9 Days Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri-La High Speed Train Tour

Join our Yunnan classic tours and find a place to celebrate life. Spring city Kunming with the Stone Forest, traditional architecture complex of Bai minority in Daili and tranquil Lijiang old town. All of these will captivate you and leave a deep impression for your tour in Yunnan. Take Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La as the most popular destinations of Yunnan Province. 

Highlights

  • Appreciate the fabulous natural sceneries, including the world natural heritage-the Stone Forest, Tiger Leaping Gorge and Pudacuo National Park.
  • Meet diverse Yunnan ethnic cultures of Bai, Tibetan and Naxi.
  • Explore the profoud history of Yunnan in ancient towns.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Kunming Arrival
  • Day 2: Kunming
  • Day 3: Kunming – Dali
  • Day 4: Dali – Shaxi – Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Day 5: Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri-La
  • Day 6: Shangri-La
  • Day 7: Shangri-La – Lijiang
  • Day 8: Lijiang
  • Day 9: Lijiang Departure

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Kunming Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities:the Green Lake if time permits
Accommodation:Kunming
Meals:None

The Green Lake Park(Cuihu Park) in Kunming

Welcome to Kunming, the Spring City of China! Upon arrival at the Kunming airport/train station, the local tour guide and driver will meet you in the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel.You’ll begin your journey to the diverse and captivating province of Yunnan from the capital city, Kunming.

After a short rest, stroll in the most picturesque park in Kunming urban area – the Green Lake Park, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings. Here you can share the happiness of local people’s doing tai chi, performing local opera, and other vibrant activities. If you visit the park in November or December, you will see the grandeur of huge flocks of red-beaked seagulls that migrate there from Siberia.

Day 2 Kunming-Stone Forest-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:the Stone Forest, Qixing Village, the Flowers and Birds Market
Accommodation:Kunming
Meals:Breakfast, Luch

Large Stone Forest in Shilin County, Kunming

After breakfast, you’ll be driven 86 km to the renowned Stone Forest, the ‘First Wonder of the World’. You’ll marvel at its natural stone masterpieces and be bewitched by the intricate formations. You will feel like come into a ‘stone world’.

Afterwards, visit Qixing Village of Sani Ethnic People, to admire their colorful minority costumes and exotic tradition cultures. You’ll have a nice chance to listen to the touching love story of Ashima told by local old people. The Sani minority people are one group of the branches of the Yi. The Sani Minority Villages around the Stone Forest cluster many small Yi ethnic villages.

After the tour, be transferred to Kunming and visit the Flowers and Birds Market in the downtown. Then, drive back to the hotel for rest.

Day 3 Kunming-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:the Three-pagoda in Chongshen Temple, Erhai Lake Cruise, Xizhou Town, Zhoucheng Village, Dali Ancient Town
Accommodation:Dali
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Reflection Park of Three Pagodas in Dali City

In the morning, take high speed train to Dali (2 hours), upon your arrival, you driver and tour guide will pick you up and then take you to visit the Three Pagodas in Chongshen 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.

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 souvenir with the Bai ethnic style.

At night, you can visit the Dali Ancient Town by yourself, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the relax time with local people. After climbing up to the Ancient City Wall of Dali, you will have a panoramic view of the Erhai Lake.

Day 4 Dali-Shaxi-Tiger Leaping Gorge

Sightseeing and Activities:Shaxi Old Town, Shibaoshan Mountain,the Ancient Grottoes of Shizhong Temple, Baoxiang Hanging Temple, Shigu Old Town, the Stone Drum, the First Bend of Yangtze River, the Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge
Accommodation:Tina’s Guesthouse
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Shaxi Old Town in Jianchuan County,Dali

This morning, drive to visit Shaxi Old Town. Shaxi is the last remaining ancient market town of its kind on the Tea & Horse Caravan Trail. This trail is a trading route that connected Tibet, Sichuan, and Yunnan to countries in southeast Asia, also called the Southern Silk Road.The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has listed Shaxi as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world in 2001.

Then drive to Shibaoshan. The most prominent sight at Shi Bao Shan is the Stone Bell Temple with its 139, well preserved stone carvings. These magnificent stone carvings can date back as far as 1300 years to the once powerful Nanzhao Kingdom during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Explore the ancient temple complex including Baoxiang Temple, Haiyun Temple, Shizhong Temple and the Ancient Grottoes. If you are lucky enough, you can also see a lot of wild monkey group around Baoxiang Temple.

