13 Days Yunnan Panorama Tour with Yuanyang Rice Terraces and Dongchuan Red Land

Imagine stepping into a living canvas, where the earth itself has become an artist’s masterpiece. The Dongchuan Red Land is a breathtaking spectacle that will leave you in awe, with its vibrant red soil stretching as far as the eye can see. Like a painter’s palette, the landscape is alive with color, as if nature has taken up the brush and created a work of art. The 13-day Yunnan classic tour, combined with a visit to this natural wonder, promises to be an unforgettable experience. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of China, where the boundaries between art and nature blur, and the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

Introduction

Embark on a mesmerizing journey through the breathtaking landscapes of Yunnan Province, China’s most southwestern region. This 13-day tour combines the must-see attractions of Yunnan with two of the region’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders: experience the lively city of Kunming, with its iconic landmarks like the Bird and Flower Market and Green Lake. Start an unforgettable adventure to Yunnan Province, where you’ll discover a rich tapestry of natural wonders and cultural treasures. This extraordinary tour takes you on a journey to the breathtaking Yuanyang Rice Terraces, where the undulating fields create a stunning landscape. You’ll also explore the charming Dali Old Town, with its cobblestone streets, traditional architecture, and vibrant art scene. And hike up Cangshan Mountain for breathtaking views of Dali Lake and the surrounding landscape. Further afield, visit the ancient town of Lijiang, with its well-preserved architecture,  and picturesque streets. Marvel at the surreal beauty of Dongchuan Red Land, where the striking red soil covers rolling hills and valleys.

Highlights:

  • Enjoy the charm and beauty of Yuanyang.
  • Lose yourself into the magnificence of Dongchuan Red Land.
  • Step into ethnic village to meet ethnic people’s culture and life.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Kunming Arrival
  • Day 2: Kunming-Dongchuan
  • Day 3: Dongchuan-Shilin
  • Day 4: Shilin-Jianshui
  • Day 5: Jianshui-Yuanyang
  • Day 6: Yuanyang
  • Day 7: Yuanyang-Mile-Dali
  • Day 8: Dali
  • Day 9: Dali-Lijiang
  • Day 10: Lijiang
  • Day 11: Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri La
  • Day 12: Shangri La
  • Day 13: Departure from Shangri La

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1  Kunming Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities:Flowers and Birds Market, the Green Lake
Accommodation: Kunming

Meals: None

  • Journey to Yunnan Province Begins
    • You’ll start your journey to the captivating province of Yunnan from the vibrant city of Kunming.                                                 
    • Upon arrival at the Kunming International Airport, meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel.
  • Optional Kunming City Tour
    • If time permits, you will have a chance to explore the city of Kunming and visit the famous Flowers and Birds Market
    • Take a leisurely stroll along the charming
  • Enjoy Yourselves at Green Lake
    • Green Lake,  an area filled with tea-house, small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings.

Day 2 Kunming-Dongchuan

Sightseeing and Activities:Dongchuan Photography Sites:Yueliang Tian,Luoxiagou,Jinxiu Yuan,Damakan,Qiannian Gushu
Accommodation: Dongchuan
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Red Land Adventure Awaits

    • Begin Your Journey after breakfast, starting a scenic drive from Kunming to Dongchuan (approximately 3.5 hours), where you’ll be treated to the breathtaking beauty of the “Color Palette of the Earth”—Red Land.
    • As you drive along the winding roads, known as the “Sky Way”, be sure to capture stunning views and photo opportunities along the way.
  • Sunset Delight
    • Arrive at the Red Land and enjoy a picturesque sunset (weather permitting) amidst this kaleidoscope of colors.
    • Be sure to capture the vibrant hues of Yueliang Tian, Luoxiagou, Jinxiu Yuan, Damakan, Qiannian Gushu, and other recommended photography sites.
  • Practical Information
    • Please note that the weather in Dongchuan is generally comfortable, but it can get chilly in the early morning and evening.
    • When photographing the Red Land, don’t forget to bring your wide-angle and long-lens cameras!
    • Also, kindly note that there are no high-end hotels in Dongchuan, and we have arranged for accommodations at a local hotel with basic amenities, including a clean room with bathroom and air-conditioner.

