Transportation in Yunnan

With the growth of economy, Yunnan boasts very convenient transportation systems with modern transportation facilities. Yunnan is served by numerous transport modes including several civilian airports and a major highway and rail network, and forms an integral part of the structure Yunnan Province and the Southwest of China. Therefore, traveling to Yunnan, tourists can take those means of transportation for getting to and around. Yunnan Province is large geographically and its transport hub is the capital of Kunming, which acts as an important gateway, linking China to Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. 

How to Get to & Away from Yunnan

By Air

Taking a flight to Yunnan is the most convenient way. Currently Yunnan Province has 15 airports in its major tourist cities, such as Kunming(international airport), Lijiang(international airport), Dali, Shangri-La, and Xishuangbanna(international airport), making these cities easily reached from the main cities in China and aboard. Kunming Airport and Lijiang Airport are the most frequently used for your arrival and departure. 

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

Kunming Changshui International Airport is the largest airport in Yunnan, serving both domestic and international flights. It offers direct flights to and from major cities in Yunnan, China, and Southeast Asia. There are more than 19 flights flying from Beijing to Kunming, more than 21 flights flying from Shanghai to Kunming, more than 22 flights flying from Guangzhou to Kunming, and more than 20 flights flying from Chengdu to Kunming. Please refer to below info on the details. 

Currently, about 48 international air routes leading to 37 cities have been opened leading to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Rangoon, Vientiane, Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Tokyo, Seoul, etc. 

Airport Transfer: There are several airport lines connecting Kunming airport and the city center. It is easy for tourists to travel between the airport and the downtown city area. See more about Kunming Travel Guide.

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

Lijiang Sanyi International Airport, is an airport serving Lijiang, Yunnan province, China. Built in 1995, the civil airport is 25km (16mi) to the south of the city proper. At present, it is the second largest airport in Yunnan. In 2011, it was upgraded to an international airport. There are 4 flights from Beijing to Lijiang, 4 flights(1 without stop and 3 with stop) from Shanghai to Lijiang, 5 flights(2 without stop and 3 with stop) from Guangzhou to Lijiang, 8 flights(6 without stop and 2 with stop) from Chengdu to Lijiang. 

International Flights to and fro Lijiang:

Airlines To and Fro Lijiang
China Eastern Airlines Hong Kong, Taipei(available every Wednesday, Friday, Sunday), Bangkok
Tiger Airways Singapore
Mandarin Airlines Taipei
Asiana Airlines/Korea Airlines Seoul

Airport Transfer: There is only one airport bus linking Lijiang Downtown and the airport. Besides, bus No.27 and taxi are also available. See more about Lijiang Travel Guide.

3. Dali Huangcaoba Airport (大理荒草坝机场)

About 13 kilometers (8 miles) away from the city center, Dali (Huangcaoba) Airport, is located on the southeast bank of Erhai Lake. This is the first high altitude airport in China with a complex geographic situation. At present, flights using this airport connect the city with many destinations such as Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Xishuangbanna, Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guiyang and Guangzhou. 

Airport Transfer: There are airport bus to and fro Cangshan Hotel. Beside, taking a taxi around Dali is also convenient. See more about Dali Travel Guide.

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

Shangri-La Airport covers an area of 225 hectares at the plateau region with beautiful natural scenery. The altitude is 3280.83 meters. There are flights connecting Kunming, Chongqing, Lhasa, Guangzhou, Xishuangbanna, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guiyang, etc. See more about Shangri-La Travel Guide.

Airport Transfer: Due to no shuttle buses serving in the Diqing airport, tourists needs to take a taxi to travel between the airport and Shangrila. Usually, it costs about CNY 30 per person for 20-minutes ride from the airport to Shangri-La City.

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

Xishuangbanna Airport (Xishuangbanna Jinghong Airport), is the second international airport in Yunnan. It  it was officially operated on April 7, 1990. There are 24 domestic routes in operation, among which 3 are international / regional routes. See more about Xishuangbanna Travel Guide.

Now, it has flights connecting Xishuangbanna with 3 international lines including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Luang Prabang. 

Airlines From Xishuangbanna to 
Ruili Airlines/FlexFlight Chieng Mai(available every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
Ruili Airlines/FlexFlight Chiang Rai(available every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
Lao Airlines Luang Prabang(available every Thursday, Sunday)

Airport Transfer: Take the local bus or local taxi to the downtown of Jinghong city.

