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4 Days Kunming & Dali Highlights Tour by High Speed Train

Discover Comfortable “Spring City” & Leisure Getaway of Romance

Kunming as the provincial capital of Yunnan is actually a popular getaway with always pleasant weather and city blossoms all year round. While, Dali sandwiched between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake is an exhilarating old city with romanticism from ancient history till now. This 4-day Kunming & Dali tour is the best combo for your savory of both favored romantic destinations by taking a 2 hours’ high speed train riding for easy transfer. The covering of Stone Forest, Western Hills, Dali Old Town, Three Pagodas, Bai ethnic old towns, and more must-see sites will help you soak in the best sightseeing, old town history, ethnic costume, and more highlights in both Kunming and Dali in the best pace! Join us to start your wonderful exploration!

  • Type : Private Tour
  • Tour Code : CD-KMDL-04
  • Price : from $633
    1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
    2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
  • Trip Length : 4D/3N
  • Theme : Nature / Culture / Photography

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR

  • Visit the Stone Forest and marvel at a spectacular set of limestone groups and representative of South China’s Karst landscape;
  • Get up to Western Hills for a great marvel at the praisable Dragon Gate amongst the refreshing forest mountain and catch the bird’s eye view of fascinating Dianchi Lake and Kunming City;
  • Stroll freely in Dali Old Town, the ancient capital of Nanzhao Kingdom and Dali Kingdom, and feel like traveling back in ancient time;
  • Have a closer experience of the cultural essence and daily life of Bai ethnic minority settling down in Dali by watching their dwelling houses, tea ceremony, artistic tie-dye, and more at Xizhou and Zhoucheng.
Itinerary Day by Day (Can Be Customized)
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Day 1 Kunming Arrival

Arrive in Kunming - Western Hills & Dragon Gate - Yunnan Nationalities Museum

Welcome to Kunming, the Spring City of China! Upon arrival at the Kunming airport/train station, the local tour guide and driver will meet you in the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel and help you check in.

After a short break, be escorted to visit the famous Western Hills which is called “Sleeping Beauty Hills”, looking like a beautiful young lady lying beside Dian Lake (the largest freshwater in Yunnan and famed as the “Pearl on the Plateau”). It is a particularly pleasant experience to walk in such verdant forest mountain park with elegant sightseeing and a series of cultural relics and sites, including some old temples. You will not miss the symbolic visit to the magic Dragon Gate as it says “If you do not visit Western Hill, you haven't visited Kunming; if you do not come to Dragon Gate, you haven't been to Western Hills”, where to admire the colorful old grottoes on the wall and catch the panoramic view of the large peaceful Dianchi Lake and Kunming City. (You can visit the temples if interested. Huating Temple and Taihua Temple are included in the ticket.)

After that, drive to Yunnan Nationalities Museum for a wonderful understanding of the 25 ethnic minority groups in vast Yunnan. This largest minority museum in whole Asia boasts a collection of over 20 thousand pieces (units) of precious cultural relics to show you the beautiful costumes, diverse ethnic festivals, daily life scenes, exquisite musical instruments, brilliant cultural texts, and so on to know the essence of Yunnan culture!

After today’s visiting, be transferred back to your hotel and have a good sleep!

Arrival Ideas: You can take a direct flight from more than 110 domestic cities and some international destinations including Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, San Francisco, Tokyo, London, and Los Angeles. Also, you can take a bullet train from Chengdu (5.5 hours), Chongqing (4 hours), Guilin (8 hours), Guiyang (2 hours), Guangzhou (7 hours), Beijing (11 hours), Shanghai (11 hours), Hong Kong (7.5 hours), etc. with convenience!

  • Western Hill & Dragon Gate Kunming Western Hill
  • Yunnan Nationalities Museum Yunnan Nationalities Museum
  • Kunming Flight Kunming Flight

Day 2 Kunming - Stone Forest – Kunming - Dali (B, L)

Stone Forest - Green Lake - 2 Hours' High Speed Train to Dali

Good morning! After breakfast, your local guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and then escort you to discover Stone Forest first for about 1.5 hours’ riding (85km)!

