Things to Do in Yunnan

As Yunnan enjoys the respectable reputation of the “Colorful Yunnan” and it has both brilliant culture as well as profound history, you can enjoy the most unforgettable time taking a travel in this province in the South of China.

Lijiang, Dali, Shangri-La, Yuanyang, Kunming, etc. there are too many destinations to pay a visit to see their beauty. During your trip here, you will find every moment is full of surprise and pleasure, from the fantastic natural scenery of mountains and lakes, to the precious historic relics for hundreds and even thousands of years, from the fabulous special buildings of Yunnan characteristics, to the authentic folk culture of local residents…

Recommended Best Yunnan Tour:

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

▶ 11 Days Amazing Yunnan Tour (Kunming / Yuanyang / Jianshui / Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La)

In order to help you better know about the most popular places to go in this province, we’ve selected the TOP 25 Yunnan Attractions for you as following. Let’s go check them to start your Yunnan Tour!

Yunnan Map

Yunnan Attraction Map

  • Top Attractions
Stone Forest

No.1: Stone Forest

Type: National Geography Park, World Nature Heritage Site

City: Kunming

Stone Forest, 120 km from the downtown Kunming city, is regarded as one of the “Chinese four natural wonders”. This historical scenic area shaped 270 million years ago gathers the various kinds of stones together in the area of 350 square km. You can enjoy the very high stones over 40 m, round and sharp ones forming a big forest, which will make you surprised at the amazing karst landform in this tourist heaven.

>> 3 Days Kunming Tour to Stone Forest & Jiuxiang Cave


Lijiang Ancient City

No.2: Lijiang Ancient City

Type:World Heritage Site, Ancient City

City: Lijiang

Being one of the only 2 ancient cities listed as the World Cultural Heritage in China, Lijiang Ancient City is a “must go” place. Its more than 800 years history enables the ancient city be filled with rich antique flavor, therefore, you can not only see those very fancy Mu’s Residence and other old houses, bridges, attractive natural landscape in places like Black Dragon Pool, but also be immersed in the featured ancient romance of Lijiang people and the shining culture of Naxi people.

>> 3 Days Classic Lijiang Tour

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

No.3: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Type: Mountains, Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Ballets

City: Lijiang

30 km from Lijiang downtown, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has a very sacred status among the local Naxi people. As the southernmost mountain and a well-known mountain in China, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is rich in multiple types of glaciers, eye-pleasing sightseeing of snow of its 13 peaks, distinct beautiful scenery in all seasons, etc. Moreover, you will be amazed at the large-scale live-action performance in Ganhaizi, which provides you the real history and life in Lijiang this charming destination.

>> 3 Days Lijiang Cultural & Natural Tour with Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Dali Ancient City

No.4: Dali Ancient City

Type: Ancient Town, Historic Sites

City: Dali

Dali Ancient City is a famous ancient city in Yunnan and even China, which attracts many visitors to long for a visit to this purified place. Roaming in this antique city of more than 600 years, you can see the City Wall, Gate-towers, old streets, traditional courtyards full of local folk culture, and also, you can admire the vigorous flowers blooming under the cerulean sky. That is really a great place to pay a visit and calm your heart!

>> 3 Days Dali Tour with Cangshan Mountain Hiking

Three Pagodas

No.5: Three Pagodas & Chongsheng Temple

Type: Cultural Relics, Scenic Spots

City: Dali

The Three Pagodas & Chongsheng Temple was first built in the 9th and 10th centuray, and now it is both one of the oldest ancient buildings in China and the symbolic building of Dali. For their special design, you will see these three pagodas like the ballpoint pens standing there together, which creates a fantastic landscape painting with the wide Erhai Lake and the magnificent Cangshan Mountain.

>> 3 Days Dali Classic Tour

Erhai Lake

No.6: Erhai Lake

Type: Natural Landscape,Scenic Spots

City: Dali

Erhai Lake at the suburb of Dali city is the mother river of local Bai people. Spreading for about 256 square km, this lake is a famous sightseeing area with fancy natural scenery. Boating on the lake, you can appreciate the transparent water surface, see the birds flying above in the blue sky, and admire the lush trees and colorful flowers dancing in the wind. You will be addicted in this idyllic scene that nearly only seen in paintings.

