Yunnan, which refers to the ‘place south of the colorful clouds’. It is a land of various ethnic groups, landscapes, natural scenery, creatures etc. From the Karst Stone Forest to Dali Erhai Lake, from the World Culture Heritage Lijiang ancient town and the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the paradise Shangri-la, you will enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery, which will urge you to linger on and never forget this trip! Enjoy a hiking along the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge along the way. Our “Yunnan Classic Round Trip” trip will offer the opportunity to explore the vibrant and diverse ethnic minority cultures.

Tour Highlights | Yunnan Classic Round Trip

Discover the natural beauty of Yunnan: Stone Forest, Erhai Lake,  Pudacuo National Forest Park, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain | Explore the ethnic groups in Yunnan: Yi, Bai, Naxi, Tibetan etc. | Enjoy the real life of local people in the ancient towns and villages: Dali Old Town, Xizhou Old Town, Zhoucheng Village, Lijiang Old Town, Baisha villages, Shuhe Old Town | Visit a Buddhism Chongsheng Temple and Tibetan Songzanglin Monastery | Dali’s landmark: Three Pagodas | Experience high-speed train from Kunming to Dali to Lijiang

Brief itinerary | Yunnan Classic Round Trip

Day 1     Arrive in Kunming, 2 nights in Kunming (no meal)
Day 2     Kunming city, Stone Forest excursion (Breakfast)
Day 3     D train to Dali, Dali ancient town excursion, 3 nights in Dali (Breakfast)
Day 4     Mount Cang and Erhai Lake excursion (Breakfast)
Day 5     Dali, free day (Breakfast)
Day 6     2 hours train ride to Lijiang, 4 nights in Lijiang (Breakfast)
Day 7     Lijiang cycling tour exploration (Breakfast)
Day 8     Lijiang Jade Dragon Snow Mountain exploration (Breakfast)
Day 9    Lijiang, free day (Breakfast)
Day 10 Drive to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, trekking and 1 night in Half Inn (Breakfast)
Day 11   Trekking tour, transfer to Shangri-La, 3 nights in Shangri-La (Breakfast)
Day 12   Shangri-La exploration (Breakfast)
Day 13   Shangri-La, free day (Breakfast)
Day 14   Departure (Breakfast)

Tour Details | Yunnan Classic Round Trip

Day 1     Arrive in Kunming, 2 nights in Kunming (1896 meters, no meal)
Arrive in Kunming on your own. After airport formalities, meet your guide and be transferred to hotel. Serving as the capital of Yunnan, Kunming is historically and culturally renowned throughout the country. It is the center of politics, economy, culture, science and technology in Yunnan. With an annual average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius, it is well known as the City of Eternal Spring without bitter cold in winter and intense heat in summer.

Day 2    Kunming city, Stone Forest excursion (Breakfast)
Hotel breakfast. Drive 98 km. to the Stone Forest one of China’s most remarkable natural phenomena. It consists of 80 hectares of innumerable bizarre-shaped ancient limestone cliffs and peaks created by wind and water erosion some 270 million years ago. It is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan. Walking through the Stone Forest, visitors marvel at the natural stone masterpieces and are bewitched by the intricate formations. The magnificent, strange and steep landscape creates countless labyrinthine vistas, including: Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest and Naigu Stone Forest, all of which feature stones in various formations.

Day 3     D train to Dali, Dali ancient town excursion, 3 nights in Dali (Breakfast)
Hotel breakfast. Take D train to Dali, D8688 10:47-13:08 or similar. Meet on arrival and transfer to hotel. Dali is an ancient historical city where the Bai minority lives. Chinese people call the area “Scandinavia”. History of Dali can be dates back to 1382 during the Ming Dynasty. Its grand city wall, traditional Bai houses and marvellous scenery have been attracted many visitors.

After a short rest, you will visit the Three Pagodas and ancient town of Dali. The Three Pagodas are made of brick and covered with white mud. As its name implies, the Three Pagodas comprise three independent pagodas forming a symmetric triangle. The elegant, balanced and stately style is unique in China’s ancient Buddhist architectures, which makes it a must-see in the tour of Dali. The Three Pagodas, visible from miles away, has been a landmark of Dali City and selected as a national treasure meriting preservation in China.

Day 4     Dali Mount Cang and Erhai Lake excursion (Breakfast)
Hotel breakfast. In the morning you will be transferred to visit Mount Cang (Cangshan) with round-way cable car and hiking around 2.5 hours. Then you will go to the Erhai Lake, known as Kunming Lake in ancient times. With an altitude of 1972 meters above sea level, the Erhai Lake is a beautiful highland lake of Yunnan Province and one of the seven largest fresh water lakes in China. As it shapes like an ear, and wave like a sea, the locals named it ‘Erhai’ – Ear Sea in Chinese language. 2 km east of Dali, the lake encompasses an area of 250 square km, with 40 km long from south to north, 7- 9 km wide from east to west. You will have one and half hour boat ride on the lake.