Kunming Stone Forest as the “Essence of World Karst Landform” has been listed as the UNESCO World Natural Heritage with the incomparable coverage of 12 square kilometers’ stone pinnacle groups. Take the sightseeing bus to visit the Greater Stone Forest Scenic Area to admire the typical concentrating cinerous stone pinnacles by walking through the maze of stone peaks and jumping high for the panorama of the forest of protruding stone peaks. Also, you will see the famous peak on many photos and even stones towering over 40 meters. Then, continue to ride the bus to explore the Lesser Stone Forest to closely look at the iconic stone “Ashima” like a young lady, listen to the touching love story of Ashima, and fill your eyes with the emerald garden-like park of wilder stone peaks surrounded by lush green plants and blossoms. Take the sightseeing bus to exit the scenic park and drive back to Kunming downtown.

Visit Kunming Green Lake at the city center. This pretty park with a lovely lake, old-styled pavilions, corridors, flowers, etc. is the most popular place for an authentic feeling of local Kunming people’s leisure life with citizens singing, dancing, talking, exercising, etc. During November to the next March, Black-headed Gulls from Siberian will never be late to fly there for their expecting comfortable warm winter holiday. Do not miss playing with those adorable and vigorous elfin during your relaxing roam!

After today’s visiting, be escorted to train station in Kunming and take a high speed train to Dali (about 2 hour). Welcome to Dali, a historical and cultural city for Bai ethnic group. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by the local tour guide and transferred to your hotel around Dali Old Town for check-in. Have a good rest!

  • Kunming Green Lake Winter Scenery Kunming Green Lake Winter Scenery
  • Major Stone Forest Major Stone Forest

Day 3 Dali (B, L)

Three Pagodas - Erhai Lake - Dali Old Town

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, pay a visit 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…

Then, head to the famous Erhai Lake (Ear-shaped Sea), which is reputed as the "Immaculate Jade between Mountains". Normally, there are three ways to explore the lake. You can ride a sightseeing bus, enjoy a boat trip or try cycling. Please tell your best pick to your travel consultant before booking the tour, as the final prices will differ by activities you choose.

1) Erhai Lake Sightseeing Bus Tour (CNY 50/pp): There are sightseeing roads built around the lake. On the west bank of the lake, there is also a 27.5-kilometer-long Ecological Corridor with mini sightseeing buses offered. Hop on the mini bus, you will get the placid lake view while moving, with fresh air and gentle wind kissing your face.

2) Erhai Lake Boat Tour (from CNY 145/pp): 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.

3) Erhai Lake Cycling Tour (from CNY 100/pp): If your energy permits, you can choose a cycling tour along this picturesque Erhai Lake, which may give you a more exciting experience there than the cruise and bus.

Later, 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 in 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 historic streets with weeping willows dancing and colorful flowers blooming in the sunshine. You will visit the symbolic Wuhua Tower in a drum tower outlook. Continue to find Honglongjing (Red Dragon Well) with lovely view of clear water flow on layers of stone stages between the ancient dwelling houses and modern bars. Walk along Renmin Road to visit those bustling shops selling Yunnan specialties and some interesting items and then encounter the only Christianity church in this Chinese old town to feel the mixture culture there. As you feel the ancient flavor of the old site, stroll to the famous must-visit Foreigner Street to soak in the busy atmosphere along the old path and in those boutique shops and old coffee shops. Enjoy your time roam in this famous old town and feel like going back to the old times.

  • Dali Old Town Dali Old Town
  • Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery
  • Erhai Lake Erhai Lake

Day 4 Dali & Dali Departure (B, L)

Xizhou Ancient Town - Zhoucheng Tie-dye - Transfer to the Airport or Railway Station for Departure

After breakfast, you’ll start your exploration of Xizhou Ancient Town, an authentic old town where local Bai people really live and work. Set eyes on the local morning market - a place for local people in traditional costumes trading daily supplies, including fresh vegetable, fruits, meats, and many kinds of food and daily necessities. It is a great opportunity for getting close to local living conditions. Walk into the “the Museum of Bai Architecture” and appreciate the exquisite residential complexes decorated fabulous sculptures, paintings, pointed eaves and wall screens. Taste Bai’s Three-Course Tea in bitter, sweet and mixed flavors and experience the tea ceremony to enjoy deeper of the artistic culture of Bai ethnic people. Then, visit Yan Family Compound where to appreciate the delicate courtyard houses, screen walls, colorful paintings, and more decorations to learn more about the fine Bai ethnic architecture.

