Duration: 9 days
Best Time to Go: Any
From: $2351 USD
Situated in Southwestern China, Yunnan also known as South of the Clouds is the southern extension part of Tibet Plateau. It enjoys diverse culture and ethnic groups. This trip showcases them and will cover Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan, Dali, a city by Erhai Lake and Cangshan Mountain on a fertile land, Lijiang, an ancient town listed on UNESCO and Gyalthang which is the southern area of Kham Tibet further north of Yunnan. This is a visually vibrant and inspiring trip!
Day 1. Arrive at Kunming, be greeted by our guide in Kunming and transfer to hotel. After check-in, enjoy the authentic local Pu’er tea in a tea house by Green Lake. With time permitting, visit the Bird & Flower Market to experience how the local people enjoy their leisure daily life here in Kunming. Tonight, enjoy authentic Yunnan food.
Day 2. This morning, take a short morning flight from Kunming to Dali. Dali is an old town with beautiful landscape and long history. The Cang Shan Mountain and the Erhai Lake have formed one of the most beautiful and best-known sceneries in China. We start our trip with short cable car up Mt. Cang Shan to enjoy the spectacular view. In the later afternoon, visit the Chongsheng Temples, by far the most well-known and magnificent Buddhist shrines in this part of Southeast Asia. Then, explore around the Dali old town, which is small but lovely.
Day 3. In the morning, have a walk in the Xizhou market, which shows you all kinds of products from groceries and daily commodities to handicrafts etc. Yet, the most attracted point should be the traditional dressing of Bai minority women. After that, visit a local family. Then drive to Lijiang via Shaxi old town on the old road with spectacular landscape, a bustling trade station on the Tea & Horse Caravan that linked Yunnan and Tibet with Southeast Asia for tea and horses trading. After that, arrive in Lijiang in the late afternoon, and stay in a quaint hotel.
Day 4. Lijiang, or beautiful river, the name was given by Kublai Khan in 1254 and the old town is nice to explore around. The canals in the town are a really unique and the local people block water to wash the ground in the town every day and this had been started once the town was established. In the morning, go to visit Bimo (Yi’s shaman), and take about 2 hours hiking in the mountain near to Yi’s village. The peaceful environment and beautiful scenery will bring us a great day under the blue sky. After the easy hike, get to Yuhu village, which is a tranquil place with the majestic snow mountains behind and fertile lands around. Yuhu Village is also the former residence of Joseph Rock, an American Austrian sociologist & botanist lived in Yunnan over 30 years. In the late afternoon, drive back to Lijiang and enjoy our dinner in a nice local restaurant in the old town of Lijiang.
Day 5. After breakfast, visit the Black Dragon Pool Park for the photograph with the background of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain with a bridge and peaceful lake in the park. The Museum of Naxi Culture (or Dongba Culture) is also worth going near to the park. Back to explore the ancient town of Lijiang in the afternoon. In 1997, the old town of Lijiang was listed as world cultural heritage by UNESCO for its long history and beautiful views.
In the evening, enjoy a concert of ancient Naxi music. Naxi ancient music is graceful melody at the end of the century, and “living fossil” of the Chinese civilization.
Day 6. Today drive about 1.5 hours to admire the Tiger Leaping Gorge. The Yangtze River flows between the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain for 16kms hereby come to the Tiger Leaping Gorge. It is one of the longest, deepest, and narrowest gorges in the world. In the late afternoon, get to Gyalthang, which is in the area of Kham Tibetan area, now has been renamed as Shangri-la by the government in order to promote tourism due to its beautiful scenery. Then visit the Shangri-la ancient town after a short break in the hotel.
Day 7. Today, have a one-day tour in Pudacuo National Park, the first national park on the Chinese mainland. It is mainly comprised of Shudu Lake, Militang Pasture, and Bita Lake. You can trek along the planked path by Shudu Lake and Bita Lake to enjoy the picturesque sceneries. Along the sightseeing planked passage ashore, growing are multitudes of centuries-old oak trees, spruces, and firs.
Day 8. After breakfast, visit Songtsam Monastery. Songtsam Monastery has been the most important monastery in north Yunnan or south Kham after it was built in late 1600’s.
In the afternoon, visit Napa Lake, a grassland out of Shangri-la town, with high mountains around. The Yaks, horses just hang around the lake and it is very beautiful alpine landscape. After that, come to Nixi pottery village. This is a tiny village, well known for the century-old art, making pottery. Around 70 out of the 100 families in the village are engaged in this traditional art. It’s amazing to watch the locals processing the item. We could also do some handwork there. En route, visit some local Tibetan family in the countryside. In the late afternoon, drive back to the hotel to take a break and get ready for our farewell dinner in a local Tibetan family. And enjoy their traditional singing and group dancing after the local dinner.
Day 9. Take morning flight back Kunming and connecting flight depart Kunming.