Find below the details of our program “Freely Yunnan Tour”
Daily program: Freely Yunnan Tour
Day 1 : Your place - China
Take off towards China !
Diner and overnight on board.
Day 2 : Arrival in Kunming ~ 50mn drive. Altitude : 1800m
Breakfast in the plane and arrival in China, transit flight to Kunming. Arrival at Kunming International Airport. Welcoming by your driver (with a board at your name) in the arrival hall after going through the immigration office and taking back your luggage, then drive to your hotel, well located in the very heart of Kunming City.
Rest of the day free to explore at your own pace. Easy stroll towards the Emerald Lake where local people like to wander around, sing, dance or play music, alone or together with their lover, friends or family ; the park is full of life from dusk to dawn and especially on the weekends; sceneries of happy and quiet lives will give you a very good first impression of Yunnan, its people and their culture. Welcome to Yunnan !
Not far away from there you can go further and walk to Yuantong Temple (6 rmb/person), two steps from which you will be able to withdraw money from an ICBC or Bank of China ATM, if you haven’t done so yet. Then you can go towards the dynamic commercial center with its old districts nesting the old birds and flower market. It will not be further than 1 or 2 km from your hotel.
Dinner at your own expense.
Overnight in Kunming.
Optional suggestion : Transfer around 19.00 with your local driver to assist to a very beautiful show of Yunnan minorities songs and dances called ” Dynamic Yunnan ” (20.00-21.40). Back to the hotel afterwards. Extra Charge : 250 RMB per person (32 EUR) on a 2 travelers basis / 200 RMB per person (25 EUR) on a 4 or 6 travelers basis.
Our recommendation : Enjoy an extra day totally free in Kunming for only 150 RMB (19 EUR) per person! This will be the occasion to immerse yourself into this human scale Chinese city, with its different districts each one as lively as the other and all accessible on foot for the most. Possible excursions at the outskirts of the city. Consult us for more details.
Day 3 : Kunming – Shilin (Stone Forest) - Tuanshan (B) ~ 5h30 drive.
Meeting with your English speaking driver and guide at 08.00 am.
Head off towards Shilin, near Kunming, famous for its Stone Forest, interesting karstic shapings that stretch out on a 500km2 surface (entrance : 155 RMB per person). Take your time to stroll amongst the site’s small paths, those are quieter than the main roads and the park’s entry where Chinese tourist groups stay most of the time.
Then you will take the road to Jianshui, one of the oldest and most remarkable city in Southern Yunnan. You will explore the local Confucius Temple (entrance : 40 rmb/ person), which is the second largest in China after the Qufu Temple, the master’s native city. The temple consists in a big park with a pond, many courtyards, magnificient gantries, temples and pavillions. Check in at the charming Jiushexiaozhu Inn, a small structure with a groomy decoration.
Dinner at your expense and overnight in Jianshui.
Day 4 : Jianshui - Tuanshan – Yuanyang (B) ~ 4h30 drive. Altitude : 1800m
Early wake up. Your guest house doesn’t offer breakfast, this will be the opportunity to delve into a local experience together with your driver-guide.
Stroll through Jianshui’s Old City up to the Chaoyang Arch which houses a small birds market, then continue towards Tuanshan village (entrance : 35 RMB per person), left unchanged through years and centuries where most buildings date back to the Qing Dynasty. After the visit, you will go to the Double Dragon Bridge before moving on and take the road towards Yuanyang Region. On the road you will get to a checkpoint where you will need to settle the entrance fee for the region (70rmb/person).
Check in at the nice Havre de Paix Guest house, in the heart of Duoyishu village which rice fields all around.
Dinner at your own expense.
Day 5 : Yuanyang (B)
Today’s market will happen in Niujiaozhai (markets are taking place in different villages according to the lunar calendar. We will adjust the tour consequently). You will be able to meet with Yi and Hani minority people still wearing their traditional outfit.
Lunch at your expense. In the afternoon, esay 2 to 3 hours walk through beautiful Terrace Rice fields. You will go through small picturesque towns.
Arrival at your hotel and short transfer to Bada’s spectacular viewpoints over the terraces rice fields glowing a mystic light around dawn.
Back to the Duoyishu village. Dinner at your expense and overnight at Havre de paix.
Day 6 : Yuanyang – Mile – Dali (B) ~ 4h drive + 3 hours train.
This morning you will discover the Shengcun Market (the place may vary according to the lunar calendar). This will be an occasion to meet with local farmers from all around. Don’t be surprised if local people eating together amongst friends invite you spontaneously for a cup of rice wine !
Then you will take the road towards Mile train station for the high speed train to Dali (3h ride). Say goodbye to your English Speaking driver.
Arrival in Dali, welcoming by your driver and transfer towards Dali Old Town to check in at Shouyi Hotel (E-Outfitting Boutique Hotel).
Rest of the day free. Dinner at your own expense. We advise you to get tempted by the local barbecue, which is the undisputed specialty in Dali, in one of the many restaurants in the old city.
Overnight in Dali.
Day 7 : Dali - Xizhou (B)
Breakfast and beginning of the day fully free to enjoy Dali and its dynamic, young and friendly old town.
You can choose to visit the 3 Pagodas Temple (entrance : 120/person). Around 18.00, transfer towards Xizhou Bai village, about 30 minutes away from Dali.
Check in at the very comfortable Linden Commons charming hotel, built in a beautiful traditional Bai courtyard. The hotel has a very decent restaurant however we would also advise you to get tempted by some simple restaurants on the village’s main square which will be the ideal spot to observe the local evening life. Families get together on the square, kids are playing, the elderly drink some tea and chat together. The small street are not lit after the night as fallen, don’t forget to bring the flashlight that you will find in your room, or use the one on your mobile phone !
