How to Get to & around Yunnan: by Flights, Trains & Buses

Yunnan Province (云南省) is located at the border area of the southwest of China, with Guizhou and Guangxi Provinces on the east, Sichuan Province on the north, Tibet on the northwest, and Laos, Vietnam and Burma countries on the south and west. Boasting comfortable weather, stunning natural splendors and amazing cultural charm of various ethnic minorities, the “Colorful Yunnan” intrigues traveling fans on the earth to experience her irresistible highlights.

So, how to get to Yunnan and transfer within this fabulous land? You got a lot to choose! Frequent direct flights, high speed trains, normal trains, coaches, and so forth make your travel there without any blocks no matter from the famous domestic counties, places in other countries and regions, or the famous destinations in Yunnan. Let’s have a good brief of the transportation to and in Yunnan from here.

Best Yunnan Tours:

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

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

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

Get to & Away from Yunnan

To arrive in and departure Yunnan, flights and high speed trains are usually the top choices. Check the detailed information about cities connecting with Yunnan and the shifts of flights and trains at below.

Flights to / off Yunnan

Of course, flying to Yunnan is the best way to a large extent. By 2016, there are totally 14 airports for passengers scattered in Kunming, Lijiang, Dali, Xishuangbanna, etc. in Yunnan area, among which Kunming Airport and Lijiang Airport are the most frequently used for your arrival and departure.

1. Kunming

Airport: Kunming Changshui International Airport (昆明长水国际机场)

Kunming (昆明) as the provincial capital of Yunnan is well connected by flights with major domestic cities and some famous foreign places. So you could feel free to take a plane from the places at below.

Domestic CityDaily FlightsDuration (Hours)Domestic CityDaily FlightsDuration
Beijing Over 20 3-3.5 Shanghai Over 15 About 2.5-3
Hong Kong Over 3 About 2-2.5 Xian Over 10 2-2.5
Chengdu Over 15 1.5-2 Guangzhou Over 20 About 2-2.5
Chongqing Over 10 About 1.5 Hangzhou Over 10 2.5-3

Also, there are daily flights to Yunnan from domestic cities like Guilin, Zhangjiajie, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, Nanjing, Lanzhou, Harbin, Yichang, Taiyuan, Sanya, etc. and international cities like Seoul (about 2 daily flights, about 5 hrs), Singapore (about 3 daily flights, 4 hrs), Bangkok (about 7 daily flights, about 2-3 hrs), Taipei (about 1 daily flight, about 3.5hrs), Kuala Lumpur (about 3 daily flights, 3.5-4 hrs), Phuket Island (about 2 daily flights, 2.5-3 hrs), etc. To know more flight information from your cities to Kunming, please contact us for details.

Transfer to Kunming Downtown: the Airport Shuttle Bus Line 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 that start every 20 minutes ~1 hour could take you to Kunming downtown area. Also, you can travel by metro line 6. If you go with a taxi, you will be in the downtown area in about 40 minutes ~ 1 hour. How to Get to City Center from Kunming Airport >>

Check more about How to Get to & around Kunming.

Kunming Changshui Airport

Kunming Changshui Airport

2. Lijiang

Airport: Lijiang Sanyi International Airport (丽江三义国际机场)

Lijiang (丽江), a really famous romantic old city in Yunnan. There are good reasons for its convenient access with other major cities in China by air.

Domestic CityDaily FlightsDuration (Hours)Domestic CityDaily FlightsDuration
Beijing About 2 About 3.5 Shanghai About 2 2.5-3
Chengdu About 3 About 1.5 Xian About 4 About 1.5
Guangzhou About 3 About 2.5 Guiyang About 4 About 1.5
Chongqing About 6 About 1.5 Hangzhou About 3 About 3

Besides the above cities, you could also fly to Lijiang from Guilin (about 1 daily flight, about 1.5 hrs), Nanjing (over 3 daily flights, 2 hrs), Wuhan (over 2 daily flights, about 2.5 hrs), Changsha (about 4 daily flights, about 2.5 hrs), Zhengzhou (over 2 daily flights, about 2.5 hrs), and so forth. Besides, flights are also available between Lijiang and Taipei, etc.

Transfer to Lijiang Old Town: there are Airport Shuttle Buses that will take you to Liantian Hotel (蓝天宾馆) in Lijiang Downtown, from where you can get to Lijiang Old Town in about 10 minutes by taxi. Also, you could take a local taxi for about 40 minutes ~1 hour. Know more details of Lijiang Airport to Old Town >>

Check more about How to Get to & around Lijiang.

3. Dali

Airport: Huangcaoba Airport (大理荒草坝机场)

To benefiting your access to Dali Old Town and other highlights in this romantic city, flights have linked Dali (大理) with Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu (about 5 daily flights), Xian (over 1 daily flight), Changsha (over 1 daily flight), Chongqing, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Lanzhou, etc.

