Yunnan Landscapes and Minorities Tour

Yunnan has some of the most wonderful landscapes, and you are going to say that too after this travel. The mythical Stone forest, the breathtaking terrace rice fields, and obviously the beautiful Tiger Leaping Gorge, these places are waiting for you ! Do not hesitate and discover this tour where you will marvel at mesmerizing landscapes and meet minorities.

You will visit :

Find below the details of our program “Yunnan Landscapes and Minorities Tour

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Daily program: Yunnan Landscapes and Minorities Tour 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 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 airport hall after going through the immigration and getting back your luggage, then transfer to Moon & Chalice 4* hotel, ideally located in the heart of Kunming’s dynamic commercial center with its old districts sheltering the Birds and Flowers market.

Rest of the day free. 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.

Dinner at your own expense.

Overnight in Kunming.

Day 3 : Kunming – Shilin (Stone Forest) - Tuanshan (B) ~ 5h30 drive.

Breakfast and meet with your driver and your English Speaking guide and start around 08.00 am.

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. Discover the Stone Forest site. 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.

Continuation towards Tuanshan village, which has stayed like out of time and most of the buildings date back from the Qing Dynasty.

Check in at the charming Jielu Inn, in the heart of the old city.

Dinner at your expense and overnight in Tuanshan.

Day 4 : Tuanshan - Jianshui – Yuanyang (B) ~ 4h drive. Altitude : 1800m

Early breakfast and stroll through the heart of the village. Then continuation of the road to Jianshui, one of the most remarkable cities in Southern Yunnan, located around 15km from Tuanshan. Stop on the way at the Double Dragon Bridge.

In Jianshui, you will explore the local Confucius Temple, 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. Stroll through Jianshui old town, particularlyin the Zhu Family garden and up to the Chaoyang Arch which hosts a small birds market. This afternoon, keep on your route towards Yuanyang region. On the road you will get to a checkpoint where you will need to settle the entrance fee for the region.

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.

Day 5 : Yuanyang (B)

Enjoy your breakfast watching the rice fields, those are often flanked by the morning mist, a mystical and relaxing atmosphere. You will go to the local market (the place may vary according to the lunar calendar). You will be able to meet with Yi and Hani minority people still wearing their traditional outfit.

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.

Check in at your hotel and short transfer to the spectacular Bada viewpoint above the terrace rice fields for sunset.

Dinner at your expense and overnight at Twelve Manor.

Day 6 : Yuanyang – Mile – Dali – Xizhou (B) ~ 4h drive + 3 hours train.

This morning, early departure and discovery if time allows of another 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 to Mile’s railway station to take the high speed train to Dali. Arrival in Dali, welcoming by your driver and transfer towards the old town to take some free time.

Possible dinner on site (at your expense), in one of the numerous restaurants offering the local specialty : the barbecue on a marble stone!

Then road to Xizhou Bai village.

Check in at the very comfortable Linden Commons charming hotel, built in a beautiful traditional Bai courtyard.

Overnight in Xizhou.

Date 7 : Xizhou (B)

Free day in Xizhou. 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).

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 Linden Commons.

Optional suggestion : Head towards the Weishan region, with your English speaking guide. On the way, stop at Donglinghua Hui (muslim minority) village, to discover its mosque. Still preserved from tourism, Weishan hosts a very charming and smiling population, for a very enjoyable stroll in its small streets. In the afternoon, discover Weibaoshan Mountain, located at 2500m. altitude. Being a part of the 13 sacred taoist mountains in China, the site is quiet and gives off quite a serene atmosphere and it’s good to stroll there and discover the small temples where taoist monks live. Back to the Dali valley for the evening. Extra fee : 490 RMB per person on a 2 travelers basis (62 EUR) / 290 RMB per person on a 4 travelers basis (37 EUR) / 225 RMB per person on a 6 travelers basis (28 EUR).

Day 8 : Xizhou – Zhoucheng - Shaxi (B) ~ 2h30 drive.

Breakfast and start at 08.30 am towards the Shaxi valley. On the way, stop at Bai Minority’s big village Zhoucheng, notably known for their craftsmen producing the Batik clothes. Check in at your charming guest house, in the heart of Shaxi Old Town. Discover the village. Stride through the picturesque small streets of this old city, which used to be an important waypoint on the Tea and Horses Road. Many cafes will be the opportunity to lay down on the big central square to rest for a while and enjoy the place’s atmosphere at the end of the day.

Meals at your expense.

Overnight at Aoding Courtyard 3*.

