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Dramatic landscape and breathtaking views have made Yunnan the trendiest tourist destination in China. Besides, Yunnan processes an extraordinary melting pot of ethnic cultures and religions. As a result, Yunnan Province offers an unparalleled variety of diverse architectural styles and decorative arts. This 6 days Best of Yunnan Tour gives you a great overview of the beautiful region with stunning visits to Lijiang, Shangri-La and Kunming!
Why does this tour start from Lijiang and end in Kunming? When you choose to take this tour, it means you are the first-timer to Yunnan, this 6 days tour can show you everything highlighting about diverse Yunnan. Lijiang is always regarded as the No.1 destination in Yunnan, with convenient flights linking with cities in China and other countries/regions. While, Kunming has numerous flights and high speed trains to other cities in China that you can add some into your China vacation. It is time saving and money saving for most travelers.
Day 1 Lijiang ArrivalArrive in Lijiang - Lijiang Old Town
Ni Hao! Welcome to Lijiang, a very impressive ancient city! Upon arrival at the airport or railway station, your guide and driver will meet you at the arrival hall and transfer you to the hotel in ancient town area with a private car which is comfortable, air-conditioned and non-smoking.
After a short rest, you’ll start a memorable tour in Lijiang Ancient Town (Dayan Ancient Town). Established in the Ming dynasty as a commercial center, Lijiang Old Town is a well-preserved 800-year-old town for Naxi ethnic group, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Walk to the central area of the old town and visit Mufu Palace. A saying goes “there is Forbidden City in the North, Mu’s Residence in the South”. Mu’s Residence was called the miniature Forbidden City. Looked from a far distance, it likes a grand imperial palace and it is famous for the grandness and architectural buildings. Getting into the palace, you can 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.)
Arrival Ideas: There’re direct flights from Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lhasa, Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Guiyang, etc to Lijiang Sanyi Airport. Trains are available from Kunming (about 3-3.5 hours), Dali (about 2-3 hours) to Lijiang Railway Station.
- Lijiang Old Town Waterwheel
- Mufu Palace, the “Forbidden City” of Lijiang
Day 2 Lijiang (B, L)Yuhu Village - Baisha Murals - Shuhe Ancient Town - Dongba Culture Museum - Black Dragon Pool Park
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 go to explore 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. Houses here are arranged on a north-south axis around a central, terraced square. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which depict subjects relating to Buddhism, Taoism and the life of the Naxi people, incorporating cultural elements of the Bai people. (Optional experience: You can have in-depth cultural experience to learn how to make Baisha embroidery instructed by the local masters in Baisha Village.)
Then, it is followed by a relaxing 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. This ancient town is less crowded than Lijiang Dayan Old Town. Take a nice stroll here to explore local cultures, folk customs and traditions over several centuries.
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 Park
- Baisha Mural Paintings
Day 3 Lijiang - Shangri-La (B, L)First Bend of Yangtze River - Tiger Leaping Gorge & Transfer to Shangri-La - Dukezong Old Town
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, drive about 52 kilometers from Lijiang to view the First Bend of Yangtze River. The upper reach of the Yangtze River is Jinsha River coming down from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and when it arrives at Shigu Town, it is obstructed by Hailuo Mountain and forms a V-shape turn. Then it changes the direction and goes to the northeast. You’ll reach the observation deck to catch a panoramic view of the bend, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before your eyes. You’ll have a look at local market and Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in Shigu Town.
Later, be transferred to visit the one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyon in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. It is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site called Three Parallel of Yunnan Protected Areas. This steep gorge is situated between the 5596 meters Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the south and 5396 meters Haba Snow Mountain to the north. Measuring 17 kilometers in length, the whole gorge is divided into three parts: upper, middle and lower gorge and you’ll pay a visit to the maturest section - Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge. Walk about 1,000 stairs along the plank road from the entrance to the Tiger Leaping Rock. Take a moment to enjoy the magnificent gorge view and rolling waves. (Travel tip: This gorge is suitable for most travelers with easy walk. Comfortable shoes are recommended.)
