Below you will find the detailed day-by-day program for the “Yunnan Wonders (21 Days)” tour. This discovery of Yunnan in 3 weeks can be adapted according to your possibilities, your desires, your budget and your available time for this trip through the various minorities and varied landscapes of the province of Yunnan.
Daily program: Wonders of Yunnan (20 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 your 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. 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 2: Kunming - Jianshui (B) ~ 4h drive Altitude: 1500m
Meet with your driver at 9:00. Road to Jianshui City to the South. Upon arrival, stop at the typical village of Tuanshan (entrance: 50RMB per person), including the former residence of the Zhang family, and many buildings preserved. Lunch not included in the small village. Discover also the old bridge of the double dragon, and a small French station in the countryside. Short transfer then to Confucius Temple (entrance: 60RMB per person), which is the second largest in China after that of Qufu, the hometown of the master. The set consists of a large park with pond, several courtyards, beautiful porticos, temples and pavilions. Discovery of 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. Overnight at Lin An Inn.
Day 3: Jianshui - Yuanyang - Duoyishu (B) ~ 3h30 drive
Meet with your driver at 9am this morning and short transfer to the big Chaoyang gate, north of the old town, which houses a small bird market and a nice little museum and black and white photographs of the White Mandarin era, the French consul settled in Yunnan at the beginning of last century (entry: 20 RMB). Short transfer then to the south gate of the city and free walk in the streets, to discover the famous well and its factory of Tofu, the local specialty. Lunch not included. Afternoon drive to the Red River Valley and rice terraces of Yuanyang and the small village of Duoyishu. You will have to pay entrance fees in the area of 100RMB per person. Dinner at the friendly hostel “Chez Jacky”, located in front of rice terraces (or Timeless Hostel).
Day 4: Duoyishu (B, L)
After breakfast, meet with your local English-speaking guide. Depart for one of the villages of Yuanyang region to attend a market (set according to the lunar calendar and the day of the week). Meeting with different minorities, including Yi, Hani and Dai. 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 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, hike from 2 to 3 hours through beautiful landscapes of rice terraces, and small villages. Dinner and overnight at Jacky’s Guest House (or Timeless Hostel).
Day 5: Duoyishu - Pu'er (B) ~ 6h30 drive
Possible visit of another market in the Yuanyang area. Long road then along the Red River Valley, passing through Honghe and Yuanjiang. Pass through Dai minority villages, then you recover the South Highway to the city of Pu’er and you settle comfortably for the night. Dinner not included. Overnight at Yazhi Tea City Boutique Hotel 3 *.
Day 6: Pu'er - Lancang (B) ~ 4h drive
Departure this morning to the millenary tea mill area of the Lancang River Valley. Visit the museum of the Tea Route and horses if it is open that day (closed on weekends). Arrival for lunch at Lahu Laodabao village where you will attend a traditional dance show with lunch (show included, lunch at your expense, between 50 and 100 RMB per person depending on your appetite). Following the show, you will be able to walk in the village to meet its inhabitants. Then continue to the small village of Mengjing in a wooden inn at one of the main tea-growing families. Dinner not included. Overnight at the Man’s best O la Hill
Day 7: Jingmaishan - Dapingzhang - Menghai (B) ~ 4h drive
Today you can decide to spend the day with your hosts and observe them working the freshly harvested tea. Otherwise, you can visit the traditional village of Dapingzhang and its centenary tea plantations, and meet the locals. Also visit the Jingmai Village Pagoda. In the late afternoon, drive to the town of Menghai, free dinner. Overnight in Yueshang
Holiday Inn Boutique (or comfort option at Jinlian Spa Resort)
Day 8: Menghai - Jinghong (B) ~ 3h drive
Visit this morning of the Menghai market before heading to Dai Manzhao village, where traditional paper is still made. Continuation of the road to another tea mountain, Bulang Mountain, located just opposite the Burmese border. Pretty little road that crosses many traditional villages that you can explore as and when you want. Lunch not included in Bulang village, then continuation by a forest track in a tropical jungle
preserved with beautiful trees .. Continuation to Jinghong and installation at your hotel, Dinner not included. Overnight at Crowne Hotel 4 *
Day 9: Galanba - Menglun - Jinghong (B) ~ 3h drive
Meet with your driver and guide at 9:00 am at your hotel and drive along the Mekong River to Ganlanba. Possible stops en route to various Dai minority villages around Ganlanba, then exploration of the minority park and its beautiful wooden carved Buddhist temple. Discovery of the tropical garden of Menglun in the afternoon, and great walk to learn more about biodiversity. In the evening, explore the night market along the banks of the Mekong. Overnight in Jinghong at Crowne Hotel 4 *
Day 10: Jinghong - Dali (B) ~ 1h30 transfers Altitude: 1900m
Early morning transfer for your direct flight to Dali, departure at 08:25, arrival at 09:20. Welcome by a driver upon your arrival at Dali airport. Transfer to the old town of Dali. Installation at Suzanne House Inn located just outside the old town of Dali. Breakfast. Day of free visits without guide or car. You can easily reach the Cangshan mountains by chairlift (110RMB per person), otherwise visit the grand temple of 3 pagodas (120RMB per person).
