9 Days Yunnan-Guizhou Winter Birding Tour with Dianchi Lake, Caohai Lake, Nianhu Lake and Dashanbao Nature Reserve

This 9 Days Yunnan-Guizhou Winter Birding Tour will offer you some typical birding places both in Yunnan and Guizhou for you, like Dianchi Lake, Caohai Lake, Nianhu and Dashanbao. In Caohai Lake, there are plenty of aquatic animals and plants, waterfowls and fish. All of these add more color to the lake. Dashanbao Black-necked Crane Nature Reserve, situated in Dashanbao Township , Zhaotong, is a typical subtropical plateau meadows scenic area. Nianhu Lake of Daqiao Township, Huize County, is a province-level nature reserve dedicated to black-necked cranes.


  • Watch diverse featured birds of Yunnan in favorable places.
  • Appreciate the charming scenery along the way.

Brief Itinerary:

  • Day 1 Arrive in Kunming
  • Day 2 Kunming-Huize-Nianhu Lake
  • Day 3 Nianhu Lake-Huize 
  • Day 4 Huize-Weining County-Caohai Lake
  • Day 5 Caohai Lake
  • Day 6 Caohai Lake-Zhaotong 
  • Day 7 Zhaotong-Dashanbao
  • Day 8 Dashanbao 
  • Day 9 Dashanbao-Zhaotong-Kunming

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities: Arrive in Kunming
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: Lunch

Arrive in Kunming this morning, drive to Kunming Dianchi Lake Dam for bird( seagull) watching. Diandhi Lake Dam, on the eastern shore of the Dianchi Lake, the dam is one of the popular sites in Kunming’s Dianchi Lake Holiday Resort 8 km from downtown. During the Chinese New Year Festival, herds of locals and tourists will gather here to feed seagulls and admire scenery of the West Hill. 

Day 2 Kunming-Huize-Nianhu Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Kunming to Daqiao Township, Nianhu Lake, Black-necked Crane Watching
Accommodation: Huize
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, pick up at your hotel, drive from Kunming to Daqiao Township of Huize County (about 270 km, 4 hours driving). Then visit Nianhu Lake Black-necked Crane Nature Reserve. After the sunset, go back the hotel. 

Day 3 Nianhu Lake-Huize

Sightseeing and Activities: Nianhu Lake Birding
Accommodation: Huize
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

My Yunnan Bird Tour to Dashanbao Nature Reserve in Zhaotong, Nianhu Lake in Huize and Caohai Lake in Guizhou

Get up in the early morning before the sunrise. Walk to Lijiawan village(李家湾) by passing through mountain road. Standing at Lijiawan village to watch the panorama of Nianhu Lake. At this time, you could see the black-necked crane flying over when the sun is rising. 

At noon, you can have a rest in the hotel. About 3:00 pm, go on your bird watching at Nianhu Lake until the black-necked fly away.

In the evening, drive back to Huize County for overnight. 

Day 4 Huize-Weining County-Caohai Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Huize-Weining County-Caohai Lake, Birding
Accommodation: Weining County
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Drive from Huize to Weining County in Guizhou. On the way, you  will have many stops to watch birds and beautiful scenery. After arrival, transfer to Caohai Birds Viewing Platform for birding. Afterwards, stay overnight in Weining County. 

Day 5 Caohai Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Caohai Lake Birding
Accommodation: Caohai Lake
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

A whole day birding in Caohai Lake

Day 6 Caohai Lake-Zhaotong

Sightseeing and Activities: Caohai Lake-Zhaotong
Accommodation: Zhaotong
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Go on your bird watching in Caohai Lake till noon. After lunch, drive to Zhaotong City for overnight. 

Day 7 Zhaotong-Dashanbao

Sightseeing and Activities: Zhaotong-Dashanbao
Accommodation: Zhaotong
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Jigong Mountain of Dashanbao Nature Reserve, Zhaotong

After breakfast, drive to Dashanbao township of  Zhaotong City( about 235 km, 5 hours driving).  Zhaotong is aprefecture-level city located in the northeast corner of Yunnan province of Southwest China.  

During the road to Dashanbao Scenic Resort, you will pass through “Xianrentian” , a meadow which you will feel like in Mongolia.  Then visit Tiaodun Lake. About 5:00 pm, climb up to Jigongshan Mountain  to watch the sunset. Jigongshan Mountain is a spectacular scenery in Dashanbao Scenic Area. The riverbank suddenly narrowed when flows into this area, and the high mountains beans are interlockin. With a drop with more than 2000 m, formed the very magnificent wonders like sea of clouds. It’s known as the Grand Canyon in China.

Day 8 Dashanbao

Sightseeing and Activities: Dahaizi Sunrise, Dashanbao Bird Watching
Accommodation: Zhaotong
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, drive to Dahaizi in Dashanbao Black-necked Crane Nature Reserve at about 6:00 am. The sunrise there can not be missed and then start your one day bird watching here. This afternoon, you will come back to hotel until the cranes fly back to their nests. 

Day 9 Dashanbao-Zhaotong-Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities: Dahaizi Sunrise, Dashanbao Bird Watching, Departure
Meals: Breakfast

This morning, drive to Dahaizi in Dashanbao Black-necked Crane Nature Reserve at about 6:00 am. Enjoy the sunrise and bird-watching at the same time. In the afternoon,drive back to Kunming(about 6 hours driving),service ends.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostels
Kunming Sofitel Hotel Kunming Jinjiang Hotel Kunming Longteng Hotel T&T Story Hotel
Huize / Huize Decheng Ramada  Hotel  Huize Hotel  Shiguang Bieyuan Inn
Caohai Lake / / / Local Guesthouse
Zhaotong / Zhaotong Ziguang Hotel  Zhaotong Hotel  Home 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;
  • 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.

Travel Tips:

  • Visitors are advised to always carry changes of clothing due to the large variations in temperature between day and night.
  • The climate is relatively dry, so drink more water every day.
  • Protecting oneself from strong UV radiation at high altitude.
  • Protecting oneself from altitude sickness. Lessen the effects of altitude sickness, avoid strenuous exercise and have plenty of rest. 
  • Respect local customs , habits, and religious beliefs.