Day 5     Dali, free day (Breakfast)
Hotel breakfast and exploration Dali on your own and free day

Day 6     Train ride to Lijiang, 4 nights in Lijiang (Breakfast)
Hotel breakfast. Spend a free morning on your own. Meet and greet at hotel lobby, transfer to Xiaguan railway station and take the train K9621 (10:08/12:47) or similar to Lijiang. Upon arrival at Lijiang railway station, transfer to hotel

Lijiang is a gathering place of rugged mountain people with the Naxi forming the majority. Lijiang is a small mountain town of stone and tile, laced with swift canals, which has been recently listed as an UNESCO world monument. Upon arrival in Lijiang, check in, and then take a guided stroll in the Old Town. Old town of Lijiang is a big area with its center, or Si Fang Jie (Square Street) in the form of an official inks stone, hence its name Dayan (ink stone) Town. It enjoys a long history of over 800 years and unlike most of the old towns in China, there is no city wall due to a superstitious belief of the local ruler whose family name is Mu (tree), when encircled by walls, would be Kun (besieged). Wooden structures, mountains, small rivers and lanes integrate harmoniously in this mountain town.

Day 7     Lijiang cycling tour exploration (Breakfast)
Hotel breakfast and full day Lijiang cycling tour exploration.
In the morning English-speaking guide will take you visit the Zhongyi free market, and then take a biking tour of Shu He, Baisha Village, Black Dragon Pond Park and Dongba Museum. Total around 4.5 hours (18km).
Shuhe is the earliest habitation of the Naxi ancestors. It is also an important and well-preserved post of the Ancient Tea Horse Route part of the Silk Route. Another village is Baisha village, where you can experience the Naxi people’s peaceful daily life. The Baisha murals are a must-see; their completion took about 300 years! Taoism and Lamaism manifest in i/ntegration in styles of the Han Chinese, the Tibetan, the Bai and the Naxi people on the murals, a proof of exchange on politics, economy, culture and religion between the mainland and the frontiers of China.

Day 8     Lijiang Jade Dragon Snow Mountain exploration (Breakfast)
Hotel breakfast. Today you will go to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It is a sanctuary for rare animals and wild plants. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Mountain) is the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. Consisting of 13 peaks, among which Shanzidou is the highest one with an altitude of 5,600 meters. Looking from Lijiang Old Town in the south which is 15 km away, the snow-covered and fog-enlaced mountain resembles a jade dragon laying in the clouds, hence, the name Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Day 9    Lijiang, free day (Breakfast)
Hotel breakfast and exploration Lijiang on your own and free day

Day 10 Drive to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, trekking tour starts (Breakfast)
Breakfast in hotel.After breakfast,drive about 1.5hours from Lijiang to Qiaotou town which means the head of the bridge,where your trekking tour starts.The trail rises alternating between mountains and cultivated farmland.After 2.5 hours,arrive in Naxi Family guest house for lunch.After lunch ,it is the most challenging part of the trek as the trail rises steeply with”28 bends” to the top of the ride.From here on ,you hike high up the valley aong the gorge with the gushing river deep below.The view of the gorge and the Jade Dragon Mountain and the Haba snow mountain are stupendous from here on.Arrive at the Tea Horse Guesthouse,your accomodation for the night.This family-run guesthouse offers simple double clean rooms with attached shower and toilet.

Day 11   Trek to the TINA’S Guesthouse, transfer to Shangri-La, 3 nights in Shangri-La (Breakfast)
Simple breakfast in the guesthouse.Continue along the gorge enjoying more beautiful scenery for another 2 hours until Half-way Guesthouse. From here, start a leisurely descent through lovely cultivation and villages for 2 hours to Tina’s Guesthouse, where you will have lunch. After lunch, the coach will pick you up and continue to Shangri-La.

At 3,160 meters above sea level, Shangri-La (or Gyalthang in Tibetan, and approved by State Council to be renamed Shangri-La County as of late December 2001) lies in a landscape of rolling hills, snow-capped peaks, virgin forests of spruce, pine and meadow dotted with wild flowers and tranquil lakes. The old town, still entirely in local Tibetan style.

Day 12   Shangri-La exploration (Breakfast)
Breakfast in hotel and Shangri-La exploration tour, such as visiting Shangri-La’s most prominent sights: the Ganden Songzanglin Monastery, Pudacuo National Forest Park and local Tibetan villages. Founded in the 17th century during the reign of the Great Fifth Dalai Lama and nicknamed as Lesser Potala Palace by the locals, Ganden Songzanglin Monastery is one of the thirteen Tibetan monasteries in the Kangba Region, where Tibet, Yunnan and Sichuan join. Holding about 700 monks and one living Buddha, the monastery is a must-go in the region. You can also visit the Vegetable Market in the new town.

Day 13   Shangri-La, free day (Breakfast)
Hotel breakfast and exploration on your own and free day

Day 14   Shangri-La departure, trip ends (Breakfast)
Transfer to Shangri-La airport for flight back to Shanghai. End of services.

 

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