Travel the Yunnan Province and discover the most important sights in 4 daysMap
The comprehensive Yunnan Tour in south-west China
A China trip is not complete without visiting the Yunnan Province in the southwest of the Middle Kingdom!
Your journey begins in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Kunming is often called the "City of Eternal Spring" because of its year-round pleasant climate.
The modern Changshui airport makes Kunming an ideal starting or ending point for your China trip!
You start the day with a tour of Green Lake Park, where many locals meet to prepare for the day with all kinds of sporting exercises.
Afterwards you drive to one of the most famous sights of the Yunnan province, the stone forest of Lunan. The bizarrely shaped, up to 30 meter high rock needles are among the most remarkable landscapes in China and are also a popular destination for locals.
This Yunnan journey is the perfect complement to your China Business trip.
Yunnan Province: Ancient Kingdoms and Majestic Scenery
The next stop of your Yunnan journey is the old town of Dali.
As the capital of the ancient Nanzhao Kingdom, Dali has a turbulent past shaped by numerous victories, betrayals and defeats.
Although China's dragons are laying dormant since centuries, the Three Pagodas are still towering protectively over the old town of Dali. You will pay them a visit and explore the musem and adjoining park from where you will have a beautiful view over Erhai Lake.
From Dali you will travel by private car to Lijiang. The journey will already take you through the first foothills of the Himalayans, past small villages and through fertile farmland.
The old town of Lijiang, located in a fertile valley at the foot of the Jade Dragon Mountain, inspires by a maze of alleys and canals, which crosses the entire old town.
Mysterious Cultures in ancient Lijiang
Definitely a hightlight of your journey to the Yunnan Province in southwest China is the visit of Lijiang.
Upon arrival you will wander through the maze of Lijiang's narrow old town streets.
Listening the sound of water rushing through Lijiang's many channels, you will dive into the ancient and mystic, yet active Naxi Dongba culture.
On the next morning you will visit the Black Dragon Pool park, which used to regulate water levels in Lijiang's old town. On a clear day, the park nowadays offers a perfect view of the majestic Jade Dragon Mountain.
From Lijiang you can make a day trip to the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world. In the Tiger Leaping Gorge the difference in height from the Yangtze River to the highest peak of Jade Dragon Mountain measures almost 4,000 meters.
Day 1: Kunming - Stone Forest (Shilin) - Kunming
Pick up by your Yunnan tour guide. You you take a stroll through the idyllic Green Lake Park (Cui Hu), a popular gathering point for the local population, to see the locals engaged in their morning workouts, practice Tai Chi, show off their birds and enjoy social dancing.
After that you visit the Jin Dian (Golden Temple) a historically important Taoist Temple from the late Ming Dynasty, located at the northern edge of the city.
Continue to the Stone Forest near Lunan, where years of rain and erosion left behind a bizarre and impressive landscape of limestone pillars which, with a little imagination, indeed resembles a forest.
You have a walk through the maze of paths and walkways leading through this natural wonderland and learn more about the Sani people, an ethnic minority populating the area.
Drive back to Kunming.
Overnight accommodation in Kunming, capital of the Yunnan Province.
Day 2: Travel by high-speed train to Dali, visit Chongsheng Temple
In the morning transfer to the Kunming train station. Travel by high-speed train train to Dali. Dali is situated on the eastern shores of the stunning Erhai Lake on the foot of the 4000m high Cang Shan mountain range.
During the 9th century Dali served as capital of the once powerful Nanzhao and later the Dali Kingdoms, before the historical town was overrun by the Mongols about 400 years later. You take a stroll around the Old Town, visit the local market and the unique Catholic church built in Bai style.
Continue to the recently renovated 3 Pagodas of the San Ta Si Monastery (Chongsheng Temple) from the 9th century. The Chongsheng Temple with its characteristic three Pagodas (San Ta Si) is located about 3km north-east of Dali old town. The Monastery was built in the 9th Century, when Dali was the capital of the once powerful and influential Nanzhao Kingdom. During the Nanzhao Kingdom the Chongsheng Temple was a significant religious center for the fast expanding Buddhism in the region. Overnight accommodation is at Dali.
Day 3: Dali - Shaxi - Lijiang
Travel by private car to Shaxi. The traditional Bai village of Shaxi (Sideng) is located about 120 km North-East of Dali in the stunning surroundings of the Shaxi Valley.
Shaxi was formerly an important stop on the Tea and Horse trail from Yunnan to Tibet. The village has been renovated with the help of the Swiss government.
Along the way the car will take you to the Shibao Mountain. The impressive rock carvings of Shibao Mountain are over 1300 years old and are testimony of the spread of Mahayana Buddhism from Tibet in the region. You can either walk back to Shaxi (2 hrs) or take the car to the hotel. Take a walking tour around the old town.
Drive to Lijiang. Check-In at the hotel and take a short walking tour around Lijiang.
Day 4: Lijiang - Flight to Kunming
Lijiang used to be a pivotal stop for the horse caravans traveling along the “Tea and Horse Route”.
You take a stroll through the apparently countless and, on first sight, confusing narrow lanes and canals crisscrossing the picturesque old town. You climb Lion Hill to get a bird’s eye view over the roof tops of the old town. Visit the local fruit and vegetable market and relax at one of the many tea and coffee shops.
Drive to the village of Yuhu, a romantic village where the Austrian-American Botanist Joseph Rock used to live from 1922 to 1949. His house has been transformed to a small museum about the life and work of Joseph Rock.
Late afternoon transfer to airport and flight to Kunming.
"...every hotel on the trip exceeded our expectations. We loved the small boutique hotel in Shuhe, that was especially nice..."
Kuyit from Holland
"...many thanks for arranging this lovely trip...we can highly recommend Colorful China..."
Martin from Guangzhou