An-Ciel-Yunnan-1-200x20018 days | Beijing, Xi’an, Lijiang, Shangri-La, Shaxi, Dali, Shilin, Yuanyang, Jianshui, and Kunming

Tour Highlights:

  • The Great Wall, and the Forbidden City in Beijing
  • Xi’an and its famous terracotta army of the first emperor of China
  • The stunning mountain landscape in the north of Yunnan
  • The most beautiful rice fields in the south of Yunnan
  • Meet local ethnic minorities
  • Shangri-La and its” moon city “, in the foothills of Tibet
  • Enjoy 3 special meals: Peking duck, Xi’an dumpling, and Shangri-La Yak

  • Flight to Beijing, the capital of China.
DAY 2: ​ARRIVAL IN BEIJING      52 m alt.  

  • You have the rest of the day at leisure. We’d suggest exploring the Beijing Hutong.

  • Visit the Great Wall at Jinshanling, with its spectacular views and mountain scenery. This is one of the quietest and most attractive parts of the wall.

  • Exploring the Temple of Heaven with your private guide, was an important place of worship for the emperors.
  • Visit the Lama Temple (Yonghegong), the second largest Lamaist place of worship in China.
  • Visit Jingshan Park, you can see the Forbidden City and the panorama of the capital.
  • Beijing specialty: Peking Roast Duck.

  • Visit Tian’anmen Square.
  • Explore the Forbidden City.
  • Take a tour of the scenic Summer Palace, the largest and most well-preserved royal park in Beijing, taking in its lakes, gardens, corridor, and pavilions.
  • Transfer to the train station, and take a soft sleeping berth to Xian, overnight on the train (20: 40/08: 31).
  • Optional tour: take the high-speed train to Xi’an (5hrs). If you want, stay overnight in Xi’an.

  • On arrival, you’re met by a private guide and driver and transferred to your hotel.
  • Head to the tour of the Terracotta Army of the First Qin Emperor.
  • Take a bike ride on the Ancient City Wall, which is originally built during the Ming dynasty, you can see the magnificent views of the city.
  • Explore the Muslim Quarter of the city and visit the Great Mosque.
  • Xi’an specialty: dumpling feast.
DAY 7: XI’AN – LIJIANG      2400 m alt. 

  • Transfer to the airport and take the early flight to Lijiang.
  • Stroll around the charming old town of Lijiang.
  • Visit the Zhongyi Market and the Black Dragon Pool Park.
  • Stay overnight at a pretty inn located on the foot of the Jade Dragon Mountain.

  • Stroll at Shuhe Village and Baisha Village at leisure.
  • Drive to Shangri-La (220 km/4hrs).
  • Begin your guided trek through Tiger Leaping Gorge. This gorge is one of the deepest canyons in the world.
  • Stroll around the charming old town of Shangri-La, visit the Guishan Temple and its prayer wheel.
  • Participate in the old town’s spontaneous Tibetan dances in the evening.
  • Dinner of Tibetan specialties in an excellent local restaurant in Shangri-La Old Town.

  • Visit a lively local Tibetan market.
  • Visit Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Yunnan.
  • You have some time at leisure to wander around Napa Lake.
  • Visit a Tibetan family.
DAY 10: SHANGRI-LA – SHAXI      2100 m alt.

  • Drive to Shaxi (220 km/5hrs).
  • Visit the First Bend of the Yangtze River in Shigu Village on the way.
  • Stroll in the Shaxi village at leisure, admiring its 14th-century Ming Dynasty buildings. You’ll see vignettes of daily life.
DAY 11: SHAXI – XIZHOU      2000 m alt.

  • Stroll in the Shaxi morning market at leisure (Only on Friday).
  • Explore the Shibaoshan Grottoes and Baoxiang Temple on foot.
  • Drive to Xizhou Village (120 km/2h30).
  • Stroll through Zhoucheng, a village famous for the production of batik.
  • Discover the village of Xizhou, renowned for the charm of its beautiful traditional houses.

