8 Days Dali-Shaxi-Lijiang Cycling Tour along The Ancient Tea Horse Caravan

This 7 days Dali-Eryuan-Shaxi-Lijiang cycling tour, It will take you to experience the Tea Horse Trade Caravan including the Erhai LakeShaxi Old Town, Eryuan,  and Lijiang Old Town.

Highlights:

  • Experience the Tea Horse Trade Caravan including Shaxi Old Town, Dali Old Town, Lijiang Old Town, etc
  • Enjoy hot spring in Eryuan;
  • Step into ethnic villages to meet colorful and mysterious ethnic cultures.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Dali
  • Day 2:Dali-Haidong-Shuanglang
  • Day 3: Shuanglang-Eryuan-Liantie
  • Day 4: Liantie-Qiaohou–Shaxi 
  • Day 5: Shaxi-Shigu-Tiger Leaping Gorge Town-Shangri La
  • Day 6: Shangri La – Lijiang
  • Day 7: Shangri La Cycling Tour
  • Day 8: Departure from Lijiang

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Shanghai  Kunming –– Dali

Upon your arrival in Kunming, the driver will meet you and transfer to the railway station to take a bullet train for your trip to Dali. Upon your arrival in Dali, drive to your hotel and check in afterwards.

Meals: (No meals)

Hotel: Stay overnight in Dali Landscape Hotel(大理兰林阁酒店) or similar standard hotel.

Point A to

Point B

Travel way

Mileage (km)

Time (hrs. & mins.)

Remarks

Kunming Airport-Kunming Railway Station

Bus

26KM

1 hr

 

Kunming Railway Station-Dali Railway Station

Speed Train

33KM

2 hr

Ticket: 155.5Yuan/Pax

Dali Railway Station-Dali Old Town

Bus

36KM

1 hr

 

Day 2: Dali – Haidong – Shuanglang

In the early morning, you will start the cycling along Erhai Lake from Dali Old Town to Shuanglang Town. You will ride along the West Huanhai Road to Xiaguan Town and arrive at Erhai Lake Park for a short rest.  Ride along the East Huanhai Road to Haidong Town for your lunch with local flavor. After lunch, you will continue the cycling to [Tianjing Pagoda天镜阁景区] (Heaven Mirror), [Little Putuo Island小普陀岛] in Wase Town. Visit [Changyu Village长育村] on the way to Shuanglang Town.
Arrive in Shuanglang Town in the late afternoon and you will be free to walk around Shuanglang Old Town, explore the ethnic architecture of Bai ethnic people.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Hotel: Stay overnight in Dali Shuanglang Daoyigang Lanchao Hotel(大理双廊岛依港蓝巢酒店) or similar standard hotel.

Point A to Point B

Travel way

Mileage (km)

Time (hrs. & mins.)

Remarks

Dali Ancient Town-Caicun才村

Bus

5KM

10 Minutes

Flat road

Caicun才村-Dazhuangcun大庄村-Erhai Lake Park洱海公园

bike

26KM

2 Hours

Flat road with bike lanes

Erhai Lake Park-Haidong海东镇

bike

26KM

2 Hours

Flat road no bike lanes

Haidong-Wase挖色镇

bike

23KM

2 Hours

Flat road no bike lanes

挖色镇-Shuanglang Town双廊镇

bike

17KM

1.5 Hours

Flat road no bike lanes

 

Day 3: Shuanglang – Eryuan – Liantie

After breakfast, you will enjoy the sunrise of the [Nanzhao Love Island南诏风情岛] and [Erhai Lake洱海], 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.
Ride along the Erhai Lake from Shuanglang Town to Shangguan Town, visit  [Patron Saint Temple红山本主庙/景帝祠] on the way.

 

Start the cycling tour to Shaping Village of Shangguan Town, visit [Shaping Monday Bazaar沙坪周一集市] of Bai ethnic people. Continue the cycling to Eryuan County via Dengchuan, Yousuo Towns, visit some Bai ethnic villages on the way. You will see the wonderful farmland in [Xiashankou Hot Spring Area下山口温泉度假区], a beautiful basin of Eryuan County.
Arrive in Eryuan County, you will have lunch in Cibihu Town, ride to Fengyu Town after lunch;
Continue the riding to [Niaodiaoshan Mountain鸟吊山] with some dense and primitive forests. This riding will be a challenge of your life with a big slope to Niaodiaoshan Mountain Pass (2900 meters) from Fengyu Town(2214 meters).

