5339 or

A botanical and cultural exploration of China’s Yunnan Province in the footsteps of George Forrest. 

In May 1904, a 31 year-old herbarium assistant called George Forrest set off from RBGE for a great adventure to the other side of the world – the remote, mountainous region of Yunnan, south-west China. For British gardens, this trip and Forrest’s subsequent expeditions would mean a wealth of scientific discoveries and new botanical gems. Now, over a hundred years later, the Friends of RBGE are delighted to announce the opportunity to travel to Yunnan under the experienced and expert eye of John Mitchell, RBGE’s Alpine Supervisor. John has been to Yunnan several times and has put together a most stimulating itinerary where our group will experience a wonderful botanical and cultural exploration.

Yunnan is a vast land with towering mountains and roaring rivers, home to the fabled and beautiful lands of Shangri-La. Thanks to its unique topography, Yunnan has not only glaciers and snow-capped mountains with high altitude plants, but also sub-tropical basins, hot valleys home to lush tropical vegetation. For this reason it is clear why Yunnan has for generations been known as ‘the kingdom of flora and fauna’.  Rhododendrons abound – out of the 530 species of Rhododendron in China 200 are found in Yunnan. Among China’s 300 species of Primula, 100 can be seen in the region. Gentiana, Cermanthodium and Corydalis - the list goes on and on.

The tour departs from Edinburgh and travels to China via Amsterdam, thus avoiding the crowds of Heathrow. We will then continue to Yunnan for our 14 day botanical tour. At the end of the botanical tour there will be the option to extend your holiday for an additional 4 days to see the great sights in and around Beijing before returning to the UK.

This is a wonderful opportunity to visit a truly amazing botanical land with the reassurance of travelling with like-minded Friends and the knowledge that for each booking a contribution will go to help the work undertaken by RBGE.

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)