  • Visit a lively morning market of Xizhou.
  • Then depart for Cangshan Mountain, where you can visit a tea plantation, to learn how to make tea: pick, roll, bake.
  • Stroll in Dali Old Town.
  • Drive to Dali railway station and take the high-speed train to Shilin (2h30).
  • Arrival, transfer to the hotel (40 minutes).

  • Drive to Shilin to visit the Stone Forest, which is famous for its karst formations and was listed in the Natural Heritage.
  • Drive to Yuanyang (5h30). You will see the rice terraces along the mountain road as soon as you arrive.
  • Glowing sunset over the rice fields at the “Bada” viewpoint.

  • Watch the majestic sunrise over the rice terraces at Duoyishui village. The rice terraces reflect the light from the sun like thousands of mirrors.
  • Explore a colorful ethnic market, with local people wearing their distinctive traditional dress. It’s a good opportunity to get a feel for their lifestyle.
  • Hike through beautiful landscapes made up of rice terraces and small villages.
  • Visit several well-known viewpoints along the rice terraces: Malizhai, Quanfuzhuang, Laoyingzui, etc.


  • Visit the pottery workshop in Wanyao Village.
  • Drive to the ancient village of Tuanshan (13 km/30 minutes) and visit its traditional architecture that dates back to the Qing Dynasty.
  • On the way, stop to visit the Double Dragon Bridge.
  • Drive to Kunming (3h30) and check in at your hotel.
  • Optional tour: In the evening, you will attend the very wonderful performance of the minorities of Yunnan entitled “Dynamic Yunnan” (20:00 to 21:30)

  • Freely stroll in Green Lake Park, which is located near your hotel. It is the most well-known garden with a history of 300 years.
  • Visit the Yuantong Buddhist Temple.
  • Transfer to Kunming Airport and take the return flight.

  • Arrive home with good memories in mind.


Source: https://www.cielyunnan.com/circuits-yunnan-deux-semaines-et-plus/chine-imperiale-et-minorites/

The prices below are given as an indication, they may vary slightly according to the seasons or the availability of hotels.
Price per person based on Driver + Partial Guide Driver + An English-speaking guide throughout the trip
2 persons 2 510 $ 3 266 $
4 persons 1 933 $ 2 358 $
6 persons 1 728 $ 2 016 $

Price includes

  • The mentioned hotels with breakfast.
  • Transfers by private vehicle with the driver during the whole journey. For the group without a guide, if necessary, the driver will also act as a guide.
  • Accompaniment by English-speaking guides (if this option has been chosen).
  • For the group without a guide, a smartphone will be given on your arrival. You will always be in touch with our 24-hour service. We are going to offer you restaurants with their locations, you can also try cashless payment anywhere in China (we rarely use cash in China for payment).
  • Meals mentioned in the program (a Beijing duck dinner on day 04, in Xi’an on day 06, lunch in Shangri-La on day 09).
  • Accommodation and meals for your guides and drivers.
  • Plane tickets: Xi’an/Lijiang (economy class, including tax).
  • The high-speed train tickets: Beijing/Xi’an, Dali/Shilin (second class).
  • Ticket for the Forbidden City on day 04 (must be reserved in advance).
  • One bottle of mineral water per day per person.

The price does not include

  • International flights.
  • Lunches and dinners.
  • Entrance tickets for tours and activities, to be paid for directly on site (approximately RMB 1,009 per person). 50% reductions sometimes for travelers over 60, free possible for those over 70.
  • Tips for guides and drivers (It is recommended 120 RMB / day in total for the driver guide).
  • Accident, repatriation, and health insurance.
  • The visa fees.

Warm Tips:

  • You can also check out our organized small group tours here
  • To facilitate your stay, we suggest that you change your quotes on arrival and departure at the current exchange rate. The formalities to be completed in Chinese banks are particularly tedious.