You will finish the cycling today in Niaodiaoshan Mountain Pass, and drive to Liantie Town. (Note: We take bus down to Liantie Town because the road is too steep and there are two many small turns.). Arrive at Liantie Town in the late afternoon, you will have lunch at Lanxiang Orchid Inn with Bai ethnic bonfire party in the courtyard.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Hotel: Stay overnight in local Guesthouse or similar standard hotel(We have to arrange 2 hotels to stay in Liantie).

Point A to Point B

Travel way

Mileage (km)

Time (hrs. & mins.)

Remarks

Shuanglang Town to Shaping沙坪村

Bike

14KM

1 Hour

Flat road no bike lanes

Shaping-Dengchuan邓川镇-Yousuo右所镇

Bike

14KM

1 Hour

Flat road no bike lanes

Yousuo-Cibihu Lake(Eryuan County)茈碧湖

Bike

18KM

1.5 Hours

Flat road no bike lanes

Cibihu Lak茈碧湖-Fengyu(凤羽镇)

Bike

21KM

1.5 Hours

Flat road no bike lanes, Bus or Bike in discuss

Fengyu-Niaodiaoshan Mountain Pass鸟吊山

Bike

23KM

3 Hours

Uphill mountain road, Bus or Bike in discuss

Niaodiaoshan Mountain Pass鸟吊山-Liantie炼铁乡

Bus

24KM

1 Hour

Down hill and steep mountain road

 

Day 4-: Liantie – Qiaohou-Shaxi

After breakfast, you will start the riding through villages of Xinsheng, Tuguan, Yuananyi and Yanqu, arrive at Qiaohou Town(乔后镇) after 17KM riding.

The whole day you will ride along the Heihuijiang River to Shaxi Old Town; Heihuijiang River(黑惠江) is 349 kilometers long and flows through Lijiang, Dali, Menghua and Yongchang. It is known as the “one water across the four places”.

Qiaohou Town is the junction of [Misha River] and Heihuijiang River, after a break in Qiaohou Town you will continue the riding along Heihuijiang River to Shaxi Old Town. Misha River is named because of Misha Town(弥沙乡) which was the ancient tea and salt town in the past, people carried tea and salt from Misha Town and Mijing Village(弥井村) to Shaxi Old Town after 5 hours hiking in the Ancient Tea Horse Road.
After 30KM riding along the Heihuijiang Valley, you will arrive at Shaxi Old Town which was the most import town of the Ancient Tea Horse Caravan in the past. Shaxi started as a trading point for tea and horses during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). The prosperity of the town was at its height during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368–1912). It is probably the most intact horse caravan town on the Ancient tea route leading from Yunnan into Burma and Tibet and is now being preserved through a cooperation between the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH) and the People’s Government of Jianchuan County. The Sideng market square of Shaxi was added to the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites in 2001.

When you arrive in Shaxi, you will ride around Shaxi Old Town to visit Shi’ao Ancient Bridge(石鳌古桥), Yujin Bridge(玉津桥), The Ancient Stage, Sideng Street, the ancient architectures of Bai ethnic style, enjoy the ancient Tea Horse Caravan when you are walking in the ancient streets.The Heihui River (黑惠江) flows past the eastern edge of Shaxi and is crossed by many scenic old bridges. Paved and dirt paths wind along the curves of the river’s path on both sides and are ideal for a stroll, jog or bike ride. Sundown is one of the most pleasant times of day to enjoy the Heihui and its accompanying scenery.
Stay in Shaxi Old Town.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Hotel: Stay overnight in or Shaxi Aoyou Zige Hotel(沙溪古镇鳌岫紫阁酒店) or similar standard hotel.

Point A to Point B

Travel way

Mileage (km)

Time (hrs. & mins.)

Remarks

Liantie炼铁乡-Qiaohou乔后镇

Bike

17KM

1.5 Hour

Flat road no bike lanes

Qiaohou-Shaxi Old Town沙溪古镇

Bike

30KM

2 Hours

Flat road no bike lanes

Shaxi Old Town Surrounding

Bike

10KM

1 Hours

Flat road no bike lanes

 

Day 5: Shaxi – Jiuhe –Shigu- Shangri-La

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Shibaoshan Mountain, pay a visit to [Shizhongsi Grottoes] , Baoxiang Temple, Haiyunju Temple in Shibaoshan Mountain, steps up to visit Wild Monkeys behind the Baoxiang Temple. Shibaoshan (Stone Treasure Mountain) lies about 10km north of Shaxi on the road to Jianchuan, and was one of the very first nature reserves and religious sites to be officially protected in China back in 1982. 