Day 3 Dongchuan-Shilin

Sightseeing and Activities:Dongchuan Photography Sites: Qicai Po,Red Land Daguan,Luosi Wan,Yuepu Ao and Waliang Houses in Xintian Village
Accommodation: Shilin
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

  • Discover the Beauty of Xintian Village
    • Begin your day by witnessing the breathtaking sunrise (weather permitting) at Damakan, a truly unforgettable experience.
  • Explore the Wonders of Xintian Village
    • Visit the vibrant Qicai Po, followed by Red Land Daguan, Luosi Wan, Yuepu Ao, and Waliang Houses in Xintian Village. Take your time to soak in the natural beauty of this charming village.
  • Optional Activity
    • If the weather cooperates, you’ll have the opportunity to take in the stunning views of Jiaozi Snow Mountain from a distance.
  • Transfer to Shilin County
    • After lunch, begins a 4.5-hour journey to Shilin County, ready for new adventures and experiences awaiting you.

Day 4 Shilin-Jianshui

Sightseeing and Activities:Stone Forest, Jianshui Old Town, Chaoyang Gate Tower
Accommodation: Jianshui
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

  • Explore Natural Marvel: the Wonders of Stone Forest
    • Embark on a journey to the renowned Stone Forest, a must-visit destination that has earned the local nickname “a waste of time not to visit while in Kunming”.
    • The unique karst landscape is sure to leave you in awe, as if you’ve stumbled upon a hidden world.
  • Journey to Jianshui
    • After spending time marveling at the Stone Forest, drive to Jianshui (approximately 4-5 hours), where you’ll discover a treasure trove of history and culture.
  • Discover Jianshui’s Charm
    • Visit the ancient Jianshui Old Town and the Chaoyang Gateway Tower, built during the Ming Dynasty in 1389.
    • Dubbed the “Miniature Tian’anmen” due to its resemblance to Beijing’s Tian’anmen Square, this impressive structure is a testament to the region’s rich heritage.

Day 5 Jianshui-Yuanyang

Sightseeing and Activities:Shuanglong Birdge and Tuanshan Village, the Garden of Family Zhang
Accommodation: Jianshui
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

  • Uncover Jianshui’s Rich History
    • Begin your day by visiting the Jianshui Confucius Temple, a 700-year-old institution and the second-largest Confucius Temple in China.
    • Take a moment to appreciate the rich cultural heritage and history that permeates this sacred site.
  • Stroll Through Zhu Family Garden, a serene oasis in the heart of Jianshui.
    • Explore Shuanglong Bridge and Tuanshan Village
    • In the afternoon, head to Shuanglong Bridge, a scenic spot, followed by Tuanshan Village.
    • This charming village is a rare example of an intact traditional Yunnan village compound and has been recognized by the World Memorial Fund for Architecture as an internationally significant site.
  • Visit the Zhang Family Garden in Tuanshan Village
    • Take your time to explore the beautiful Garden of Family Zhang within Tuanshan Village, a peaceful retreat that showcases traditional Yunnanese architecture.
    • Witness the Spectacular Sunset at Laohuzui (Tiger Mouth)
    • In the late afternoon, transfer to Yuanyang (approximately 300km south of Kunming) and enjoy the breathtaking sunset view of the terraced fields of Laohuzui (Tiger Mouth).
    • This incredible rice-growing region is renowned for its sheer scale and beauty, with rice terraces crafted by the Hani people over a thousand years ago.

