6 Days Dali Lijiang Tour with Shaxi Ancient Town

Ancient Tea Horse Road Visit & Ethnic Culture Experience

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How do you think of "Dali" and "Lijiang"? The distance between Dali and Lijiang is about 200 kilometers. The two popular cities combined into one trip can be called "romantic", "relaxing", and "traveling back in ancient time". Besides, it is a fantastic choice to add Shaxi Ancient Town in between for Shaxi is an old trading town along Ancient Tea Horse Road with a history of 2400 years.

Highlights of This Tour

  • Feel different atmosphere in Dali Old Town, Shaxi Ancient Town, Shuhe Ancient Town and Lijiang Ancient Town and stroll leisurely to explore the authentic local life of Bai people and Naxi people;
  • Appreciate the breathtaking scenery in both cities when visiting Cangshan Mountain, Erhai Lake, Tiger Leaping Gorge and First Bend of the Yangtze River;
  • Follow the locals to learn traditional handmade craft and catch a rare chance to witness bustling trading scene along the Ancient Tea Horse Road.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Dali / Shaxi Ancient Town / Lijiang
Travel Length:
6 Days & 5 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-DLTH-06
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day (Can Be Customized)

Day 1 Dali Arrival

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Welcome to Dali, the Kingdom of Bai ethnic group! Upon arrival, your private tour guide and driver will meet you at airport / train station in Dali New City (Xiaguan in Chinese) and escort you to your hotel which is usually located in Dali Old Town, a stunning place sandwiched between Cang Mountain and Erhai Lake! After check-in, you are free to explore this old city which is famous in Chinese literature.

Arrival Ideas: Dali Airport has flights to Kunming, Jinghong, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guiyang and more cities. While, Dali Railway Station has normal trains linking with Kunming (about 8.5 hours) and Lijiang (about 2 hours).

Dali Old Town
Day 2 Dali Old Town (B, L)

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After breakfast, you’ll first take a visit to Cangshan Mountain, the national geological park in China with 48 km from north to south and 18 km from west to east, just like a painted screen hanging magnificently around the elegant Erhai Lake. You’ll explore the essence of Cangshan Mountain by taking Gantong Cableway up and enjoy a walk around Qingbi Stream, Jade Cloud Road and Gantong Temple. It is a very relaxing way to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Cangshan Mountain at the halfway. (Note: when the azalea blossom in spring, it is recommended to take Ximatan Cableway up to the highest point of Cang Mountain to enjoy changeable and breathtaking scenery.)

Later, transfer to the symbol of Dali - Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple. Built in 10th Century in Nanzhao Kingdom, Three Pagodas is made of one big pagoda and two small pagodas forming a symmetric triangle. If you look at it from a distance, the pagodas are like three giant ballpoint pens breaking up the landscape of the never-ending mountains. Here, you’ll get close to look at the pagodas to know more history and stories, visit the royal temple in Dali - Chongsheng Temple, take awesome photos of Three Pagodas and the reflections…

Afterwards, be followed a trip to explore Dali Old Town. Used to be the ancient capital of Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms, Dali Old Town is formed the square-shaped structure, laid out on a typical north-south, east-west axis with five north-south and eight east-west streets. Wander leisurely through the elegant streets with weeping willows dancing and colorful flowers blooming in the sunshine, if you like have a cup of coffee when visiting the famous Foreigner Street, visit the bustling shops selling Yunnan specialties, get on the city wall or gate tower for a bird’s eye view of the large old town area. You will feel like going back to old times.

Three PagodasCangshan Mountain
Day 3 Dali Old Town / Shaxi Ancient Town (B, L)

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After breakfast, it will be a relaxing boat trip on the vast Erhai Lake (Ear-shaped Sea) with crystal clear water and charming landscape. On Erhai Lake cruise, you’ll enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and Three Pagodas from afar as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake. Enjoy an excursion to one of the famous islands for an in-depth look at the peaceful Bai fishing village and other sites on island.

Then, transfer to “Hometown of Bai People’s Tie-dye Art” for an appreciation of Tie-dye. Tie-dye is a typical feature to present the Bai’s excellent handcraft with various colors and elegant designs. You’ll visit local Indigo workshop in Zhoucheng and know the way of making. (Optional experience: If you are interested, you can follow the local Bai people to learn some traditional skills of how to knot and view your works to be dyed into different colors with beautiful designs. This whole experience takes about 1.5 hours.)