Day 9 : Shaxi – Shibaoshan (B)

After breakfast, morning walk throughout the majestuous site of Shibaoshan, located very close to Shaxi. It consists of a beautiful set of buddhist sculpture carved in the rocks and some 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.

Free afternoon in Shaxi to take some free time and enjoy at your own pace.

Meals at your expense.

Overnight at Aoding Courtyard 3*.

Day 10 : Shaxi – Shangri La (B) ~ 3 hours drive. Altitude : 3200 m.

Breakfast then road towards Shangrila Tibetan Region. At your arrival, check in at the charming Arro Khampa Boutique Hotel 4*, located in the heart of the old town.

This afternoon, 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 at dawn when the place gets enlightened !

Dinner at your own expense.

Overnight in Shangrila.

Day 11 : Shangri La / Ringha valley (B)

One day of visiting Shangrila and its surroundings, to begin with the impressive Songzanlin tibetan monastery. If time allows, feel free to go around the lake on foot, to get breathtaking views on this majestuous building. 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.

In the afternoon, discover the tibetan countryside. 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. Then you can venture to the nice Ringha temple, in the heart of a beautiful 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. Back to Shangrila.

Dinner at your own expense. This evening, take a look or even take part to the local people’s spontaneous dances on the main city square. Really a must do!

Overnight at the Arro Khampa Boutique Hotel.

Day 12 : Shangri La – Tiger Leaping Gorge (B) ~ 2h30 hours drive.

Take the road early today to get 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).

Check in at the Sean’s Guesthouse, a simple, clean and family style address, then go for a wonderful hike on the Gorge’s heights. You will reach the Tea Horse guest house by car, then you will first walk for about 1 hour to reach the Halfway Guest house and get lunch (at your expense), or simply enjoy the view and relax for a while.

Continuation this afternoon with 3h hike providing beautiful views over the Gorge, up to Sean’s Guest House. Dinner at your own expense.

Overnight in the Gorge.

Note : The hike can be optional. You can simply decide to lay down on the guest house’s terrace and contemplate the extraordinary landscapes all around, rocked by the dynamic Yangtse river. You can also chose to get to some view points by car with your guide (the Tea Horse guest house and the Halfway Guest house both have a terrace where you can eat and drink something).

Day 13 : Tiger Leaping Gorge – Lijiang - Shuhe (B) ~ 2h drive.

Early wake up. Take your breakfast with a breathtaking view over the high summits. Then for the most courageous, 2 to 3 hours hike way below in the Gorge, to get to the river’s shore. It will be then time to take back the road along the Gorge, before heading to Lijiang.

Discover Lijiang Old Town by foot and venture up to the very beautiful Black Dragon Pond with the mountains on the background reflecting into the clear waters.

Transfer and check in at the Bivou 4* hotel, which is located in Shuhe, a quiet old village away from the sometimes over-frequented streets of Lijiang, without being too far from there though (6km).

Dinner at your expense and overnight in Shuhe.

Day 14 : Lijiang valley / Shuhe (B)

Quiet breakfast at your hotel, mayne on the terrace, and go explore the surrounding Naxi villages, such as Baisha and Yuhu, from where you will have a breathtaking view on the Jade Dragon Mountain snowed summits that culminates at 5600m. Yuhu is also the village chosen by the explorer Joseph Rock to settle down, you can visit his house.

Back to Shuhe and rest of the day free. Say goodbye to your guide and your driver. We suggest you keep some free time to stroll in the heart of Shuhe old village. Don’t be afraid to get away from the center and go discover the hillside small streets with their vegetable gardens and the shady park (just behind the hotel) where the small rivers mingle with ponds, the water is particularly clear there.

Diner at your expense and overnight in Shuhe, at the Bivou hotel. 

Day 15 : Shuhe - Lijiang / departure (B) ~ 45 mn transfer.

Breakfast and last few moments before the transfer to Lijiang airport to take your flight back.

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 16 : 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 !

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The price includes

  • Charming hotels with breakfast included everyday
  • Experienced English speaking guide from day 3 to 14
  • Private vehicle with a driver for every transfers.
  • High speed train from Mile to Dali, in second class
  • Entries on site for visits mentionned in the program.
  • 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)   
  • Tips (you can count 180RMB/day total for the guide and the 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 – : 18660 RMB per person, that is 2392€ per person

Private tour on a 4 travelers basis – Flights not included – : 12500 RMB per person, that is 1602€ per person

Private tour on a 6 travelers basis – Flights not included – : 10680 RMB per person, that is 1369€ per person

David is an expert on this circuit Yunnan Landscapes and minorities tour.
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 or on this form:

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