In total there are seventeen grottoes, comprising of 140 carvings with the highest concentration around Shizhong Temple (Stone Bell Temple). Historical documents speak of other as yet discovered grottoes, and so look out for surprises while you are exploring. The carvings found here are not only some of the oldest in China but some of the most exquisite. Delicate stonework featuring, vivid images, unique meanings and strong local ethnic features. Perhaps the most noteworthy is the Yoni Shrine, a cleft in the cliffside that bears much more than a passing resemblance to the female genitalia, with a constant stream of mountain water flowing across its form. While unique in Buddhist religious sites, scholars suggest that this is related to the Bai matriarchal traditions, and it is still used by women today, who come here to pray for fertility and smooth childbirth.

Transfer to Jianhu Lake in Diannan Town, start the cycling tour around Jianhu Lake(剑湖/Sworld Lake); There are 94 species of birds belonging to 62 genera and 32 families in the Jianhu Wetland Reserve, accounting for 11.6% of the number of birds in Yunnan Province (810 species).
Ride from Jianhu Lake to Jinhua Old Town(剑川县金华古镇) for lunch.
After lunch, Ride to Jiuhe Town, a Bai ethnic town is inhabited by a lot of Bai and Naxi ethnic people. You will have a nice view of ethnic villages and farmland with red soil on the way.
Ride to Shigu Town to visit The Fist Bend of Yangtze River长江第一湾, Shigu Old Street石鼓镇集市, Stone Drum石鼓, the Iron Chains Bridge铁索桥 and The Memorial Hall of The Long March红军长征纪念馆.
You will finish the cycling in Shigu Town, and transfer to Shangri La with Yangtze River Valley scenery and the wonderful view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain玉龙雪山 and Haba Snow Mountain哈巴雪山 on the way.
Arrive in Shangri La, visit [Dukezong Old Town独克宗古城], [Guishan HillPark龟山公园], [Guishan Monastery龟山寺] and the [Giant Prayer Wheel大转经筒].
Enjoy Tibetan flavor dinner with Tibetan show;

Meals: (B, L, D)

Hotel: Stay overnight in Shangri-La Tiankui Hotel in Dukezong Old Town or similar standard hotel.

Point A to Point B

Travel way

Mileage (km)

Time (hrs. & mins.)

Remarks

Shaxi-Shibaoshan Mountain石宝山

Bus

16KM

30Minutes

Uphill Mountain Road

Shibaoshan Mountain-Shizhongsi Grottoes石钟寺石窟

Sightseeing Bus

14KM

1 Hour

Uphill Mountain Road

Shibaoshan Mountain-Jianhu Lake剑湖

Bus

20KM

30Minutes

Uphill and Downhill Mountain Road

Jianhu Lake Circle Cycling

Bike

16KM

1Hour

Flat road no bike lanes

Jianhu Lake-Jiuhe九河

Bike

38KM

2 Hours

Flat road no bike lanes

Jiuhe-Shigu石鼓镇

Bike

28KM

2 Hours

Flat road no bike lanes

Shigu-Shangri La

Bus

138KM

2 Hours

Freeway

 

Day 6: Shangri-La –Tiger Leaping Gorge Town- 

After breakfast, transfer to [Napa Lake]. Take a visit the [Tibetan villages] and the [Tibetan Family Home-Made]. Visit [Songzanlin Monastery], the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan province. 

Transfer to Lijiang in the late afternoon. Explore Lijiang Old Town including the Bar Street, Square Street, Water Wheels, Ancient Houses of Naxi ethnic people.
Lunch with Tibetan flavor in Shangri La;
Dinner with Naxi ethnic flavor and Naxi ethnic show in Lijiang;

Meals: (B, L, D)

Hotel: Stay overnight in Lijiang Pullman Resort or similar standard hotel.

Point A to Point B

Travel way

Mileage (km)

Time (hrs. & mins.)

