10 Days Yunnan Botany Tour(May&June)

Yunnan, literally means South to the Clouds, is the province in the very southwest China. The humidity from Indian Ocean can reach the plateau along the great valleys and offers enough precipitation for the plants to grow up. Further more, the plants are in diversity because of the huge altitude difference of the valley as low as about 1,000 meters to the high mountains as high as over 4,000 meters. Yunnan is home of 14,590 higher plants, which is about 48% of China’s. Therefore, Yunnan also gets another name as “Kingdom of Plants”. 


  • Visit the highlights of Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La.
  • Have a wonderful botany tour along the way.
  • Experience different ethnic culture in Yunnan.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Dali Arrival
  • Day 2: Dali
  • Day 3: Dali
  • Day 4: Dali- Laojun Mountain
  • Day 5: Laojun Mountain – Lijiang
  • Day 6: Lijiang
  • Day 7: Lijiang
  • Day 8: Lijiang – Shangrila
  • Day 9: Shangrila
  • Day 10: Shangrila Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Dali

Sightseeing and Activities: Arrive in Dali
Accommodation: Dali

Upon arrival at Dali, be greeted by our local guide in Dali airport and transfer to the hotel. Dali is an old town with beautiful landscape and long history. And it is also a beautiful place to see flowers.

Day 2 Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Cangshan Mountain, Chongsheng Temple, Erhai Lake, Dali Old Town
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast we are going to do a gentle walk about 2 hours on Cangshan Mountain and take cable car down Cangshan. On walking, it is great time to see azaleas with blooms, as well as some wild flowers. En route, we also have an over-view of Dali Old Town, Chongsheng Temple and Erhai Lake

In the afternoon, we are keeping our tour with Chongsheng Temple, which is by far the most well-known and magnificent Buddhist shrines in this part of Southeast Asia.

Then we drive to Erhai and take a short cruise on Erhai Lake to admire the beauty of the lake.

In the evening, explore Dali Ancient Town, which is small but lovely.

Day 3 Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Dali Grand Garden
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, drive about 3 hours to western slope of Cangshan Mountain to start our flower trip with the Grand Garden. The Grand Garden lies at the west slope of Cangshan Mountain of Yangbi County. As an important part of the Cangshan Scenic Resort, it covers about 30 sq km, with the altitude ranging from 2,600 to 3,900 meters above sea level. The garden boasts of a high biodiversity, and exhibits a land eco system of latifoliate forests highlighted by at least 20 kinds of rhododendrons. With the vegetation coverage of over 60%, the garden abounds in rhododendron and camellia bushes, of which rhododendrons account for at least 40%. From March to June, it is a frantically blooming scene of multi-coloured flowers. We will have a wonderful time at here. Indulge yourself in the world of expansive alpine meadows, a sea of rhododendrons and wild flowers. Then drive back to Dali.

Day 4 Dali-Laojun Mountain

Sightseeing and Activities:Laojun Mountain
Accommodation: Laojun Mountain
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, leave Dali and drive about 3 hours to the Laojun Mountain. Laojun Mountain area has been part of the Three Parallel Rivers Region, which was designated as World’s Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO. May, June and July are the best seasons to see wild flowers like rhododendrons . In the eastern side of the north of main ridge of Laojun Mountain and the lap of the mountain in elevation above 3,800m, there are tens of lakes and swamps, distributing in cluster along the stream, which are called 99 Dragon Pool. During these months, the beautiful rhododendrons will be blooming all over the mountain and dons the whole place with its magnificent colors. This afternoon explore this area with about 4 hours hiking and stay one night in a rustic guest house.

Day 5 Laojun Mountain-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Naxi villages, Lijiang old town, Lion Hill
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Village of Naxi Ethnic Minority in Yunnan Ethnic Villages, Kunming

This morning, drive to Lijiang. Lijiang, literal meaning a beautiful river, was named by Kublai Khan in 1254 and the old town has been listed as world cultural heritage by UNESCO. The canals in the town is really an uniqueness and the local people block water to wash the ground in the town everyday and this had been started once the town was established.

On the way to Lijiang, we are going to pass areas of different ethnic village as Naxi people. Visit the villages to see how the daily life of local people is alike.