Then, transfer to “Hometown of Bai People’s Tie-dye Art” - Zhoucheng Old Town 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 visiting, be driven to the airport/train station in Dali. Service ends!

  • Xizhou Old Town View Xizhou Old Town View
  • Zhoucheng Tie-dye Zhoucheng Tie-dye

Recommended Add-on Options

+4 more days to Lijiang Ancient City and Shangri-La

In this trip, you will explore two of the most charming places in Yunnan: Lijiang - the Kingdom of Naxi People and Shangri-La - Garden of Eden! Here, you are in a world of minority people, temples, old towns, ancient streets, lakes, rivers, mountains…splendid culture and breathtaking scenery are waiting for you to explore.

In this 4 days Lijinag & Shangri-La highlights tour, you’ll graspe every second to enjoy yourself on the incredible land – have panoramic view of Lijiang Ancient City, explore the authentic Naxi Village to feel the special Dongba Culture, visit Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, and take a light hike to Tiger Leaping Gorge that is the world's deepest gorge. You will just find the tour fabulous every moment!

Lijiang Old Town Full View from Wangu Tower

The quotation for this trip is from $633 Per Person

1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2022.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.45. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.

What's included?

  • Professional licensed English-speaking guide;
  • Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);
  • Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;
  • Domestic flights (economy class) and high-speed trains (second class) as listed in the itinerary;
  • Airport (and train station) pick up and drop off;
  • Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;
  • All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);
  • Accident insurance;
  • Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

What's excluded?

  • China visa;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;
  • Single Room Supplement;
  • Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
  • Recommended optional activities;
  • Flights or trains not listed in the itinerary;
  • Excess Baggage Charges;
  • Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.

Check What our Customers Say...

This feedback is for Vivien Li our travel agent at China Discovery has been long overdue. (Sorry for that Vivien). :

Vivien planned our first trip to the Silkroad in Summer 2021. Vivien has been a great support from the beginning to the end in organizing the whole trip and was always there to answer all my questions. Since we travelled with a small child she also put a lot of effort in our travel itineray and included the starting and end time for all our activities. This helped us a lot. It was the first time we had a guide with us and she found a great guide for us. We were really excited to start our Silkroad trip in August and it was a great trip. We enjoyed every minute. Unfortunately with few Covid cases coming up we had to return to Shanghai. During this time Vivien also was a big help in organizing a worryless trip back to Shanghai. With Vivien as our travel agent I know I have a reliable travel agent on my side I can fully trust.

I can fully recommend Vivien as your travel agent. Thanks a lot Vivien for your patience and your great service. Looking forward to our next trip to plan together. Tutty and Family

Tutty and Family

Tutty - 2021.10.18‚ German, October 18, 2021

Dear Tracy,

1. Yes, you are very efficient and accommodating to my needs. Tracy gets back to me very quickly, even when she is not officially at work. We communicate through WeChat. :

2. Arrangements are very efficient. Everything went as planned.

3. Yes, happily recommend you and have done so.

4. I have used the company twice for private tours and will do so again. Arrangements have been smooth and helpful. The two guides I have had have been excellent.

5. Keep searching out for more slightly off-beat tours. It’s helpful to try to avoid crowds; this is very difficult during Chinese holidays of course, but there is so much that is interesting that alternatives to some of the main sights can be probably be found at these times.

Geoffrey

Geoffrey - 2021.10.11‚ UK, October 16, 2021

Dear Echo,

First of all we want to share with you that has been an amazing trip, one that we will not forget. We definitely loved it! Going into detail: :

• Guide: Gary was outstanding, he had a very positive attitude and he had never lost the smile although travelling with kids can be challenging. He was willing to help beyond his responsability, flexible when needed and passionate about his job. Simon, was a good guide and help us when asked for his support although it was a bit difficult to understand. The only thing that it could be improved was that when we went to Dunhuang for the private dinner in the desert, nobody spoke english there and Simon didn't come with us so it was a bit difficult in the beginning.

• Driver: He was good and drive very safely.

• Hotel: Generally speaking all the hotels were ok but the hotel in Dunhuang was not really what we understand as a 5 star hotel (breakfast was very chinese, no decent coffee, issue with the heating, no english,...). Hotel in Jiayuguan was very good although the rooms were a bit small. Hotel in Zhangye was very good, they had a lot of details (our family room was customize for kids, little presents every day in the room, dinner was very nice and they had the best coffee of the 3 hotels in the breakfast, they try to speak in english).