After the hiking tour, you’ll be driven to Shangri-La. With 2 hours' driving, enjoy the enchanting natural scenery along the way. Welcome to Shangri-La (Zhongdian, altitude: 3459meters), the Garden of Eden!
Upon arrival, explore Dukezong Old Town. With a history over 1300 years, Dukezong Old Town is the largest and the best preserved Tibetan community in China. Climb up to the top of Guishan Hill (or Tortoise Hill) to have a panoramic view of both the endless snow-capped mountains surrounded the pure land and the large scale of the old town with countless Tibetan dwellings. Join in the tourists to turn the largest Prayer Wheel in the world in clockwise direction.
Recent News: Tiger Leaping Gorge Tourist Area is going to be closed from November 1st, 2020 to April 30th 2021 due to the road construction. Please plan your trip accordingly or contact us to help you plan your Lijiang and Shangri-La trip properly!
- Sightseeing at First Bend of Yangtze River
- Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge
- Dukezong Old Town
Day 4 Shangri-La (B, L)Songzanlin Monastery - Pudacuo National Park - Local Tibetan Family Visiting
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred with 7 kilometers’ driving to Songzanlin Monastery (Ganden Sumtseling Gompa), reputed as the “Little Potala Palace” for it was built according to the complex of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. Established by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1679, the monastery belongs to Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, and it is also the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province with around 700 monks and lamas. Walk 147 steps to get atop of the monastery and pay clockwise visit to the three main lamasery buildings where you can not only see the Buddhism treasures, but also enjoy large number of monks of all ages going about their daily routines, praying, chanting, cooking and resting. It should a nice trip to get in-depth understanding about Tibetan Buddhism. If time permits, take some quiet time to walk around the peaceful Lamuyangcuo Lake and shoot panorama view of Songzanlin Monastery with reflection in the clear water.
Then, drive about 27 kilometers to Pudacuo National Park. This 1,300-square-kilometer national park is notable as the first first national park in China to meet International Union for Conservation of Nature standards. It is renowned for well-preserved primitive landscape, which is endowed with lakes, wetlands, forests, meadows, streams, brooks, rare plants and animals. Visit the spots by clockwise and throw yourselves into the lush green forest with diverse species of flora and fauna, walk along the plank road to catch the gorgeous scenery of Shudu Lake (hike 3.3 km, about 1 hour). (Note: the altitude of Pudacuo is at 3500m-4150m and you should avoid strong activities. There’s no problem to hike in the park.)
Important Notice: Militang Pasture (弥里塘草场) and Bita Lake (碧塔海) in Pudacuo National Park are closed for tourists due to maintenance from 3th September, 2017. The administrative office of Pudacuo National Park hasn't confirmed when they will be open exactly. Shudu Lake Scenic Area (属都湖) is still open for tourists. If you want to adjust today’s itinerary, please contact your travel consultant.
After the merry time in the park, pay a visit to a local Tibetan family to experience the highly-praised hospitality of Tibetan people and taste some special Tibetan snacks and butter tea. (Optional Experience: If you are interested in the Tibetan people’s daily drinks, you can follow the locals to involve in the process of making butter tea.)
- Shudu Lake of Pudacuo National Park
- Tibetan Style Songzanlin Lamasery with Prayer Flags
- Pudacuo National Park
Day 5 Shangri-La & Flight to Kunming (B, L)Flight to Kunming - Western Hills & Dragon Gate
In the morning, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your flight to Kunming (about 1 hour), the Spring City of China! Upon arrival, the local tour guide and driver will meet you in the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel in Kunming downtown area.
In this afternoon, pay a visit to 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 the tour, drive back to your hotel.
- Panoramic View of Dianchi Lake from Dragon Gate
Day 6 Kunming & Kunming Departure (B, L)Yuanyang Temple - Green Lake Park - Stone Forest
After breakfast, you’ll 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”, 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, be transferred to the airport or railway station for your flight / train (after 17:00) to next destination. Service ends!
