14 Days China High Speed Train Tour with Yunnan Minorities Exploration

Taking the high speed train to travel in China is a new popular way to tour in China now. In this tour, you will discover the most highlights of Beijing, Yunnan and Shanghai by experiencing the high speed train. For Yunnan part, you will visit the highlights of Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La. This is also a minority discovery tour, because you will find minority diversity during your trip, the minorities such as Yis, Bais, Naxis and Tibetan. Moreover, the Tiger Leaping Gorge will be the most impressive part of your trip, you could be shocked by the ruggedness and magnificence of Tiger Leaping Gorge and the mountains around when you are there. This part can not be missed. 


  • Experience the high speed train in China and know something about the modernization of China.
  • Meet the friendly ethnic groups like Yi, Bai, Naxi and Tibetan.
  • Visit the historical ancient towns, historical relics, various mountains and temples, like Dali Old Town, Lijiang Old Town and Dukezong Ancient Town, etc.
  • Enjoy the beautiful scenery like Stone Forest on route, and feel the true charm of China.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Beijing Arrival
  • Day 2: Beijing
  • Day 3: Beijing
  • Day 4: Beijing-Kunming
  • Day 5: Kunming-Dali
  • Day 6: Dali
  • Day 7: Dali-Shaxi
  • Day 8: Shaxi-Shangri-La
  • Day 9: Shangri-La-Lijiang
  • Day 10: Lijiang-Kunming
  • Day 11: Kunming-Shanghai
  • Day 12: Shanghai
  • Day 13: Shanghai
  • Day 14: Shanghai Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities: Arrive in Beijing
Accommodation: Beijing
Meals: Lunch

Arrive in Beijing, your guide will pick you up at the airport, then drive to your hotel for check-in. Have a good rest at hotel after a long flight.

Day 2 Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities: Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven
Accommodation: Beijing
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today’s tour begins from visiting the Tian’anmen Square, the world’s largest plaza. Walk through Tian’anmen Gate, you’ll enter the splendid Forbidden City, China’s No.1 palace adorned with imperial treasures.

In the afternoon, you’ll marvel at the Temple of Heaven where the emperors worshiped heaven and prayed for peace and harvest. After the tour, back to your hotel.

Day 3 Beijing

Sightseeing and Activities: Great Wall (Badaling section), Ding Tomb
Accommodation: Beijing
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

This morning, you will tour the world-famous Great Wall(Badaling section), the key symbol of China. Flexible visiting time allows you to enjoy a trekking trip (1-2 hours’ hiking), or witness the breathtaking views of this man-made wonder by taking a cable car. After the Great Wall visit, you’ll take a leisurely stroll along the tranquil Sacred Road to explore the Ding Tomb of Ming Imperial Tombs.

In the evening, try the flavorful dish of Peking Roast Duck Dinner. (Optional)

Day 4 Beijing-Kunming 

Sightseeing and Activities: Arrive in Kunming by high speed train
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive to Beijing railway station for the high speed train to Kunming. Meet your tour guide at railway station and transfer to the hotel in Kunming.

Day 5 Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities: Jiuxiang Cave, Stone Forest, the Flowers and Birds Market, Nanping Street
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Magical Stone Terraced Fields of Jiuxiang Caves in Kunming

Firstly, drive to Jiuxiang Cave , which is located 90 km far from Kunming. Known as the “museum of karst caves”, Jiuxiang boasts more than 100 karst caves and is the largest cave group system in China. The cave formations are varied and the rivers, waterfalls, and natural rock bridges are very enchanting.

After lunch, drive 40 km to make the tour of  Stone Forest. An old local saying says that ‘If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.’ Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan.

After the tour, transfer back to Kunming downtown and stroll in the Flower and Bird Market and shopping area –Nanping Street nearby.

Day 6 Kunming-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities: Three Pagodas, Erhai Lake, Xizhou Town, Zhoucheng Village, Dali Old Town
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Reflection Park of Three Pagodas in Dali City

Get up in the early morning. Transfer to train station. Take a high speed train from Kunming to Dali. Arrive at Dali Railway station and meet your local guide there. Then you will visit the Three Pagodas in Chongshen Monastery , which has a history of over 1,800 years. It is located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. 

After lunch, you’ll cruise in Erhai Lake by the small boat to the Jinsuo Islet in the east Erhai Lake. There are 200 Bai ethnic families around 1000 people in Jinsuo Island. In Erhai Lake cruise, you will enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas from a far as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake.

After landing, you will head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture. Visit Zhoucheng Village and the Bai people’s Tie-dying cloth workshop where you can take some special souvenirs with the Bai ethnic style.

At last, you will visit the Dali Old Town, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the time with local people. After climbing up to the City Wall of Dali, you will have panoramic view of the Erhai Lake.

Day 7 Dali-Shaxi

Sightseeing and Activities: Shibaoshan, Shaxi Old Town
Accommodation: Shaxi
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Shaxi Ancient Town in Dali

In the morning, drive to Shibaoshan mountain. The most prominent sight at ShibaoShan is the Stone Bell Temple with its 139 well preserved stone carvings. These magnificent stone carvings dated back as far as 1300 years to the once powerful Nanzhao Kingdom during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The carvings are testimony for a time when Mahayana Buddhism from Tibet started to spread in the Yunnan area. Another interesting sight is the ‘Suspending Temple’, also called the Baoxiang Temple. The Baoxiang temple was built on a ledge of a nearly vertical cliff and can only be reached by a long flight of stairs. On a clear day, the views from the Baoxiang Temple over the Shaxi valley are simply magnificent.

