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4 Days Kunming Jianshui Ancient Town Tour by High Speed Train

Best Side Trip from Kunming within 2 Hours for Cultural Exploration

1

As you have known, Kunming is the most important gateway city in Yunnan Province with very convenient transportation network linking with many stunning destinations in different directions. If you want a historic exploration instead of a scenic trip, it is highly recommended to head to Jianshui Ancient Town, a 1200-year-old town with a title of “Museum of Ancient Buildings and Residential Houses”. It is about 205 kilometers between Kunming and Jianshui, with a high speed train ride within 2 hours.

Highlights of this tour

  • Have a good exploration about the highlights in Kunming downtown area, including Western Hills & Dragon Gate, Green Lake Park, Yuantong Temple, etc;
  • Explore the must-see Stone Forest aboveground to marvel at the amazing Karst world of countless diverse shaped erecting pinnacles.
  • Take a 2-hour high speed train from Kunming to Jianshui and stroll leisurely along the 1200-year-old Jianshui Ancient Town to feel authentic life here;
  • Travel out of the old town by taking meter-gauge sightseeing train for 13-kilometers sightseeing to Double Dragon Bridges and Tuanshan Folk Houses.

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:
Kunming / Jianshui / Kunming
Travel Length:
4 Days & 3 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-KMJS-04
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulture
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Kunming Arrival & Kunming

Welcome to Kunming, the Spring City of China! Upon arrival at the Kunming airport/train station (before 10:00), the local tour guide and driver will meet you in the arrival hall and escort you to Kunming downtown area for today’s exploration.

In this afternoon, you’ll 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 back 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 the tour, be escorted to your hotel in Kunming. Have a good rest tonight.

Western Hill & Dragon Gate Yunnan Nationalities Museum
Day 2 High Speed Train to Jianshui & Jianshui (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel and escort you to the railway station for a high speed train to Jianshui County (about 2 hours). Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to Jianshui Ancient Town and check in your hotel.

You’ll first reach the grand Chaoyang Tower, the landmark of Jianshui. Reputed as “Little Tian’anmen” with similar construction, Chaoyang Tower has a history even older than Tian’anmen in Beijing. This imposing Ming edifice is also modeled on the Yellow Crane Town in Wuhan and Yueyang Tower in Hunan. (Extra experience: you can climb up to this three-storey tower for a panoramic view of the whole Jianshui Ancient Town.)

Then, enjoy a relaxing visit to Jianshui Ancient Town which is reputed as “Museum of Ancient Buildings and Residential Houses”. With a history over 1200 years, Jianshui Ancient Town is even older than Lijiang Old Town. Stroll leisurely along the old street and explore different kinds of ancient wells to witness how water plays an important role in making the famous Jianshui Tofu and Steam Pot Chicken. Afterwards, walk to Confucius Temple, the third largest as well as the second grandest Confucius Temple in China. The temple has operated as a school for 750 years and was so successful that over half of all Yunnan’s successful candidates in imperial examinations during this period came from Jianshui. Walk through the axis and visit the main hall - Dacheng Hall to worship the great sage.

Later, move your steps to Zhu Family Garden, a spacious 20,000-sq-meter residential complex built in Qing Dynasty comprising ancestral buildings, family homes, ponds and lovely gardens. When walking into the garden, you’ll get amazed at its layout, exquisite design and elegant garden scenery.

Have a good sleep tonight!

Zhu Family Garden Jianshui Ancient Town Chaoyang Tower
Day 3 Jianshui & High Speed Train to Kunming (B, L)

In this morning, you will enjoy a scenic journey by taking the meter-gauge sightseeing train to travel out of Jianshui Ancient Town to see Double Dragon Bridge and Tuanshan Folk Houses. Yunnan meter-gauge railway, which has a gauge of only 1 meter (1000 mm), has been in operation for 110 years. It is the only meter-gauge railway that still operates in China, and works as a connection with the neighboring countries.

Hop on the train at Lin’an Station (near Chaoyang Tower) and appreciate the idyllic farming scenery along the route and make a stop at Double Dragon Bridge for sightseeing. Double Dragon Bridge, also called Shuanglong Bridge, is a Seventeen-Arch Bridge with 148 meters long and 3 meters wide. It crosses above the injunction of Lu River and Tachong River which looks like two Chinese dragons, hence got the name Shuanglong Bridge. This bridge is a masterpiece and listed as one of the top 10 famous bridges in China. You can either look it from afar or walk on the ancient bridge for close appreciation.

Afterwards, continue your train journey moving to Tuanshan Village. Built in Ming Dynasty, Tuanshan Village is regarded as the Gem of Chinese Civil Houses and the most beautiful village in Yunnan. Its architectural style of the 19th century and beyond remains intact and the distinctive way of people's life is preserved, fully showcasing China's indigenous cultural characteristics. Have a wonderful stroll in this historic village and explore the distinctive buildings like Zhang Family Garden, unique lifestyle and folkways of Tuanshan Villagers.

After the historic exploration, you’ll be transferred to Jianshui Railway Station for a high speed train back to Kunming city. The driver will meet you upon arrival and take you to your hotel in Kunming downtown area.

Tuanshan Village Twin Dragon Bridge Meter-gauge Sightseeing Train
Day 4 Kunming - Stone Forest & Kunming Departure (B, L)

In this morning, go to enjoy a cultural visit to Yuantong Temple that is one of the top oldest Buddhist temples in Kunming with more than 1,200 years’ history. Take your stroll there to feel the rich Buddhist atmosphere of three Buddhist sects filling the antique halls and houses specially designed into a traditional Chinese garden layout for a quite different appreciation of temple in China.

Then, walk to Kunming Green Lake nearby. 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!

Later, drive 85 km to the typical Karst landform - Stone Forest. As the “Essence of World Karst Landform”, Kunming Stone Forest 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.

After the tour, your guide and driver will escort you to the airport or train station to catch your flight/train (after 18:00) to next destination or back home.

Kunming Stone Forest Kunming Green Lake Winter Scenery Kunming Yuantong Temple

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