By Train

The cheapest way to Yunnan would be by train from other cities of China, though it is not as convenient as travelling by air. Yunnan are mainly connected with Chengdu, Nanning and Guiyang through Chengdu-Kunming railway, Nanning-Kunming railway, and Guizhou-Kunming railway. Kunming railway station, located at the intersection of these railways, is an important transportation gateway of Yunnan province. At the end of 2016, Yunnan high-speed railway was officially opened, which greatly facilitates the travel of tourists. At present, bullet train lines basically cover most cities in the southwest, central, east, north and pearl river delta regions as well as many regions in the province. 

Beijing to Yunnan by Train

Beijing, the capital of China, is the major gateway and first stop for foreign tourists to travel in China. You can experience the old culture of China through visiting the cities of Beijing. Regularly there are 6 trains running from Beijing to Kunming, including normal speed trains and high-speed trains. From every Friday to next Monday, there is one additional high-speed train available. 

Shanghai to Yunnan by Train

Shanghai, a booming megalopolis mixing East and West, ancient and modern. It is an international metropolis with a blend of rich history and fashionable modernity. At present, there are 7 trains running from Shanghai to Kunming, including normal speed trains and high-speed trains. The schedules are listed as follow for your reference. 

Guangzhou to Yunnan by Train

Being one of the three most important cities of China, Guangzhou is always the economic, political and cultural center of the southern region. It is a city with the glory of traditional revolution in the modern history of China. There are 20 trains running from Shanghai to Kunming, including normal speed trains and high-speed trains. The schedules are listed as follow for your reference. 

Chengdu to Yunnan by Train

As the homeland of giant pandas, Chengdu is one of the historic cities in China, with a long history of over 3,000 years. It enjoys the title of “the land of abundance”, not only for its abundant grain products, but also for its rich tourism resources. At present, there are 7 trains running from Chengdu to Kunming, including normal speed trains and high-speed trains. The schedules are listed as follow for your reference. 

Neighbouring Countries to Yunnan by Train

With a length of 4,060 kilometer boundary line, Yunnan neighbours three countries, Burma, Laos and Vietnam. It can be linked by Trans-Asian Railway, Yunnan-Vietnam Railway, Yunnan-Laos Railway, Yunnan-Myanmar Railway, China-Thailand Railway. See more about How to Get to Yunnan from Neighbouring Countries.

By Coach

Neighboring Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi, and Tibet, Yunnan has a developed highway network stretching to the major cities in Yunnan. The highways in Yunnan province center on Kunming, with 7 national roads (G108, G213, G214, G320, G321, G323, G326), 61 provincial roads, connecting it with domestic and foreign cities. It even neighbors Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. To travel to Yunnan, many tourists will choose to travel by coach. In general, there are more coaches connecting Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi and other places to Kunming. 

East Bus Passenger Station(东部客运站)
Address: In the junction of Hongqiao Road and Zhaoqing Road of Panlong District
Telephone: 0878-63833680
Line Direction: 
1. All area under administration of Wenshan;
2.Giejiu City, Kaiyuan City, Mengzi County, Maitreya County, Luxi County, Hekou County, Pingbian County, Jinping County;
3. Luliang County, Shizong County, Luoping County of Qujing;
4. Shilin County, Yiliang County of Kunming;

West Bus Passenger Station(西部汽车客运站)
Address: No.18, Yining Road of Xishan Road
Telephone: 0878-68182746
Line Direction:
1. All area under administration of Dali prefecture;
2. All area under adminstrtion of Baoshan City:
3. All area under adminstrtion of Dehong;
4. All area under adminstrtion of Linchang City;
5. All area under adminstrtion of Nujiang;
6. All area under adminstrtion of Diqing;
7. Yulong County, Yongsheng County, Ninglang County of Lijiang;
8. Jingdong County (belongs to Puer City);
9. Shangyun Town (belongs to Lancang County, Pu’er City)

South Bus Passenger Station(南部汽车客运站)
Address: No.7, Shangbo Street of Guandu District
Telephone: 0878-67361683
Line Direction: 
1. All area under administration of Pu’er City(exceptShangyun Town and Jingdong County);
2. All area under administration of Xishuangbanna;
3. All area under administration ofYuxi City(except Yimen County);
4. Jianshui County, Shiping County, Yuanyang County, Green County, Honghe County;
5. Jinning County (belong to Kunming City);
6. Parts of the international buses.

