6 Days Kunming, Dali & Lijiang Essence Tour

Ethnic Minority Folk Culture Exploration

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Reach the place south of the colorful clouds, enter into the “Plant and Animal Kingdom”, see the magnificent mountains and plateaus, appreciate the breathtaking river and lakes, and join in minority village to enjoy ethnic culture…This 6 days essence tour will give you all experience.

Highlights of this tour

  • Visit the Stone Forest with many looking like petrified trees thereby creating the illusion of a forest made of stone;
  • Relax yourself in Dali Old Town, the historical town situated between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake;
  • Explore old towns of Lijiang – Dayan Old Town, Shuhe Old Town, Yuhu Village and Baisha Village to fully appreciate the Naxi culture in various ways.

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 / Dali / Lijiang
Travel Length:
6 Days & 5 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-YKDL-06
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureMountaineeringPhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Kunming Arrival

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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.

After some rest, you’ll start the tour to 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 will be a perfectly lovely trip to walk in this long wedge of parkland and explore the famous temples (Huating Temple and Taihua Temple included) and other cultural relics. There is a saying: 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. Make some effort to climb up to magic Dragon Gate where you’ll appreciate the panoramic view of Dian Lake as well as see a group of grottoes and sculptures.

Then, continue your trip to Yunnan Nationalities Museum, the largest minority museum in China. You’ll lift the mysterious veil of China’s 52 ethnic groups and learn through many interesting exhibits like ethnic clothing, textiles, musical instruments, folk masks, folk arts and folk pottery, literature and so on.

Dianchi LakeYunnan Nationalities Museum
Day 2 Kunming (B, L)

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After breakfast, drive 85 km to the typical Karst landform - Stone Forest. Walk into the Greater Stone Forest, marvel at groups of gray-black stone peaks and climb up a pavilion to have a panoramic view of the intricate stone forest. Visit the Lesser Stone Forest and listen to the legendary story of “Ashima”. It will be a real treat to visit the extraordinary natural stone forest. You feel like come into a "stone world".

Later, transfer back to Kunming city and explore the most picturesque park in Kunming urban area - the Green Lake Park. Here you can share the happiness of local people’s doing tai chi, performing local opera, and other vibrant activities. If you visit the park in November or December, you will see the grandeur of huge flocks of black-headed gulls that migrate there from Siberia.

Stone Forest
Day 3 Kunming & High Speed Train to Dali (B, L)

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On this day, be escorted to train station in Kunming and take a morning high speed train to Dali (about 2 hours), a historical and cultural city for Bai ethnic group. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by the local tour guide and transferred to begin today’s sightseeing.

You’ll first visit Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery, the landmark of Dali with a history of over 1800 years located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Visit Three Pagodas (Qianxun Pagoda and other two sibling pagodas forming a symmetric triangle), Chongsheng Monastery and Reflection Lake and know more history of Kingdom of Nanzhao and Kingdom of Dali.

Later, it will be a relaxing boat trip on the vast Erhai Lake (Ear-shaped Sea) with crystal clear water and charming landscape. 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.

After the peaceful time, transfer to Dali Old Town which has a history of more than 1200 years. In the town, you’ll enjoy the City Wall, Gate-towers, elegant streets, small and exquisite courtyards, colorful flowers blooming in the sunshine. Climb up to Wuhua Tower and enjoy panoramic view of the whole old town. It feels like time goes back.

Three Pagodas of Chongsheng MonasteryDali Old Town
Day 4 Dali - Lijiang (B, L)

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In the morning, you’ll be driven about 18 km to Xizhou Ancient Town. Xizhou is going to show you the Bai minority cultural, the local people’s daily life and natural beauty. The Morning Market in Xizhou, a place for local people 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. (Optional experience: you can visit a local Bai family and learn how to make Yunnan Cheese called “Rushan”. Rushan cheese is a cheese made out of goat milk, produced primarily by the Bai ethnic minority in Dali. Spend about 30 minutes involving in the whole process and taste the delicious cheese made by your own hands.)

Later, transfer to Lijiang with 2-hour driving. Upon arrival, you’ll enjoy a memorable tour to wander in Lijiang Ancient Town(Dayan Ancient Town). Pay a visit to Ming-dynasty style Mufu Palace, the “Forbidden City” of Lijiang to 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.)

Xizhou Ancient TownLijiang Ancient Town
Day 5 Lijiang (B, L)

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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. When 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 get to 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. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which is a combination of Tibetan Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Then, it is followed by a 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. 

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 ParkBaisha Mural Paintings
Day 6 Lijiang & Lijiang Departure (B, L)

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After breakfast, drive 45 km to view the First Bend of Yangtze River, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before you. Visit Iron Chain Bridge in Shigu (Stone Drum) Town.

Later, transfer to visit the one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. It measures 16 km in length and is a giddy 3900m from the waters of Jinsha River to Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It is divided into three parts:  Upper, Middle and Lower Tiger Leaping Gorge. You’ll hike the upper part (the narrowest section of the gorge) and 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.

After the tour, you’ll be driven back to Lijiang and be escorted to the airport or railway station to take your flight / train to next destination. 

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Recommended Add-on Options

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6 Days Kunming, Dali & Lijiang Essence Tour

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