22 Days Best of Yunnan Highlights Panorama Tour

This 22 Days Yunnan Highlights Panorama tour includes: Kunming, Honghe, Xishuangbana, Dali, Diqing, and Lijiang. Travel from center of Yunnan to South Yunnan, then to North Yunnan and last to West Yunnan, you will see different landscape and scenery, meet different people, and experience different weather of Yunnan. During the tour, you will not only visit the highlights of Yunnan Province, and also experience the ethnic culture of Yi, Hani, Dai, Jinuo, Bulang, Bai, Tibetan, and Naxi Minorities. At the same time, it provides you a chance to trek at the grand gorge-Tiger Leaping Gorge. 


  • Appreciate the fabulous Yunnan natural sceneries, including the world natural heritage-the Stone Forest, acres of Yuanyang Rice Terraces, Xishuangbanna Tropical Rainforest, Pudacuo National Park, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Erhai Lake.
  • Meet colorful ethnic villages and tribal groups to appreciate the diverse ethnic cultures.
  • Visit anacient towns, historical heritage and ancient villages to discover the mysterious history of Yunnan.
  • Have a chance to trek at Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Kunming Arrival
  • Day 2: Kunming-Shilin-Jianshui
  • Day 3: Jianshui-Yuanyang
  • Day 4: Yuanyang
  • Day 5: Yuanyang-Puer
  • Day 6: Puer-Jinghong
  • Day 7: Jinghong
  • Day 8: Jinghong-Menghun-Jinghong
  • Day 9: Jinghong-Dali
  • Day 10: Dali-Shaxi
  • Day 11: Shaxi-Shangri-la
  • Day 12: Shangri-la
  • Day 13: Shangri-la-Deqin
  • Day 14: Deqin
  • Day 15: Deqin-Cizhong-Weixi-Tacheng
  • Day 16: Tacheng-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Tea&horse Guesthouse
  • Day 17:  Tea&horse Guesthouse-Tina’s Guesthouse-Lijiang
  • Day 18: Lijiang
  • Day 19: Lijiang
  • Day 20: Lijiang-Lugu Lake
  • Day 21: Lugu Lake-Lijiang
  • Day 22: Lijiang Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Kunming

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

Arrive at Kunming airport, our guide will pick up you at exit of the arrival Hall, then head to your hotel for check in.
Rest time of the day at your leisure or have a good rest after long flying.
Overnight at Kunming

Day 2 Kunming-Stone Forest-Jianshui

Sightseeing and Activities:Stone Forest, Jianshui Old Town, Family Zhu’s Garden
Accommodation: Jianshui
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Today firstly move to discover Stone Forest,which lies around 90 km in the southeast of Kunming, well-known both at home and abroad. It is a spectacular Karst landform that took shape about 270 million years ago in the Carboniferous Period.

Large Stone Forest in Shilin County, Kunming

After lunch, further the driving to Jianshui (3-3.5hrs 220km ) , a state-level historic and cultural city that has been standing there for over 1300 years.

Upom arriving, visit Family Zhus Garden (a grand complex constructed 100 years ago by a local family surnamed Zhu, with well-arranged yards, well-furnished rooms and halls, labyrinthian lanes and passages, various ornamental plants and flowers, it enjoys the fame ”the Grand View Garden at a Border Town”.)Stroll in the Old area of Jianshui to see the difference types of Old Wells in Jianshui and the Doufu workshop how to use the water for well to make the famous snack –Doufu.

Overnight at Jianshui

Day 3 Jianshui-Yuanyang

Sightseeing and Activities:Jianshui Confucious Temple, Tuanshan Village, Twin Dragon Bridge, Yuanyang
Accommodation: Yuanyang
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Morning visit Jianshui Confucius Temple ( which is the biggest in Yunnan and the second biggest of country.) Then drive to visit Tuanshan Village ( This village was founded as a mining center in the late fourteenth century. Most of its well-preserved residences, gateways, temples, ancestral halls, and walls date from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the village prospered from trade with southeast Asia, made possible by the Yunnan-Vietnam railroad.) And Twin Dragon Bridge ( This beautiful 30m bridge across the confluence of the Lu and Tachong Rivers features 17 arches, so many that it took two periods of the Qing dynasty to complete the project in 1839.)

