While in Yunnan

While in Yunnan mainly introduces every aspect in Yunnan, tells you how to do in Yunnan and provides all the necessary travel information and useful tools for you, such as how to get around Yunnan, what and where to eat and shop, where to stay in Yunnan, etc.

How to Get Around Yunnan

By Air

Travel in Yunnan, the quickest and most convenient way is by air. 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. 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.

Yunnan Transportation by Region

Time Difference

Although geographically China spans five time zones, all clocks throughout China are set to Beijing Time, eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), during UKs daylight saving time seven hours ahead. That means that as you travel within China, you will never have to adjust your watch (especially very useful when travelling a long domestic east-west route by train or plane). Whether you travel from Beijing in the east, to Yunnan in the southwest, there will not be a time difference – at least officially.

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Internet & WiFi in Yunnan

With the development of electric products in the world, people and their life increasingly rely on internet, from which people could find fun, make friend, watch shows & movies, listen to music, play game, shop around the world, etc.

Whether you can use the Internet in Yunnan Hotels or Not? The answer is Yes. Internet and wifi is very common in Yunnan. Most hotels have internet cable set up in the guest rooms to attract more clients to stay. Internet becomes a necessary facility when a hotel is built. Some hotels are even equipped with computers in their rooms. It is not a problem to get access to internet in the hotels of Yunnan, unless the place you are visiting is too remote and less-developed.

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Money and Banking in Yunnan

With the establishment of the People’s Bank of China on December 1st 1948, the first edition of Chinese currency was issued. To date, five sets of currencies have been published, circulating the last edition from October 1st 1999. The currency used in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan is different. Other places, including Yunnan, use Renminbi.

It is quite easy to exchange money in Yunnan and the rates will be more favorable, but it is advisable to exchange a small amount in your country before leaving.

Usually, four-star and five-star hotels offer exchange service, but only for their guest. Mostly people will go to banks. Remember to take your passport, which need to be presented when converting currency in the country. However, for remote areas, it is difficulty to exchange currency or use a credit card, so it is advisable to take enough money when you are going to visit the remote area. In Yunnan, the following banks can provide the money exchange service:

  • The five major state-owned banks including Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of Communications can provide money exchange service.
  • Some joint-stock banks, such as China Merchants Bank, China CITIC Bank, Industrial Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, etc., also provide money exchange service.
  • Most Foreign Banks, such as HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, can provide money exchange service.

More about Money and Banking in Yunnan

Where to Stay in Yunnan

As a top tourist resort, there are a lot of inns and hotels in Yunnan with different standards, especially in Kunming, Lijiang, Dali, Shangri-La. You may have enjoyed the 5-star modern hotels, however, it will be special to stay at hotels with traditional style and standard hygiene which presents beautiful local architecture, surrounded by lush greenery. Yunnan, as one of the important destinations in China, is famous for the numerous hotels and you can always choose the most suitable hotel for your Yunnan Tour.

Yunnan Accommodation by Region

What and Where to Eat in Yunnan

Yunnan cuisine, alternatively known as Dian cuisine, is an amalgam of the cuisines of the Han Chinese and other ethnic minority groups in Yunnan Province in southwestern China. As the province with the largest number of ethnic minority groups, Yunnan cuisine is vastly varied, and it is difficult to make generalisations. Many Yunnan dishes are quite spicy. Yunnan cuisine focuses on produce, like beautiful wild mushrooms foraged from the mountains and unique varieties of plants plucked from the countryside. It has its unique eating culture which highlights on the fresh taste of food. Flowers, ferns, algae and insects may also be eaten.

Yunnan Dining by Region

Where to Shopping in Yunnan

Known as a treasure house of natural resources and ethnic minority culture, Yunnan has many unique items that cannot be found elsewhere in the world such as its production of traditional Chinese medicine and medicinal herbs. When travel to Yunnan, you really should take some Yunnan specialties to friends and your family.

Yunnan Shopping by Region

The following content will provide the detailed information about the local products in every place in Yunnan and guide you where to buy and what to buy in every prefecture or city in Yunnan.

Safety Tips in Yunnan

Obey local laws and local customs

Yunnan may have the different laws from that of your country. It’s important to know that China has harsh penalties for people who possess or sell illegal drugs, and these rules and punishments apply to foreign citizens too. What’s more, Yunnan is a multi-ethnic place, please obey the local customs.

Protect Your Valuable Possessions

When you come to Yunnan, please take care of your valuables, especially the important documents. Do not leave your belongings unattended.

Remember the Important Phone Numbers

It is necessary to remember the important phone numbers, such as the phone number of your hotel. You can contact the hotel, if you leave something valuable in your hotel.

Ask for Help from Police

Whenever you meet something unexpected that may to harm you, do not hesitate to ask for help from police, hospital or other authorized organizations. For more information, please refer to our Emergencies.

Say “No” to Unreasonable Requirements

You might encounter some strangers who want to practice English with you. If you have enough time, then it’s ok to have a conversation. However, don’t come along if they start insisting on you going with them to some special places that you didn’t plan to in the first place. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to an offer. If you intend to continue the conversation, make sure that it is you who choose the place.

Appropriate Dressing

Dress rather more conservatively, especially as a woman. Do not wear over-revealing clothes or expensive jewelry, they may encourage unwanted attention. Avoid walking alone late at night or at places which make you have a feeling of discomfort.

More about Safety of Yunnan Travel