Shangri-La Transportation: Flight, Train & Bus to Shangri-La

Shangri-La, formerly known as Zhongdian, is the capital city of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan, China. With the reputation of “Heaven on Earth”, Shangri-La hosts somewhat the purest scenery and human life in the world and thus has become a hot tourist destination for worldwide travelers.

How to get to this hidden pure land? In this comprehensive Shangri-La Transportation Guide, we will show you how to get to Shangri-La (Zhongdian) by flight, train and bus, how to travel around Shangri-La (Zhongdian) and how to get from Lijiang, Dali and Kunming to Shangri-La (Zhongdian).

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How to Get to Shangri-La (Zhongdian)

Flights to Shangri-La

Shangri-La Airport, or called Zhongdian Shangri-La Airport (IATA:DIG; 迪庆香格里拉机场), is the only airport in Shangri-La (Zhongdian). It offers flights to domestic cities like Kunming, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Lhasa.

Diqing Shangri-La Airport

Shangri-La Airport is about 12km southwest of Shangri-La downtown. You can catch a taxi or private car to get there in about half an hour.

Address: Shenying Road, Shangri-La City, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan (迪庆藏族自治州香格里拉市神鹰路,迪庆香格里拉机场)

Trains to Shangri-La

Currently, Shangri-La is easily accessible by high-speed train. You can opt for a high-speed train journey from Lijiang (1-1.5 hours) or Kunming (4.5-5.5 hours). All these trains will bring you to the Shangri-La Railway Station, situated around 7 km (approximately 4.3 miles, a 15-minute drive) from Dukezong Old Town, 10 km (approximately 6.2 miles, a 20-minute drive) from Songzanlin Monastery and 30 km (about 18.6 miles, a 50-minute drive) from Pudacuo National Park, and

Long Distance Coaches or Buses to Shangri-La

For independent travelers, you may want to take a bus or long-distance coach to get to Shangri-La, which is the most time-consuming but the cheapest way. You can find long-distance coach or bus to Shangri-La from Lijiang (about 3.5~4 hours), Dali (5 hours around), Kunming (9 hours around), Jianchuan (3.5 hours around), etc.

Shangri-La Coach Station

Shangri-La Coach Station is about 5km east of Shangri-La downtown and 4km from Songzanlin Monastery (Ganden Sumtseling Monastery).

Address: No.195, Gongrenxin Village, Shangri-La City, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan (迪庆藏族自治州香格里拉市工人新村195号,香格里拉客运站)

Get to Shangri-La from Lijiang

Shangri-La neighbors Lijiang on its southeast, with a close driving distance for about 120km (about 3.5~4 hours by car). Riding a private car is the best way to go between the two cities, because on the way you can feel free to make stops to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge and The First Bend of Yangtze River, which are settled right in between.

By Private Car (Top Recommended): By taking a private car, you can get from Shangri-La to Tiger Leaping Gorge in about 2.5 hours and from Tiger Leaping Gorge to Lijiang in about 2 hours.

Learn more about: Transportation between Lijiang and Shangri-La

Popular Shangri-La Lijiang Tour:

>> 5 Days Lijiang & Shangri-La Best Highlights Tour

Lijiang Shangri-La Transportation Map

Lijiang Shangri-La Transportation Map

Get to Shangri-La from Kunming

Shangri-La is about 635km northwest of Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan Province with frequent high speed train and domestic/international flights. Considering the driving distance between Shangri-La and Kunming is relative far, seldom of visitors choose to travel between them by direct car or bus. If you want to get from Shangri-La to Kunming or from Kunming to Shangri-La directly, flights are the best choices. However, the more popular way to travel the two cities in a trip is making a stop at Lijiang or Dali in the middle way. And then, you can get almost all the highlights of Yunnan Province in one go! Both Kunming and Dali can be reached from Kunming by high speed train!

