Join this 5 days tour to discover the natural and cultural wonders of Kunming and Shangri-La, two of the most popular destinations in Yunnan Province. The amazing karst formations of the Stone Forest, the ancient Buddhist temple of Yuantong, the beautiful park of Kunming Green Lake, and the scenic Western Hills await you in Kunming. In Shangri-La, a mythical paradise, you will explore the majestic Songzanlin Monastery, the stunning Pudacuo National Park, and the charming Dukezong Old Town. You will also experience the local culture and lifestyle of the Tibetan people by visiting a pottery village and a Tibetan family.
Highlights for this tour:
1. Marvel at the bizarre and spectacular karst formations of the Stone Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a natural wonder of the world, and learn about the legends and stories behind some of the rocks.
2. Discover the diverse and colorful cultures and customs of the 25 ethnic groups in Yunnan, and admire their costumes, handicrafts, festivals, and lifestyles at the Yunnan Nationalities Museum and the Nixi Pottery Village.
3. Experience the peace and tranquility of the high plateau and the earthly paradise of Shangri-La, where you can explore the majestic Songzanlin Monastery, the stunning Pudacuo National Park, and the charming Dukezong Old Town.
4. Immerse yourself in the Little Tibet and the local culture and lifestyle of the Tibetan people, and visit a Tibetan family, taste their homemade butter tea, barley wine, and yak meat, and learn about their traditions, beliefs, and craftsmanship.
- Day 1: Arrive in Kunming - Yunnan Nationalities Museum - Western HillsYunnan Nationalities Museum, Western Hills
Welcome to Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan Province. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.
After a short rest, you will start your exploration of Kunming with a visit to the Yunnan Nationalities Museum, where you can learn about the diverse cultures and customs of the 26 ethnic groups in Yunnan. You will see exhibits of their costumes, handicrafts, festivals, and lifestyles, as well as watch performances of their music and dance.
Then, head to the Western Hills, a scenic area with lush forests, temples, and caves. You can take a cable car or hike up to the Dragon Gate, a group of grottoes carved on the cliff, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Dianchi Lake and the city from the top of the hills.
Accommodation: in Kunming
- Day 2: Kunming Exploration (B, L)Stone Forest, Yuantong Temple, Kunming Green Lake
One of the most famous attractions in Kunming, the Stone Forest, awaits you today. The Stone Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a natural wonder of karst formations, where you can marvel at the bizarre shapes and sizes of the rocks, such as the Sword Peak Pond, the Lotus Peak, the Elephant Trunk Hill, and the Naigu Stone Forest. You can also learn about the legends and stories behind some of the rocks, such as the Ashima Stone, which is said to be the petrified figure of a beautiful Sani girl who was forbidden to marry her lover.
After lunch, you will return to Kunming and visit the Yuantong Temple, the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in the city, dating back to the Tang Dynasty. The temple has a unique architecture, which is built on a slope and has a pond in the center. You will see the statues of Sakyamuni, Amitabha, and the Medicine Buddha, as well as the colorful murals and carvings on the walls.
A relaxing stroll around the Kunming Green Lake, a beautiful park in the city center, will conclude your day. The park is a popular place for locals to do tai chi, dance, sing, and play chess. You can also feed the seagulls that flock to the lake in winter, or enjoy a cup of tea or coffee at one of the cafes around the lake.
Accommodation: in Kunming
- Day 3: Kunming - Fly to Shangri-La (B, L)Nixi Pottery Village, Dukezong Old Town
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Kunming airport for your flight to Shangri-La, a mythical paradise in the northwest of Yunnan. Your guide and driver will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel in Shangri-La.
In the afternoon, you can drive to the Nixi Pottery Village, a small Tibetan village famous for its black pottery making. You can watch the locals make pottery by hand using clay, water, and fire, and learn about the history and culture of this ancient craft.
Afterwards, you can visit the Dukezong Old Town, an ancient Tibetan town with a history of over 1300 years. The town has a traditional architecture, cobbled streets, and a large prayer wheel on the Guishan Hill. You can admire the town’s charm, walk up to the hill to see the prayer wheel, and enjoy the sunset and the night view of the town from the hill.
Accommodation: in Shangri-La
- Day 4: Shangri-La Exploration (B, L)Songzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park, local Tibetan family visit
The Songzanlin Monastery, the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, is your first destination today. The monastery resembles the Potala Palace in Lhasa and houses over 600 monks and many precious religious relics. You can explore the halls, chapels, and courtyards of the monastery and observe the daily life and rituals of the monks. You can also see the golden roofs, the pagodas, and the prayer flags of the monastery, as well as the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes.
After lunch, you can continue to the Pudacuo National Park, the first national park in China that meets the criteria of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The park features stunning scenery of lakes, wetlands, forests, and meadows, as well as rich biodiversity of plants and animals.
In the evening, you can visit a local Tibetan family and experience their hospitality and culture. You can taste their homemade butter tea, barley wine, and yak meat, and learn about their traditions, beliefs, and lifestyle.
Accommodation: in Shangri-La
- Day 5: Shangri-La Departure (B)
Your 5 days Kunming & Shangri-La tour ends today. You can enjoy your free time until your driver picks you up at your hotel and transfers you to the airport for your departure. We hope you have a wonderful time in Yunnan and look forward to seeing you again.