An-Ciel-Yunnan-1-200x20015 days | Kunming, Dali, Shaxi, Shangri-La, Benzilan, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Wumu, Baoshan, Lugu Lake, Lijiang, and Shilin.

Tour Highlights:

  • Discovery northern Yunnan in depth
  • The majestic landscapes of the Himalayan range, varied customs of minorities on the borders of Tibet
  • The villages of northern Yunnan are still little known to tourists
  • Charming hotels, overnight with locals

Discover the festivals and colorful markets of minorities

In the bustling and lively markets of the villages, you will meet ethnic people who wear their traditional costumes and jewelry. They sell agricultural products, fabrics, and handicrafts.

We also recommend that you attend a festival during your journey. It will be an opportunity to meet minorities who wear traditional costumes. You will see superb shows or religious ceremonies.

The itinerary is designed according to the festivals and the markets. The order of visits will be adjusted according to the dates of festivals and the markets. You can check the chart for more information about the festivals and markets.

DAY 1 : FLIGHT TO KUNMING    1900 m alt

  • Flight to Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, located in southwestern China.


  • Transfer to Dali by high-speed train, where is 400 km (about 2hrs) to Kunming.
  • Arrive in Dali, visit the Three Pagodas Temple, which is the religion center of Dali.
  • Then stroll in the old town of Dali.
DAY 4: DALI – XIZHOU – SHAXI     2000 m alt

  • Drive to Xizhou Village (30 minutes), visit the lively morning market.
  • Then head to Cangshan Mountain, where you can visit a tea plantation, to learn how to make tea: pick, roll, bake.
  • Then drive to Shaxi (2h30). On the road, stroll in Zhoucheng Village and visit the batik workshop.
  • Stroll through Shaxi Village, a former major trade center on the Ancient Tea and Horse Road.
DAY 5: ​SHAXI – SHANGRI-LA     3300 m alt

  • Visit the lively Shaxi morning market (only on Friday).
  • Explore the Shibaoshan Grottoes on foot.
  • Drive to Shangri-La (4hrs).
  • On the road, you will discover the old town of Jianchuan, little known by tourists, but praised as the wood carving paradise.

  • Visit the Tibetan local market.
  • Discover Songzanlin Monastery, which is the most important lamasery in Yunnan.
  • Take the lunch with a Tibetan family.
  • Stroll in the old town of Shangri-La and visit the Guishan Temple and its huge prayer wheel.
  • Participate in the spontaneous Tibetan dances in the evening with the locals in the old town square.
 DAY 7: ​SHANGRI-LA – BENZILAN     2000 m alt

  • Transfer to Benzilan (2hrs/2h30).
  • On the road, take a short stroll in Tibetan villages around Napa Lake.
  • Stop for the magnificent view of the Golden Sand River (Upper Yangtze River).
  • Discover the Dongzhulin Monastery.
  • Visit the Tharpaling Lamaist monastery, the only Lamaist monastery in Yunnan composed of nuns.

  • Drive to Qiaotou (3h30).
  • Visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge.
  • Drive to the Walnut Village (20 minutes).
  • Check in the guesthouse and take a free walk in the village.
  • Optional tour: If you are a fan of hiking, you can take a 3h30/4hrs hike along the Yangtze River. Very beautiful scenery during the hike.

  • Drive to Jiangbian Village of the Naxi minority (30 minutes), you will cross the Yangtze River by ferry.
  • Then drive to Wumu village (3hrs).
  • Take a walk in the village and meet a local Dongba priest if possible.

  • Drive to Baoshan Village (1h30).
  • Visit the fortified village of Baoshan.
  • Return to Wumu by private car (1h30).
  • Optional tour: For people who like hiking, it’s possible to hike to Baoshan Village. You will be accompanied by a local peasant guide and descend from the Wumu village to the banks of the Yangtze River (2hrs/3hrs) by a slightly steep path, then take a boat trip on the Yangtze River (40/50 minutes). Then you climb to Baoshan Village (1hr) through terraced fields and houses.
DAY 11: WUMU – LUGU LAKE     2700 m alt

  • Transfer to Lugu Lake (4h30).
  • After arrival, you will take a boat trip on Lake Lugu to the beautiful island of Liwubi.
  • Visit a small Tibetan monastery and stroll on this island.
DAY 12: LUGU LAKE – LIJIANG     2400 m alt 

  • After breakfast, transfer by car to the Yongning Village (40 minutes).
  • You will visit the Tibetan Zhamei Monastery and a small local market where you will meet the black Yi women in their traditional dress.
  • Then drive to Lijiang (4hrs/4h30).
  • Walk in the villages of Baisha and Yuhu, both are typical Naxi villages.