Learn more about: Transportation between Kunming and Shangri-La

Popular Shangri-La Kunming Tour:

>> 6 Days Best of Yunnan Tour (Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming)

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

Kunming Shangri-La Transportation Map

Kunming Shangri-La Transportation Map

Get to Shangri-La from Dali

Shangri-La is about 312km and 4.5 hours northwest of Dali, with Lijiang situated in between them. You can travel between the two cities by private car and coach. However, compared with travelling them by direct car or coach, tourists prefer getting to Lijiang first. Dali and Lijiang are well-connected by high speed train, which will take you from one side to the other in less than 1.5 hours.

Learn more about: Transportation between Dali and Lijiang

Learn more about: Transportation between Lijiang and Shangri-La

Popular Shangri-La Dali Tour:

>> 6 Days Best of Yunnan Tour (Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming)

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

Lijiang Dali Transportation Map

Lijiang Dali Transportation Map

Get to Shangri-La from Dacheng Yading

Diqing neighbors Sichuan on its northeast. Therefore, Shangri-La is close to the Western Sichuan, especially Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve Scenic Area. The distance between Shangri-La and Daocheng is about 308km, takes about 9 to 12 hours by car. There is no scheduled flight between them. So travelers usually go by private car or coach. From every April to December, you can find a morning coach at Shangri-La Coach Station directly, which will take you to Daocheng in 9~11 hours. However, the coach will be canceled during the rest months of that year, because the road might be cut by landslide. And the coach will detour the way via Derong County (得荣县). Certainly a lot faster and less complicated if you go with private car.

Learn more about: Transportation between Daocheng Yading and Shangri-La

Shangri-La to Daocheng Map

Shangri-La to Daocheng Map

Get to Shangri-La from Lhasa

Thanks to the unbeatable location of neighboring Tibet on its northwest, Diqing is also a hot choice before or after the visit of Tibet. Therefore, many people will travel between Lhasa (capital city of Tibet) and Shangri-La (capital city of Diqing). To go between the two popular tourist cities, you can go by flight. There is no better choice, because there is still a long driving distance for about 1580km between them, which needs at least one day by car. Every day, there is one daily flight for the travel. The flight will go from Shangri-La to Lhasa in the noon and fly back to Shangri-La in the early evening. The duration for the flight journey is about 2~2.5 hours.

Popular Shangri-La Lhasa Tour:

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Potala Palace in Lhasa

Potala Palace in Lhasa

How to Travel Around Shangri-La (Zhongdian)

By Private Car – Travel with China Discovery

On this vast land of Shangri-La, the best way to travel around is by licensed private car, especially when you have plans to Tiger Leaping gorge and Meili Snow Mountain in the remote area.

We China Discovery also offer private car service that will let you get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation. If you travel with us, our experienced local driver will escort you from your hotel/airport or any other places to attractions in Shangri-La (Zhongdian) in speed, convenience and safety, and take care of all the details. Please feel free to let us know if you need such a service!

By Shangri-La City Bus

Shangri-La nowadays has about 10 city bus lines. These bus lines allow you to get around the downtown area of Shangri-La. Since it is not an easy job for visitors to find the right bus and right bus station to change a bus, these buses are little chosen by visitors.

By Shangri-La Taxi

Taxis can be found everywhere in downtown Shangri-La. And you can also ask a taxi to Songzanlin Monastery and Pudacuo National Park that relatively far from downtown area. It charges about CNY 30~50 to get from Zhongdian Shangri-La Airport to the city center area.

Shangri-La to Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge, or called Hutiaoxia in Chinese, is located at the border of Shangri-La and Lijiang, with its north part closer to Shangri-La and south part closer to Lijiang. The gorge has two entrances, and the hottest chosen one is the one near Qiaotou Town (Hutiaoxia Town) in Shangri-La. When it refers to Shangri-La to Tiger Leaping Gorge, it means how to get to the ticket office in Qiaotou from Shangri-La City.

The ticket office in Qiaotou is about 103km south of Shangri-La. At Shangri-La Long-distance Bus Station, travelers can take bus to Qiaotou Town (Hutiaoxia Town) first and the hire a car to get there. While a more popular and easier way to get to Tiger Leaping Gorge is by private car!