Hotel offered 

For each city, we have recommended two or three hotels for you to choose from below. The first hotel listed has been pre-selected by Ciel Yunnan.


Beijing Dongfang Hotel Double Happiness Courtyard Beijing Cote Cour Hotel
Xi’an Skytel Hotel Grand Mercure Renmin Square Shangri-La Hotel
Lijiang Country Inn Bivou Hotel Songtsam Lodge Lijiang
Shangri-La Karma Cafe Guesthouse Zinc journey Arro Khampa Songtsam Hotel
Shaxi Aoding Courtyard Hotel Aoding Courtyard Hotel Shaxi Wuliu Inn
Dali E-outfitting Boutique Sky Vallery Heritage Linden Centre Hotel
Weishan Weishan Laoguan Weishan Laoguan Weishan Laoguan
Kunming Home Inn Plus Cuihu Grand Park Hotel Silver Chest Boutique
Supplement/person            / 163 $ 586 $

If you have more days for your trip, it’s possible to add/choose the extensions/excursions associated with this trip.

  • The authentic Nuodeng Village in Yunlong (+ 1 day): Located 180 km from Dali, on the old tea and horse road leading to Tibet and Burma, Nuodeng is a small village perched on the hillside and accessible only on foot. On-site, you have the opportunity to visit one of the oldest salt wells in the region. The steep streets of this village lead to the imposing temple of Confucius and his monastery located at the top of the village, which enjoy a superb view of the valley.
  • Wumu and Baoshan (+ 2~3 days): Built at the beginning of the Mongolian dynasty, Baoshan and Wumu are the two most beautiful villages in Yunnan. Perched on a natural promontory, these fortified Naxi villages overlook the Yangtze. The scenery on the river and the terraced fields are breathtakingly beautiful.
  • Lugu Lake (+ 1~2 days): Located north of Lijiang on the border with Sichuan, Lugu Lake, with an average depth of 40 m, is the second deepest lake in Yunnan. It stretches over an area of 48 km², and its crystal-clear deep blue waters combined with coniferous forests offer a sumptuous landscape. Travelers can ride a horse around Lugu Lake or drive the canoes to the three islands inside it.
  • GuilinLongji Rice Terraces and Yangshuo (+ 2~4 days) Guilin is famous for its strangely harmonious rocky landscape, furrowed by erosion, and the unusual beauty of its hills sculpted by rice fields at altitudes endlessly on crests.
When to go?

The best times for this tour are from March to June and from September to early November when temperatures are mild.

September and October are the best months to travel to Beijing. The temperatures are mild and it is very sunny.

Spring (April and May) is also a good time to visit Beijing. It’s a little hot and dry but temperatures vary greatly between day and night.

Summer (June and September) is long in Beijing.  Températures regularly reach 40 °C.

Beijing has a cold and dry winter from December to February. It is sometimes sunny, but temperatures often drop below 0 ° C. Warm clothes are necessary.

The best time to visit Xi’an is from March to May. In March, the temperature is between 8 ° C and 14 ° C while in April and May, they rise to 20 ° C.

It is also a good time to enjoy your stay in Xi’an in September and October. But the weather is very rainy in autumn and the sky is often cloudy. Temperatures can be a little cool depending on the day.

Summer is both hot and humid.

Winter is from November to February. It snows from time to time and temperatures are generally low. The coldest month of the year is January, the average temperature is 0 ° C. So you need to wear it accordingly.


You could travel to Yunnan all year-round. But the best seasons for this tour are in spring and in Autumn (between April and early June) and in Autumn (between September and early November) when temperatures are mild. The summer is pleasant and the climate is cool. Although it rains from July to the beginning of September, it will not pose any problem for your cultural trip.

It is cold in Shangri-La in winter from December to March of the following year. The temperature is 10 degrees during the day and below zero in the evening. Warm clothes are essential.

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