>> 3 Days Dali Tour with Cangshan Mountain Hiking

Xizhou Village

No.7: Xizhou Village

Type: Historical Architectures, Ancient Town

City: Dali

Xizhou Village is an ancient town in Dali, Yunnan faces Erhai on the east and rests on Cangshan in the west, featured with numerous Bai classical residences, famous local dishes - Xizhou Baba, and Bai ethnic customs and activities like Three-Course Tea and Tie-dyeing. It’s a thousand-year historical Bai ethic ancient town that can’t be missed by tourists.

>> 4 Days Dali Leisure Vacation for Nature & Culture Savory (in Luxury Boutique Hotel)

Tiger Leaping Gorge

No.8: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Type: Canyons

City: Lijiang & Shangri-La

Tiger Leaping Gorge covering Shangri-La and Lijiang is one of the deepest gorge in China and very famous for its dangerous feature, which is divided into the upper, middle and the lower sections. You can take a hike along this one of the World Top 10 Classic Trekking Ways to feel the adventurous landform, appreciate the very turbulent water. And you can experience the exciting giant fall between the scarps.

>> 5 Days Lijiang Tour with Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking

Ganden Sumtseling Monastery

No.9: Ganden Sumtseling Monastery (Songzanlin Monastery)

Type:Religious Sites

City: Shangri-La

Ganden Sumtseling Monastery in Shangri-La is largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan and has a vital status among this area. Therefore, it is reputed as the “Little Potala Palace”. Built more than 500 years ago, the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery looks like a gold, which enables you to appreciate the special design of this grand building. Besides, you can see many relative historic relics, know more about the essence of the respectable Buddhism and enjoy the charming natural scenery.

>> 5 Days Kunming Exploration & Paradise Trip to Shangri-La

Pudacuo National Park

No.10: Pudacuo National Park

Type: National Parks, Bodies of Water, Nature/ Wildlife Areas

City: Shangri-La

Pudacuo National Park, 22 km from Shangri-La is a vital tourist spot in this area and the first national park in China. Take a travel to Pudacuo, you have an unforgettable time, enjoying the lakes, wetlands, forests, meadows, streams, valleys, sapphire sky, marshmallow-like clouds, rare species, and well-preserved original ecological environment, etc. You will find as if time has ceased and what is really the fairyland under the heaven.

>> 3 Days Best Shangri-La Tour

Yuanyang Terrace

No.11: Yuanyang Terrace

Type: World Cultural Heritage, Natural Scenery

City: Yuanyang

Covering a super wide area of about 1.7 million acre, Yuanyang Terrace in Yuanyang County is a fabulous landscape painting carved by the local Hani people for over 1300 years. Added to the World Heritage List, Yuanyang Terrace has very rare scenery in the world, so you can be immersed in the over 3000 stairs on the mountain from the light green to emerald color, from the reflection of the clear sky to the refreshing air…

>> 3 Days Yuanyang Rice Terraces & Hani Culture Tour

>> 4 Days Yuanyang Rice Terrace Photography Tour

Dongchuan Red Land

No.12: Dongchuan Red Land

Type: Natural Landscape, Scenic Spots

City: Kunming

Located at the northeast of Kunming city, Dongchuan Red Land is a wonderful place to get close to the nature’s cool fabricate and shot for a series of excellent photos. Being the most magnificent red land besides that in Rio de Janeiro, Dongchuan Red Land shows amazing sightseeing before you, with layers of red colors from bright to dark, which is extremely rare.

>> 4 Days Kunming & Dongchuan Red Land Tour

Lugu Lake

No.13: Lugu Lake

Type: Historic Sites, Bodies of Water

City: Lijiang

Belonged in Lijiang city, Lugu Lake attracts a great number of visitors for its fascinating natural scenery and particular stories of Mosuo people. Since Lugu Lake is known as the Pearl of the Plateau, you can appreciate the very appealing blue sky, take the slow-canoe to ramble on the peaceful mirror-like lakes and experience the culture in this “Kingdom of Women”.