Day 6 Yuanyang

Sightseeing and Activities:the sunrise view of Duoyishu Rice Terraces, Shengcun Market, Bada Rice Terraces, Qingkou ethnic village, Qingkou Rice Terraces, the sunset of Longshuba Rice Terraces
Accommodation: Yuanyang
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

  • Experience the Breathtaking Rice Terraces of Yuanyang: Sunrise Over the Terraces
    • Start your day early to witness the breathtaking sunrise over the rice terraces at Duoyi village, a truly unforgettable experience.
  • Meet the Local Hani and Yi People
    • Visit the local Hani and Yi people and learn about their traditional way of life, which has been shaped by generations of rice cultivation in these magnificent terraces.
  • Explore the Valley’s Natural Wonders
    • Spend the day exploring different areas of the valley, marveling at the incredible engineering and beauty of the rice terraces.
    • With numerous terraces to choose from, select the most stunning ones to visit and take in the natural wonders.
  • Sunset View of Longshuba Rice Terraces
    • In the late afternoon, drive back to Xinjie Town and enjoy a picturesque sunset view of the Longshuba Rice Terraces and surrounding villages, a perfect ending to an unforgettable day.

Day 7 Yuanyang-Mile-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Jianshui Swallow Cave, Jianshui Ancient Town, Zhu Family Garden, Confucius Temple
Accommodation: Dali

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

  • Departure to Dali and Exploration of Ancient Town
    • Begin the day with breakfast at the hotel, then embark on a 4-hour drive to Mile City. From there, take the speed train to Dali, an exciting journey that will bring you closer to this ancient town.
  • Discovery of Ancient Dali Town
    • Arrive in Dali and explore the charming Dali Ancient Town, a treasure trove of history and culture. Wander along Foreigner Street, immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, and interact with the friendly residents.
  • Climb the City Wall for a Panoramic View
    • After exploring the town, climb up to the City Wall of Dali, which offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Erhai Lake. Take in the serene beauty of the lake and surrounding landscape from this unique vantage point.

Day 8 Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Three pagodas in Chongsheng temple, Erhai lake, Dali Old townAccommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Erhai Lake Cruise and Jinsuo Islet
    • Begin your day with a leisurely cruise across Erhai Lake, gliding across the water to Jinsuo Islet, home to approximately 200 Bai ethnic families and over 1,000 people.
    • As you navigate the lake, take in the stunning views of the surrounding Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas in the distance. Enjoy the serene atmosphere as birds and seagulls soar overhead.
  • Discover the Three Pagodas of Chongshen Monastery
    • After your lake cruise, visit the ancient Chongshen Monastery, nestled at the foot of Cangshan Mountain and facing Erhai Lake.
    • This historic site has been in operation for over 1,800 years and is home to three ancient pagodas that form a harmonious triangle.
  • Exploration of Ancient Dali Town
    • Immerse yourself in the charm of Ancient Dali Town by strolling along Foreigner Street and interacting with the local residents. Take a moment to relax and soak up the unique atmosphere.
  • A Panoramic View from City Wall of Dali
    • Climb to the City Wall of Dali for a breathtaking view of Erhai Lake, offering a panoramic perspective that will leave you in awe.
  • About Erhai Lake
    • Erhai Lake is China’s second-largest highland lake, one of seven major freshwater lakes in the country. Its unique name “ear-shaped lake” is derived from its ear-like shape and size comparable to a sea.

Day 9 Dali – Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Xizhou Old Town, Zhoucheng Village, Black Dragon Pond, Dongbu Culture Museum, Lijiang Old Town
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Experience the Charm of Xizhou Town
    • Begin your day by visiting Xizhou Town, where you’ll have the opportunity to marvel at traditional Bai-style architectural courtyards, indulge in the fragrant aroma of Three-Course Tea, and discover the unique culture of this enchanting town.
    • This is a chance to delve into the authentic way of life of the Bai people.
  • Explore Zhoucheng Village and Tie-Dye Workshop
    • Visit Zhoucheng Village and the Tie-dying cloth workshop, where you can not only learn about this ancient textile art but also take home a special souvenir that embodies the essence of Bai ethnic style.
  • Journey to Lijiang and Black Dragon Pond
    • Drive to Lijiang (180km) and meet your guide. From there, head to Black Dragon Pond, also known as Jade Spring Park (Yuquan Park), located at the foot of Xiangshan Mountain (Elephant Hill).
    • As the water has a striking green color, it’s often referred to as Jade Spring. This picturesque park is home to many breathtaking sites, featuring ancient and exquisite architectural pieces in the style of Naxi.
  • Visit Dongba Culture Museum
    • Nearby, visit the Dongba Culture Museum to gain a deeper understanding of Lijiang’s rich cultural heritage.
  • Wander through Lijiang Ancient Town
    • Explore Lijiang Old Town, a historic gem that boasts a history spanning over 800 years. Recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site since 1997, this ancient town is famous for its stunning wooden architecture, characteristic of the Naxi ethnic group.
    • As you wander through the town, you’ll be captivated by its unique charm and beauty.

