Wonders of Yunnan

This 20 days tour throughout Yunnan will let you discover and admire its famous cities such as Kunming, Jianshui, Shangri La, or Yuanyang. You will spend you days marveling at new places : terrace rice fields, colorful local markets, the Red Soils and even the Stone Forest. Yunnan has it all !

You will visit :

Find below the details of our program “Wonders of Yunnan

-> Download the pdf file

Daily program: Wonders of Yunnan Download the PDF brochure

Day 1 : Your place - China

Take off towards China!

Diner and overnight on board.

Day 2 : Arrival in Kunming ~ 50mn drive. Altitude : 1800m

Breakfast onboard and arrival in China. Transit to take your flight towards Kunming. Arrival at Kunming International Airport. Welcoming by your driver (they will have a board with your name) in the arrival hall after going through the immigration and taking back your luggage.

Then transfer towards Home Inn Plus 3* hotel located in a nice district in Kunming Center. Discover the city at your pace today, 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.

Day 3 : Kunming – Lexiaguo's Red Soil (B) ~ 4h drive.

Breakfast and meeting with your english-speaking driver and guide at 08.30 am.

Road to Dongchuan, then towards Lexiaguo “Red Soil” Region, close to the Sichuan Province border.

This afternoon, you will discover the region’s terrace fields landscapes, particularly Huashitou and Lexiaguo village (10 rmb per person to access the fields).

Check in at your hotel. Diner at your own expense and overnight at New Red Soil Hotel 4*.

Day 4 : Lexiaguo Red Soil - Shilin (Stone Forest) (B) ~ 4h30 drive

Breakfast before going on with your discovery of the surroundings, which are of the best effect for the photographers eyes! All year long, the hills offer a unique and colourful show, although you have to be lucky enough to get the best lighting conditions. You will see another nice viewpoint close to Damakan village.

Then, road to Shilin which is located about 1 hour drive from Kunming. This site is known for its Stone Forest, funny karstic shapings all over a surface about 500Km².

Check in at Yinruilin International Hotel 5*.

Dinner at your expense and overnight in Shilin.

Day 5 : Shilin (Stone Forest) – Jianshui (B) ~ 4h drive.

Breakfast before a short transfer towards the Stone Forest (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 6 : 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 superb Twelve Manor Hotel where you will have great views on the terrace fields from your room. Terraces have been set up with sunbeds on the hotel’s rooftop so you can enjoy a moment of contemplation and serenity.

Dinner at your own expense and overnight in Yuanyang.

Day 7 : Yuanyang (B, L)

Enjoy your breakfast watching the rice fields, those are often flanked by the morning mist, a mystical and relaxing atmosphere. Then you will go visit the local market. 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. Continue to a small Yi minority village to enjoy a festive lunch with the villagers. Then this afternoon you will hike 2 to 3 hours through beautiful terrace rice fields sceneries. You will get across small and picturesque small cities.

Back to the hotel and short transfer to Bada’s spectacular viewpoints over the terraces rice fields glowing a mystic light around dawn.

Dinner at your expense and overnight at Twelve Manor.

Day 8 : Yuanyang – Pu'er (B) ~ 6h drive. Altitude : 1300m.

Breakfast and visit of Shengcun market (this might change according to the Lunar Calendar). Early road towards Pu’er region. Visit Nakeli’s small village (entrance : 50 rmb / person), that used to be an important waypoint on the Tea and Horses Road. Discover by foot the wooden houses, the big mill and the covered way, meet the friendly inhabitants and wander along the small river in a yesteryear atmosphere.

Dinner at your expense and overnight in Jiangshanlong Inn 3* in Pu’er.

Day 9 : Pu'er – Jinghong (B) ~ 2h30 drive. Altitude : 500m.

Petit-déjeuner, et ce matin route le long du Mékong jusqu’à Ganlanba. Possible stops on the way at different Dai minorities villages around Galanba, then explore the Minorities Park (entrance : 80 RMB/person). This afternoon, you will enjoy a nice stroll in the heart of Menglun tropical garden (entrance : 180 RMB/person), to learn more about the local biodiversity.

Check in at Crown hotel 4*. In the evening you will explore the night market along the Mekong River.