Popular Shangri-La Tiger Leaping Gorge Tour:

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Tiger Leaping Gorge Transportation Map

Tiger Leaping Gorge Transportation Map

Shangri-La to Pudacuo National Park

Pudacuo National Park is situated in the east of Shangri-La, about 23km from Shangri-La City. It takes half an hour or so by car. For independent travelers, you will find several cheap buses to get there from Shangri-La Coach Station (香格里拉客运站) or Dukezong Ancient Town Tourist Center. While the more hassle-free and recommended way to Pudacuo National Park is by private car.

Popular Shangri-La Tour with Visit to Pudacuo National Park:

>> 3 Days Best Shangri-La Tour

Pudacuo National Park Map

Pudacuo National Park Map

Shangri-La to Songzanlin Monastery

Songzanlin Monastery, or known as Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, is about 8km north of Shangri-La City. At present, there is no direct bus to get there. The best way to the monastery is by private car or taxi. Riding a car or taxi, you will be at the tourist center of Songzanlin Monastery in about 20 minutes.

Popular Shangri-La Tour with Visit to Songzanlin Monastery:

>> 3 Days Best Shangri-La Tour

Ganden Sumtseling Monastery Map

Ganden Sumtseling Monastery Map

Shangri-La to Meili Snow Mountain

Meili Snow Mountain located in Deqin County (德钦县) of Diqing has the highest snow mountain in whole Yunnan Province! It is about 176km and 4 hours from Shangri-La (Zhongdian). Shangri-La Coach Station offer about 4 morning coaches to Deqin County, from where you need to change to another bus to Meili Snow Mountain. The coach ride needs about 6 hours and the bus ride takes about 20 minutes. If you are travel in group, traveling with the help of private car is more recommended to get to Mieli Snow Mountain, because you can travel in an easier and more convenient way.

Popular Shangri-La Tour with Visit to Meili Snow Mountain:

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Meili Snow Mountain

Meili Snow Mountain

How to Plan a Shangri-La (Zhongdian) Tour

A Classic Shangri-La (Zhongdian) tour takes about 2~4 days, including 1~2 days to explore its iconic monastery and lake in the city and 1~2 days to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge and enjoy hiking there. For bug fans of Snow Mountain Trekking, leave yourself 2 days more to Meili Snow Mountain will also be a good idea.

>> 3 Days Best Shangri-La Tour

>> 5 Days Shangri-La & Meili Snow Mountain Pilgrimage Tour

Furthermore, quite a lot of visitors prefer to travel Shangri-La with Lijiang. These two popular tourist cities are two of the superstars for a Yunnan tour, with Tiger Leaping Gorge sitting in between.

>> 5 Days Lijiang & Shangri-La Highlights Tour

Want more surprises of the diverse Yunnan? Why not extending your tour to more top destinations in one go, such as Kunming famous as Spring City and convenient province capital, Dali with profound Dali Old Town and splendid Erhai Lake, Yuanyang with terrific rice terraces, Xishuangbanna with exciting tropical flavor and Dai ethnic dances, etc., which usually needs 6-15 days based on your exploration depth!

>> 6 Days Best of Yunnan Tour (Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming)

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

Lijiang Old Town Lijiang Old Town Kunming Stone Forest Kunming Stone Forest

Travel Shangri-La (Zhongdian) with China Discovery

Want a hassle-free Shangri-La and Yunnan tour? Travel with China Discovery and let us take care of everything for you! And then you can focus on the great scenery, culture, story and history of Shangri-La and Yunnan! Our English-speaking guide will accompany you all the way and introduce you the amazing history and story behind the attractions. And our local driver will escort you to the attractions you preferred from the airport or your hotel directly.

If you are interested about such a worry-free tour, please feel free to let us know!

Pudacuo National Park in Shangri-La Pudacuo National Park in Shangri-La

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