Explore the diverse wonders of Yunnan in this 7-day journey. Begin in Dali, where Bai culture unfolds in Xizhou’s vibrant market. Traverse Cangshan Mountain’s scenic trails and cruise Erhai Lake. Continue to Shangri-La, discovering Tibetan treasures at Songzanlin Monastery and Pudacuo National Park. Witness the majesty of Tiger Leaping Gorge before arriving in Lijiang, where ancient charm meets modern vibrancy. From snow-capped peaks to cultural showcases, this tour captures Yunnan’s rich tapestry, blending natural beauty, ethnic traditions, and historical marvels.
2. Scenic Cangshan Adventure: Ascend Cangshan Mountain via cable car, embark on a breathtaking hike, and relish panoramic views of Erhai Lake’s serene beauty.
3. Tibetan Essence in Shangri-La: Explore Songzanlin Monastery, delve into the wonders of Pudacuo National Park, and engage in the art of Thangka making.
4. Tiger Leaping Gorge Marvel: Stand in awe at the edge of Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world’s deepest gorges, with its dramatic landscapes and the Jinsha River’s roaring waters.
5. Lijiang’s Timeless Charm: Roam Lijiang Ancient Town, a historical gem echoing with Naxi culture, visit the iconic Black Dragon Pool, and traverse the lively Zhongyi Market.
6. Snowy Peaks and Cultural Revelry: Encounter the sacred Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, witness the Impression Lijiang Show, and explore the cultural blend in Shuhe Ancient Town.
- Day 1: Arrival in Dali
Welcome to Yunnan. Upon your arrival at the Dali Airport, meet your driver who'll drive you to the hotel by private vehicle. Enjoy your leisure time in Dali.
Note: No English-speaking guide or any tour activity for today.
Accommodation: in Dali
- Day 2: Dali TourXizhou Old Town, Zhoucheng Village, Erhai Lake, Dali Ancient Town
After breakfast, your driver and guide will meet you at your hotel at 9 am, then head to Xizhou Old Town. Much less touristy than Dali Old Town, Xizhou Old Town is small yet with a strong cultural atmosphere of the Bai Minority. The bustling morning market is a bonus for you to meet locals in traditional minority clothing when they stroll around stalls selling local fruits, fresh meat, piles of spices, livestock, etc.
Wander more of the town to observe the exquisite architecture and enjoy the pleasant countryside view. Have a stop at the Zhoucheng Village in Xizhou, where your eyes will be excited by many fascinating handmade tie-dye products and embroideries.
Then, relax on a cruise to Jinsuo Islet of Erhai Lake. It is a small fishing village with more than 200 Bai households. Wandering through the Bai minority houses here will bring you into fertile fields, lush green trees, and the beautiful scenery of Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake. Last, come to Dali Ancient Town, walk around Foreigner Street, and enjoy a relaxing time with local people.
Accommodation: in Dali
- Day 3: Dali - Shangri-LaCangshan Mountain, Dukezong Ancient Town, Guishan Hill
After hotel breakfasts, head to Cangshan Mountain an awe-inspiring natural stunner of Dali. A Round-trip cable car is arranged for an easier ascending and descending. Off from the cable ride, you will launch a 40-minute hiking journey along the plank walkway to soak up the breathtaking landscape of some temples, waterfalls, caves, and shrines. In good weather, views of the mountain take in the whole of Erhai Lake, with plenty of bird life, the odd squirrel, and colorful flowers alongside the path.
Drive for 4 hours to Shangri-La, a holy land rich in Tibet culture where you can encounter the grand monastery, snow-capped mountains, barley fields, yaks, and ancient Tibetan dwellings. You will get a chance to walk around Dukezong Ancient Town. Explore cobbled streets and traditional Tibetan architecture, gaining insights into local customs. The Old Town Square offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Besides, visit Guishan Hill, located in the center of the town. Join other tourists in turning the largest Prayer Wheel in the world, a spiritual practice believed to accumulate merits. As you spin the wheel clockwise, absorb the peaceful energy and breathtaking views of the town and surrounding mountains.
Accommodation: in Shangri-La
- Day 4: Shangri-La TourSongzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park, Thangka Making
Shangri-La has a different appearance from the last places where you will start to meet Tibetan elements. The first site will be Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Marvel at the intricate architecture, vibrant prayer flags, and peaceful courtyards as you explore the various halls and temples within the complex.
In the afternoon, come to Pudacuo National Park, a pristine natural sanctuary celebrated for its diverse landscapes. We will explore serene lakes, dense forests, and alpine meadows, encountering unique flora and fauna. Shudu Lake and Bita Lake showcase stunning reflections of the surrounding mountains.
After that, you will get a chance to experience the process of making Thangka. A dedicated teacher will be arranged to teach you how to make a Thangka from the basics.
Accommodation: in Shangri-La
- Day 5: Shangri-La - Tiger Leaping Gorge - LijiangThe First Bend of the Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Zhongyi Market, Black Dragon Pool, Lijiang Ancient Town
After breakfast, you will drive about 150 km to marvel at the First Bend of the Yangtze River. Then move on to the Tiger Leaping Gorge where you will enjoy imposing gorge scenery. One of the deepest gorges in the world, it measures 3,900 meters from the waters of the Jinsha River to the Haba Mountain.
After that, we will drive around 1 hour to Lijiang. Follow your guide to explore Zhongyi Market. At this largest food and vegetable market in Lijiang, you will find fresh produce, dry goods, street food, and a glimpse into the old Lijiang.
Next, visit the Black Dragon Pool in Jade Spring Park which is an iconic site in Lijiang. Sit beside the pool bank are arbors, pavilions, swaying willow trees, a white marble bridge, and ancient temples. Reflected in the water is the marvelous Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Lijiang Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a picturesque maze of cobbled streets and traditional Naxi architecture. You can explore ancient canals, visit traditional tea houses, and discover local crafts. Nearby, Mufu Palace, once the political center of the Naxi Kingdom, showcases intricate architecture and historical artifacts. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the region, enjoying the town's vibrant atmosphere and the historical significance of Mufu Palace.
Accommodation: in Lijiang
- Day 6: Lijiang TourJade Dragon Snow Mountain, Shuhe Ancient Town
Get up early and drive to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain for the magnificent snow view on this always-snow-capped mountain. It is a sacred mountain of Naxi people highlighting varied and beautiful natural scenery. Besides, you would also have a chance to enjoy the amazing Impression Lijiang Show which leads you more about the local culture. Visit Ganhaizi Meadow, which is well-known as the Blue Moon Valley from the glacier of the snow mountain.
Follow your guide to Shuhe Ancient Town which boasts a history as long as Lijiang Ancient Town but sees fewer tourists. Combining beautiful natural scenery and unsophisticated Naxi folk customs, it is a world cultural heritage site in China. Another local market can be visited before your driver drives you to the hotel.
Accommodation: in Lijiang
- Day 7: Departure from Lijiang
This morning is free on your own. At the confirmed time (according to your flight), the driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and see you off at Lijiang Sanyi Airport for your departure flight.