Afterwards, go to the First Bend on the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, visit the Iron Chain Bridge and the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in the Shigu Old Town. The town of Stone Drum got its name from a large, cylindrical, marble tablet shaped like a drum. The scenery is magnificent as the road running through the Lijiang valley which is filled with wheat fields and drying haystacks. 

Visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, 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. 

Tonight you will stay overnight at Tina’s Guest House. 

Day 5 Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Tiger Leaping Gorge trekking tour, Dukezong Old Town, Guishan Hill Park, the Giant Prayer Wheel
Accommodation:Shangri-La
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, you can have your free time around Tina’s Guest House.

Optional: you can also take the Tiger Leaping Gorge trekking tour. Start from Tina’s Guest House passing a small but high waterfall on the way and trek to Half-way Guesthouse, you can enjoy the wonderful Jade Dragon Snow Mountain facing to Bendiwan Village, then have a rest. Go on trekking to a place named 14 Gongli(14km). The driver will pick you up there. Afterwards drive to visit Walnut Grove Garden Village.

Afternoon, you’ll head for Shangri-La, the former Zhongdian which is well-known as the paradise destination for every tourist. Upon arrival in Shangri-La, you will have entered the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys. Walk 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 county and Dukezong Ancient Town. 

Day 6 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Songzanlin Monastery, the Bita Lake & Shudu Lake, Pudacuo National Park, Dabao Monastery
Accommodation:Shangri-La
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit the Ganden Sumtseling 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.

And afterwards you’ll visit the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National ParkPudacuo National Park is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. While 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.

Visit Dabao Monastery on the way back from Pudacuo National Park. Then drive back to the hotel. 

Day 7 Shangri-La – Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Lijiang Old Town, Black Dragon Pool, Shuhe Old Town
Accommodation:Lijiang
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Black Dragon Pool in Lijiang

Drive to Lijiang. You will be relaxed around Lijiang Old Town, a well-preserved old city of ethnic minorities with brilliant culture, is a central town of the Lijiang Autonomous County of the Naxi Ethnic Minority in Yunnan Province. Located on the plateau which is 2,400 meters above the sea level and embraced by the tree-covered Lion Mountain in the west, Elephant and Golden Row Mountains in the north, vast fertile fields in the southeast and crystal clear water running through, the old town looks like a big jade ink slab, therefore got the alias-the Town of Big Ink Slab (Dayanzhen).

Then visit the Black Dragon Pool(also Heilongtan), or Jade Spring(Yuquan) Park is the main headwater of the Yushui River which goes through the Old Town. People believe that the gods of the Naxi people are living in the chestnut woods, beside the mouth of springs, behind the carved doors and below the bridges. The springs come from the god-protected mountains and gather in this place and finally form the dragon pool. Then water goes down a waterfall and becomes the Yuhe River, pouring life to the Old Town.

Afterwards, visit Shuhe Old Town. It is not only a very important town in the Tea-horse Road that leads to Tibet, but also a famous cobbler town. The cobblers here are as skillful as those in Italy. The leather products that they made are the best seller in Tea-horse Road. Because of trading activities along this road, the Naxi people gradually gave up the nomadic life and settled for farming and later started to do business.

Day 8 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yuhu Village and the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, Baisha Village and Murals
Accommodation:Lijiang
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy the sunrise of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lijiang Ancient Town in the morning, drive about 30KM to Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M), you will take the sightseeing bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe River, take the chairlift up to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cableway will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around 1 hour in the original forest in Spruce Meadow(3200M).

After lunch, you you’ll visit Yuhu Village and the Former Residence of Joseph Rock who was an Austria-American botanist and explorer, lived in Yuhu village and other places in that region from 1922 to 1949. He was also a naturalist and Photographer, and the first foreign scholar to introduce Lijiang ethnic culture to the western world.

Stroll through Baisha Old Town, which is an enchanting traditional Naxi style old town. Visit the Baisha Mural about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997.

Day 9 Lijiang Departure

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

Today, drive to the airport in Lijiang and departure from Lijiang. Service ends. 

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostels
Kunming Sofitel Hotel Jingjiang Hotel Long Teng Hotel Tu Tu Inn
Dali Hilton Dali Resort and Spa E-outfitting Boutique Hotel Gnosis Hotel Fengxuegucheng
Shangrila Shangri-La Hotel E-outfitting Boutique Hotel Bodhi Boutique Hotel Wu Fu South Yunnan Boutique Inn
Lijiang InterContinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort E-outfitting Boutique Hotel Liwang Hotel Flowers Hall Inn

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;

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.