15 Days Yunnan-Tibet Small Group Tour with Mount Everest Adventure

In this Yunnan Highlights and Tibet Everest Adventure Tour, you will first explore the top attractions range from natural wonders to ethnic villages in Yunnan. Start you tour from Kunming, then Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La. Finished your tour in Shangri-La, then fly directly from Deqin Airport to Lhasa. Then, you will visit the city highlights of Lhasa and enjoy an amazing adventure to the Everest Base Camp.

Note: The flight from Shangri-La to Tibet is only available from March to October. 

Highlights:

  • Visit the highlights of Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La.
  • Explore the mysterious Tibet including Lhasa, Gyangtse, Shigatse and Mt. Everest.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Kunming Arrival
  • Day 2: Kunming – Stone Forest – Kunming – Dali
  • Day 3: Dali
  • Day 4: Dali – Lijiang
  • Day 5: Lijiang
  • Day 6: Lijiang – Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-La
  • Day 7: Shangri-La
  • Day 8: Shangri-La – Lhasa
  • Day 9: Lhasa
  • Day 10: Lhasa
  • Day 11: Lhasa – Gyangtse – Shigatse
  • Day 12: Shigatse – Rongphu Monastery
  • Day 13: Rongphu Monastery – Shigatse
  • Day 14: Shigatse – Lhasa
  • Day 15: Lhasa Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Kunming Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities: Arrive in Kunming
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals:None

You’ll begin your journey to the diverse and captivating province of Yunnan from the capital city, Kunming. Upon arrival at the Kunming International Airport, meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel.
 
If time permits, you will have a Kunming city tour on your own. 

Day 2 Kunming -Stone Forest-Kunming-Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities:the Stone Forest, Flowers and Birds Market, Green Lake
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

At 09:00 am, meet your tour guide & driver at Jinma Biji Archway and then transfer to the 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.

In the afternoon, drive back to Kunming and visit Birds and Flowers Market. Then stroll around the Green Lake, and enjoy local dancing and music.

Day 3 Kunming-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities: Xizhou Morning Market, Zhoucheng Village, Erhai Lake, Three Pagodas
Accommodation:Taiheju Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast,Lunch

In the morning, take the high speed train to Dali (2 hours) to visit Xizhou Town Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture.Transfer to visit Zhoucheng Village Zhoucheng Village and the Bai people’s Tie-dying cloth workshop where you can take some special souvenir with the Bai ethnic style. 

In the afternoon, take a cruise to Jinsuo Islet in 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. Then continue the tour to Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery which has a history of over 1,800 years 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.Drive back to your hotel. 

Day 4 Dali – Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Dali Old Town, Black Dragon Pool, Lijiang Old Town, Baisha Old Town
Accommodation: Baisha Holiday Resort or similar
Meals: Breakfast,Lunch

In the morning, explore Dali Old Town, you can stroll around Dali Old Town to visit Foreigner’s Street, the Ancient City Wall and the Gate Tower.

Then, drive 2 hours to Lijiang to visit Lijiang Old Town which is being reported as one of China Historical Cultural Cities in the whole world’s cultural heritages. Also pay a visit to Black Dragon Pool, the main headwater of the Yushui River which goes through the Old Town. In the late afternoon, transfer to visit Baisha Old Town,  which is an enchanting traditional Naxi style old town. 

Day 5 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Baisha Murals, Yuhu Village, Former Residence of Joseph Rock, Mufu Palace, Wangu Tower
Accommodation:Baisha Holiday Resort or similar
Meals: Breakfast,Lunch

This morning, walk to visit the Baisha Mural about 600 years old, which is a part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Then, drive to Yuhu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. When walking into this authentic Naxi Village, you’ll see unique stone houses, Naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, kids playing, a tranquil Yuhu Lake…Explore leisurely around the village and then get to the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, who was an Austrian-American Botanist came to Lijiang and stayed in Yuhu Village for 27 years and made huge research work on Naxi minority.

In the afternoon, take a leisure walk up the Lion Hill and climb up the 33-meter-tall Wanggu Tower – the landmark building of Lijiang to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole old town and countryside scenery, as well as overlook the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance. Later, follow a trip to Ming-dynasty style Mufu Palace, the “Forbidden City” of Lijiang to know Tusi’s ruling history and appreciate Naxi people’s brilliant culture and fine arts. 

Option: If you don’t want to choose our Lijiang city tour, you also can take our option of 1 Day Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Group Tour (Price: USD 150/Person extra).

Day 6 Lijiang – Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities: the First Bend of Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Ancient Town, Guishan Hill, Giant Prayer Wheel
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, drive to Shangri-La city. On the way, have a view of the First Bend of the Yangtze River from afar and continue to visit Tiger Leaping Gorge which is 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. 

In the afternoon, drive about 2 hours to Shangri-La and check in hotel. Later, stroll around Dukezong Ancient Town and walk up to the top of Guishan Hill to see the Grand Prayer Wheel and have a panoramic view of Shangri-La city and Dukezong Ancient Town.

Day 7 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Songzanlin Monastery, Napahai Lake
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit Songzanlin Monastery , the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere. Transfer to visit Napahai Lake. Pay a visit to a local Tibetan family and have a simple Tibetan lunch for free.

Day 8 Shangri-La – Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Fly from Shangri-La to Lhasa
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Take the flight to Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Region. You are warmly welcomed to Tibet by saying Tashi Delek at the airport by your tour guide and an experienced driver and send you to your well reserved hotel. Then have a good rest to acclimatize the high altitude in the afternoon. 