Dinner at your expense and overnight in Jinghong.

Day 10 : Jinghong / markets, villages Xishuangbanna's old tea trees (B)

After breakfast, visit Menghai’s market, then the Jingzhen Pagoda. Continue towards Manzhao Dai village where people still produce paper in a traditional way. Then you will set off towards Nannuoshan Mountain, one of the six team mountains that have made Pu’er Tea very famous. Two hours walk through the tea fields, fully organic, up to the king of tea trees, a 800 years old tree.

Back to town, dinner at your expense and overnight at Crown 4* hotel, à Jinghong.

Day 11 : Jinghong - Dali (B) ~ 1 hour flight + 40mn transfer. Altitude : 1900m.

Early or take away breakfast and transfer to the airport for your domestic flight towards Dali. Say goodbye to your English Speaking driver.

At your arrival in Dali, welcoming by your driver and transfer to the old town, which is very dynamic, active and friendly.

Check In at Shouyi Hotel (E-Outfitting Boutique Hotel), in the heart of the old town. Rest of the day free for a stroll at your own pace and to discover a stunning catholic church.

Dinner at your expense, we recommend you to try one of the numerous restaurants offering BBQ on a marble plate, which is the local specialty!

Overnight in Dali.

Day 12 : Dali - Xizhou (B)

Breakfast and beginning of the day free to enjoy Dali. You can choose to visit the 3 Pagodas Temple (entrance : 120/person). Around 15.00, 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 13 : 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 14 : Xizhou – Zhoucheng – Shibaoshan - Shaxi (B) ~ 3 hours drive. Altitude : 2050m.

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 15 : 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).

Continuation on a beautiful moutain road and check in at 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 16 : 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 17 : Shangri La – Yuhu – Baisha - Lijiang (B) ~ 3h30 drive. Altitude : 2300m.

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 18 : 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 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 19 : Lijiang / Departure (B)

Breakfast and last moments free to enjoy Lijiang Old City and Yunnan’s warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Your room will have to be freed before noon. Your luggage can be kept at the hotel.

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.

Day 20 : China – Your place

Breakfast in the plane and arrival in your country. End of our services. 

Our team wishes you an enjoyable way back home!

  • Click on the markers of the map to view the description of the step.
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  • Complete the form to contact us. An agent answers all your questions.

The price includes

  • Charming hotels with breakfast included everyday
  • English speaking driver/guide from day 3 to day 11 morning (South Yunnan), then from day 14 to 17 (North Yunnan). On a 6 travelers basis, English speaking guide plus driver from day 3 to 11 morning, then from day 14 to 17.
  • Every other transfers in private vehicles with Chinese speaking driver.
  • The flight from Jinghong to Dali in economy class
  • Payment by bank card in France so you can benefit from the travel insurance included with your bank card service
  • Guarantees from our French travel agency (professional insurance, guarantee for the transfered funds)
  • 24/7 assistance from our Kunming Agency

The price does not include

  • Flights to and from Yunnan (we can offer you a rate on demand)
  • Meals and drinks to get according to your wishes and your guide’s recommendation   
  • Distant Chinese Visa application (our agency can offer it for 140€  per person)   
  • Entries on site as mentioned within the itinerary, to settle directly on site (about 1080 RMB per person, that is 138 EUR). Possible reductions up to 50% at some sites for travelers above 60 years old on presentation of a valid ID)
  • Tips (you can count 120RMB/day total for the guide-driver)
  • Personal expenses

RATES. Private tour on a 2, 4, 6 travelers basis in double/twin rooms :

Private tour on a 2 travelers basis – Flights not included – : 15420 RMB per person, that is 1976€ per person

Private tour on a 4 travelers basis – Flights not included – : 10550RMB per person, that is 1352€ per person

Private tour on a 6 travelers basis – Flights not included – : 10990RMB per person, that is 1408€ per person

* On a 6 travelers basis you will have an English Speaking guide plus a driver from day 3 to 11 morning and from day 14 to 17.

David is an expert on this circuit Wonders of Yunnan.
He will answer all your questions about this trip and will adapt it according to your particular desires and your budget.
Contact David by email david.asianroads@gmail.com or on this form:

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