  • Stroll in the old town of Lijiang.
  • Visit the Residence of the Mu family.
  • Visit the Black Dragon Poll Park. It is a model of Chinese gardens and gives you a superb view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
  • In the afternoon, transfer to Lijiang Train Station (30 minutes), and take the high-speed train to Kunming (3hrs).
  • After arrival, you will be met by your driver and transferred to the hotel.

  • Drive to Shilin (1h30) and visit the Stone Forest.
  • Then drive to Kunming Airport (1h30) for your return flight.

  • Arrive home with precious memories in mind.


Source: https://www.cielyunnan.com/circuits-yunnan-deux-semaines-et-plus/balade-au-pays-de-shangrila/

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 1 552 $ 2 243 $
4 persons 1 103 $ 1 479 $
6 persons 1 006$ 1 249 $
Price includes
  • The hotels are mentioned in the itinerary (includes breakfast).
  • Transfers by private vehicle with driver during the whole journey. 
  • Accompaniment by an English-speaking guides from the 3rd 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 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 (FYI, we are using less and less cash in China for payment).
  • Accommodation and meals for your guides and drivers.
  • The high-speed train tickets: Kunming/Dali, Lijiang/Kunming (second class).
  • 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 directly on site.50% reductions sometimes for travelers over 60, free possible for those over 70.
  • Tips for guides and drivers (It is recommended of 160 RMB / day in total for the driver and 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.

Hotels 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.

Kunming Home Inn Plus Cuihu Moon and Chalice Boutique Hotel Sliver Chest Hotel
Dali Yanyuan Mountain Retreat Sky Valley Heritage Linden Centre Hotel
Shaxi Shaxi Aoding Courtyard Hotel Shaxi Aoding Courtyard Hotel Shaxi Wuliu Inn
Shangri-La Karma Cafe Guesthouse Zinc journey Arro Khampa Songtsam  Lvgu Hotel
Benzilan Tulu Lodge LUX* Tea Horse Road Benzilan Songtsam Benzilan Hotel
Tiger Leaping Gorge Jade Snow Inn Jade Snow Inn Jade Snow Inn
Wumu Huahuasei Lodge Huahuasei Lodge Huahuasei Lodge
Lugu Lake Lige Holiday Inn Lige Holiday Inn Lige Holiday Inn
Lijiang Bivou Hotel Zinc Journey Arro Khampa Hotel Songtsam Linka Hotel
Supplement/Per                    / 138 $ 529 $

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

  • Trek in the Tiger Leaping Gorge (+ 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.
  • The authentic Nuodeng Village in Yunlong (+ 1 day): Located 180 km from Dali, on the Ancient Tea and Horse Road leading to Tibet and Burma, Nuodeng is a small village perched on the hillside and accessible only on foot. 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.
  • Jianshui and Yuanyang (+ 3~4 days): With 150,000 hectares, the rice terraces of Yuanyang were classified as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2013 and consider to be the largest and most beautiful one in Asia. They are also home to the Hani, Yi, Dai, and other ethnic minorities, and those groups still retain their traditional customs and habits. Jianshui, a former stopover on the Southern Silk Road, is also known as a Confucian pilgrimage center. Every September, the locals worship Confucius in the temple dedicated to him, the second largest in China. The local culinary specialties such as Jianshui roast tofu are famous in Yunnan.

When to go?

You could travel to Yunnan all year-round. But the best seasons for this tour are in spring (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. If you come from the end of June to September, Baoshan and Wumu must be removed, because the roads to Wumu and Baoshan are eventually cut off by the landslide.

Dali is a region which we can visit throughout the year. Its climate is mild all the year. Rarely very cold in winter, summers are constantly cool and the temperature rarely exceeds 30 degrees.

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.

Lijiang: Lijiang’s winters are sometimes cold, but never wet, so the winter is pleasant (average degree of 15/20). Summers are often hot (sometimes 30 degrees in the day) but are also pleasant for visiting this region.


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