After lunch, take another 3hrs driving to Yuanyang, a place inhabited by Hani, Yi, Yao, Zhuang and other ethnic groups. Stay in Yuanyang.   Check in your hotel after arrival.

Overnight at Yuanyang

Day 4 Yuanyang

Sightseeing and Activities:Duoyishu Village, Duoyishu Rice Terraces, local market, Qingkou Village, Bada Rice Terraces
Accommodation: Yuanyang
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Gets up early to enjoy the Sunrise view of Terrance fields at Duoyi villageAfterward, stroll in the local market ,where the most lively side of local ethnic life is displayed.

Then move to visit Qingkou Hani Village . It is a typical Hani Village, which consists of 150 families and has a population of 800 of Hani ethnic minority.This Hani village is mainly presents the common characteristics of the Hani Terraced Fields culture. In the later afternoon transfer to Bada Rice Terraces where is the best to palace of Yuanyang to take picture of terrace fields under the sunset.  

Overnight at Yuanyang

Day 5 Yuanyang-Puer

Sightseeing and Activities:Puer, ethnic villages
Accommodation: Puer
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Today continue your journey to Pu’er ( former Simao) through interesting landscapes such as Terrace fields, Tea Garden, valley etc. This journey takes 6-7hrs on the way. You can make a stops to visit local villages.
Check in your hotel after arrival.
Overnight at Pu’er

Day 6 Puer-Jinghong

Sightseeing and Activities:Wild Elephant Valley, night food market
Accommodation: Jinghong
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Morning further 2.5-3hrs transfer to Jinghong which is the capital of Xishuanbannan.

In the afternoon,  explore the Wild Elephant Valley  It is the most fascinating forest park known for primeval tropical rainforest and flocks of Asia wild elephants. The Wild Elephant Valley Rainforest Scenic Area is also called Sanchahe Forest Park. It is said that currently about 130 wild elephants frequently appear in the Wild Elephant Valley. In China, Asia elephants can only be seen in the rainforests of Xishuangbanna while the Wild Elephant Valley is the sole place where wild elephants frequently show up .

 In the evening, you can stroll in night food market to taste the local B.B.Q. Food and local snack

Overnight at Jinghong

Day 7 Jinghong

Sightseeing and Activities:Ganlanba, local morning market, Tropical Botanical Garden, Jinuo Village
Accommodation: Jinghong
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Morning, transfer across vast rubber plantation and the Mekong to Ganlanba, the main residential area of Dai, visit local morning market and explore villages in the countryside to find out the facts about their culture and authentic life.

Then  visit the Tropical Botanical Garden,  which is dedicated to preserving tropical plant diversity and stemming the tide of extinction – through plant exploration, propagation, habitat restoration, sicentific research, and education. NTBF’s Garden and preserves are safe havens for at-risk species that otherwise might disappear forever.

Afterward, move back to Jinghong, if time permits, drop in village of Jinuo people.

Overnight at Jinghong.

Day 8 Jinghong-Menghun-Jinghong 

Sightseeing and Activities:Menghun Saturday Market, Dai’s paper making village, Nannuo Mountain
Accommodation: Jinghong
Meals: breakfast, lunch

This morning, drive to Menghun to visit local Saturday market, a weekly gathering of both ethnic villagers and various local produce.Visit Dai’s paper making Village where people are still making paper with tree bark in dtraditional way and who see traditional product is adpoted for tea packing. Drop in quite and ince countryside temple to learn about Dai’s Theravada Buddhism .

In the afternoon, visit Mount. Nannuo, short hiking across aged tea tree plantation and villages of Aini, chat with the local over a cup of homegrown organic tea to find out how local life is tightly related to tea growing. After the tour,continue drive back Jinghong.

Overnight at Jinghong

Day 9 Jinghong-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:Flight to Dali, Erhai Cruise, Three Pagodas, Dali Old Town
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: breakfast

Morning drive to Jinghong airport for the flight to Dali (1hr flying time ).

Upon arrival, drive to have  the cruise tour in Erhai Lake by a small pubic boat  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.On the way back to Dali Old Town, you will have a photo stop to take picture of exterior view about Three Pagodas –which is landmark of Dali.  The Three Pagodas are made of brick and covered with white mud. As its name implies, the Three Pagodas comprise three independent pagodas forming a symmetric triangle. The elegant, balanced and stately style is unique in China’s ancient Buddhist architectures, which makes it a must-see in the tour of Dali. The Three Pagodas, visible from miles away, has been a landmark of Dali City and selected as a national treasure meriting preservation in China.

