Highlights

The most classic Yunnan tour itinerary of Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La, it suits for all, especially those planning the first trip to Yunnan. Travel with the experienced local guides of Yunnan Discovery to visit UNESCO world heritage sites, enticing ancient towns, ethnic minority villages, and indulge in the sheer beauty of nature. No matter you are looking for luxury Yunnan tour packages or budget travel in Yunnan, the itinerary can be tailor made to meet your preferences.

Top Things to Do:

  • Take 9 Days Kunming Dali Lijiang ShangriLa tour to see all the highlights of the South of the Clouds Kindom.
  • Admire the unique geological features of Stone Forest, a real natural wonder in the world.
  • Enjoy Erhai Lake cruise trip, embraced by intoxicating natural scenery of Dali.
  • Ascend Jade Dragon Snow Mountain by cable car ride, overlooking the entire Lijiang.
  • Marvel at Tiger Leaping Gorge, and take photos at one of the deepest canyon in China.
  • Relax and un-wind in the old town of Shangri-La, far away from the world.
  • Visit Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery, known as the Mini Potala Palace.
  • Travel Style: private tour, classic, culture, leisure

    Best Time to Travel: All year round

    Destinations: Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La

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    Day

    Meals Included: No meals

    Nihao, welcome to Yunnan Province! One of the most beautiful places in China, Yunnan features not only stunning natural landscape but also old cultural traditions of China.

    On arrival at Kunming Changshui International Airport, meet your tour guide of Yunnan Discovery, who is holding your name plate, so you can easily find him/her. After a brief yet warm welcome meeting, transfer to your hotel in Kunming city downtown. Your Yunnan vacation gets started.

    If time permits, visit Yuantong temple, Green Lake Park and the Bird and Flower Market.

    Yuantong temple – the largest and oldest temple in Kunming, with a history of over 1200 years

    Green Lake Park – the most beautiful park in Kunming city center, ideal for a leisure walking and a place for bird-watching (black-headed gull) in winter

    Kunming Bird and Flower Market – full of birds, fish, antiques, artwares and a wide range of flowers throughout the year

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    After a hearty breakfast at hotel, meet your private guide and driver for a Stone Forest trip. A UNESCO World Natural Heritage, Stone Forest has a karst landform formed hundreds of millions of years ago. Stone Forest is one of the must-see attractions in Kunming and Yunnan.

    When hiking through Stone Forest Geological Park, you will marvel at the natural stone masterpieces and be bewitched by the intricate formations. There are jagged peaks, karst caves, waterfalls, underground rivers and other things to see in Stone Forest.

    Transfer back to Kunming at around 16:00. The rest of the day is for your own exploration in Kunming. You can walk around the city center or relax at hotel to swim, enjoy a spa treatment or anything else.

    Best Kunming Nightlife & Activities:

    Dynamic Yunnan (optional) – It is a grand music and dance show, blending the local folk songs and original dances with modern technology and extraordinary light effects. Most of the performers are from local ethnic villagers.

    Golden Horse and Jade Rooster – Right located in the city center, it is the iconic landmark of Kunming, with exquisite caved beams and painted pillars.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Your guide of Kunming will pick you up in the morning from your hotel, and escort you to the Kunming South Railway Station. Ride a bullet train to Dali. Meet your driver and guide of Dali and transfer to your hotel in Dali Ancient Town.

    Have a walking tour of Dali old Town, one of the most famous ancient towns in China. It was the cultural, religious and political center of ancient Dali kingdom and Bai ethnic group. Therefore, many historical sites and interesting traditions can be discovered here. Your guide will lead you to two main streets of Dali Old Town, the Bo'ai Road and Foreigners' Street, lined with restaurants, snack stalls, boutique shops, cafes, tea house, gallery, antique shops…

    Later, visit the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple, 1.5km northwest of Dali Old Town and 1.5km away from the foot of Cangshan Mountain. It was a royal temple of the Kingdom of Nanzhao and built in the 9th Century. Today it has become a symbol of Dali.

    Then enjoy a 1-hour Erhai Lake cruise trip. Sit back on a small fishing boat for relaxation. Learn about the fisherman and your guide about the traditional way to fish, as well as the previous fishing life of Dali. When in the middle of the lake, you will be embraced by serenity and beautiful scenery.

    Transfer back to hotel. You are encouraged to explore Dali old town by night. There is a lot to see and experience.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    In the morning, meet your guide and driver after breakfast and set out for Lijiang, a dreamland with breathtaking natural scenery and charming Dongba culture. En route, we will pay a visit to a traditional wet market at Xizhou Town, where fresh food materials, vegetables, mushrooms, handicrafts and a wide variety of local specialties are for sale. Besides, you will have a glimpse of local people's daily life, totally different from the modern city life. Xizhou Town is another important settlement for Bai people. Walk around, and you will see the best preserved and the largest collection of Bai nationality residential complex.