Transfer to Dali Old Town: taking a local taxi is the best way, which costs about 1 hour to drive for about 30km.

Check more about How to Get to & around Dali.

4. Shangri-La

Airport: Diqing Shangri-La Airport (迪庆香格里拉机场)

To get to the fascinating Shangri-La (香格里拉) by air, you could leave from Chengdu (about 1.5 hrs), Chongqing (about 2 hrs), and Lhasa (about 1 hrs & 50 mins) that offer 1 daily flight there.

Transfer to downtown: from the airport, you could arrive at the downtown by taxi for less than half an hour. And if you transfer by bus, it would take about 1 hour and 20 minutes. So, consider your more time for break and sceneries, we advise you choose the taxi with speed.

Check more about How to Get to & around Shangri-La.

5. Xishuangbanna

Airport: Xishuangbanna Gasa International Airport (西双版纳嘎洒国际机场)

Xishuangbanna (西双版纳), the enthusiastic botanic garden in Yunnan, is linked by flights with Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xian, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, with daily flights but with a short stop by at another major city, like Kunming. However, there are also some direct flights from Chengdu, Chongqing (every day), Hangzhou, Changsha, Guiyang, etc.

Transfer to downtown: to get to the downtown area, you could take the local bus for about 50-70 minutes. Besides, local taxi needs only about 20 minutes to take you there.

Besides the above airports, you could also get to Yunnan by flying to the airport in Mangshi, Tengchong, Zhaotong, Puzhehei, Baoshan, Lincang, and Simao. To know more flight information from your cities to Yunnan, please contact us for details.

Trains to / off Yunnan

Want to take a train to Yunnan? Good idea! There are not only trains, but also the advanced and cool high speed trains from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Guilin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Wuhan, Changsha, Zhengzhou, Guilin, etc. to Kunming so far. Check the high speed train information of popular cities with Kunming at below for your reference.

Departure StationArrival StationType of TrainsDaily ShiftsDurationPrices (RMB)
Chengdu East Kunming South G trains About 8 About 6.5 hours 517.5 / 846.0 / 953.5
Chongqing West G trains About 8 About 5 hours 351.5 / 580.0 / 1087.5
Guilin / Guilin North D trains About 6 4.5-7.5 hours 400.0 /402.5 / 643.0 / 639.0
Guiyang North G trains About 32 2-2.5 hours 212.5 / 358.0 / 671.5 / 358.0 / 404.5
Guangzhou South G trains & D trains About 17 6.5-8 hours 517.5 / 559.0 / 828.0 / 914.0 / 1643.0

(Note: the prices of train tickets are varied based on the types of seats on high speed trains.)

Besides, if you are not transferring from the above cities and traveling with more time, you could take a high speed train from Beijing (10.5-13.5 hrs), Shanghai (11.5-12.5 hrs), Hangzhou (10.5-11.5 hrs), Wuhan (7-8.5 hrs), Changsha (5.5-7 hrs), Xiamen (13 hrs), etc. with the highest speed of 250-350km/h.

Transfer from Kunming South Station: from this high speed train station, you could take the local Metro Line 1 and bus K12 to the downtown area, which needs about 1.5 hours. Taking a taxi needs about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

>> Check more about Kunming High Speed Trains.

Apart from the high speed train, run some normal trains also run from many domestic cities. And there are usually 5 daily K trains from Kunming Railway Station to Hekou, from where you could go to visit Vietnam by passing the Entry & Exit Inspection with your valid passport and visa. To know more information of Kunming trains, please feel free to ask our Travel Consultant for help!

Transportation in Yunnan

After landing in Yunnan, how to transfer between the top favored destinations, like Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La, Yuanyang, Lugu Lake, etc.? Within this province, convenient distance coaches and trains would escort you among them with great efficiency. So let’s take a look of transportation in Yunnan at below.

Kunming to Lijiang

Lijiang is about 517 km northwest of Kunming. Travelers can get to Lijiang from Kunming either by high speed train (about 3-3.5 hours) or by flight (about 1 hour). Taking a high speed train is more popular than taking a flight.

By High Speed Train

There are about 6 daily bullet trains from Kunming Railway Station / Kunming South Railway Station to Lijiang Railway Station. The whole train ride takes about 3~3.5 hours. If you want a budget option, you can choose the overnight normal train, which will take you to Lijiang in about 9 hours.

Check Real-time Kunming to Lijiang Train Schedules >>

Check Real-time Lijiang to Kunming Train Schedules >>

>> 5 Days Kunming Lijiang High Speed Train Tour (Kunming / Lijiang)

By Flight

There are also 5 around daily flights available, which depart from Kunming Changshui Airport to Lijiang Sanyi Airport in about 1 hour. However, since the airports are relatively farther from the city downtown areas than the railway stations, travelers prefer the high speed trains more.

