Shangri-La Transportation

At present, there are no trains in shangri-la. Aviation and road are the main ways to enter shangri-la. The special geographical location makes Shangri-la transportation different from other parts of China. Shangri-la currently has only one airport with relatively limited daily flights. There is no railway in Shangri-la, but Kunming, Dali and Lijiang are all connected by railway. To get there, tourists usually start their journey from Kunming, go to Lijiang first, then to Shangri-la by long-distance bus. It is about 175 kilometers from Lijiang to Shangri-la. On this road, you can see tiger leaping gorge.

How to Get to Shangri-la

By Air

There is only one airport in Shangri-la city: Diqing Shangri-la Airport, which is only 6 kilometers away from the city center. Or you can take a flight to Lijiang Sanyi international airport, then hail a taxi to Lijiang bus station, and take a long-distance bus to get to Shangri-la, which takes about 4 hours by coach.

Diqing Shangri-la Airport

Diqing Shangri-la Airport is a civil airport in Yunnan province of China. It is located in the southwest of Shangri-la city and was opened in 1999. It is one of the largest airports in northwest Yunnan. There are flights to Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lhasa, Guangzhou, Xishuangbanna, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guiyang and other places. The airport is only 15-20 minutes from downtown.

Note: Some flights are not direct and need to be transferred at other airports. And some flights are not available every day. If you want to book a flight to Shangri-La, you can contact our travel consultant or check the flight schedules in advance.

Shangri-la Flights 

Airport Transportation

The airport is only 6 kilometers from the city centre and not far from the Dukezong ancient town as well. The main means of transportation is taxi. It costs about 30 yuan to get to the city center for about 15-20 minutes.

By Long-distance Bus

The traffic to Shangri-la city is mainly by road, and there are highway network of  Yunnan-Tibet highway and Sichuan-Tibet highway. Due to the distance between Shangri-la and various scenic spots, the departure time of the long-distance bus is often changed because of the weather, road conditions and other reasons, so before going to the scenic spot, you must ask the local station about the traffic situation, including whether there is a regular bus, whether the road is easy to go.

Main Bus Station in Shangri-la

Shangri-la Bus Terminal(香格里拉汽车客运站)
Address: Xiangbala Avenue, Shangri-la, Diqing迪庆州香格里拉市香巴拉大道
Tel: 0887-8223501
Major Destinations: Every day, there are buses to Lijiang, Daocheng, Kunming, Qamdo, Mangkang, Deqin, Xiaguan, Panzhihua and other places.

  • Kunming-Shangri-la by Long-distance Bus

About 720 kilometers from Kunming, tourists can take long-distance bus from Kunming West Bus Station to Shangri-La, which will pass by Chuxiong and Dali, and last for 9-10 hours.

  • Lijiang-Shangri-la by Long-distance Bus

The long-distance bus from Lijiang to Shangri-La will drive about 175 kilometers in total, which departs every 40 minutes from 7:30 to 17:10 in Lijiang Bus Station. The price is 62 yuan or 68 yuan. There are tourist buses from Lijiang Ancient Town to Dukezong Ancient Town.

  • Dali-Shangrila by Long-distance Bus

Tourists can take long-distance bus in Dali North Bus Station(Yuhua Road, Xiaguan), which need 6-8 hours to run. Bus departs every 30 minutes from 7:00 to 18:30, and the price is 101- 123 yuan.

By Train

So far, there is no railway to Shangri-la. But the Lixiang(Lijiang- Shangri-la) railway is under construction and is expected to be operational by 2020. After the completion of Lixiang railway, it is expected to arrive from Kunming to Shangri-la within 4-6 hours.

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How to Get Around Shangri-la

Buses are the most common means of transportation in and around this area. In addition to buses, taxis, chartered buses and horseback riding are widely used by locals and tourists.

City Bus

There are some small buses in Shangri-la, mainly going to the important spots of Shangri-la and some small towns around Shangri-la. During the peak season, some routes will be added, mainly to the surrounding tourist attractions, which are specially prepared for tourists. No.1 bus and No.3 bus can go to the Shangri-la bus station and Songzanlin monastery. Ticket price of city bus is usually 1-3 yuan.


Taxis in Shangri-la are in service for 24 hours. As the city is not large, many taxi drivers don't charge by meter. Usually the fare is no more than 10 yuan if shuttling within the city. If you insist in paying by the taximeter, the starting rate is 7 yuan. If you go to Songzanlin monastery, it's about 10-15 yuan, and about 20-30 yuan for going to airport.

Car Rental

Some places in Shangri-la offer car rental services, which typically require visitors to provide a driver's license and ID card(passport is needed for foreigners), as well as a deposit. The following rental prices are for your reference:

  • Santana: 600 yuan per day
  • Off-road Vehicle: 900 yuan per day
  • Domestic 6-Seat Minibus: 500 yuan per day
  • 12-Seat Jinbei Minibus: 600 yuan per day
  • 12-Seat Toyota Minibus: 750 yuan per day

Chartered Car

For going to many scenic spots in Shangri-la, chartered car is more convenient than regular buses. It is recommended to choose reliable drivers, such as those recommended by friends, hotels or travel agencies. Chartered cars are charged by the day, different vehicle models have different prices. Generally, going to the attractions around Shangri-la costs 600- 700 yuan per day by chartered car. 


  • When chartering a car, make sure the cost in advance, discuss whether the driver's expense during the travel are included like room and board, fuel cost and road toll, etc. It's best to have a simple written agreement.
  • Our Yunnan Exploration can arrange both itinerary and travel vehicles for you.


Bicycles are very common in the tourist attractions in Shangri-la. In Shangri-la, cycling around Napa lake and visiting some Tibetan villages is a very relaxing thing.


In many places of Shangri-la City, the most beautiful scenery cannot be admired without horses. For instance, the way to the Bitahai Lake is much easier by horse than car. After getting to Shuangqiao by car or bus, most tourists choose to hire a horse to the scenic spot. The horses are provided by local Tibetans. They will tell you how to ride as well as any dos and don'ts.

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Shangri-la Tours by Flight/High Speed Train

You can travel to Shangri-la by flight, which is convenient and faster. Or in the near future, the railway from Lijiang to Shangri-la will be completed. At that time, taking a high speed train on your journey will bring a brandnew experience.