14 Days Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri-La Cycling Tour

This 14 days Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri-La Cycling Tour will take you to experience the Tea Horse Trade Caravan including the Erhai Lake, Shaxi Old Town, Dali Old Town, Lijiang Old Town, Shuhe Old Town, etc. Between Lijiang and Shangri-La, you will visit Tiger Leaping Gorge and the First Bend of Yangtze River. The bend is a powerful spot with the whole of the Yangzi River confined to a 20- meter (70-foot) width. You also will experience Shangri-la high plateau and visit Songzanlin Monastery, Napahai Lake and Tibetan villages.

Tour Map

Highlights

  • Experience the Tea Horse Trade Caravan including Shaxi Old Town, Dali Old Town, Lijiang Old Town, etc.
  • Visit Tiger Leaping Gorge and the First Bend of Yangtze River.
  • Appreciate the top attractions of Shangri-la such as Songzanlin Monstery, Napahai Lake, etc.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Kunming Arrival
  • Day 2: Kunming
  • Day 3: Kunming – Dali
  • Day 4: Dali – Shuanglang
  • Day 5: Shuanglang – Eryuan
  • Day 6: Eryuan – Shaxi
  • Day 7: Shaxi – Shangri-la
  • Day 8: Shangri-la
  • Day 9: Shangrila-la – Baishuitai
  • Day 10: Baishuitai – Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Day 11: Tiger Leaping Gorge Trekking
  • Day 12: Tiger Leaping Gorge – Lijiang
  • Day 13: Lijiang
  • Day 14: Lijiang Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Kunming Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities: Twin Pagodas, Green Lake Park, Yuantong Temple
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: Lunch

Take the morning flight to Kunming, meet your local tour guide and transfer to the hotel.

After lunch, start your Kunming City cycling tour. You will visit the Twin Pagodas including the West Pagoda and the East Pagoda; the Green Lake Park and Yuantong Temple.

Day 2 Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities: Western Hills, Yunnan Ethnic Villages, Golden Horse and Jade Rooster Archway
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Ride to Western Hills, take the chairlift from the Dragon Gate to Yunnan Ethnic Villages. Continue the riding back to visit The Golden Horse and Jade Rooster Archway in the downtown.

Day 3 Kunming – Dali

Sightseeing and Activities: Dali Old Town, Three Pagodas
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take the high speed train to Dali (3 hours) in the morning. Arrive in Dali, meet your local tour guide and transfer to Dali Old Town.

After checking in, you will ride around Dali old Town to visit the Old City Wall, the Foreigner Street and Bai Ethnic architecture. After lunch in Dali Old Town, ride to visit the Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Monastery. You will have a relax night in Dali Old Town.

Day 4 Dali – Shuanglang

Sightseeing and Activities: Jinsuo Islet, Tianjing (Heaven Mirror) Pagoda, Little Putuo Island, Changyu Village and Patron Saint Temple
Accommodation: Shuanglang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the early morning, you will start the cycling from Dali Old Town to Shuanglang Town. You will first ride to Xiaguan, and ride along the Huanhai Road to Jinsuo Islet in Haidong Town. After lunch in Hiadong, you will continue the cycling to Tianjing (Heaven Mirror) Pagoda, Little Putuo Island in Wase Town. Arrive in Shuanglang Town in the late afternoon and visit Changyu Village and Patron Saint Temple.

Day 5 Shuanglang – Eryuan

Sightseeing and Activities: Nanzhao Love Island, Bai ethnic villages, Little West Lake
Accommodation: EEryuan Geothermal Paradise Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, you will enjoy the sunrise of the Nanzhao Love Island and Erhai Lake, and take the boat to visit Nanzhao Island including Shayimu(a fisher girl in the legend) Statues, Acuoye Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin) Statue, Nanzhao Palace, the Square of Patron Saint Culture, Taihu Lake Stones and the Big Banyan Trees.

Visit Bai ethnic villages in Shuanglang Town, ride to Jiangwei Town, if you are lucky to meet the market day, you will have the chance to visit Shaping Bazaar. Have lunch in Jiangwei Town with fresh fish from Erhai Lake and ride to Eryuan in the afternoon. You will see the wonderful farmland in Xiashankou, a beautiful basin of Eryuan County.

Then take a boat to visit the Little West Lake (Xiaoxihu in Chinese). Xiashankou is featured by the thousands of hot springs, where it is very easy to find a clean hotel with hot spring swimming pool in Xiashankou. But today you will continue the 10KM cycling to Eryuan and have a nice stay in Eryuan Geothermal Paradise Hotel. You will enjoy the hot spring by yourself after dinner. Eryuan is famous for the hot springs, and Eryuan Geothermal Paradise is the largest one.

Day 6 Eryuan – Shaxi

Sightseeing and Activities: Yuhu(Jade Lake) Park, Shibaoshan Mountain, Shizhong Grottoes, Baoxiang Temple
Accommodation: Shaxi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast in the hotel, ride to visit Yuhu(Jade Lake) Park in Yuhu Town about 2 Km away from the hotel. You will continue the long but easy cycling to Jianchuan. Visit Shibaoshan Mountain, Shizhong Grottoes, climb steps up to visit Wild Monkeys behind the Baoxiang Temple. After the mountain tour, you will ride down to Shaxi Old Town for overnight.

Day 7 Shaxi – Shangri-la

Sightseeing and Activities: Shaxi Old Town, Jianchuan local market, First Bend of Yangtze River
Accommodation: Shangri-la
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, you will cycle around Shaxi Old Town and visit local courtyard of the ethnic Bai. Continue the riding to Jianchuan County and visit the local market. Ride to Shigu Town, and have lunch in a local restaurant on the crossroad.