    On arrival in Lijiang, check in to your hotel. And take a walking tour of Lijiang old town. It was originally called Dayan, and was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site in 2012. Wandering around, you will see wonderful ancient cobbled streets, meandering streams, quaint traditional courtyards and houses. The old town also offers views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    This morning a visit will be made to the beautiful Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (made of 12 peaks at 4000+ meters), a holy mountain for Naxi people. Its main peak, at 5596 meters, remained unconquered. The mountain features glacial landscape, alpine meadows, primeval forest, etc.

    Drive to Ganhaizi Scenic Area (at 3050m) of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Right here, at the world's highest live-action stage, you will watch the fantastic Impression Lijiang Show. The connections, between Naxi people and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, between Naxi people and Lijiang Ancient Town, between Naxi people and nature, are the themes of Impression Lijiang.

    Then take a shuttle bus from Ganhazi to take the cable car and get to Spruce Meadow (at 3240m). A large alpine meadow surrounded by primitive forest. Walk around for incredible views. Then take cable car down the mountain.

    This afternoon we also make a visit to Yu Hu Village at the southern foothill of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It is the former home of Dr. Joseph Rock, a renowned US naturalist who used to live in Yuhu Village for 27 years, where the more traditional Naxi way of life continues.

    Continue the tour by vising Baisha Village, the previous political, economic and cultural center of Lijiang. Admire Baisha Murals, a Buddhist art treasure mostly created in Ming and Qing Dynasties.

    Later visit Black Dragon Pool, where the snow-capped mountains seemingly shimmer when they are reflected in the waters of the lake. It's the water source for Dayan. More to see include a dozen elegant historical structures of bridge, pavilion, temple and ancestral hall. Black Dragon Pool has become an iconic image of Lijiang Old Town.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    You won't be waked up by anyone, so you can have ample sleep and rest. Lijiang is a perfect place to relax and have fun, hence take your time to do/discover things that interest you. Or just sit idly at a café, and enjoy the enchanting sunshine and laid-back atmosphere. Feel free to ask your travel consultant of Yunnan Discovery for more advices on what to do in Lijiang Ancient Town.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Take a road trip from Lijiang to Shangri-La. Visit Shigu Town(Stone Drum Town)and Tiger Leaping Gorge en route. Shigu Town was a strategic area in history, and today a peaceful quaint village hidden in mountains. From Shugu Town, you'll have a close look at the first bend of Yangtze River, part of Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The view is amazing!

    Continue the trip and visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the must-visit places in Yunnan. Tucked in between the 2 giants, Jade Dragon Mountain and Haba Mountain, this is one of the longest, deepest and narrowest gorges in the world. At its narrowest, it is only 30 meters and it was said that a tiger jumped across it, thus its name.

    Drive towards northwest and get to Zhongdian (Shangri-La), the last stop of your 9 days Yunnan tour.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Today we have one full day tour of Shangri-La, chance offered to enjoy a day in mini-Tibet. You are now on the Tibetan Plateau, with an average altitude of 3459 meters. Shangri-La is a sanctuary of Tibetans, who have their own culture, religion and diet habit. Despite the rise of popularity, Shangri-La is still shrouded in mystery.

    First, we pay a visit to the fascinating Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, a Tibetan castle architecture complex. It is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan and known as the "the Mini Potala Palace". From Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, you can overlook Shika Snow Mountain in a distance, a holy snow mountain in Shangri-La.

    Then have a brisk stroll around the over 1300-year-old Zhongdian's Old Town, named Dukezong Ancient Town or Moonlight City. It possesses China's best-preserved and largest Tibetan dwelling group. Go across Moonlight Square and get to the White Chicken Monastery, where there the world's largest prayer wheel is located. Have lunch in a local restaurant in Shangri-La Old Town. Taste authentic Tibetan delicacies.

    This afternoon travel to Nixi (Tanwei) Pottery Village where the pottery manufacture techniques have been passed down for around one thousand years. We visit their workshops and see the traditional way of pottery making.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    Your guide and driver will transfer you to the airport of Shangri-La and assist you in check-in procedures. Your 9 days Kunming Dali Lijiang Shangri-La tour ends. Fly back to the modern real world, but welcome to Yunnan again!

    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
    • Round-trip cable car on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Spruce Meadow)
    • 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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