In the morning, you will go to the Jianshui Excursion Train Station located 30 minutes’ walk from your hotel, take the excursion train to Tuanshan Village.
Info: The earliest excursion train starts at 9:00, arrives at Tuanshan Village at 10:50. (There are several trains in a day, if you buy a round-trip ticket, there will be the returning time on the ticket)
During the journey, stop at the Double Dragon Bridge Station to visit the Double Dragon Bridge. The next stop is Xianghuiqiao Station, which is in the French style.
Discover Tuanshan Village and its traditional architecture that dates back to the Qing Dynasty.
You will return to Jianshui by excursion train. After returning to Jianshui, visit Chaoyang Tower, which is the symbol of Jianshui county.
DAY 5: JIANSHUI – YUANYANG 1600m alt.
Meet your driver at your hotel and transfer to Jianshui Bus Station (20 minutes).
Take a regular bus to Yuanyang (4hrs).
Arrive at Yuanyang Station, you will be met by your new driver and transferred to your hotel (1hr).
You can enjoy the landscapes of rice terraces on the mountainous road.
DAY 6: YUANYANG
Watch the splendid sunrise over rice terraces at Duoyishu Village.
Meet your driver and local guide at 9:00.
Visit the local ethnic minority market.
Hike through the rice terraces and small typical villages.
Discover several points of view on the rice fields: Bada, Malizhai, Quanfuzhuang, etc.
Wait for the sunset over the rice terraces at the “Bada” viewpoint.
DAY 7: YUANYANG – MILE, HIGH-SPEED TRAIN TO DALI 2000 m alt.
Meet your driver at the guesthouse, transfer to Mile by private car (240 km, 4hrs/4h30), and take the high-speed train to Dali (3h30).
Arrive in Dali, you will be met by your local driver, and transferred to your hotel in the old town of Dali.
Freely stroll in the old town of Dali to discover the quaint alleys.
DAY 8: DALI – SHAXI 2000 m alt.
Transfer to Xiaguan Bus Station by private car (30 minutes), take a bus to Jianchuan County (about 3hrs/3h30), which is little known by tourists, but praised as the wood carving paradise.
Arrive in Jianchuan, welcome by your driver, and transfer to the hotel.
Freely walk or bike ride in Shaxi Village.
DAY 9: SHAXI
Discover the lively Shaxi morning market (only on Friday).
Meet your driver and head to Shibaoshan.
Explore the Shibaoshan Grottoes on foot.
It’s possible to walk down by a small path towards the Shadengqing Valley (2hrs) or return by vehicle.
DAY 10: SHAXI – TIGER LEAPING GORGE 1800 m alt.
Transfer to Jianchuan Bus Station by private car (1hr), take a bus to Qiaotou (2hrs).
Arrive at Qiaotou, you will be met by your new driver, and visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge (there are 1300 stairs for a round-trip, or you can take the escalator, 70RMB for a round-trip).
Then transfer to the Naxi Family Guesthouse (20 minutes), start your trek to the Tea & Horse Guesthouse (3hrs).
DAY 11: TIGER LEAPING GORGE – SHANGRI-LA 3300 m alt.
Continue the hike to Tina’s Guesthouse, with a breathtaking view along the trip (3h30).
Arrive at Tina’s Guesthouse, you can descend to the bank of the Yangtze River, or the Middle Gorge (round trip is 2hrs).
You will take the bus to Shangri-La (The bus will stop at Tina’s Guesthouse at 15:30).
Arrive at Shangri-La Bus Station, you will take a taxi to your hotel located in Shangri-La Old Town.
DAY 12: SHANGRI-LA
A Free day in Shangri-La (without the car and guide).
You can take a taxi (about 30 RMB one way) or a bus (1 RMB per person) to the Songzanlin Monastery. Once you paid for the ticket, you can take the monastery shuttle to explore the monastery, which is the largest lamasery in Yunnan.
You can rent an electric bike (50 to 60 RMB per day for one bike) to ride around Napa Lake.
Freely stroll in the Shangri-La Old Town.
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 13: SHANGRI-LA – LIJIANG 2400 m alt.
Transfer to Shangri-La Bus Station by private car and take a bus to Lijiang(4hrs).
Arrive in Lijiang, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel.
Stroll in Baisha Village and Shuhe Village, both are typical Naxi villages.
DAY 14: LIJIANG, THE HIGH-SPEED TRAIN TO KUNMING
A Free day (without the car and private guide in Lijiang).
The rates below are indicative, and they may vary slightly depending on the season or hotel availability.”
Price per person based on
With only an English-speaking guide in Yuanyang on day 06
1 000 $
The hotels are mentioned in the itinerary (includes breakfast).
Private vehicles with driver transfers are mentioned in the itinerary.
An English-speaking guide in Yuanyang on day 6.
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 (FYI, we are using less and less cash in China for payment).
Accommodation and meals for your guides and drivers.
If you have more days for your trip, it’s possible to add/choose the extensions/excursions associated with this trip.
Puzhehei, also known as “Little Guilin” (+ 1 day): This region is home to magnificent limestone landscapes. A pleasant boat trip to discover lakes, caves, karst peaks, ethnic minority settlements, and the generally unspoiled ecological environment after arriving in Puzhehei.
Lugu Lake (+ 1~2 days): Located north of Lijiang on the border with Sichuan, Lugu Lake is the second deepest lake in Yunnan with an average depth of 40m. It stretches over an area of 48 km², and its crystal-clear deep blue waters bordered by coniferous forests offer a sumptuous landscape. Travelers can take a horse ride around the lake or take advantage of the canoes for a ride to the three islands of the lake.
Wumu and Baoshan(+ 2~3 days): Built at the beginning of the Mongol 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.
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 be a problem for this cultural tour.
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.
Yuanyang: The best season to visit Yuanyang Rice Terrace is spring (from mid-February to April) when the rice terraced fields are full of water. They make up thousands of mirrors that reflect the sky.
For more Yunnan travel information, we invite you to visit our home page.
15 days | Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La Deeply explore northern Yunnan and enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Himalayan range dotted with extraordinary encounters with minorities living on the borders of Tibet.