Then discover the Dali Old Town, a historically and culturally famous city of China, is renowned for her historical interest. It was set up in 1382 A.D during the Ming Dynasty as the capital of the Dali kingdom. At present, only the south and north gate towers remain standing. There are well-preserved traditional houses of the Bai Ethnic Group people.

Overnight at Dali 

Day 10 Dali-Shaxi

Sightseeing and Activities:Xizhou Old Town, Three-course Tea, Shibaoshan Mountain, Shaxi Old Town
Accommodation: Shaxi
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Today  go to visit the morning market of Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style architecture, taste their fragrant three-course tea ,which is the traditional treating for Bai people to their honored guests, and explore their distinctive culture. 

Shaxi Old Town in Jianchuan County,Dali

After that, transfer to Jianchuan County, (2-2.5hrs) to visit Shibaoshan Mountain which the famous writer Jinyong extolled as “The Treasure of South China” is located at Jianchuan County, Dali. There are three temple groups: Stone Bell(Shizhong),Lion Pass(Shizi Guan) and Shadeng Village. They include some of the best Bai stone carvings in southern China and offer insights into life at the Nanzhao court of the 9th century.  Then move to Shaxi Old Town and dinner on your own account.

Overnight at Shaxi.

Day 11 Shaxi-Shangri-la

Sightseeing and Activities:Shaxi Old Town, Arrive in Shangri-la
Accommodation: Shangri-la
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Morning Stroll in Shaxi Old Town ( It is a famous attraction once played an important role as a bustling trade point on the Tea Horse Caravan Road.Walking down the streets of Shaxi is indeed like stepping back into history. The 700-year-old theatre(寺登戏台), wonderfully scenic Yujin bridge(玉津桥), 600-year-old Xingjiao Temple (兴教寺), spectacular Ouyang Courtyard (欧阳大院) and vibrant Friday market(星期五市集) make it a perfect fit to meet old China).

The continue transfer to  Zhongdian (Shangri-La )with driver (4-5hrs). Check in your hotel after arrival.

Overnight at Shangri-la.

Day 12 Shangri-la

Sightseeing and Activities:Pudacuo National Park, Ganden Songzanlin Monastery, Dukezong Old Town
Accommodation: Shangri-la
Meals: breakfast, lunch

In the morning, discover the Pudacuo National Park  ( 30KM away from the downtown. Pudacuo qualifies as a natural wonderland according to any standard. It contains endemic species of fish found no where else in the world, rare and beautiful orchids, black-necked cranes, and taxus yunnanensis, a yew whose extracts are indispensable to the creation of many cancer-treating drugs. Nestled in the mountains of Southwest China, the park is an integral part of the Three Parallel Rivers Scenic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Chinas most popular tourist destinations.).

In the afternoon, visit the Ganden Songzanglin Monastery (the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. The Songzanlin Monastery is often called the little Potala Palace because of its traditional Tibetan architectural style. In 1679 the fifth Dalai Lama chose the monastery’s location by divination and it quickly became the most important Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan.).

At last ,stroll in Dukezong Old Town where you can see a big pray wheel about 10 meters high and the local house. In the evening, taste the butter oil and Tibetan snack with Tibetan dance and song in a Tibetan family.

Overnight at Zhangdian

Day 13 Shangri-la-Deqin

Sightseeing and Activities:Jinsha River, Dongzhulin Monastery, Baima Snow Mountain, Feilaisi Temple 
Accommodation: Deqin
Meals: breakfast, lunch

In the morning, drive 4 to 5 hours to Deqin County (3450m altitude) 80% of its 55,000 inhabitants are Tibetan. If you can deal with the altitude (3,550m) it makes a great place to hike from, and if you can not then just hanging out in town is also very rewarding.