Overnight in Xizhou.
Optional suggestion : This morning head towards your cooking class (maybe together with a group), with the visit of Dali market. You will have the opportunity to get an introduction on how to prepare Chinese or Yunnan traditional dishes. Around noon, it will be time to taste the dishes that you have prepared! Back to your hotel and rest of the afternoon free. Extra charge : 180 RMB per person (23 EUR), including the preparation of 3 dishes.
Day 8 : Xizhou (B)
Quiet breakfast and rest of the day free in Xizhou‘s quiet small village.
You can explore the morning market and the village on foot, then on bike or on foot the surroundings of the village accross the rice fields (bikes available at your hotel).
Meals at your expense.
Overnight in Linden Commons.
Day 9 : Xizhou – Zhoucheng – Shibaoshan - Shaxi (B) ~ 3 hours drive.
Meeting with your new English-speaking driver and guide at 08.00 am before hitting the road towards Shaxi. On the way, stop at Bai Minority’s big village Zhoucheng, notably known for their craftsmen producing the Batik clothes.
In the afternoon, stroll through Shibaoshan‘s majestic site (entrance : 45 RMB + shuttle : 40 RMB), a nice set of buddhist sculptures engraved in the rocks and very zen temples. You will go down the mountain on foot, this will take you about 90 minutes, with sumptuous clear views amidst the pine trees and with an invigorating and pure air.
Check in at your guest house, in the heart of Shaxi Old Town.
Meals at your expense.
Overnight at the charming Aoding Courtyard 3* guest house.
Day 10 : Shaxi – Tiger Leaping Gorge - Shangri La (B) ~ 3h30 drive. Altitude : 3200 m.
This early morning, discovery of Shaxi village. Stride through the picturesque small streets of this old city, which used to be an important waypoint on the Tea and Horses Road.
Then you will head towards Shangrila’s Tibetan Region. Transit to the not to be missed Tiger Leaping Gorge (entrance : 45 rmb / person), amongst the deepest in the world, at the bottom of which flows the majestic Yangtse River, particularly powerful and noisy at this very spot, strangled between Haba Mountain (summit at 5400m) and the Jade Dragon Mountain (Summit at 5600m).
Arrival in Shangrila, check in at the Timeless Inn tibetan guest house, located in the heart of the old city.
Early this evening, take your time to stroll through the small street, up to Da Gui Shang temple in front of a giant tibetan prayer wheel dominating the city : just wonderful when seen at dawn !
Dinner at your expense and overnight in Shangrila.
Day 11 : Shangri La (B)
One day of visiting Shangrila and its surroundings, to begin with the impressive Songzanlin tibetan monastery (Entrance : 75 RMB per person).
Stroll to the local market with stalls full of local products such as yak cheese and the numerous varieties of mushrooms freshly harvested, then stroll through the old city, notably to the Bai Ji Si temple with nice views over the surroundings and the Shika mountains.
This afternoon, you will discover the local tibetan countryside (many itineraries available, to discuss in the morning with your guide according to your wishes, you can also do it on bicycle!).
You might also want to venture towards the beautiful Ringha Temple, in the heart of a nice green valley. This Temple is considered as one of the 5 most important tibetan temples in Yunnan. The places are peaceful and not so busy, a perfect time for meditation.
You will have the opportunity to visit a tibetan family, discover the place where they live, try some yak butter tea, tsampa and of course the famous yak butter cheese, all of which are local specialties and the basis of daily food.
Back to Shangrila. In the evening, stroll around or take part in the spontaneous dancing of local people on the old city’s square. Really a must do !
Dinner at your own expense.
Overnight in Timeless Inn Guest House.
Day 12 : Shangri La – Yuhu – Baisha - Lijiang (B) ~ 3h30 drive.
After breakfast, this will be time to take back the road and head towards Lijiang. Discover Naxi minority villages Baisha and Yuhu, from where you will have a great view over the Jade Dragon Mountain snow-capped summits. Yuhu is also the village chosen by the explorer Joseph Rock to settle down, you can visit his house (entrance : 25 RMB / person).
Check In at your hotel in the old Lijiang. Say goodbye to your English Speaking driver.
Dinner at your expense and overnight at Manty House hotel, located on the heights of the Lion Hill, with a wonderful view over the old town’s rooftops. You can also chose to get to the new city, at the foot of the hill (an easy access path allows you to get there in about 10 minutes). The new city is sparkling and young people like to get there in the evening to have dinner and hang out together with family and friends. Tourist tax in the Lijiang Region : 50 RMB / person.
Day 13 : Lijiang (B)
Breakfast then you will have the day entirely free to enjoy Lijiang at your own pace. You can stride on the morning’s market and explore the Black Dragon Pond park, with the mountains in the back, which are reflected in the clear waters (entance : 50 RMB/person), a must do !
Then we warmly recommend you to visit the Dongba Museum to get yourself into the Naxi Dongba culture, with 2500 items and relics directly coming from this ethnic minority (free entrance if you have already paid the 50 RMB access fee to Lijiang).
Dinner at your expense and overnight in Manty House.
Day 14 : Lijiang / Departure (B)
Breakfast and last moments free to enjoy Lijiang Old City and Yunnan’s warm and welcoming atmosphere. Then transfer to Lijiang airport for the return flight.
Transit in China and board on long flight back to your place.
Diner and overnight on board.
Note : Your room will have to be freed before noon. Your luggage can be kept at the hotel.
Day 15 : China – Your place (B)
Breakfast in the plane and arrival in your country.
End of our services. Our team wishes you an enjoyable way back home !