- Kunming Green Lake Winter Scenery
- Major Stone Forest
- Kunming Yuantong Temple
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, 2021.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.95. 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.
Tour guide Selina was really great, she was enthusiastic and friendly. Very knowledgable about HuangShan. Car was spacious, but we had to change vans frequently.
Hotel was okay, a little small on the mountain, but overall not bad. Understandable that it’s small. It was a lot of hard work for the people to bring hotels things up to the mountain.
We would suggest to add 宏村 to schedules next time. We thought it was really nice.
We were lucky because weather is nice. Restaurants Selina brought us to were all good. A lot of stairs on the mountains, but great trip overall.
Good evening Wonder!
The trip to Chongqing were great. The driver was good and the car clean and tidy. Perfect. Diana was also very good. Knowledgeable and willing to adapt to my wishes or needs. Very well experienced.
For further trip around China I will use your services for sure.
Hello! The trip was wonderful, both our Mr. Li and Cindy were very nice and welcoming.
1. Is your travel consultant of our company fast enough to answer your E-mail and patient enough to answer your questions?
Yes, everything was taken care of promptly, and Johnson was very flexible to meet my needs as I looked to modify plans. I appreciate the great job he did in making this a successful trip.
2. How do you comment your tour arrangements?
- Tour guide Peter was excellent, very enthusiastic and informative. He also helped to get all of my train tickets for the trip which was very helpful.
- Driver very good- no issues.
- Hotel was very good- new , modern hotel, with good facilities and very good breakfast. Location in the entertainment district was perfect for walking around at night. Highly recommend to keep this one.
- Tour arrangements were good. Morning touring the kilns and the museum was nice to see. The afternoon was perhaps a bit less organized without specific stops- would have been better to see specific galleries where shopping could be done, or going to the factory area downtown (which we eventually did because I asked to do so).
- Lunch was very good- good to go to an authentic local place for food.
- Transition to Huangshan was smooth , without issue.
- Tour guide Xia (Jerry) was excellent, very strategic in his approach to ensure a great experience.
- Driver was very good- no issues.
- Huangshan International Hotel was ok- I would say average, could be better. Location was good near the downtown. Breakfast was not very good – pretty low quality.
- Trip to Huangshan was well handled by Jerry, getting to the top of the mountain in reasonable time despite the crowds and he led me well around the mountain. We covered what I wanted to see- he encouraged us to see everything on day 1 with the weather getting worse – a very good call.
- Xihai Hotel had very nice rooms and a nice bar area. The only downside is there is only a buffet for dinner and it is not very good, but guess we had little choice. I did not eat breakfast there.
- Trip to Hongcun and Bishan the next day was very good. We left Huangshan early as the mountain was fogged over. Hongcun was crazy busy due to holidays but we saw the main sights, and then I had some time to walk around. I felt a little rushed with the schedule but still saw enough. Lunch was ok, not great. Bishan was very nice, with a chance to bike around the village areas and quiet. Xia guided me around the town on bike and then left me to bike on my own.
- Accommodation in Bishan was excellent- Pig’s Inn is perfect, and these type of atmospheric farm stays are much preferred by me and would be for other travelers. The dinner and breakfast were probably the best food I had on the trip, and having the Dog’s Bistro around the corner for drinks was an ideal setup.
- The next day was good as well. As we were running ahead on the agenda, we added Nanping, which was a quiet beautiful village to walk around, and then we went to Xidi, which was really nice and large. We spent a full morning in these two villages and then stopped for lunch outside Xidi. Lunch was ok- better than the day before, but not exceptional. Then we stopped in the Old Street in Huangshan to buy some Shaobing, and then we finished the day a little early at 230 pm. I feel maybe we could have added one more thing to see, but this was fine.
Train trip to Zhangjiajie
- No issues, very smooth transition in Changsha. Driver moved me across the city efficiently.
- Tour guide Derrick was very good, he had a few moments where we was a bit pessimistic about the weather and crowds, but he managed the situation professionally and did a great job despite the bad weather.
