See the essence of “ever spring city of China”- Stone Forest and Cuihu Park.
Follow the footprints of ancient Tea-horse road – Dali, Shaxi, Jianchuan, Lijiang, Shuhe and Shangri-la.
Cycle along the lakeshore of Erhai and absorb the beautiful landscape.
Discover the heritage site of ancient Lijiang town.
Hug the snow-caped Jade Dragon Mountain.
Admire the Tibetan Buddhist culture and art in Shangri-la.
Best travel season
Spring Summer Autumn Winter
Upon arrival in Kunming, we meet and transfer you to hotel and check-in. Have a leisure evening on your own.
Train & Car
Wake up in the “ever spring city of China” and start the visit from Green Lake in the city center. It is a public park where locals play sports, sing and dance. You can see a beautiful garden and red beak seagulls if you go there in winter. Later, we drive 80km out of Kunming to visit the Stone Forest, the largest stone forest in China. It is known for limestone rocks with beautiful shapes. You can photograph pretty rocks.
When tour ends, transfer to Kunming South Station, in the same direction of Stone Forest, for bullet train to Dali. Our Dali Guide will meet on arrival and help you to check in.
Get a big breakfast to prepare for the full day discovering in and around Dali. Firstly, we head out to Lake Erhai, which is the most beautiful lake in the area, covering 250 square km. To enjoy its beauty, cycling trip is on the top of recommend list. We will enjoy parts of the 120km lakeshore, passing by fields, villages and fishing piers with Cangshan Mountain as backdrop in the distance. Apart from the incredible landscape, it is also interesting to see locals working on lands and lakes.
After lunch, we take a walk on Cangshan Mountain (cable car is included). This beautiful snow-caped mountain boasts diverse plantation, clouds and springs. The big reward for us is the panoramic view of Erhai Lake, Three Pagodas, and dotted villages, all lying so quietly at the foot of the mountain.
We back to the Ancient Dali Town, wandering around the street and may stop at shops and bars to relax.
In the morning, we go to a Morning Market in the village of Xizhou, in the outskirt of Dali Ancient Town. It is a living market, with local Bai People come to buy and sell their products from 6am to 12pm. We also pay home visit at Xizhou village and see their beautiful courtyard, Batik Dyeing and Silverware items that are parts of their tradition.
Continue two-hour drive northwards to a Shaxi Village, on the half-way to Lijiang. It is a very tranquil and unspoiled old village on the Tea Horse Road. The old architectures and traditions are well maintained. Stay overnight in the town and enjoy a quiet night.
Drive journey onto Lijiang takes around 2 hours. The afternoon will be a leisurely tour in the Ancient Town. With a history over 800 years, Lijiang, the whole town has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage site. Its architectures, culture and art have strong characteristics of local Naxi people. Steps up along the stone paved street to the highest point – Lion Hill, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the old town. As far as eye can reach are the rooftops of the old architectures with the snow-caped mountain as backdrop.
In addition, we will visit The Mufu (Wood Mansion), Lijiang's ancient ruler Mu's official residence, which is Lijiang's largest group of buildings that reflects Naxi people's brilliant skills in architecture and fine arts.
Night view of the town is charming with locals dancing at the square, and the lightening town looks like a palace.
After breakfast we firstly drive about 35 minutes to the Jade Dragon Mountain known as Yulong Snow Mountain. The scenery is absolutely beautiful when taking cable car up to the mountain. You have chances to hug the glacier whenever you come.
On the way back to Lijiang town, visit Baisha village which once was the economic and polical center of Lijiang and important town of the ancient tea-horse road. Now it still remains 55 Baisha murals, paintings in fine brushwork. The village is also very tranquil without many visitors to come and the Naxi traditional hand-made embroidery can be seen everywhere.
Then spend some time at the the Black Dragon Pool, a park known for its limpid water and picturesque scenery with Jade Dragon Mountain as backdrop.
Today, we head to our next destination - Shangri-la. It is usually the last stop for a 6-12 days Yunnan trip. The road journey takes some 3.5 hours and no other means of transport between these two cities up to now. The country road winds through valleys, high mountains, grasslands and finally upwards to the plateau where the city of Shangri-la sits.
On the way, we will stop for photos at several points if weather permits. An overlook of the first bend of Yangtze River is very impressive. And the must-see sight en route is Tiger Leaping Gorge. The beautiful snow-caped Jade Dragon Mountain and Mount Haba shadow this gorge from Lijiang and Shangrila side separately, making it one of the deepest gorges in the world. There is a platform for visitors to see the rushing water make its way through the narrow gorge here with deafening voices of water as it slaps the big stones in the river and high cliff walls.
Arrive Shangri-la in the late afternoon. Take a good rest to get used to its altitude at 3,450m.
The name of Shangri-la derives from “Shambala” in local language and is known to the world as the spread of the book “Lost Horizon” written by James Hilton. The city is surrounded by beautiful lakes, grassland and mountains. Pudacuo Park we visit today will fulfill our dream for the beautiful landscape.
As home to Tibetan people, it is absolutely the right place to breathe in all Tibetan Culture. We can’t miss the big sight of Songzanlin Monastery which is the largest and most famous Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Yunnan. It is also known as the "Little Potala" because of its architectural similarity.
Airport transfer depending on your flight time.
Tips: many people extend the tour to Tibet from Shangrila. Regular flight is available each day and the road journey to Tibet from is tough but very rewarded. Travel advisors will give more details if interested in.
Price Inclusions & Exclusions
Change and Cancellation Policy
15 days before commencement of services: 100% refund.
7 to 14 days before commencement of services: charge 10% of the tour price.
2 to 6 days before commencement of services: charge 50% of the tour price.
Within 2 days of commencement of services or no-show travelers: charge 100% of the tour price.
After the trip has commenced, we are unable to refund any amount for unused services due to your willingness, early departure, late arrival, or missed days on tours.
Get a quick answer from ETripChina experts
Frequently Asked Questions
0 customer reviews