After Lijiang arrival, check-in hotel. Explore the Lijiang old town and climb up to Lion Hill to enjoy the panoramic of the ancient city of Lijiang.

Day 6 Liijang

Sightseeing and Activities:Ganheba botany tour
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, drive about 30 km out of Lijiang old town to Ganheba. It takes us about 1 to 2 hours to hike to the place with quite many alpine flowers including Azaleas(rhododendron), Gentianaceae,  Primulaceaes, Camellias, Liliaceaes, Orchidaceous and MeconopsisIt is like a fest to botany lovers there.

Have box lunch with us. Drive back Lijiang in the late afternoon and enjoy your free time to explore around Lijiang old town.

Day 7 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Yuhu Village, Lijiang Alpine Botanical Garden, Wenhai
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, we start our Wenhai botany tour. On the way, we will visit Yuhu Village firstly. Yuhu Village is on the outskirts of Lijiang Basin at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Joseph Rock , a biologist, chose this lovely village to live when he came Lijiang in 1922. 

After visiting Yuhe village, we are keeping on the way to Lijiang Alpine Botanical Garden. The Lijiang Alpine Botanical Garden, believed the highest botanical garden in the world, was built jointly by China and Britain under a contract signed between the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Garden and the Kunming Plant Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in May 2000. Lijiang was selected as the site for the garden as it is one of the world’s top 10 regions for biodiversity research and one of the three seed plant centers in China. 

After that we head to Wenhai. Upon arriving at Wenhai, a beautiful landscape including a lake and peaceful village meet up together; everything here feels so fresh. There is a beautiful lake, and there is grassland with blooming colorful wildflowers and horses, goats and sheep.

Then we drive back to Lijiang.

Day 8 Lijiang-Shangrila

Sightseeing and Activities:Tiger Leaping Gorge,Shangri-la ancient town, Songtsam Monastery
Accommodation: Shangrila
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, drive about 1.5 hours to the Tiger Leaping Gorge to admire the Tiger Leaping Gorge. The upper stream of Yangtze River flows between the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain for 16 km hereby come to the Tiger Leaping Gorge. It is one of the longest, deepest, and narrowest gorges in the world. 

In the afternoon, we get to Shangri-la and visit the Shangri-la ancient town after a short break in the hotel.

And visit Songtsam Monastery. Songtsam Monastery has been the most important monastery in north Yunnan or south Kham after it was built in late 1600’s.

Day 9 Shangri-la

Sightseeing and Activities:Pudacuo National Park
Accommodation: Shangrila
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, we will have a one-day tour in Pudacuo National Park, the first national park on Chinese mainland. It is mainly comprised of Shudu Lake, Militang Pasture and Bita Lake. We can trek along the planked path by Shudu Lake and Bita Lake to admire the wild flowers and enjoy the picturesque scenery. Along the sightseeing planked passage ashore, growing are multitudes of centuries-old oak trees, spruces, firs with unease on.

In May, we can see quite many different species of azaleas.

Day 10 Departure from Shangrila

Sightseeing and Activities:Departure from Shangrila
Meals: Breakfast

Departure from Shangrila.

Recommended Hotels

City 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostel
Dali Hilton Dali Resort And Spa Landscape Hotel Fairyland Hotel Dali Fengxue Gucheng
Lijiang InterContinental Lijiang Old Town Wangfu Hotel Louwailou Hotel Baisha Holiday Resort
Shangrila Shangrila Hotel Zhaxidele Hotel Shenqu Hotel Wu Fu South Yunnan Boutique Inn
Laojun Mountain / / / Local Guesthouse

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • Domestic train tickets of soft sleeper.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.

Travel Tips:

  • Visitors are advised to always carry changes of clothing due to the large variations in temperature between day and night.
  • The climate is relatively dry, so drink more water every day.
  • Protecting oneself from strong UV radiation at high altitude.
  • Protecting oneself from altitude sickness. Lessen the effects of altitude sickness, avoid strenuous exercise and have plenty of rest.
  • Respect local customs , habits, and religious beliefs.
  • Situated on the northern edge of the tropical zone, Xishuangbanna area is hot, humid and rainy; don’t forget to take an umbrella or a raincoat when go out.
  • When take photos, please pay attention to your safety, do not shoot in dangerous areas.