>> 5 Days Lijiang & Lugu Lake Tour

Shaxi Ancient Town

No.14: Shaxi Ancient Town

Type: Ancient Town, Historic Sites

City: Dali

Shaxi Ancient Town in Dali city is an authentic ancient town with highly rich antique atmosphere and extraordinarily long history of over 2400 years. Wandering in this old town, you can enjoy every moment to see the old streets, old bridges, old temples, old stages, old shops, old trees, old gates, etc. Since the Shaxi Ancient Town is a stop on the Ancient Tea Horse Road and the Sideng Sifang Street is a fair prosperous for thousands of years, you will find the visit here so unforgettable!

>> 6 Days Dali Lijiang Tour with Shaxi Ancient Town

Meili Snow Mountain

No.15: Meili Snow Mountain

Type: Mountains, Nature/ Wildlife Areas

City: Shangri-La

Standing in Shangri-La, Meili Snow Mountain is the highest mountain in Yunnan, which is 6740 meters above the see. Visit this sacred mountain, you can both appreciate the charming snow sightseeing and be marveled at the breathtaking natural scenery of the sunrise, when the snow mountain changes her color on the peak from orange, yellow and pink to white and golden as the sunshine glows. It is really lucky to see this rare beautiful scene that is eager many visitors.

>> 6 Days Shangri-La & Meili Snow Mountain Pilgrimage Tour

Luoping Rapeseed Flowers

No.16: Luoping Rapeseed Flowers

Type: Scenic Spots, Natural Scenery

Location: 213 km from Kunming Downtown

At the joint of Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi, Luoping is called “the East Door of the Yunnan”. The top reason to come to Luoping is for the Golden Rapeseed Flowers Sea which is blooming prosperously on the land of Luoping in spring usually falling in the late January to the early April every year. Many typical Karst hills dotted on the flat farmland and when the green land is turning into the golden flowers sea, Luoping has become “the Largest Natural Garden in the World”.

>> 4 Days Kunming Luoping Canola Flowers Tour

Wild Elephant Valley

No.17: Wild Elephant Valley

Type: National Animal Protection Park, Forest Park

City: Xishuangbanna

Situated in Xishaungbanna county of Yunnan, the Wild Elephant Valley is not only a great place to see the 300-350 giant Asian elephants roaming, showering, playing, and so on, but it is also in abundant numbers of other birds and beasts, like wild ox, green peafowl, macaque, etc. Besides, you will feel the special sightseeing of tropical rainforest in the luxuriant forest park.

>> 4 Days Xishuangbanna Tour with Tropical Flavor & Dai Culture

Green Lake Kunming

No.18: Kunming Green Lake Park

Type:Garden, Lake, Sightseeing Place

City: Kunming

Kunming Green Lake in the downtown Kunming city is a hot tourist and leisure place for both local people and other tourists. You can not only see the real daily life of Kunming residents spending their time there chatting, but also appreciate the eye-pleasing sightseeing. Various kinds of spring tulips, summer lotus flowers, and the adorable winter black-headed gulls and so forth draw many visitors.

>> 5 Days Kunming Lijiang High Speed Train Tour

Bird and Flower Market Kunming

No.19: Kunming Birds and Flowers Market

Type: Market, Pedestrian Street

City: Kunming

Since Birds and Flowers Markets are abundant in Kunming and mark a feature of this city, you can select one market to have fun. Taking a slow walk on the old streets, you can see many local people buying their favorite flowers, selecting the adorable fishes, and compare the vigorous birds, etc. which is both of lots of fun and get close to the local life culture.

>> Learn More about Ethnic Markets in Yunnan

Kunming Western Hill (Xishan)

No.20: Kunming Western Hill (Xishan)

Type: Historic Sites, Scenic Spots

Distance: 30 km from Kunming Downtown, about 0.5 hour’s driving

From ancient times, Western Hill enjoys the fame with its excellent scenery, dense forests, prosperous flowers and peaceful surroundings. It also known for another name: Sleeping Beauty Hill. View from southeast of Kunming, Western Hill is like a beauty laying on her back beside Dianchi Lake, hence comes the name.