• Hotel: Generally speaking all the hotels were ok but the hotel in Dunhuang was not really what we understand as a 5 star hotel (breakfast was very chinese, no decent coffee, issue with the heating, no english,...). Hotel in Jiayuguan was very good although the rooms were a bit small. Hotel in Zhangye was very good, they had a lot of details (our family room was customize for kids, little presents every day in the room, dinner was very nice and they had the best coffee of the 3 hotels in the breakfast, they try to speak in english).

• Hotel: Generally speaking all the hotels were ok but the hotel in Dunhuang was not really what we understand as a 5 star hotel (breakfast was very chinese, no decent coffee, issue with the heating, no english,...). Hotel in Jiayuguan was very good although the rooms were a bit small. Hotel in Zhangye was very good, they had a lot of details (our family room was customize for kids, little presents every day in the room, dinner was very nice and they had the best coffee of the 3 hotels in the breakfast, they try to speak in english).

Cristina

Cristina - 2021.10.11‚ Spain, October 11, 2021

Dear Vivien,

Please let me give you more detailed feedback on the Silk Road trip:

1) Driver in Xining was outstanding, very attentive and also supported for check-in etc. So definitely recommend for future. The driver for the second part was also very polite and a very calm driver.
2) Guides:
a. Shawo was very knowledgeable and could provide lots of information. Probably based on her professional background working in university.
b. Lisa was very passionate about her job and anyone who wants to know details about Chinese culture should go with her.
c. Andy was from my pov the least engaged guide. For logistics he organized everything well and no problems. For the cultural parts he could provide information, but I personally did not perceive him as too motivated or passionate about guiding. So for groups who just want the logistics done, he’s fine. He did share some personal insights on how Dunhuang changed from his childhood to now which was super interesting.
d. English level of all guides was soso.

3) The Badain desert was my personal highlight extremely impressive nature and really great Jeep drive through the desert! Our Jeep driver was the best, I would always recommend him again for further tours! Second highlight were the rainbow mountains both for sunset as well as sunrise in the morning. To make this happen, the Kaoshan tents are necessary as it is so close by walking distance.

4) The national geologic parks were also interesting ad the nature was different in different spots, a guide who has more geologic knowledge would have been desirable.

5) Mati Temple was way too crowded. Dunhuang desert was also very touristy and crowded, so not the scenery I would have wished for.

6) Hotels were very good standard, I was actually surprised of the level offered!!! In Jiayuguan a bit dirty, but overall good. I did not like the mongol yurt in the Badain desert though, if it is basic standard, I would have wished it to be less touristy, but it was yurts, yes, but all else was just mass tourism. Something I know now I just have to accept. I had hoped for a remote small local touch experience, which it definitely wasn’t. Also, there was a group partying with loud music and fireworks in the morning. So I would prefer a hotel (and I now learnt it even exists) in the desert as the local experience is not given anyways.

Norma

Norma - 2021.10.11‚ German, October 11, 2021

Echo,

My Experience was quite exciting and wonderful, the tourist guide (May and Cherry) had strong knowledge of every place, history and Culture. The drivers were on time and very respectful, the hotels were so beautiful and well located and the food was very delicious, I hope I can come back again, thank you very much for your service

Emilse

Emilse - 2021.10.11‚ Mexico, October 11, 2021
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Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.

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After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.

Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.

We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.

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Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.

Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.

Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!

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Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!

Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.

Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!

Comfortable & Homelike Hotels

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In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!

The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.

If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.

Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.

Meals & Dining

China Tour

We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.

The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.

There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.

All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!

Photo gallery of this trip

  • Western Hill & Dragon Gate Western Hill & Dragon Gate
  • Yunnan Nationalities Museum Yunnan Nationalities Museum
  • Kunming Flight Kunming Flight
  • Kunming Green Lake Winter Scenery Kunming Green Lake Winter Scenery
  • Major Stone Forest Major Stone Forest
  • Dali Old Town Dali Old Town
  • Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery
  • Erhai Lake Erhai Lake
  • Xizhou Old Town View Xizhou Old Town View
  • Zhoucheng Tie-dye Zhoucheng Tie-dye

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