Highlights

As China's most diverse province, Yunnan boasts many distinct cuisines, all thanks to the talented minority groups and abundant food materials. Therefore, Yunnan has long been a foodie's dream.

The guided 9 days food tour of Yunnan Discovery is crafted really for foodies, so that you can travel through Yunnan's best foodie cities, explore inspiring food cultures and eat like a local. Treat yourself with Yunnan's can't-miss foods, drinks and travel actively with fun-filled culinary activities.

Your Yunnan tour will be a gastronomic delight.

Top Things to Do:

  • Dine at the most popular crossing bridge rice noodles restaurant in Mengzi, for an authentic taste of Yunnan's most famous food.
  • Enjoy a mushroom feast from all that edible fungi growing wild, a must-eat for your Yunnan food tour.
  • Spoil your tastebuds with Yunnan's original thousand-year-old gourmet foods in Jianshui Ancient Town.
  • Have a taste of Dali Bai Cuisine and take a cooking class to learn to cook in Yunnan at a local Bai family.
  • Take local market tour to enjoy behind-the-scenes food experiences, with real life experiences.
  • Travel Style: private tour, original, food tour

    Best Time to Travel: All year round

    Destinations: Kunming, Mengzi, Jianshui, Jiangchuan, Dali, Wenshan

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    Meals Included: Dinner

    Hello, welcome to Yunnan China! Upon arriving in Kunming, your local guide of Yunnan Discovery will meet you at the arrival hall of Kunming Changshui International Airport. Find your private vehicle and chauffeur, and transfer to your hotel for check-in and relax. Kunming is the provincial capital and the most vibrant city of Yunnan, thus Kunming's cuisine absorbs the essence of the different varieties of Yunnan cuisine.

    So let's celebrate the beginning of this culinary adventure by enjoying a refreshing welcome dinner with Kunming local dishes.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    In China, it is widely believed that a person who loves to eat and enjoys foods usually has a great and interesting personality and an unfailing childlike appetite of the world. Therefore, the delectable adventure in Yunnan will cheer you up every day.

    Today, firstly of all, you'll enjoy a taste of Yunnan breakfast with a plate of Lu ersi, a lightly fried rice noodle dish, with Er Kuai (slices of fried rice-flour cake) as the main ingredient, lathered in sweet and salty brown sauce – a great choice if you are fans of noodles.

    Depart for the small city of Mengzi, the capital of Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, and more importantly, the hometown of Yunnan's famous "Crossing Bridge rice noodle".

    Pay a visit to the Stone Forest en route. It is wondrous land with an outstanding, sprawling set of rock formations, rarely seen on earth. Stone Forest entered the list of UNESCO World Geopark in 2014 and the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage in 2007. So obviously a visit of Stone Forest is one of the top things to do in Yunnan, even for your food tour. Walk around to wonder at the peculiar-shaped peaks that were formed as early as 270 million years ago.

    Afterwards, taste the spicy and pickled flavors of Yunnan cuisine and classic Yi minority dishes at a local restaurant. The pickles are not exclusive to Yunnan, but Yunnan's pickles are diverse, unique and taste excellent.

    Continue your way along Yunnan's picturesque roads to Mengzi (3 hours driving).

    So it is dinner time, fill your adventurous appetite with local Mengzi classics of dishes, such as tubawan (which means local 8 famous dishes), an assortment of 8 kinds of meat and vegetables.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    After breakfast at hotel, visit South Lake, which according to legend is the place of origin of "Crossing Bridge Rice Noodles". Don't miss the back story to be told by your guide. This charming lake features green vegetation, beautiful garden, winding stone bridges and graceful ancient pavilions. It was a place where local literati met and talked about the poems.

    Then transfer to Mengzi's most famous restaurant for authentic crossing bridge rice noodles. Create and eat your very own "Crossing Bridge rice noodles" for lunch. It is more like a king's banquet rather than a single dish – apart from the rice noodles, there will be dozens of small plates for you, with all kinds of ingredients and food materials, such as egg, different kinds of meat, fish slice, Chinese parsley, tine peas, thin sheets of bean curd, chrysanthemum, etc.