Day 10 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Murals, Baisha Old TownAccommodation: Lijiang

Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Morning Adventure
    • You’ll begin your day by driving approximately 30 kilometers to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Upon arrival, you’ll board a sightseeing bus for a short scenic ride along the Baishuihe River.
  • Exploring the Meadow
    • Take a chairlift up to Spruce Meadow (3,200 meters above sea level) within Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
    • The cableway schedule will be adjusted according to the mountain’s conditions.
    •  You willtake the sightseeing bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe River, take the chairlift up to visit Spruce Meadow (3200m ) of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
  • Nature Walk
    • Spend about an hour hiking through the original forest in Yak Meadow (3,700 meters above sea level), immersing yourself in nature’s splendor.
  • Afternoon Transfer
  • Cultural Experience

Day 11 Lijiang-Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:The First Bend of Yangze River, Shigu Old Town, The Stone Drum,Tiger Leaping Gorge
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Morning Drive
  • Exploring Shigu Town
    • Discover the origins of Shigu Town’s name, which comes from a large, cylindrical marble tablet resembling a drum.
    • Take in the stunning views of the road winding through the Lijiang valley, surrounded by rolling wheat fields and drying haystacks.
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge
    • Visit Tiger Leaping Gorge (Shangri-La section), the world’s deepest gorge.
    • With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, this area is known as Jinsha due to the presence of gold in its waters.
  • Afternoon Arrival
    • In the afternoon, head to Shangri-La (formerly Zhongdian), a paradise destination for tourists.
    • Check-in to your hotel after arrival and prepare for an unforgettable stay in this enchanting town.

Day 12 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Songzanlin monastery, Pudcuo national park, Dukezong Old Town
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Morning Pilgrimage
    • Begin your day by visiting the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan.
    • This magnificent structure has earned the nickname “the little Potala Palace” due to its traditional architecture and mysterious atmosphere.
  • Nature’s Paradise
    • Afterwards, head to the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park, located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world.
    • This small but remarkable area comprises only 0.7% of China’s land area, yet it is home to.
  • Wildlife Haven
    • Over 20% of China’s plant species
    • One-third of its mammal and bird species
    • Almost 100 endangered species
  • Evening Delights

Day 13 Departure from Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Departure from Shangri-La
Accommodation:
Meals: Breakfast

Free at leisure before be transferred to Shangri-La airport for the departure flight.

Recommended Hotels

City 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostel
Kunming Crown Plaza Kunming City Centre Wenhui Hotel Baiyun Hotel T&T Story Hotel
Dongchuan / Shanju Hotel Spring And Autumn Hotel /
Dali Hilton Dali Resort And Spa Landscape Hotel Gnosis Hotel Dali Fengxue Gucheng
Lijiang InterContinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort Wangfu Hotel Louwailou Hotel Baisha Holiday Resort
Shangrila Hylandia Shangrila Zhaxidele Hotel Shenqu Hotel Wu Fu South Yunnan Boutique Inn

Service Included:

1.Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
2.Meals as listed in the itinerary;
3.Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
4.Private English-speaking tour guide and vehicle for transfers & sightseeing;
5.Service charge & government taxes;
6. Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
7. Two bottles of mineral water each day;

Service Excluded:

1.Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
2.Chinese visa fees;
3.Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
4.Single room supplement;
5.Tips to guides and drivers;
6.Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff.
7.Personal travel accident insurance;
8.All optional programs;
9.Domestic air tickets fares with airport tax and fuel extra fee based on economy class mentioned in the program.