>> 5 Days Kunming Lijiang Minority Tour (by Flight) (Kunming / Lijiang)

Kunming to Lijiang via Dali

Since Dali is settled just in between Lijiang and Kunming. You can also travel from Kunming to Dali first, and then make a transfer to Lijiang. Frequent high speed trains have already linked Dali and Kunming. From Dali, you can catch a car (about 2.5-3 hours) or a train (1.5~2 hours) to Lijiang. And once you are in Dali, you can have a 2~3 days tour there before heading to Lijiang!

Check More about Kunming to Lijiang >>

Kunming to Lijiang

Kunming Lijiang Transportation Map

Kunming to Dali Transportation

By Air

To fly from Kunming to Dali, you could choose from the about 7 daily flights. The whole flight takes only about 1 hour.

By train

Bullet Trains are available between Kunming and Dali and need only about 2~2.5 hours for the whole riding! Every day, there are usually more than 20 G/D trains under operation from around 06:30-21:30 between Kunming South Railway Station (昆明南站) / Kunming Railway Station (昆明站) and Dali Railway Station (大理站) for your convenient transfer. The prices are about 132.0-155.5 RMB for the Second Class Seat, and 210.0-247.5 RMB for the First Class Seat for each passenger according to different departure time of the train. Please check detailed Kunming Dali high speed train route & map.

See more Kunming to Dali high speed train schedule >>

See more Dali to Kunming high speed train schedule >>

By Bus

Actually, taking a distance coach is the cheapest but cost-efficient way to transfer between Kunming and Dali. Usually, there are many coaches starting about from 08:00 to 18:50 from Kunming West Bus Terminal (昆明西部客运站) to Dali Bus Terminal (大理汽车客运站), Dali Xingsheng Bus Terminal (大理兴盛汽车客运站), and Dali Express Bus Station (大理快速汽车客运站), which needs about 4 hours to drive along the whole way and cost about 110-140 RMB/person.

By Car

If you go from Kunming to Dali by car, it needs about 4-4.5 hours to cover about 330 km long distance.

>> Check More about Transportation between Kunming and Dali

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

Kunming to Dali

Kunming Dali Transportation Map

Kunming to Shangri-La Transportation

By Air

From Kunming to Shangri-La (autonomous prefecture center of Diqing), there are usually about over 5 daily flights, and that takes about 75-85 minutes.

By Bus

There are about 6 daily coaches from Kunming West Bus Terminal (昆明西部客运站) to Shangri-La Bus Terminal (香格里拉客运站). The whole distance needs about 9.5-15.5 hours according to different routes and bus types. And the cost is about 210-250 RMB/person.

By Car

If you are planning to arrive there by car, it will take about 8.5 hours with about 620km long distance.

So far there is no train available between Kunming and Shangri-La, and we will update the information according to the news.

By High Speed Train

There are about 3 daily bullet trains from Kunming Railway Station to Shangri-La Railway Station. The whole train ride takes about 4.5~5 hours.

>> Check More about Transportation between Kunming and Shangri-La.

Kunming to Shangri-La

Kunming Shangri-La Transportation Map

Kunming to Yuanyang Transportation

By Bus

From Kunming to Yuanyang (元阳), you can take a distance coach. Every day, there are about 3 coaches starting from Kunming South Bus Terminal (昆明南部客运站) to Yuanyang Xinjie Bus Station (元阳新街客运站), which needs about 5-6 hours and costs about 140-150 RMB/person. And from the bus station in Yuanyang, you could take a local minibus to the scenic are for about 15-20 minutes.

By Car

Besides, if you want to drive from Kunming downtown to the center of Yuanyang County, it will cost about 4.5-5.5 hours to cover about 300-340 km. And if you want to drive directly to the terrace scenic spot, it may need about 5.5-6.5 hours for covering about 330-380km. Compared with all the other ways to Yuanyang Rice Terraces, traveling with the help of local driver is the best way, because you can get rid of the hassles like looking for the right bus station. Therefore, we would recommend you to go with a private car. If you need such services, please feel free to contact us.

>> Check More about Transportation between Kunming and Yuanyang.

Check more about How to Get to & around Yuanyang.

>> 5 Days Kunming, Jianshui & Yuanyang Rice Terraces Tour

Kunming to Yuanyang

Kunming Yuanyang Transportation Map

Lijiang to Dali Transportation

By Train

In 2024, from Lijiang to Dali, there are are several high speed trains (C/Y train) at present and about 4 daily C trains available between Lijiang Railway Station and Dali Railway Station. You could choose one from about 09:00-22:00 and arrive in Dali for about 1 to 2.5 hours. And the tickets cost about 34.0-105.5 RMB/person.