After lunch, ride to Longpan Town, have a good rest and pay a visit to the panoramic view of the First Bend of Yangtze River. Visit the Naxi villages and ride to across the Jihong Bridge over the Jinsha River. You will a beautiful riding along the Jinsha River which is well-known as the Gold Sand River as well as the upper Yangtze River.

Arrive in Qiaotou Town (or Tiger Leaping Gorge Town) in the late afternoon and change the coach for around 2 hours driving to Shangri-la. 

Day 8 Shangri-la

Sightseeing and Activities: Songzanlin Monastery, Napahai Lake, Dukezong Ancient Town, Guishan Hill
Accommodation: Shangri-la
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we ride to Songzanlin Monastery in the morning, after lunch, ride around Napahai Lake and the grassland. Visit Dukezong Ancient Town and the largest prayer wheel on the top of Guishan Hill.  Enjoy the Tibetan Family with Tibetan dance and music at night.

Day 9 Shangri-la – Baishuitai

Sightseeing and Activities: Baishuitai
Accommodation: Bashuitai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive to Xilianpen Pass (洗脸盆哑口/3700 Meters) and ride to visit Baishuitai. We begin with a short transfer out of town, passing through arid plateau on towards Pudacuo National Park where to start the day’s cycling. We set off on the bikes with a downhill stretch on good road and continue during the day to cycle a series of valleys and mountains through a changing rural scenery gradually descending to the village of Baishuitai.

 
Our final stretch of the route brings us through conifer forest. Located below the Haba Snow Mountain(the other side of Tiger Leaping Gorge), Baishuitai is famed for its natural mineral terraced White Water Tables created by calcium carbonate deposits from the melting mountain spring water.

Day 10 Baishuitai – Tiger Leaping Gorge

Sightseeing and Activities: Haba Village, Tiger Leaping Gorge
Accommodation: Tiger Leaping Gorge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

We set off today with a few gentle hills before challenging a more serious climb. Once we reach the top of the pass we will have views of the magnificent Haba Mountain peaks. The highest point is at a dizzying 5,396m. With alpine moraine lake, endless clusters of azalea and waterfalls cascading down snow-covered cliffs, the glacier on the Haba Snow Mountain is the southmost glacier in China. We make a short descent into Haba Village, whose resident minorities include Naxi, Hui (Muslim) and Yi peoples, as well as a few Tibetans.

This afternoon we climb to our next pass then cycle down into the Yangtze River Valley. At the village of Yonke we turn into the legendary Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world’s deepest ravines. Cutting its path between Haba Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain your surroundings will be as dramatic as the place names suggest.

Day 11 Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge Trekking

Sightseeing and Activities: trekking
Accommodation: Tiger Leaping Gorge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today will be a very relax day in middle Tiger Leaping Gorge. You will spend your half day trekking and half day free in the gorge. After breakfast, trek from Tina’s Guesthouse up to Bendiwan Village, you will visit Guanyin Waterfalls, Bamboo Forest, Guanyin Temple, Wuzhishan (Five Fingers) Mountain, Dashengou Waterfalls, Sheshen Cliffs, Qianyan Stone House.

Have lunch in Halfway Guesthouse in Bendiwan Village. Halfway Guesthouse is the best position to enjoy the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the thirteen peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. After lunch, trek about one hour down to the road and your driver will pick you up and transfer back to Tina’s Guesthouse. You will be free in the afternoon and explore the Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge by yourself.

Day 12 Tiger Leaping Gorge – Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Ancient Town, Baisha Murals
Accommodation: Baisha Holiday Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Ride along the Jinsha River to the lower part of the Tiger Leaping Gorge. You will arrive at HaLong Meng Guesthouse and have a panoramic view of Daju Town in Xincun Village. Take the bike down to Jinsha River and take the boat to Daju Town from Daju New Ferry.

 
Drive a big slope to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and take the chairlift up to Yak Meadow (3700m) which is the best location to enjoy the nice view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. You will pay a visit to the Lama monastery and walk around the Yak Meadow.

Take the chairlift back to the Bus Station and continue the cycling to Ganhaizi Meadow, stop to visit Baishui River and the Blue Moon Valley on the way. In the afternoon, ride down to Baisha Ancient Town and visit Baisha Murals. Stay at Baisha Holiday Resort.

Day 13 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Baisha Naxi Embroidery Institute, Shuhe Ancient Town, Black Dragon Pool, Dongba Ethnic Museum
Accommodation: Baisha Holiday Resort
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit Baisha Naxi Embroidery Institute, and you will have the chance to learn how to make the local Naxi ethnic embroidery and Dongba pictograph writing on the Dongba paper. After that, ride along the Shubai Road and stop to visit Shuhe Ancient Town which is the important town of the Tea Horse Trade Caravan from the upper Mekong River to Tibet and India. You will visit the Tea Horse Trade Caravan Museum in Shuhe Old Town. 

After Shuhe, ride about 4Km to Black Dragon Pool which is the main headwater of the Yushui River which goes through the Old Town. It is just like the bright eyes of the town, shining with the wisdom. Pay a visit to the Dongba Ethnic Museum and learn the Naxi Dongba culture. Ride back to Lijiang Old Town for lunch and explore the old town free by your own. Ride back to Baisha Holiday Resort in the late afternoon.

Day 14 Departure from Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Bai
Accommodation:
Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Lijiang International Airport for returning. Service ends.

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.