Remarks

Dukezong Old Town-Napahai Lake纳帕海

Bus

12KM

30 Minutes

Flat road

Napahai Lake-Songzanlin Monastery松赞林寺

Bus

13KM

30 Minutes

Flat road

Songzanlin Monastery-Lijiang

Bus

170KM

3Hours

Freeway

 

Day 7: Lijiang Cycling Tour(30KM)

Located in the northwest of Yunnan Province in Southwest China, Lijiang is an ideal travel destination with a perfect combination of historical sites, snow-capped mountains, lakes, and ethnic minority cultures.It is famed worldwide for its UNESCO Heritage Site, the Old Town of Lijiang, which dates back to over 800 years ago.

Today you will follow the Josheph’s  steps and ride to the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong 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.

You will start cycling from the entrance of the park after visiting [Black Dragon Pool Park黑龙潭公园] and [Dongba Culture Museum东巴文化博物馆];
Ride 15KM to [Dongba Valley东巴谷], after a shot break, ride along the sand road to explore the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain including the Pearl Lakes珍珠湖,Water Protection Station of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain玉龙雪山水源保护站,Longnv Lake龙女湖.
You will arrive at [Yuhu Village玉湖村] for lunch in local Naxi ethnic courtyard[Yuhu Family玉湖人家餐厅], after lunch you will visit[Josheph’s Former Residence and Museum洛克故居];
About Joseph Rock and Lijiang
From 1922 to 1949, he spent most of his time studying the flora, peoples and languages of southwest China, mainly in Yunnan, Sichuan, southwest Gansu and eastern Tibet. Many of the Asian plants he collected can be seen in the Arnold Arboretum.

Rock lived in Yuhu village (called Nguluko when he was there) outside Lijiang. Many of his possessions are now local family heirlooms. The Ancient Nakhi Kingdom of Southwest China (1947) is Joseph Rock’s definitive work. Immediately prior to his death, his Naxi dictionary was finally prepared for publishing.


Ride downhill to [Baisha Old Town白沙古镇], via Yushuizhai Scenic Area, Yufeng Monastery and Yulong Village.

ill be fre Arrive in Baisha Old Town, learn how to write Dongba pictograph in Jinxiu Culture School in Baisha Street.

Ride through some wooden houses of Naxi ethnic people, arrive to visit [Shuhe Old Town束河古镇] and finish the cycling.

You will be free to explore Shuhe Old Town in the late afternoon. You also can walk around 2-3KM back to Pull man Resort from Shuhe Old Town.

Have dinner in Pullman Resort, exchange the cycling experience during your dinner.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Hotel: Stay overnight in Lijiang Pullman Resort or similar standard hotel.

Point A to Point B

Travel way

Mileage (km)

Time (hrs. & mins.)

Remarks

Black Dragon Pool-Dongba Valley

Bike

15KM

1.5 Hour

Small slope uphill and Flat road; Half bike lanes

Dongba Valley-Water Source Protection

Bike

6KM

30 Minutes

Small slope uphill sand road

Water Source Protection-Longnv Lake龙女湖

Bike

4KM

30 Minutes

Flat sand road

Longnv Lake-Yuhu Village

Bike

2KM

15 Minutes

Flat sand road

Yuhu Village-Yufeng Monastery-Baisha Old Town

Bike

10KM

1 Hour

Downhill Flat road no bike lanes

Baisha Old Town-Shuhe Old Town

Bike

5KM

30 Minutes

Flat road no bike lanes

 

Day 8: Departure from Shanghai

Free at leisure until you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Shanghai.

Meals: (B)

Service Includes:

  • Flight Tickets(EconomicClass)

Shanghai-Kunming

Lijiang-Shanghai

  • Bullet Train Ticket2nd Class Steat

Kunming-Dali

  • Bicycle Rental(including the helmet)
  • Water, fruits and other energy supplements
  • The whole-course following of the logistics support vehicle
  • 2 experienced leaders, a mechanician, 2 minibus, 1 supply truck and 1 truck
  • Meals specified in the itinerary are included (B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner)
  • 3-4* Hotel:Twin Rooms
  • The itinerary will be slightly adjusted due to the weather and traffic
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes

Service Excludes:

  • Personal expensesof a purely personal nature such as laundry, snacks, drinks and travel gears, etc.
  • Travel Insurance.Our tour package includes Travel Insurance we buy from our insurance company/agent in China. Although, we still highly suggest that you purchase your own Travel Insurance from your insurance company/agent before your trip.
  • Tips to your guide& driver