Classic circuit in North Yunnan
This circuit in Yunnan follows the classical axis of Kunming Dali Shaxi Lijiang Shangri La, which are often the main destinations of a first trip to Yunnan, and rightly so. After entering urban China in Kunming, and discovering the site of the Stone Forest, you will show overnight at the North with the discovery of different minorities: Bai to Dali and Shaxi, Naxi to Lijiang and then Tibetan to Shangri La The architecture of these regions also varies a lot, as do the landscapes.
Choice between luxury boutique hotels or luxury hotels
Discover all the classic destinations of Yunnan in 9 days from Kunming, including beautiful boutique hotels of superior category or luxury…
Daily program: Travel North Yunnan “classic” (9 days) Download the PDF brochure
Day 1: Arrival in Kunming ~ 1h transfer. Altitude: 1800m
Arrive in the day at Kunming Airport. Welcome by your driver then transfer to the Grand Park 5 * hotel (luxury option: Silver Chest Boutique Hotel) located in a pleasant area in the center of Kunming. Rest of the day free to recover from your long flight, and make some first visits quietly on foot from the hotel. You can walk to the Emerald Lake, where locals love to walk, sing, dance and play music. Possibility to extend to the Buddhist temple of Yuantong located 5 / 10min walk. Dinner (not included).
Day 2: Kunming - Stone Forest - overnight train to Dali (B) ~ 4h drive
Meeting with your guide and driver at 8:00. Road to Shilin, for the discovery of the site of the Stone Forest. We offer you a walk of about 2 hours inside the site, between rocky peaks and sometimes through narrow paths, away from the trails crossed by many Chinese tourists. Back in Kunming, ride in the mountains of the west. Dinner (not included). In the evening, attend Yunnan’s beautiful Yunnan minority dance and song show “Dynamic Yunnan” (8: 00-21: 30), before transfer to Kunming station for the night train (soft berth) to Dali: departure at 22:47, arrival at 7:22 am (times may change slightly).
Day 3: Dali - Xizhou ~ 1h drive. Altitude: 1900m
Meet with your driver at Dali station. Transfer to Dali Old Town for breakfast (not included), and a stroll through the old town. Continue to charming village of Xizhou. We offer you a very charming hotel in a traditional Bai residence: the Linden Center. Rest of the day free (without driver) to explore on foot the morning market, then by bike around the village (bike rental possible at the hotel). It is also possible to arrange a short boat tour on Lake Erhai to experience cormorant fishing. Note that a tour of the hotel is organized by the Linden Center every day at 17:00, in English, presenting the history and architecture of the places. The hotel has a very decent restaurant.
Day 4: Xizhou - Shaxi (B) ~ 2h30 drive. Altitude: 2050m
Meeting at 9:00 with your driver for transfer by private vehicle to the great Shaxi Valley, with a stop at the large village of Bai minority Zhoucheng, especially known for its artisans fabric batik fabric. Discovery also before the arrival in Shaxi Shibaoshan site (entrance: 65RMB per person + shuttle: 40RMB per person), beautiful set of Buddhist sculptures carved into the rock and very Zen temples. Continue to Shaxi. Accommodation in the heart of Shaxi’s Old Town at the former Laomadian Inn (or luxury Old Theater Inn) caravanserai, superbly refurbished with all the comforts of home, having formerly been used to house shopkeepers along the Tea Caravan Road. horses of which Shaxi was one of the great trading centers. The hotel has a good restaurant.
Day 5: Shaxi - Lijiang (B) ~ 3h30 drive. Altitude: 2400m
Meeting at 9:00 with your driver for transfer by private vehicle to Lijiang. Arrival for lunch (not included) taken in the village of Baisha. You will also discover the village of Yuhu located at the foot of the jade dragon mountain. Continue to Lijiang Old Town and check into Zen Garden Lion Hill Hotel or Green Village Inn (luxury option: Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town).
Day 6: Lijiang (B)
Day of free visit of the old city of Lijiang, through its many alleys. Discovery including its morning market, the palace of Mu. You will stroll to the Black Dragon Pond Park, just outside the Old City, and also visit the Dongba Museum. Meals not included. Overnight at Zen Garden Lion Hill or Green Village Inn (luxury option: Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town).
Day 7: Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Shangri La (B) ~ 4h drive. Altitude: 3200m
Meeting at 9:00 with your driver for transfer by private vehicle to the Tibetan region of Shangri La. Stop on the way to the village of Shigu (site of the first curve of the Yangtze) and to the Gorges du Saut du Tigre (entrance: 65RMB by adult). Arrival in the afternoon at Shangri La. Accommodation at Hazel Tibetan Home (luxury option: Songtsam Retreat).
Day 8: Shangri La (B)
Meet with your Tibetan English guide at 9:00. Visit Shangri La and its region, starting with the beautiful Tibetan Songzanlin Monastery. Walk to the local market, then walk through the old town, including the Bai Ji Si temple with beautiful views of Shangri La and the Shika Mountains. Lunch (not included). In the afternoon, you can wander around Napa Lake, if not in the Ringha Valley, rich in authentic Tibetan villages. Return to Shangri La. If you wish, attend and participate in the spontaneous dances in the evening of locals in the Old Town Square. Dinner (not included). Overnight at Hazel Tibetan Home (Deluxe option: Songtsam Retreat).
Day 9: Departure from Shangri La (B) ~ 30min transfer
Transfer to Shangri La Airport for flight to your next destination. End of our services.