    Check out from hotel and depart for Jianshui Ancient Town dating from 12th Century (2 hours driving). The more than 50 ancient architecture complexes have made Jianshui Ancient Town a "Museum of Ancient Architecture". For foodies, Jianshui boasts some historic Yunnan foods that can be traced back to a thousand years ago.

    Dinner will be arranged at a local restaurant in Jianshui Ancient Town, try Yunnan's famous steam pot foods, such as steam pot chicken, steam pot fish, steam pot meat ball…

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    After breakfast, your guide will lead you to visit Jianshui Xinjie Market, where you'll find all kinds of edible wild vegetables and flowers that are rarely seen in other places of China, as well as the little river fish and shrimp. These are popular food materials for Jianshui people's daily meals. Perhaps you can also purchase some of the fresh morning produces at the market.

    Then take a guided tour of Jianshui Ancient Town. Traverse the historical streets and corners, appreciate the beautiful architecture. Walk to the second largest Confucius Temple in China, next only to the Confucius Temple in Qufu, Shandong Province. The impressive complex in front of you dates back to the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368).

    Enjoy Jianshui roasted duck lunch at a local restaurant. The Jianshui roasted duck or named Qujiang roasted duck is different from Peking Duck, and baked in soil furnace. The cooking skills had been continually reformed and innovated ever since Tang Dynasty (618-907). With a dozen seasonings, Jianshui roasted duck tastes spicy and refreshing.

    In the afternoon, visit the Zhu Family Garden dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is a masterpiece of classical Chinese garden that make the best use of the local environment and combines ancient Chinese architectural design with local arts and culture.

    Treat yourself with a local style barbeque dinner and a heap of local snacks, and experience the wonderful Jianshui nightlife.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    In the morning, visit the Tuanshan Village, 13km west of Jianshui Old Town. It is a natural, traditional village that keeps its original look of Ming and Qing dynasties. The well preserved dwellings, sacrificial temples, family ancestor halls and ancestor graves together constitute a typical family-oriented Chinese village.

    Then visit 500-year-old Double Dragon Bridge, 148 meters long, a very beautiful structural masterpiece and a best representative of ancient Chinese bridges. Make sure you take some nice photos of Double Dragon Bridge gleaming in the sun.

    From the Double Dragon Bridge, continue your food tour to Jiangchuan Town, where your specialty lunch is served. The aquatic products, with a selection of fish, are major food materials and the focus of Jiangchuan cuisine. Taste the famous copper pot fish, a Yunnan style hot pot, and other delicious local dishes.

    Leave Jiangchuan behind, and drive along beautiful Fuxian Lake back to Kunming (2.5 hours driving).

    Arouse your appetite again with a Kunming "must-eat" – the mushroom hotpot. Eat your way by making your own mushroom stew with a wide range of choices: bolete, truffle, termite mushroom, matsutake, morels, bamboo fungus and so many more. They are normally growing in the wild at 2000m to 4000m above sea level.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Transfer to Kunming South Railway Station and take high speed train to Dali. After check in to your hotel in Dali Ancient Town, go for a popular local restaurant for a Dali specialty lunch with various Bai ethnic dishes.

    Dali Bai Cuisine is an important part of Yunnan Cuisine (Dian Cuisine), and retains most of the dietetic tradition of ancient Dali (Nanzhao) Kingdom. It makes full use of the locally produced dairy products, freshwater products and fruits like plum. Besides, the home-made wine and local teas add more flavor for the foods.

    After lunch, take a sightseeing tour in Dali to visit the Chongsheng Temple and its three pagodas dating back to the 9th Century. It used to be a royal temple of Dali Kingdom and now still the cultural symbol of Dali.

