10 Days Yunnan Private Tour of Kunming – Dongchuan – Kunming – Dali – Lijiang – Shangri-La
Yunnan is such a wonderland that boasts so many classic tourist attractions at the same time: breathtaking natural landscapes, canyons, ancient towns featured in folk ethnic culture, historic relics and even modern leisure bars… You can imagine how beautiful Yunnan is. We have select the golden route on travel to Yunnan, “Kunming – Dali – Lijiang – Shangri-La route”, you will also meet the most imposing Dongchuan red land, which is called “God’s Magic Palette”. This 10 days Yunnan Classic Tour would bring you an extremely unforgettable experience.
Highlights of this tour: *Check out why Kunming is reputed as “the Spring City” by joyfully wandering in this amazing city. *Visit the Dianchi Lake, known as “the pearl of the plateau”, and feed lovely black-headed gulls. *Relax both your body and mind by bathing the sunshine in Erhai Park. *Experience the fascinating Naxi culture and history in ancient towns listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997- Dali Ancient Town and Lijiang Ancient Town. *Explore the world’s most imposing red land in Dongchan Red Land, revelling in the magnificent landscape. *Feel the Tibetan culture and lifestyle by visiting their house or chatting with local people in Shangri-La, also known as “Paradise on Earth”.
Hotel + Private tour guide + Driver + Vehicle + Entrance fee + Lunch + Train
Upon your arrival at Kunming airport in the morning about 11am, our English-speaking tour guide and the driver will pick you up from the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name. After lunch, go to visit the Western Hills and Dragon Gate, 15 kilometers from Kunming downtown, which are actually a range consisting of four mountains: Biji, Luohan, Huating, and Taiping. Viewed from a distance, the skyline of the Western Hills’ forest reserve resembles a beautiful maiden reclining leisurely alongside of Dianchi Lake with her long hair drifting casually in the mirror-like water. Go through the Dragon Gate, the steepest spot in the Western Hills and well worth climbing up the winding old stone stairs because the view is spectacular. Then drive back to Kunming, continue visit the Dianchi Lake. Dianchi Lake is just like a sparkling jewel embedded in Kunming. The Dianchi Scenic Area is quite mesmerizing, where natural scenery and human landscape blend perfectly. It can be divided into two districts, namely West district and East district. What makes Dianchi Lake distinctive is that the color of its water changes with the clouds and sunshine of the day. After the tour finished, transfer to hotel and check in.
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". Then drive back to Kunming city, continue visit the Golden Temple, which is located at the top of Phoenix Song Mountain, about 11km from Kunming. The roof of the Daoist temple is made from copper and in the sunlight, it glistens like gold. Inside the temple there are Buddhist statues, inscribed boards, beams, pillars, well-screens and other decorations, which are all made of bronze.
Drive for about 3.5 hours to Dongchuan Red Land to enjoy the sunset of Luoxiagou Valley. Dongchuan Red Land is believed to hold the world’s most imposing red land and is even more magnificent than the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the most massive red land with typical features of Yunnan plateau.
Get up in the early morning to enjoy the beautiful sunrise atDamakan. Then we will discover the Dongchuan red land area and explore the local villages. This is a stunning natural multicolor landscape. Red, green, white and yellow are matched into rolling rainbow ribbons stretching to sky. Then drive back to Kunming, take high speed train to Dali, meet the local driver and transfer to hotel in Dali.
After breakfast in hotel, meet our local tour guide in your hotel lobby. Then go to visit the Dali Ancient Town, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the relax time with local people. Then you’ll cruise in Erhai Lake by the small boat to the Jinsuo Islet in the east Erhai Lake. There are 200 Bai ethnic families around 1000 people in Jinsuo Island.In Erhai Lake cruise, you will enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas from a far as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake. Then, transfer to Zhoucheng Village where you can closely visit the Tie-dying workshop operated by local Bai people. If you have interests, you can take some special souvenir with the Bai ethnic style. Later, come to Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture.
