Discovery of varied landscapes and minorities of South Yunnan
South Yunnan Minority Markets
It will also be an opportunity to visit beautiful minority markets, still wearing their traditional costume, including Jinping and Mengla near the border of Vietnam, and Yuanyang. The markets mentioned in the program in Jinping and Mengla are held every 5 days, it will be necessary to set the dates of your circuit to fall on these markets of Jinping, Nafa and Mengla as the program.
Best season for this trip
Apart from the circuit dates that will need to be optimized to attend the most interesting minority markets of South Yunnan, it is best to plan a trip in the spring or fall. The lakes around Puzhehei will still have lotus flowers. Yuanyang’s rice terraces, as well as the red lands of Dongchuan, will be full of pretty rural scenes with work in the fields.
Daily program: Travel South East Yunnan (13 days)
Day 1: Arrival in Kunming ~ 1h transfer. Altitude: 1800m
Arrive in the day at Kunming Airport. Welcome by your driver (with a sign to your name) at the exit of your flight, then transfer to the Grand Park 5 * hotel located in a pleasant area of 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 - Lexiaguo (B) ~ 3h30 transfer. Altitude: 2400m
Meet with your guide and driver at 9:00. Morning drive to Dongchuan, then to the “red earth” area of Lexiaguo. Lunch (not included). First walk this afternoon through the different sites and villages of the region. Dinner and overnight at the beautiful residence of charm Red Soil.
Day 3: Lexiaguo - Shilin (B) ~ 4h transfer. Altitude: 1800m
A new morning discovery of terraced cultivation landscapes of the region, especially near Huashitou, Lexiaguo and Damakan villages. Lunch (not included). In the afternoon, drive to the town of Shilin, located near the site of the Stone Forest. Dinner (not included). Night at the pleasant hotel Sloane Palace 4 *
Day 4: Shilin - Stone Forest - Puzhehei (B) ~ 3h drive
Discover this morning 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. Lunch (not included), then afternoon drive to the Puzhehei area, which some people call Yunnan’s “Little Guilin”. Installation in a simple local inn, with private bathrooms, overlooking the lake and the beautiful landscapes of the region.
Day 5: Puzhehei - Mengzi (B) ~ 2h drive. Altitude: 1400m
From Puzhehei, take a boat to stroll on the rice fields and lakes of the region, and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of karst hills. Pass along several small villages. At the end of the tour, visit possible small caves, and climb the Qing Long hill for two beautiful views of the surroundings. Lunch (not included). Road in the afternoon towards Mengzi. If time permits at the end of the afternoon (if not tomorrow morning), discover the old French station Bisezhai, on the old railway created by the French Hanoi in Kunming. Dinner (not included). Overnight at hotel Guangfang 5 *
Day 6: Mengzi - Jinping (B) ~ 5h drive. Altitude: 1000m
In Mengzi, stroll in the pleasant district of Lake Nan Hu. Discovery of several old French and Italian colonial buildings. Lunch (not included). Road in the afternoon to the Jinping area. Installation in a 2 * hotel in the city center. Dinner (not included).
Day 7: Jinping - Mengla (B) ~ 1h30 drive
Today is the day of the rat in the Chinese calendar, take part in the big market of Jinping, which takes place in the streets of the city, around your hotel. Many local minorities take part in this market. Lunch (not included). Road to the Mengla region, and set up in a new local 2 * hotel. In the afternoon, visit Dai villages, you will be able to experiment with local hot water springs! Dinner (not included). Night in Mengla.
Day 8: Mengla (B)
This morning, beef day, take part in the Nafa market. Meeting with new minorities. Discovery of new minority villages in the area. Meals (not included). Night in Mengla.
Day 9: Mengla - Yuanyang (B) ~ 6h drive. Altitude: 1800m
This morning, tiger’s day, is the big market of Mengla, around your hotel. New encounters colorful. During the rest of the day, drive to the beautiful Yuanyang rice terraces, to the small village of Duoyishu. Installation at the friendly Jacky’s Guest House located in front of the rice terraces. Dinner at the inn’s restaurant (not included).
Day 10: Yuanyang (B, L)
Visit this morning of Shengcun Market, not far from your hotel. Continue to a small village where a show of songs and dances was set up by the villagers belonging to the Yi minority. Charming and touching … Note that all the proceeds of the show will be directly donated to families. A lunch will then be served to one of the families who participated in the show. In the afternoon, hikes possible from 2 to 4 hours through beautiful landscapes of rice terraces, and small villages. Dinner and overnight at Jacky’s Guest House.
Day 11: Yuanyang - Jianshui (B) ~ 4h drive. Altitude: 1400m
Breakfast at the hotel. Possible visit of another market in the Yuanyang area, before taking the road to Jianshui. Lunch en route (not included). In the afternoon in Jianshui, visit the Confucius temple, which is the second largest in China after that of Qufu, the master’s hometown. The set consists of a large park with pond, several courtyards, beautiful porticos, temples and pavilions. Installation at the 3 * boutique hotel in the beautiful residence of the Zhu family, one of the best preserved in Yunnan, consisting of a set of courtyards, pavilions and gardens. Dinner (not included).
Day 12: Jianshui - Kunming (B, L) ~ 4h drive. Altitude: 1800m
Walk through the old town of Jianshui to the Chaoyang Arch, which houses a small bird market. Visit of a local tofu factory. From here, guests can walk to Jianshui Morning Market. Then discover the Jianshui potters’ quarter, including the workshop of a famous master. If the experience tempts you, you can then join by bike (13km on a new road, flat) the ancient village of Tuanshan. On the way, visit the double dragon bridge, an old French station, old bridges, and witness beautiful countryside scenes. Lunch with a family living in the heart of the Zhang family’s former home, located in the heart of Tuanshan Village. In the afternoon, drive to Kunming. In the evening, attend Yunnan’s beautiful Yunnan minority dance and song show “Dynamic Yunnan” (8: 00-21: 30). Overnight at Grand Park Hotel 5 *
Day 13: Departure from Kunming (B) ~ 1h transfer
Start of free day without guide or driver, before transfer to Kunming Airport for flight to your next destination. End of our services and this circuit in South Yunnan, we wish you a pleasant return home, beautiful memories in mind!