    The three pagodas of Chongsheng Temple possess a wealth of ancient Buddhist relics and are masterpieces of ancient Chinese architecture. The 62.4-meter-high Qianxun Pagoda stands in the middle, right next to the South Pagoda and North Pagoda, both 42.19 meters high.

    Thereafter, take a leisurely stroll through Dali Old Town and visit a colorful Catholic church but oddly designed with a Buddhist temple look.

    Eat dinner in Dali Old Town with more delicious Bai ethnic dishes, such as earthen pot fish with a selection of side dishes, braised chicken with papaya, sliced pig's feet, etc.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Enjoy a beautiful morning by exploring the quaint town of Xizhou embraced by lush vegetable fields. Another cultural center of Bai people, Xizhou is a treasure house of traditional Dali vernacular dwellings, which are exquisitely designed on every detail.

    Visit Xizhou's lively market to find many of the specialty cooking materials and vegetables. Purchase some food materials for today's cookery lesson. Also experience the slow placed local lifestyle, relaxing and pleasant.

    Then learn to make rushan (dairy fan), a semi-dried grilled cheese, and the most popular dairy snack in Dali. You will be given a plate of cow milk, and learn from a local expert to make your own rushan step by step.

    Transfer to Zhoucheng Village. Explore the interesting gastronomic scene and take a cooking lesson to make your own lunch at a local family's home. See the whole process of cooking including washing vegetables, skills of cutting, and get your hands on the stir-fry tools for each dish. You will also withness the traditional Three-course Tea ceremony of Bai.

    Enjoy a brisk bike ride through Zhoucheng and other villages alongside Erhai Lake. Enjoy the idyllic scenery and discover more of the interesting local traditions and customs. Free your legs and enjoy another Dali local taste dinner in Dali Ancient Town.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Continue your trip to Weishan (1 hour's driving), a former stop on the Ancient Tea Horse Road. The old town of Weishan, dating to Yuan Dynasty, was the ancient capital of the Nanzhao (Dali) Kingdom. Today, Weishan Ancient Town basically maintains its look over 600 years ago, where you can find some of China's best-preserved Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture complex.

    Pay a visit to a Muslim village called Donglianhua (East Lotus) to enjoy its special and beautiful architecture, including 5 watchtowers and 22 courtyards that were built by the horse caravans.

    Observe the unique process of making "one noodle soup", a famous traditional snack in Weishan. It has a very humble name, though, this dish requires fine workmanship. Does it make your mouth water? Then devour your own bowl of "one noodle soup" for lunch. If you have a big appetite and desire to eat more, there is another masterpiece of Weishan food named as Parou ersi (a kind of rice noodle).

    In the afternoon, enjoy a light hike into the majestic Weibaoshan Mountain, a national forest park dotted with Taoist and Buddhist temples. Learn from a Taoist master about the philosophy of Taoism during drinking and then find your inner Zen with meditation or a set of Taichi moves. Visit a Taoist temple when hiking back.

    Return to Dali. The rest of the day is for your own exploration. Come back to the ancient town hungry and excited, as your farewell dinner at a courtyard restaurant is ready. Enjoy all those locally infused, home-cooked dishes.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    Your Chinese food adventure across Yunnan has come to an end, time to say goodbye now. But your photos will always remind you of those delicious foods, unique gastronomic scenes, as well as the splendid Yunnan.

    Your guide of Yunnan Discovery will transfer you to the airport for your flight home.

    What's included

    • One-on-one travel counseling service with fully tailor-made itinerary
    • Private English-speaking guide, native-born or with years of local life experience
    • Reservations of domestic flights and trains as listed on your itinerary
    • Private driver, with comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle
    • Entry tickets to all attractions on your itinerary
    • Private transfers to airport/hotels/attractions
    • Handpicked accommodations to meet your needs, with daily breakfast
    • Lunch and dinner arranged at local restaurants, for taste of Yunnan
    • International flight tickets or train tickets
    • China Visa (but we can send you the invitation letter to help you apply China visa)
    • Tips for guides, escort, drives, bellman
    • Personal expenses

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