After lunch, drive to Shaxi, have a tour of Shaxi Old Town.

Day 8 Shaxi-Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities: Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Old town
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

This morning, drive to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge(Shangri-La section) (the normally tour of Tiger Leaping Gorge, no trekking for this part), the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river.

Afternoon, you’ll head for Shangri La, the former Zhongdian which is well known as the paradise destination for every tourist.  

After arrival, check in your hotel. Stroll around Dukezong Ancient Town, an important town of the Ancient Tea-horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India. Walk up to the top of Guishan Hill or tortoise Hill, you will see the largest Prayer Wheel of the world and have a panoramic view of Shangri-la and Dukezong Ancient Town. 

Day 9 Shangri-La-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Pudacuo National Park, Ganden Sumtseling Monastery
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, you’ll visit the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park. It is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. Although the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China’s land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species.

Continue to visit the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere. 

After the tour, you will transfer to Lijiang to check in your hotel.

Day 10 Lijiang-Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Black Dragon Pool, Shuhe Old Town
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

This morning, you will drive to Jade Dragon Mountain to make your day tour of the mountain.

After arrival, you will take the cable car up to the Glacier Parkwhich is 4506 meters above sea level. As the cable car arising, you can see the different types of glaciers, the valley glaciers, the cirque glaciers, the hanging glaciers etc. This is the best place for viewing snow as everywhere are covered with snow during the autumn and spring season.

Later, you will watch the outdoor performance “Impression Lijiang” (Regular seat), directed by the renowned China director, Zhang Yimou. Finally have a stop at Ganhaizi Meadow(3100 meters).

Then go to Black Dragon Pool Park, a famous pond in the scenic Jade Spring Park located at the foot of Elephant Hill, a short walk north of the Lijiang Old Town. It was built in 1737 during the Qing Dynasty and offers a spectacular view on the region’s tallest mountain, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Stroll around Shuhe Old Town before the evening transfer to Lijiang railway station for the overnight train back to Kunming.

Day 11 Kunming-Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities: Kunming to Shanghai by high speed train.
Accommodation: Shanghai
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Early in the morning, arrive at Kunming railway station. After meeting your guide, transfer directly to the high speed train to Shanghai. Upon arrival, meet your guide in Shanghai and move to hotel.

Day 12 Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities: the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Yuyuan Garden, Yuyang Market, Nanjing Road, the Bund
Accommodation: Shanghai
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today your sightseeing starts from the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, which is located in Pudong Park in Lujiazui, Shanghai. Surrounded by the Yangpu Bridge in the northeast and the Nanpu Bridge in the southwest, it creates a picture of ‘twin dragons playing with pearls’. The entire scene is a photographic jewel that excites the imagination and attracts thousands of visitors year-round.

Then move to visit Yuyuan Garden. The elaborately crafted halls and pavilions are with great wisdom arranged to join the lotus lake, greenery to make various pretty images before your eyes. Walking around Yuyuan Market nearby where you can feast your eyes with numerous Chinese arts and crafts in a lively atmosphere. 

Afterward, you will stroll on the famous Nanjing Road and the Bund. Take Metro Line 2 to the People’s Square Station and the 1,599-meter-long Nanjing Rd is right there, You may get dazzled by the world of Garment, shoes, jewelry, accessory, snack and souvenirs. Walk about 15 minutes from Nanjing Rd. (East) and you have the amazing view of the Bund, the beautiful silhouette of Baroque buildings and the landmark Oriental Pearl Tower.

Day 13 Shanghai

Sightseeing and Activities: Zhujiajiao, Xintiandi
Accommodation: Shanghai
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

This morning, you will transfer to visit the Zhujiajiao Water Town and take a boat tour. Located in the outskirts of Shanghai, Zhujiajiao is a charming water town with rivers crossing the village and hundreds of ancient buildings stand at the banks. It was founded almost 1700 years ago, and became prosperous on the backs of its cloth and rice industry. There are still remains of historical sites such as rice and oil stores, which offer a glimpse of life in the old days. Zhujiajiao Water Town is noted for its archaic water country scenery, idyllic, tranquil, and peaceful. 

After lunch, you will transfer back to Shanghai, enjoy the relax stroll in Xintiandi. It is a car-free shopping, dining and entertainment area of Shanghai. 

Day 14 Shanghai departure

Sightseeing and Activities: Shanghai Departure
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast

Free time before driving to Pudong International Airport for your departure flight. Service ends.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostels
Kunming Sofitel Hotel Jinjiang Hotel Longteng Hotel Tu Tu Inn
Lijiang InterContinental Hotel E-outfitting Hotel Liwang Hotel Flowers Hall Inn
Shangri-La Shangri-La Resort E-outfitting Hotel Bodhi Boutique Inn Guzang Xiangbala Wu Fu Diannan Boutique Inn
Dali Hilton Hotel E-outfitting Hotel Taiheju hotel Fengxuegucheng
Shaxi Landscape Hotel Shaxi Aoding Courtyard Xiaolazhe Yododo Inn Another Encounter

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;
  • High speed train tickets(2nd class tickets).

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.