How to Plan a Kunming Lijiang Tour

Plan your Kunming Lijiang tour ahead will make your trip more colorful and interesting. Before you step on the fairyland, you need to know when to visit, how to travel, what to see, where to stay, and also whether cover more destinations like Dali, Shangri-La, Yuanyang, Jianshui, Dongchuan or not. The consideration will make your Yunnan trip perfect and without any regret.

Best Time to Visit Kunming & Lijiang

Kunming, called Spring City, is at almost-tropical latitude but with a 2000 m altitude. It has a very temperate climate with an average temperature of 18℃ and can be visited all year round.

Lijiang experience a mild subtropical highland climate with a 2418 m altitude. If you cover Kunming and Lijiang in one trip, the best time to pay visit is from March to October every year. During these periods, you could join the Yunnan ethnic festivals and enjoy breathtaking mountain, lake view.

Keep Reading: Kunming Weather, Climate & Best Time to Visit | Lijiang Weather, Climate & Best Time to Visit

Best Time Visit Kunming

Kunming Green Lake

How to Travel: By Flight, Train or Bus?

It is not hard to decide how to travel between Kunming and Lijiang. Usually, there are three ways to transfer, by flight, by train and by bus. It is recommended to take flight or overnight train to go between Kunming and Lijiang. You could choose your best way to travel after checking the details.

By Flight

If you take a flight from Kunming to Lijiang/Lijiang to Kunming, you’ll get from one city to another in 50-60 minutes. It is fast and the price of the flight is quite fair and sometimes you could enjoy offers and deals.

>> 5 Days Stunning Kunming Lijiang Tour by Flight

By High Speed Train

If you choose to transfer by high speed train, you need to spend 3-3.5 hours on the train. If you choose the overnight train, it takes a long time to travel which you could also save one night accommodation fee. Taking high speed train from Kunming to Lijiang or Lijiang to Kunming is a good choice for travelers who want different experience.

>> 5 Days Kunming Lijiang High Speed Train Tour

By Bus

Buses going between Kunming and Lijiang take a long time, about 7-9 hours. Sometimes you may need to spend the daytime on the bus which means you’ll spend less time to explore the beautiful sights in Kunming or Lijiang city.

Kunming Airport

Kunming Changshui International Airport

Top Attractions in Kunming & Lijiang

Yunnan has three World Heritage Sites in Yunnan, including Kunming Stone Forest National Park, Old Town of Lijiang, and Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas. All the sites are located in Kunming and Lijiang. Besides the world heritage sites, there are many attractions worth exploring.

Kunming Attractions

Dianchi Lake is like sparking pearl embedded in a highland. Take a cable car across Dianchi Lake to the Western Hill and climb up to Dragon Gate, which is close to the west shore of the Dianchi Lake. Here, you could have a better view of the vast Dianchi. Located in the picturesque bank of Dianchi Lake, Yunnan Minority Village is an epitome of ethnic in Yunnan. Pay a visit to the minority village, you can not only get to know the architecture style of all ethnic groups in Yunnan, ethnic costumes and ethnic customs, funny marriage and etiquette, but also enjoy the laser fountains, water curtain films, folk song and dance and even taste ethnic snacks. Green Lake Park is an urban park in Kunming to view the local city life. During winter months, you’ll see hundreds of black-headed gulls and have close contact with people. Explore the Spring City by exploring Flower and Bird Market to view all kinds of flowers and birds there. >> Read more Attractions and Things to Do in Kunming

Lijiang Attractions

There are many sites to explore in old town and out of old town. It is better to spend a leisure afternoon to wander in Lijiang Ancient Town. You won’t miss Sifang Street, the center of the town. Have a panoramic view of Lijiang old town over Wanggu Tower on Lion Hill. With Jade Dragon now Mountain as background, Black Dragon Pool Park is the dreamy wonderland to enjoy the beautiful mountains and rivers. Near the park, pay a visit to Naxi Dongba Culture Museum which displays the splendid Dongba culture. Spend one or two days out of Lijiang Old Town to Tiger Leaping Gorge, First Bend of Yangtze River, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Mural in Baisha Village and Shuhe Ancient Town. >> Read more Attractions and Things to Do in Lijiang

Kunming Stone Forest

Kunming Stone Forest

Kunming Black Dragon Pool Park

Kunming Black Dragon Pool Park

Kunming Lijiang Accommodation

In Kunming and Lijiang, there are many top selected hotels, ranging from 5 star luxury hotels, 4 star comfortable hotels and 3 star budget ones. All the hotels are well located, well decorated and offer good service.