–Lhasa, is the capital city of  Tibet Autonomous Region. As the political, economic, cultural and transport center of the region, it has a history of more than 1,300 years and an area of 30,000 square km with a population of 400,000. Lhasa is home to the Tibetan, Han as well as other ethnic groups, but the Tibetan ethnic group makes up about 80 percent of the total population.

Day 9 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:The Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, go to visit the famous Potala Palace and explore the grandest of this myriad chapels, you will experience its audience halls, the jeweled and Golden burial chortens (stupa Tombs) of past Dalai Lamas, and tremendous number of Buddhist frescoes, thangkas, combinations of mandala, etc. In the afternoon, pay a visit to the holist temple in Tibet, the Johkang Temple, built during Songtsen Gonpo’s reign by princess Wencheng of Tang Dynasty, 647 A.D, and its famous Barkor Kora.

Day 10 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Drepung Monastery, Nechung monastery, Sera Monastery
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drepung Monastery is situated at the foothill of a mountain and was founded by Jamyang Choeje in 1416. It was once home of 10000 monks and Ganden Podrang in Drepung and is famous because it was the government center during fifth Dalai Lama which later moved to the famous Potala Palace. By the time you can also visit the Nechung Monastery located 1 km southeast of Drepung and is the abode of the protector deity pehar and the seat of the state Oracle of Tibet.

In the afternoon exploring the Sera Monastery which was founded in 1419 by Tsongkapa’s disciple Jamchen Choeje. The most attractive is that Monks debiting is held there in the courtyard at around 6-7:30 in the afternoon section. Overnight at Lhasa (Notice: the sequence of sightseeing of first two days may be adjusted according to the reservation of visiting Potala Palace).

Day 11 Lhasa-Gyangtse-Shigatse

Sightseeing and Activities:Yamdro-tso Lake, Kubum monastery
Accommodation:  Shigatse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Passing by the green farmland of Nyangchu Valley, Yamdro-tso lakes, karo-la glacier roadside at 4960m. We move westwards to the second biggest city Shigatse, the Area spiritually hosted by Pamchan Lama.

The most important attraction for today is Yamdro-tso Lake and Kubum monastery in Gyantse. From the top of the pass kangpa-la at 4700m high in clear weather, you can see the fabulous shade of deep turquoise, Yamdro-tso Lake is shaped like coiling scorpion with deep blue in color.
 
Kubum monastery, meaning 100,000 images in Tibetan, is the town’s foremost attraction. The 35m-high chorten (stupa) with its white layers trimmed with decorative stripes and its crown-like golden dome, is awe-inspiring. You can visit every chambers in the monastery.

Day 12 Shigatse – Rongphu Monastery

Sightseeing and Activities:Mt. Lhotse(8516m),Mt. Everes(8848m), Mt. Qowowuyag(8201m),Mt Mayalu(8463m), Rongphu Monastery
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive westwards the Friendship way to Tingri. On the way you will pass the checking point with your TTB permit, travel permit and passport, and purchase the entrance of Everest Base Camp.

There is about 90km bumpy road from Tingri to Rongpuk. From Tingri to E.B.C with the very rough road, pass the wild grassland, cross the rapids river and high mountains. If it is in clear whether, you can have a glimpse of 4 mountains which is 8000m high or more, such as: Mt. Lhotse(8516m),Mt. Everes(8848m), Mt. Qowowuyag(8201m),Mt Mayalu(8463m). Overnight at Rongphu Monastery Tent.

Day 13 Rongphu Monastery – Shigatse

Sightseeing and Activities:Rongphu Monastery, the sunrise of Mt. Everest, Mt.Everest Base Camp
Accommodation: Shigatse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Early in the morning to see the sunrise from Rongphu then to view Mt. Everest. It is fabulous and splendid. After walking half of an hour arrive at Everest Base camp ( Or you also can trekking to Base Camp around 1.5-2 hours one way. It’s interesting and much more warm, but hard to breath).

Hiking up to the top of the photo point to take pictures of the splendid-Mt. Everest. Then late in the afternoon around 13:00 go down from E.B.C back to Tingri by friend-ship highway back to Shigaste.

Day 14 Shigatse-Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:the Tashilunpo monastery
Accommodation: Lhasa
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

We spend about 4 hours to drive back to Lhasa from Shigatse. On the way, we will visit the largest Monastery in west Tibet, the Tashilunpo monastery, as the last but famous historic sites for your Tibet tour. Tashilunpo monastery is one of the the six great Gelukpa institutions and was founded in 1447 by a disciple of Tsongkapa, Genden drup who was first dalai lama. Jamkhang Chenmo, containing the world’s largest gilded copper image(26m high) of future god Jampa. Drive along the Friend-ship Highway back to Lhasa.

Day 15 Departure from Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Departure from Lhasa
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast

You will be free in Lhasa City in the morning until you take the flight back. Service ends.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostel
Kunming Softel Hotel Wenhui Hotel Jinhua Hotel T&T Story Hotel
Dali Hilton Dali Resort & Spa Shouyi Boutique Hotel Dali Taihe Boutique Inn Dali Fengxue Gucheng
Lijiang Pullman Hotel Wangfu Hotel Liwang Hotel Baisha Holiday Resort
Shangri-La Shangri-La Hotel Shangri-La Old Town Hotel Moon City Hotel Wu Fu South Yunnan Boutique Inn

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodations as listed in the itinerary;
  • Sharing English-speaking tour guide;
  • Sharing vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • High speed train ticket from Kunming to Dali(2nd class seat).

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Accommodations not listed in the itinerary;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.