Quzonggong area in Baima Snow Mountain in Diqing, Yunnan

On the way, you will take some photos at the Great Jinsha River Corner  From Shangri-la country to Bengzilan Town of Deqin country along the Yunnan- Tibet highway, at the highway turning corner at less than 10km from Bengzilan, it is the great Jinsha River Corner. After turning for 180 degrees here, the Jingsha River flows slowly to Bengzilan, landscape enjoyment terrace is set beside the highwayAfter turning for 180 degrees here, the Jingsha River flows slowly to Bengzilan. Landscape enjoyment terraces is set up beside the highway. Stop to visit Dongzhulin Monastery, which was built in 1667, the sixth year of the Kang Xi Period. Its original name was “Chongchongcuogang temple”, meaning “the temple by the crane lake”) as well as the point 4292m altitude in the pass of Baima Snow Mountain.It is snow all year round, like a white horse of Mercedes-Benz, thus the name “White Horse Snow Mountain”. There are uncommon plants here: more than ten varieties of star-leaf grass, sassafras, and rare animals such as golden monkey, clouded leopard, and red panda. It is called the “King of the temperate alpine flora and fauna” and has a high scientific value.

Upon arrival,  check in your hotel nearby Feilaisi Temple.

Overnight at hotel nearby Feilaisi

Day 14 Deqin

Sightseeing and Activities:Sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain, Feilaisi Temple, Mingyong Glacier
Accommodation: Deqin
Meals: breakfast, lunch

If the weather is permits, gets up early to enjoy the sunrise of Meili Snow Mountain. ( It is considers by 13 peaks. Kangwaboge Peak is the main peak of the mountain with height of 6740m which is the highest point of Yunnan Province. Because of restrictions and dangerous conditions, none of the major peaks in the range have ever been summited.) 

Meili Snow Mountain Diqing

Then make a tour of Feilaisi Temple ( it was first built in 1614A.D. The temple is right face the peaks of Meili Snow Mountain. Hence it become the best place to enjoy the amazing sunrise view of Meili Mt. )  Continue to star your tour of Mingyong Glacier (located on the foot of the Kagebo, the main peak of the well-known MeiLi Snow Mountains.MingYong Glacier is a modern glacier with lowest altitude and lowest latitudes in nowadays’ land which is about 11.7km long and over 500m wide.
Take a nice stroll in the Tibetan Village nearby before transfer back to your hotel.

Overnight at hotel nearby Feilaisi

Day 15 Deqin-Cizhong-Weixi-Tacheng

Sightseeing and Activities:Cizhong Village, Cizhong Church
Accommodation: Tacheng
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Morning further  driving to Weixi ( 4-5hours ) Enjoy the landscape on the way, have a stop at Cizhong village. It borders Gongshan County of Nujiang Prefecture in the east and Cikatong Village in Xiaru Township in the west. It is connected to Badong Village in Yanmen Township in the south, and is connected with the Chunduole Village in Yanmen Township, with an average altitude of 1,800 meters. You will see Cizhong Catholic Church ,which was first constructed in 1909 and became the major church of Yunnan Parish after its completion. In 1987, it was listed as a key protected cultural relic site of Yunnan Province. 

Then further the driving to Tacheng via Weixi (1.5hrs ).  

Overnight at Tacheng.

Day 16 Tacheng-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Tea&horse Guesthouse

Sightseeing and Activities:Tacheng Black Snub-nosed Monket Park, Tiger Leaping Gorge 
Accommodation: Tea&horse Guesthouse
Meals: breakfast, lunch

After the breakfast ,  visit  Tacheng Black Snub-Nosed Monkey Park , which is known as the Yunnan golden monkey, is an endangered species of primate endemic to China. Tacheng Black Snub-Nosed Monkey National Park in Weixi County covers an area of 334.16 square kilometers and it is a paradise on earth where people and nature, also people and people live in harmony.

Afterward continue your driving to Tiger Leaping Gorge ( 5-6hrs ), 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. Stop at Shigu for taking a  bird view of  The First Bend on the Yangtze River.  Arrive at Qiaotou Town,  change into local minibus for further into Tea Horse G.H.

Day 17 Tea&horse Guesthouse-Tina’s Guesthouse-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Tiger Leaping Gorge Trekking
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: breakfast, lunch

After breakfast,  begin a trekking of the highligt trekking section of TLG
Trekking route :Tea Horse G.H.–Half way G.H. (2hrs )- Tina’s G.H. (1.5-2hrs) 
Trekking time : 3.5-4hrs. 