The top hotels in Kunming are International Hotels & Resorts Kunming (5 star), Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Colorful Yunnan Kunming Hotel (5 star), Kunming Green Lake Hotel (5 Star), Kunming Golden Spring Hotel (4 star), Zhonghuang Hotel Kunming (3 star). The Top hotels in Lijiang are Crown Plaza Hotel Lijiang Ancient Town (5 star), Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town (5 star), Lijiang Guanfang Hotel Qidian (5 star), Lijiang Hexi Hotel (4 star), Lijiang Aviation Sightseeing Hotel (4 star), Lijaing Wangfu Hotel (4 star) and Grand Lijiang Hotel (3 star).

Keep Reading:

>> Kunming Accommodation: Recommended Hotels & Hostels | Where to Stay in Kunming

>> Lijiang Accommodation: Recommended Hotels & Hostels | Where to Stay in Lijiang

Lijiang Accomodation

Comfortable Accommodation

Explore Other Destinations in Yunnan

Yunnan is the most diverse province in all China, both in its extraordinary mix of peoples and in the splendor of its landscape. More than half of China’s minority groups reside here, providing a glimpse into China’s hugely varied mix of humanity. Besides Kunming and Lijiang to explore in Yunnan, there are some top destinations you could cover it into your Yunnan trip. The destinations include Dali, Shangri-La, Dongchuan, Yuanyang, and Jianshui.


Dali is home to Bai people minority, located between Kunming and Lijiang. You could explore many attractions like Three Pagoda Temple, Dali Old Town, many activities to do like cruise on Erhai Lake, trek on Cangshan Mountain, and many different markets to explore like Xizhou Morning Market. Learn more about Dali >>


Shangri-La is also called Zhongdian, described by James Hilton in his famous novel “Lost Horizon”. The land preservers a unique and remote atmosphere and the Tibetan minority that keeps the place different from the rest of Yunnan. Head to 5km out of town to the gorgeous Songzanlin Monastery, pay a visit to Tibetan local family and enjoy breathtaking scenery in Bita Lake and Shudu Lake. If you could spend 2-3 days more, extend to visit the holy mountain Meili Snow Mountain will be great. Learn more about Shangri-La >>

Dongchuan Red Land

Dongchuan Red Land is located 40 km of Kunming City. It is amazing beautiful spectacle that you can never image if you have never been there. God knocked over his palette, dropping the heaven paint, which makes Dongchuan such as stunning masterpiece. Red, green, white and yellow are matched into rolling rainbow ribbons stretching to sky. The best time for photography is during May to June and September to December. Learn more about Dongchuan Red Land >>

Yuanyang & Jianshui

Yuanyang Rice Terraces are without any doubt the most beautiful and spectacular paddy fields around China. Catch a sunrise on Duoyishu Rice Terrace and watch sunset on Bada Rice Terrace or Laohuzui Rice Terrace. It is best to photograph from December to May when the rice fields are full of water and the weather is changing. Also, attend the Hani and Yi colorful market each day to know more ethnic life and culture. After Yuanyang visit, transfer to Jianshui will be great. Spend 1-2 days to explore Jianhsui Old Town, Zhu Family Garden, Temple of Confucius, and Twin Dragon Bridge and Tuanshan Village & Zhang Family Garden. Learn more about Yuanyang >>

>> 8 Days Classic Yunnan Tour (Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La)

>> 10 Days Beautiful Yunnan Tour with Dongchuan Red Land (Kunming / Dongchuan / Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La)

>> 11 Days Amazing Yunnan Tour (Kunming / Yuanyang / Jianshui / Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La)

Dali Three Pagoda

Dali Three Pagoda

Dongchuan Red Land

Dongchuan Red Land

Yuanyang Rice Terrace

Yuanyang Rice Terrace

Recommended Kunming Lijiang Tours

Top 3 Kunming Lijiang tours chosen by most customers to explore Kunming Lijiang in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Lijiang Old Town Full View from Wangu Tower
6 Days Best of Yunnan Tour (Lijiang, Shangri-La, Kunming)

Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming

Ashima Featured Limestone Rock
6 Days Yunnan Essence Tour (Kunming, Dali & Lijiang)

Kunming / Dali / Lijiang

Blue Moon Valley at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
5 Days Kunming Lijiang High Speed Train Tour

Kunming / Lijiang

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

Customize a Trip

Have a question? Get answers from our travel experts or guests

  • Your Question:
  • Your Name:
  • Your Email:
  • Submit