- Our main driver was very good, he handled everything well. The drivers we had for short pickups were less reliable- the one picking me up to go to Tianmen Mountain was late, and generally they were less friendly and reliable, requiring effort by Derrick to fix.
- Hotel (Santo Domingo) was below standard and I would strongly advise you to change to Crowne Plaza or Pullman which are much more appropriate hotels for international travelers. The breakfast looked very questionable in quality so I went to Starbucks.
- The tour to the glass bridge was very good and I got to see everything, despite not great weather. Then, we went to Zhangjiajie where weather was not great at the top but Derrick found good trails on the bottom where we could see some scenery. We then went to late lunch/early dinner which was an excellent restaurant with very good food.
- The next day at Avatar mountain was good for weather – Derrick timed the visit to be a bit later to ensure we would see something at the best part of the day. We missed out the 3rd viewpoint due to fog, but again, he found another trail for us to hike at the bottom. Again we went to a late lunch/early dinner at a very good restaurant.
- The Best Western hotel in Zhangjiajie had good rooms but common areas and food were below standard. My advice here would be for travelers to spend the night up in Wulingyuan at either Crowne or Pullman and then go into town the next morning early.
- Tianmen Mountain was totally fogged over, so I got unlucky. We did the trip anyway which was fine and I saw the glass bridge. After seeing this, we stopped for a small lunch at a wonton stand (very good) and then we went to a lake for a quick visit. Then we traveled to Fenghuang. We checked into the hotel and then Derrick arranged a dinner at a local restaurant. This food was not great to be honest, it was a bit low quality but this was the only miss. I was able to walk around the town and enjoy the scenery.
- The hostel I chose- Yunji Inn- was very nice with great views and comfortable beds and showers. Just to note cleanliness in the corners was not great so some would be turned off by this, but I didn’t mind honestly.
- After a morning to myself , which I appreciated, Derrick toured me around the town and then we headed back to ZJJ. As we got back, Derrick chose a restaurant with a view of Tianmen from a distance, which was clearly visible- much appreciated as he was thinking of me, and the food was good. Then he dropped me at the airport.
3. Are you willing to recommend our service to your people who also have an interest to visit China?
Yes, also for those within China
general opinion on us?
Very professional, well organized and flexible. This is the 2nd trip I’ve taken with you and both were successful.
5. Do you have any suggestions on improving our services?
- Guides – keep them , they are great.
- Itinerary- looks good overall, you may be able to add more villages or sights to the Huangshan/villages tour as there is enough time in the schedule. Beef up the Jingdezhen afternoon itinerary with clear visits to galleries for shopping.
- Transportation- Drivers all good except for the short trip drivers in ZJJ, train trips were well arranged.
- Hotels- As mentioned, smaller atmospheric stays like Pig’s Inn or Yunji Inn would be preferred. I think you can offer two choices to visitors- either standard international hotel or rustic stays and they can decide. In Wulingyuan, switch to Pullman or Crowne Plaza and avoid Santo Domingo, and then consider to stay there before Tianmen as the Best Western is a little beat down. Continue with the hotel in Jingdezhen, that was perfect.
6. Can we use your comments of our service, the photos or other images that you took on the tour for our websites, brochures, marketing and publicity? If yes, could you please send us some of your photos by E-mail?
Yes, this is fine. I can forward some images on wechat – this will be easier. Let me know if this is ok- just ping me- and also let me know what you might like pictures of – as I have them from all places.
7. If you had a nice tour experience, may I know whether you could write us a review on Trip Advisor? It’s very important to our company and my own career! If so, please let me know and I will send you the our homepage link on Trip Advisor.
I will try to do so when I have time.
Thank you very much, it’s very nice. the nature here is breathtaking, we just came back from cycling, wonderful
everything went perfect again, thanks, and you provided perfect weather as well
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
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.
Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
Kunming / Dali / Lijiang
Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La
Kunming / Stone Forest / Yuanyang / Jianshui / Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La
[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >
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