After breakfast, drive 2.5 hours to Shaxi Old Town. Shaxi is the last remaining ancient market town of its kind on the Tea & Horse Caravan Trail. This trail is a trading route that connected Tibet, Sichuan, and Yunnan to countries in southeast Asia, also called the Southern Silk Road. The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has listed Shaxi as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world in 2001. Then drive about 2 hours to Lijiang, continue explore the Lijiang Ancient Town. Lijiang Ancient Town has a history of more than 800 years; it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi ethnic people.
In the morning, drive to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain which is 30 kilometers away from Lijiang Old Town. Visit Ganhaizi Meadow, then take the sightseeing bus to visit Baishui River, which is well-known as the Blue Moon Valley from the glacier of the snow mountain. Take chairlift to visit the Glacier Park in the snow mountain. 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. Transfer back to your hotel in the end.
After breakfast, drive to Shangri-la. On the way, you will make a few stops to enjoy the must-see spots. The longest river in China, the Yangtze River, runs from the roof of the world, the- Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and then into Yunnan Province, converging with the Lancang River and the Nu River in the mountain ranges.The First Bend of Yangtze River is the Jinshajiang section of the Yangtze River, with an elevation of over 1800 meters. It is located in the Stone Drum Town of the Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, Lijiang City, and 130 kilometers away from Shangri La County. This attraction is a scenic and hiking area which is situated 1,850 meters above sea level. The most famous attraction of The First Bend of Yangtze River is the Tiger Leaping Gorge. When coming to the Stone Drum in Yulong County, the river suddenly topped by Hailou Mountain Cliff and takes a sudden 100 degree turn to the northeast in the Shangri-la County, therefore the peculiar 'V' shape valley appears, and the world famous Tiger Leaping Gorge was created. The water of the First Bend of Yangtze and the Tiger Leaping Gorge is so treacherous, fast and deep that only few ferries can be used to cross the river, it is called the wondrous spectacle. Last, drive to Shangri-la for overnight.
The first site will be Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the biggest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan. Of great significance in China’s Tibetan Region, it is celebrated as the “Lesser Potala Palace”, and famous for its architecture masterpiece and Tibetan Buddhist cultural treasures. You may chat with the lamas at the dormitory about Buddhist art and their life. Then you will be invited into a local Tibetan family house, drinking tea, tasting snacks, and learning from the hosts about the Tibetan custom. Thereafter, transfer to Napahai Nature Reserve, a habitat of black-necked crane and other immigrating birds. As the season changes, the lake becomes a vast grassland. End of the day at Dukezong Old Town, or named Moonlight City. Here you may pray for a healthy and happy life by pushing world’s largest payer wheel.
The core of our service is excellent travel guides. Over 20 years, we have built up a considerable professional guide team that is knowledgeable, attentive and flexible. The most experienced and reliable guides will be arranged for your unique China tour. Our passionate guide team is full of contagious enthusiasm and keen interest to share culture and history in a pleasant manner. We are always glad at your service to lead you to explore a real China and experience authentic local life in China.
Our Driver and Vehicle
The first mission of our service is to ensure you feel safe and comfortable during your travel. The vehicles we use are air-conditioned, clean and well-maintained. Our drivers are all licensed drivers with many years of driving experience. Moreover, we offer free baby seats for families with little kids.
Food is a very important part of Chinese culture. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to taste the real local Chinese food!
Buffet breakfast will be included in the hotel if you would like accommodation to be arranged by us. Having lunch at local restaurants close and convenient to the attractions you will visit, you would enjoy the local dishes in each city. Chinese style, Vegetarian or Muslim meals are all available. If you have any other diet requirements or allergies, please feel free to let us know, we will try our best to organize it.
For daily dinner, you are suggested to have it on your own when you are exploring each city in your own time, this way would be more flexible for you to choose food as per your interest and preference.