An-Ciel-Yunnan-1-200x2007 days | Dali, Xizhou, Shaxi, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Shangri-La, and Lijiang

Tour Highlights:

  • The spectacular scenery of the Himalayas
  • Experience the local life of different minorities in Dali, Shaxi, Lijiang, and Shangri-La
  • Humanized, quiet and impressing hotels, away from the hustle and bustle
  • Delicious local food of the Bai minority and Tibetan
DAY 1: ​ARRIVAL IN DALI      2000 m alt.

  • Arrive in Dali by plane or train, welcome by your driver, and transfer to your hotel (1hr).
  • Stroll around the charming Dali Old Town.
  • Visit the Three Pagodas Temple, which is the religious symbol of Dali.
DAY 2: DALI – XIZHOU SHAXI    2300 m alt.

  • Drive to Xizhou (30 minutes), visit the lively morning market.
  • Stroll in the village Zhoucheng with its batik workshop.
  • Optional tour: Chinese cooking class with a Bai family.
  • Then drive to Shaxi (130 km/2h30).
  • Explore the Shibaoshan Grottoes and Baoxiang Temple on foot.
  • Walk down by a small path towards the Shadengqing valley (2hrs) or return by vehicle.

  • Stroll in the Shaxi morning market at leisure (Friday).
  • Along mountainous road drive to Qiaotou(2h30).
  • On the road, you would discover the old town of Jianchuan, little known by tourists but praised as the wood carving paradise.
  • Discover the Tiger Leaping Gorge, then check into your hostel.

  • Drive to Shangri-La(2hrs/2h30). On the way, a short stop is planned in the village of Nani.
  • Stroll in a Tibetan village around Napa Lake.
  • Stroll in the old town of Shangri-La. Visit the Guishan Temple and its huge prayer wheel.
  • Participate in the Old Town’s spontaneous Tibetan dances in the evening.

  • Visit Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in China.
  • Alternative proposal: It is possible to replace the cultural visits with a hike from 4hrs to 5hrs from Shangri-La town to Ringha village through forests and Tibetan villages. You will walk through the magnificent and varied landscapes (meadows, forests). Trek is not feasible in winter (between December and February).
DAY 6: SHANGRI-LA – LIJIANG      2400 m alt.  

  • Drive to Lijiang (4hrs).
  • Walk in the villages of Baisha and Yuhu, both are typical Naxi villages.

  • Stroll around the charming old town of Lijiang.
  • Visit the Residence of the Mu family.
  • Visit the Black Dragon Pond Park. It is a model of Chinese gardens and gives you a superb view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
  • Transfer to the airport or train station and take the return flight or high-speed train to your next destination.


Source: https://www.cielyunnan.com/circuits-courts-yunnan/les-incontournables-nord-yunnan/

The rates below are indicative, and they may vary slightly depending on the season or hotel availability.
Price per person based on With driver With driver + An English-speaking guide
2 persons 727 $ 1 147 $
4 persons 547 $ 757 $
6 persons 498 $ 628 $

Price includes

  • The hotels are mentioned in the itinerary (includes breakfast).
  • Transfers by private vehicle with a driver during the whole journey. For the group without a guide, if necessary, the driver will also act as a guide. Whenever possible we try to ensure that he is English-speaking. Otherwise, it will be equipped with a smartphone translator to facilitate communication.
  • Accompaniment by an English-speaking guides from the 1st day (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 contact 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).
  • Accommodation and meals for your guides and drivers.
  • One bottle of mineral water per day per person.

The price does not include

  • International and domestic flights.
  • Lunches and dinners.
  • Entrance tickets for tours and activities, to be paid for directly on site (around 345 RMB per person). 50% reductions sometimes for travelers over 60, free possible for those over 70.
  • Tips for guides and drivers (It is recommended 160 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

Recommended hotels

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.

Dali Dali Yanyuan Mountain Retreat Sky Valley Heritage Hotel Linden Center Hotel
Shaxi Shaxi Aoding Courtyard Hotel Shaxi Aoding Courtyard Hotel Wuliu Xinsu Inn
Tiger Leaping Gorge    Jade Snow Inn Jade Snow Inn Jade Snow Inn
Shangri-La Karma Cafe Guesthouse Zinc Journey Arro Khampa Songtsam Lvgu Hotel
Lijiang Bivou Hotel Zinc Journey Arro Khampa Songtsam Linka Hotel
Supplement/person / 74 $ 228 $

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

  •  The red lands of Luoxiagou (+1~2 days): Departure by road to Dongchuan (3h30/4hrs), a paradise for photographers. Still little known by tourists, Dongchuan is a mountainous agricultural region that offers magnificent landscapes of terraced fields that hug the relief. These iron-rich red soils mixed with the white, green, and yellow colors of the crops form unique pictures to surprises and fascinate travelers.
  • The authentic Nuodeng Village in Yunlong (+ 1 day): Nuodeng is located on the Ancient Tea and Horse Road, and it is a still unknown corner of China. You can discover the authentic life of the Yunnan people there.
  • 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.
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking (+ 1~3 days): Located between Lijiang and Shangri-La, it is one of the must-see attractions. A 1 or 3-day journey to get a magnificent view to those who like hiking. But some passages are narrow and dizzying, impossible for those with vertigo.
  • Tacheng (+1~2 days): Located on the fertile banks of the valley of the Golden Sands River, the village of Tacheng is best known for being the gateway to the Baima Protected Natural Park, which is home to the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey. The park offers the opportunity for beautiful short hikes but had better accompany a local guide who will know how to do in the event of encounters with wild animals because of their unforeseen behavior.

When to go?

You can travel to Yunnan throughout the year. But the best seasons to do this tour are in the spring due to the mild temperatures. The summers are pleasant, and the temperatures remain temperate. Although the monsoon sometimes brings abundant rains in July and early September, it doesn’t pose a problem for this cultural circuit.

Dali is a region with a mild climate that travelers can visit all year round. Rarely very cold in winter, summers are constantly cool, and the thermometer rarely goes above 30 degrees.

It is cold in Shangri-La in winter between December and March. The temperatures rise to 10 degrees during the day and drop below freezing at night. Warm clothes are essential.

Lijiang: Winters in Lijiang are sometimes cold, but never wet. While the winter days remain pleasant (average of 15/20 degrees). Summers are often hot (sometimes 30 degrees during the day) but never excessive. This pleasant climate is suitable for exploring the region all year round.

Other Recommended Short Tours in Yunnan

Rice Terraces Yuanyang

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Weishan, Nuodeng and Shaxi, Ancient Tea Horse Road

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Explore the less touristy beautiful villages of Northwest Yunnan in 4 days.

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Trekking in the Tiger Leaping Gorge

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