Kunming Western Hill is a large forest park with many scenic spots including Huating Temple, Taihua Temple, Sanqing Pavilion and Dragon Gate. Among them, Huating Temple is the biggest temple in Kunming, and Dragon Gate is the largest and most beautiful Taoism Cave in Yunnan. You can view cultural relics and fabulous sceneries here.

>> 3 Days Kunming Spring City Tour

Jiuxiang Scenic Region

No.21: Jiuxiang Scenic Area

Type: Natural Landscape, Scenic Spots

Location:105 km from Kunming Downtown, about 1.5-2 hours’ driving

Situated in Yiliang County, Kunming, Jiuxiang Scenic Area is known as the karst caves clusters. With over 200 square kilometers, Jiuxiang Scenic Area has hundreds of large and small caves, including Wolong Cave, Bat Cave, Lion Cave and more attractions. It is the largest and most exotic cave landscape community system. Some cave landscapes are rarely to be seen in other places. Outside these caves, there are natural sceneries of thrilling gorge and Yincui gorge.

>> 3 Days Kunming Tour to Stone Forest & Jiuxiang Cave

Black Dragon Pool Park

No.22: Black Dragon Pool Park

Type: Park, Natural Site, Cultural Site

Location: 1 km from Lijiang Old Town

Black Dragon Pool or called Yuquan Park is a popular part of Lijiang Old Town. This large scenic park with some peculiar pagodas and pavilions with flying eaves and stone bridge and some lovely ponds is great for some leisure and fresh walk. More importantly, the best sightseeing position there enables you to take the famous photo of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain with the traditional styled building together.

>> 3 Days Lijiang Cultural & Natural Tour with Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Shuhe Ancient Town

No.23: Shuhe Ancient Town

Type: Historic Sites

City: Lijiang

Shuhe Ancient Town is situated near Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, in Lijiang. It is not only an especially important well-preserved county on the Ancient Tea Horse Way, but also one of the precious places featured with rich Naxi culture. Strolling on this respectively tranquil ancient town, you will feel the comfortable peace on the old flagging, slowly running clear water, winding roads, old houses, etc.

>> 3 Days Classic Lijiang Tour

Jianshui Ancient City

No.24: Jianshui Ancient City

Type: Ancient City, Cultural & Hisrotical Site, Sightseeing Place

City: Yuanyang

Jianshui Ancient City in Yuanyang is historic cultural ancient city of over 1200 years. Since this famous old city is rich in culture, you can appreciate over 50 perfectly protected featured old buildings with rich local specialties, which gives the city a reputable name of ancient building museum. Take a trip to experience the local folk characteristics and shot for some fantastic pictures of the charming houses, then this will be a memorable part in your life.

>> 4 Days Kunming Jianshui Tour by High Speed Train

Jiaozi Snow Mountain

No.25: Jiaozi Snow Mountain

Type: Scenic Spots, Natural Scenery

Location: 166 km from Kunming Downtown

Located in the northwest of Dongchuan District, Kunming, Jiaozi Snow Mountain has a natural landscape with magnificent mountains, rich flora and fauna species. It’s named after the mountain peak shaped like a bridal sedan chair. With 4247 meters above sea level, the scenic views are fascinating, including sea of azalea flowers, mountain waterfalls and shapes of mountain lakes. All are the must-sees when you tour Jiaozi Snow Mountain.

>> 5 Days Kunming Spring Nature Tour with Jiaozi Snow Mountain

Recommended Yunnan Tours

Top 3 Yunnan tours chosen by most customers to explore Yunnan in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Lijiang Old Town Full View from Wangu Tower
6 Days Best of Yunnan Tour (Lijiang, Shangri-La, Kunming)

Lijiang / Shangri-La / Kunming

Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery
8 Days Classic Yunnan Tour

Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La

Black Dragon Pool Park
11 Days Amazing Yunnan Tour

Kunming / Stone Forest / Yuanyang / Jianshui / Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La

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