North Bus Passenger Station (北部汽车客运站)
Address: In Fengyuan Road of Panlong District
Telephone: 0878-68373009
Line Direction:
1. All area under administration of Qujing City (Except Luliang County, Shizong County, Luoping County, with the exception of Luoping County);
2. All area under administration of Zhaotong City;
3. Songming County, Luquan County, Dongchuan District of Kunming.

Northwest Bus Passenger Station(西北部汽车客运站)
Address: In the junction of Xiaotun Road and Chenjiaying Road 
Telephone: 0878-68265359
Line Direction:
1. All area under administration of Chuxiong prefecture;
2. Yimen County (belonging to Yuxi City);
3. Anning City, Fumin County, Luquan County of Kuming;
4. Huaping County (belongings to Lijiang City);
5. Panzhihua City (belongings to Sichuan Province).

Neighbouring Countries to Yunnan by Coach

Taking international coaches to travel between neighbouring countries and Yunnan is popular among many budget travelers. There are coaches running between Kunming and Vientiane or Luang Prabang, Myanmar, Laos. At present, Yunnan has opened 28 international routes (including 19 in Laos and 9 in Vietnam). See more about How to Get to Yunnan from Neighbouring Countries.

By Waterway

Generally, rivers are obstacles to transport in Yunnan. Only very small parts of Yunnan’s river systems are navigable. In June 2001, commercial shipping service among China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand on the Lancang-Mekong River was officially inaugurated. Jinghong, Guanlei and Simao District river ports are open to the outside world. Many rivers open for commercial international trade with neighboring countries. Lancang River (known as the Mekong in its lower reaches) is the only international river linking 6 countries in Asia. There are cruises sailing from ChiangSan to Guanlei port via Myanmar and Laos.

How to Get Around in Yunnan

By Air

Travel in Yunnan, the quickest and most convenient way is by air. While It’s not recommended to travel from Kunming to Dali by airplanes. It’s much expensive and time-wasting. 

There are many daily flights from Kunming to Lijiang, which only takes about 50 minutes.

From Kunming to Shangri-La (autonomous prefecture center of Diqing), there are usually about over 5 daily flights, and that takes about 80-90 minutes. It’s recommended to take the morning or night flight to Shangri-la and then you can have more time to explore this city. For more info on the flights in Yunnan, please feel free to contact us.

By Train

Since June 29, 2018, the normal speed trains from Kunming to Dali are all closed and the high-speed trains are formally put into use, which cut the entire journey to 2 hours. There are more than 20 high-speed trains departing from Kunming South Railway Station to Dali Railway Station from the early morning hours to the late night around 06:30-21:30, with the stop at Kunming Railway Station in the downtown.

There are 4 overnight trains available every day from Kunming Train Station to Lijiang Train Station. The distance is about 517 kilometers (321 miles), requiring about 8-9 hours for a one-way trip. 

At present, there is no train connecting the two cities of Kunming and Shangrila. The Lijiang–Shangri-La railway or Lixiang railway is a railroad under construction due to be completed in 2020. By then, tourists can take the train to Shangrila from Kunming.

By Long-distance Bus

Taking a 4-hour coach from Kunming to Dali is an alternative choice for sometimes the train tickets have been sold out. Tourists can take the coach at Kunming West Bus Station to different stations in Dali City, which runs every 15–20 minutes from the early morning to the late afternoon daily. You can choose the proper one according to your needs.

Lijiang has two main bus stations connecting the main cities in Yunnan Province: Lijiang Bus Station and Lijiang Express Bus Station. Tourists can take the long-distance bus from Kunming West Bus Station and the journey will take about 6-12 hours. 

In Shangri-La, coach is the most important vehicle. Tourists can travel by coach between Shangri-la Long-distance Bus Station and Kunming West Bus Station, which takes about 10 hours. It is a long way between the two cities.

Transportation in Yunnan:

Yunnan Travel by Air

Rail Transport in Yunnan

Roads in Yunnan