After trekking, transfer to Lijiang accompany with the driver (2.5hrs) , upon arrival, check in hotel in Lijiang Old Town. 

Overnight at Lijiang 

Day 18 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Black Dragon Pond, Dongba Culture Museum, Lijiang Old Town
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Morning  visit the Black Dragon Pond ( It was built in 1737 during the Qing dynasty and offers views of the region’s tallest mountain,Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, over its white marble bridge.As the water here is a lucid green color, it gained another name Jade Spring Park (Yuquan Park.) and know about the Dongba Culture of Naxi people at the Dongba Culture Museum nearby.

After that , enjoy your leisure time of the rest day in Lijiang Dayan Old Town  (  also called Lijiang Old Town, is a well-preserved ancient town for Naxi ethnic group. Old Town of Lijiang was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, including Dayan Old Town, Shuhe Old Town and Baisha Old Town. It is one of the four best-preserved ancient cities in China, along with Langzhong Ancient Town in Sichuan, Pingyao Ancient City in Shanxi and Shexian Ancient Town in Anhui.)

Overnight at Lijiang

Day 19 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yak Meadow, Impression Lijiang Show, Baisha Village and murals
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Morning drive to visit The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. Consisting of 13 peaks, among which Shanzidou is the highest with an altitude of 5,600 meters (18,360 feet), the mountain stretches a length of 35 kilometers (22 miles) and a width of 20 kilometers (13 miles). Looking from Lijiang Old Town in the south which is 15 kilometers (nine miles) away, the snow-covered and fog-enlaced mountain resembles a jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence the name.) Then with a chair lift ride to up and down to visit the Yak Meadow (3700m ) this place is a quiet grass field. Most people say that this place is comparable to Switzerland and Sweden when it comes to its mountainous beauty.

Shanzidou (Fan Peak) of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang

Afterward, enjoy the outdoor Show  Impress Lijiang  (regular seat )  directed in Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M). A cultural show demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area. The show takes place inside Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park at 3500m in an outdoor theater specifically designed to showcase the mountain which is used as a backdrop. The production itself was designed by Zhang Yimou, Fan Yue and Wang Chaoge, a cast of over 500 people, and a number of horses.

In the afternoon,walk around the Baisha Village and visit Baisha Fresco (about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997.)

Overnight at Lijiang

Day 20 Lijiang-Lugu Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Lugu Lake, Liwubi Island, Bonfire Party
Accommodation: Lugu Lake
Meals: breakfast, lunch

The crystal-clear Lugu Lake in lijiang

Early in the morning, dive 4-5 hrs on the spectacle mountain road to visit the mysterious Lugu Lake. The formation of the lake is thought to have occurred in a geological fault belonging to the geological age of the Late Cenozoic. It is an alpine lake at an elevation of 2,685 metres (8,809 ft) and is the highest lake in the Yunnan Province. The lake is surrounded by mountains and has five islands , four peninsulas, fourteen bays and seventeen beaches. On the way, enjoy the beautiful view among the huge mountains and rivers.

In the afternoon, take the canoes to visit Liwubi Island in Lugu Lake. And visit a local Mosu People’s Family to experience Mosuo People’s primitive customs of a matriarchal society. Join a Bonfire Party with the local people in the evening.

Overnight at Lugu Lake

Day 21 Lugu Lake-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Zhameisi Lamaist Monastery, Drive back to Lijiang
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: breakfast, lunch

In the morning, drive to visit the Zhamei Lamaist Monastery  ,which is the largest and Pumi Tibetan Buddhism (commonly known as Lamaism) temple. Temple occupies the entire 24,000 square meters, the main hall of the main building, about Piandian, were three pavilions, civil structures, Houqianghuangwa, erected a gold-plated copper roof, the magnificent, become a spectacular. 

Then drive back to Lijiang (4-5hrs). Upon arrival, check in your hotel in Lijiang. Free at leisure the rest time of the day.

Overnight at Lijiang

Day 22 Lijiang Departure

Sightseeing and Activities:Lijiang Departure
Accommodation: none
Meals: breakfast

After the breakfast, you will transfer to Lijiang airport for the morning flight to next destination.

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;
  • Air ticket from Jinghong to Dali.

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.