Day 11: Dali - Weishan - Dali (B) ~ 2h drive. Altitude: 1900m
Departure at 8:00 with your driver to the old town of Weishan. Still preserved from tourism, this city is home to a very charming and smiling population, for a very pleasant stroll in its narrow streets. En route, stop at Hui village (Muslim minority) of Donglinghua and visit the small museum and mosque (entrance: 30 RMB). Lunch not included in the small town. Discovery in the afternoon of Weibaoshan mountain, located at 2500m altitude (entrance: 50 RMB). As part of one of the 13 sacred Taoist mountains of China, the site is calm, exudes a certain serenity, and it is good to walk there to discover its small temples where Daoist monks reside. At the end of the day, return to Dali and dinner not included. Night at La Maison Suzanne.
Day 12: Dali - Xizhou (B) ~ 30min drive. Altitude: 1900m
Meeting at 8.30 am at your hotel for transfer by private vehicle to the 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 organize a small boat tour on Lake Erhai near the hotel. 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 13: 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 Old Town at the boutique Aoding Courtyard.
Day 14: Shaxi - 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 Timeless Inn
Day 15: Shangri La (B, L)
Meet with your English speaking 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. Note that the central part of the old city was ravaged by fire on January 11, 2014, it is rebuilding little by little. Lunch taken at a Tibetan family. Try Yak Butter Tea, Tsampa and Yak Butter Cheese, local specialties and basics of their daily food.
In the afternoon, explore on foot or by bike the Tibetan countryside (several possible routes, to discuss in the morning with your guide according to your desires and abilities, including Lake Napa or the Ringha Valley). 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 free.
Day 16: Shangri La - Lijiang - Shuhe (B) ~ 4h drive. Altitude: 2400m
Meeting at 9:00 with your driver for transfer by private vehicle to Lijiang. Arrive for lunch (not included) at Lijiang Old Town, which you can explore on foot all afternoon, including to the Black Dragon Pond Park (entrance: RMB 80). Continuation to the small village of Shuhe, and installation at the amazing hotel The Bivou. Rest of the day free.
Day 17: Shuhe - night train to Kunming (B)
Free visits without driver. Rent bicycles and a map of the region at your hotel to explore at your own pace the nearby Naxi villages, including Baisha with its silk embroidery school, traditional pharmacy and local brewery, and Yuhu, where a famous botanist, at the foot of the Jade Dragon Mountain. Meals not included. In the evening from your hotel, transfer to the train station for your overnight train to Kunming, departure at 21:50, arrival at 07:48 the next day. Night in soft berths (VIP compartment or 4 beds).
Day 18: Kunming - Red Lands of Lexiaguo ~ 4h drive. Altitude: 1800m
Arrival at Kunming Station. Meeting with driver. Breakfast. Morning drive to Dongchuan, then to the “red earth” area of Lexiaguo. Afternoon of discovery of terraced landscapes of the region, especially near the villages Huashitou, Lexiaguo and Damakan. Meals not included. Night at the charming hotel Red Soil.
Day 19: Lexiaguo - Stone Forest - Kunming (B) ~ 5h transfer. Altitude: 1800m
New early morning walk through the landscapes of the region, then drive to Shilin. 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. Road back to Kunming. Meals not included. Overnight at Grand Park Hotel 5 *.
Day 20: Departure from Kunming (PDJ) ~ 1h transfer
Free day before transfer to Kunming airport for flight to your next destination. End of our services and the circuit Wonders of Yunnan, we wish you a pleasant return home, beautiful memories in mind!