After the tour, be driven about 130 kilometers (about 2.5 hours) to Shaxi Ancient Town, a famous trading town on the Tea-Horse Trail. With a history over 2400 years, Shaxi is the most authentic old town which is different from Lijiang or Dali old towns. Upon arrival, take a visit to Yujin Bridge and Xingjiao Temple which is the largest and most typical Acarya temple of Esoteric Buddhism. Slower your pace and find more hidden gems!

Have a good stay in this ancient town. 

Ancient Stage of Shaxi Ancient TownErhai Lake
Day 4 Shaxi Ancient Town - Lijiang (B, L)

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After breakfast, you enjoy a leisure walk along the old streets to the lively Sifang Square, the center of trading paved with red sand stone and surrounded by old locust trees. The local market in Sideng Sifang Street is the only market well preserved till now along Tea-Horse Road. If you come on Fridays, you can attend the Friday Market running more than 1 kilometer, and local farmers sell daily goods ranging from dried goods, baskets, traditional Chinese medicine, shoes, vegetables, etc. Looking around, you can see an ancient stage used to perform Dongjing ancient music and other traditional dance.

Later, be transferred to Lijiang by private car (about 97 kilometers, around 2 hours). Welcome to Lijiang, a very impressive ancient city! After a short rest, you’ll start a memorable tour from Lijiang Ancient Town (Dayan Ancient Town). Pay a visit to Ming-dynasty style Mufu Palace, the “Forbidden City” of Lijiang to know Tusi’s ruling history and appreciate Naxi people’s brilliant culture and fine arts. Then, wander through the old alleys, old bridges, featured shops and bars to Sifang Street Square, a mingling ground to enjoy lively atmosphere and unwind yourself. If time permits, join the Naxi people and tourists to dance happily in a round. (Optional Activity: Take a leisure walk up to the Lion Hill and climb up the 33-meter-tall Wanggu Tower - the landmark building of Lijiang to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole old town and overlook the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance.)

Shaxi Ancient Town Friday MarketMufu Palace, the “Forbidden City” of Lijiang
Day 5 Lijiang (B, L)

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After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred out of Lijiang Old Town to Yuhu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Walking into this authentic Naxi Village, you’ll see unique stone houses, Naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, kids playing, a tranquil Yuhu Lake…explore leisurely around the village and then get to the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, who was an Austrian-American Botanist came to Lijiang and stayed in Yuhu Village for 27 years and made huge research work on Naxi minority.

Later, head to Baisha Village and appreciate the ancient Baisha Mural Paintings. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which is a combination of Tibetan Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Then, it is followed by a trip to Shuhe Ancient Town - one of the earliest settlements of Naxi people as well as the well-preserved stop of the Ancient Tea Horse Route.

After that, transfer to Dongba Culture Museum where more than 10,000 Dongba cultural relics show mysterious Dongba culture of the Naxi people. Take a gentle walk to Black Dragon Pool Park to enjoy gorgeous view and peaceful surroundings. If weather permits, get to the best spot to overlook the snow-capped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and shoot some amazing pictures.

Black Dragon Pool ParkBaisha Mural Paintings
Day 6 Lijiang & Lijiang Departure (B, L)

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After breakfast, drive about 45 kilometers to view the First Bend of Yangtze River, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before you. Visit Iron Chain Bridge in Shigu (Stone Drum) Town.

Later, transfer to visit the one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. It measures 16 kilometers in length and is a giddy gorge of 3900m meters from the waters of Jinsha River to Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It is divided into three parts: Upper, Middle and Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge. You’ll hike the upper part (the narrowest section of the gorge) and walk about 2.6 kilometers along the plank road from the entrance to the Tiger Leaping Rock. Take a moment to enjoy the magnificent gorge view and rolling waves.

After the tour, drive to Lijiang for departure. Your guide and driver will escort you to airport or railway station to catch your flight / train (after 17:00) to next destination. (Note: If the departure time will not match your trip schedule, our travel consultant will help you adjust the itinerary to well suit your time. Please feel free to contact us.)

First Bend of Yangtze RiverUpper Tiger Leaping Gorge

Recommended Add-on Options

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