Check Real-time Lijiang to Dali Train Schedules >>

Check Real-time Dali to Lijiang Train Schedules >>

By Bus

To take a coach from Lijiang to Dali, you will have a lot of shift choices. From the early morning at about 07:00 to the late afternoon at about 17:00, the coaches start about every 30 minutes and arrive within about 3-3.5 hours to the bus terminals in the downtown area and the old town scenic spot. And among them, there are over 5 daily coaches departing from Lijiang Bus Terminal (丽江客运站) directly to Dali Old Town (大理古镇).

By Car

If you go from Lijiang to Dali by car, it will take you about 3 hours with a driving distance of about 170-210km. To drive to Dali Old Town, another 30 minutes is needed.

>> Check More about Transportation between Lijiang and Dali

Lijiang to Dali

Lijiang Dali Transportation Map

Lijiang to Shangri–La Transportation

By Bus

From about 07:30 to 17:10, there are comfortable coaches departing from Lijang Bus Terminal (丽江客运站) to Shangri-La Bus Terminal (香格里拉客运站), which needs about 4 hours for the whole way and costs about 40-65 RMB/person according to the types of coach. After getting to the bus station in Shangri-La, you could take a local bus to Sumtsaling Monastery for about 30 minutes or a taxi for less than 10 minutes, take a taxi to Pudacuo National Park for about 40 minutes and to Napa Lake for about 10 minutes, etc.

By Car

To drive from Lijiang to Shangri-La, you would spend about 3.5-4 hours to drive for about 176km long way.

>> Check More about Transportation between Lijiang and Shangri-La

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

Lijiang to Shangri-La

Lijiang Shangri-La Transportation Map

Kunming to Xishuangbanna

Xishuangbanna on the southwest border of Yunnan, Laos and Myanmar is about 320 km from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. The best way to get there is catching a flight from Kunming. Kunming Chsngshui International Airport operates many flights to Xishuangbanna every day. The flight ride needs only about 1 hour or so. There are also long-distance coaches running between the two cities. However, the coach journey is too time-consumption when compared with the flight. The coach ride needs about 8.5 hours.

Check more about How to Get from Kunming to Xishuangbanna (Jinghong).

>> 5 Days Kunming Xishuangbanna Contrast Scenery & Culture Tour

Lijiang to Shangri-La

Lijiang Shangri-La Transportation Map

Kunming to Puzhehei

Puzhehei is mostly notable for its large scale of beautiful lotus and natural country scenery. Tourists can take a bullet train to get there from Kunming in 1~1.5 hours. These trains depart from Kunming Railway Station / Kunming South Railway Station and arrive at Puzhehei Railway Station. And from Puzhehei Railway Station, you can ask a taxi to travel around.

>> Real-time Kunming to Puzhehei Train Schedules

>> Real-time Puzhehei to Kunming Train Schedules

>> 5 Days Puzhehei Lotus Flowers & Bamei Xanadu Tour with Kunming



Kunming/Lijiang To Lugu Lake Transportation

From Kunming

From Kunming to Lugu Lake (泸沽湖), you could take a direct flight in the morning to Ninglang Luguhu Airport (宁蒗泸沽湖机场) for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Usually, there are 1-2 daily flights available, so you could check the flight information in advance for your trip.

From Lijiang

There are usually 3 daily coaches from Lijiang Bus Terminal (丽江客运站) to Luguhu Bus Terminal (泸沽湖客运站), which needs about 5 hours and 65-80 RMB/person for arrival. Also, you could start from Lijiang downtown to Lugu Lake scenic area by car for about 4.5 hours, and the driving distance is about 200 m.

(PS: There are also some flights from Chengdu to Lijiang Sanyi Airport, which takes about 1.5 hours.)

>> 2 Days Magic Lugu Lake Tour with Mosuo Ethnic Culture

Lugu Lake Map

Lugu Lake Transportation Map

Note: all above information of the time, ticket prices, numbers, and stations of the flights, trains and coaches are only for your reference, since that would be adjusted according to practical situation. If you have any questions about transportation to/from/in Yunnan, please contact us for details.

Worry-free Travel with China Discovery

To travel Yunnan without any worry about the transportation, you can choose to enjoy our transfer service, and our local guide and driver would well arrange every step to pick you up at Yunnan, have easy and comfortable transfer between your ideal cities in this province, like Lijiang, Dali, Shangri-La, etc., and send you off to your next destination or home. Therefore, you could pay more attention to the wonderful highlights on the way. If you are interested, please feel free to ask our professional travel expert for details.

We have helped many global travelers enjoy their memorable trips to Yunnan for the past few years. Among them Mr. Elie & his wife from Belgium had 15 great days in Yunnan during their 69 days China trip customized with us and shared us their special travel story. Travel with China Discovery to create your wonderful Yunnan trip memories!

Travel Yunnan with China Discovery Travel Yunnan with China Discovery

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