Yunnan Adventure

  • Detailed Itinerary
  • Dates & Prices
  • Trip Notes

Yunnan is possibly the most geographically diverse province of China. In this short trip experience snow-capped mountains, river gorges and high-altitude grasslands as well as a wide diversity of ethnic peoples, each with their unique cultures, traditions and architectures.

Day 1: Kunming Arrival
Nihao! Welcome to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province! Your local guide will meet you on arrival and accompany you to your centrally located hotel (private transfer).
Your guide will go over all the trip details and logistics, then take you on an orientation walk to the Green Lake Park. This park was established early in the 17th century on the West side of the Wuhua Mountain. There are hundreds of species of trees and plants, as well as numerous birds and water flows.
If you arrive early, you may also go for a walk around this pleasant 'Eternal Spring City' famous for its temperate climate. Check out The Loft, an area west of the city center that used to be a factory and is now home to many small art galleries and cafés. You may also visit Yuantong Temple, the grandest Buddhist temple in Yunnan province.

Accommodation:
•Uchoic Hotel or similar ( 1 night)
Meals Included:
• There are no meals included on this day.

Day 2: Shangrila  Flight to Shangri-la, visit Sungtseling Monastery
Today you will fly to Zhongdian (3276m), also known as Shangri-la, referencing the mythic utopia created by James Hilton in his novel Lost Horizon. Zhongdian translates to Royal Ground, referring to the rich and fertile pastures surrounding the city.
In the afternoon visit Sungtseling Monastery. Built in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama it is the most significant Tibetan Monastery outside of Tibet. Five stories high and housing over 700 practicing Buddhist monks; the main assembly hall, with its dim light and substantial red pillars, takes you to another era. With its numerous chapels, woodcarvings and paintings Sungtseling is a living museum of Tibetan culture. After touring the monastery, we walk the surrounding kora (pilgrim circuit) for good luck.

Accommodation:
• Le Fu Ge Dan Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 3: Shangri-la. Hike in the surrounding countryside and meet locals
A day spent hiking in the surrounding countryside. First visit Dabo Si, (monastery), set within a beautiful landscape. Then hike through the immense grasslands, passing by Tibetan villages, where you will have the opportunity to chat with local people. Sit down for a cup of yak butter tea and learn more about the Tibetan lifestyle. The hike will be about 4-5 hours, not strenuous and rewarded by the incredible landscape and local interactions.

Accommodation:
• Le Fu Ge Dan Hotel or similar
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Tiger Leaping Gorge Hike, Naxi villages
Fulfilling the dreams of hikers around the world, you will set out to trek through the Tiger Leaping Gorge. This stunning canyon of the Jinsha River is nestled below the snowy mountains and offers some of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes in the whole of China.
You will leave your large backpacks behind and take only essentials for the two-day hike. Follow up a twisting path to a Naxi Family home, enjoying the breath-taking views en route. Then we go with a more challenging trek up the 28 zigzagging turns to revel in a panoramic view of the entire Gorge. After that, hike about one more hour to Tea Horse Guesthouse where you will stay overnight. The whole trek takes about 3 hours.

Accommodation:
• Tea Horse Guest House (1 night)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Tiger Leaping Gorge Hike
Today’s hike is slightly more challenging (approx. 4-5 hours). You may find yourself sharing the walking trail with donkeys and horses as this is still a popular form of transport in the more remote areas. The steep sections are well rewarded by the panoramic views that the ascent provides. After a lunch break at Tina's Guesthouse, continue to hike through the magical setting of Tiger Leaping Gorge, greeting local villagers along the way and eventually reaching Walnut Grove. Spend tonight in the small village of Walnut Grove surrounded by snow-capped mountains and spectacular views of the night sky.

Accommodation:
• Walnuts Guest House (1 night)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lijiang – Explore Lijiang Old Town
Early in the morning, a private transfer will take you through the beautiful mountain landscape to Lijiang (about 2.5 hours).
The Old Town of Lijiang is located on the Lijiang plain at an elevation of 2,400 meters in northwest Yunnan, where a series of strategic passes give access to the surrounding mountains. The Old Town of Lijiang is made up of three parts: Dayan Old Town (including the Black Dragon Pond), Baisha and Shuhe housing clusters. This afternoon, you will explore this beautiful old town and get a better feel of this ancient city.

Accommodation:
• Wangfu Hotel or similar (3 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 7: Lijiang  Explore Lijiang Old Town & half day hike
Today you will continue to explore the Old Town of Lijiang. Your first stop is the Black Dragon Pool, a famous pond in the scenic Jade Spring Park (Yu Quan Gong Yuan) located at the foot of Elephant Hill. It was built in 1737 during the Qing dynasty and standing on its white marble bridge offers you a spectacular view of the region's tallest mountain, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Next, you will visit the nationally famous Lion Hill Park located in the center of the old town. The park was built against the hill, resembling a lion lying sleeping, hence its name. From the ancient buildings in the park you gain a great a bird's-eye view of Lijiang's old town. In the afternoon you will head out of town for a hike from the Naxi village of Baisha to Shuhe village. We return to Lijiang for the night.

Accommodation:
• Wangfu Hotel or similar
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 8: Lijiang – day hike discovering traditional cultures and natural attractions around Lijiang
About 30minutes drive from Lijiang is Yushui village and from there start a guided hiking tour to Wenhai.
Wenhai is a little-discovered place just outside of Lijiang. Nestled in a sub-alpine valley at an elevation over 3000 meters and inaccessible except on foot, Wenhai provides the perfect setting for exploring the traditional cultures and natural attractions of Northwestern Yunnan.
You will first hike for about 2 hours to reach the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Pass (3250m). Then continue walking for one hour until reaching Wenhai Village (3100m). You will have lunch in a local farmer's house and visit a local school before traveling back to Lijiang by private bus.

Accommodation:
• Wangfu Hotel or similar
Meals Included:
• Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Dali - Arrive Dali & explore the town
This morning transfer to the station for a fast train to Dali. Dali boasts a prime position between the Cangshan Mountains and Erhai Lake, making it one of China’s most alluring ancient cities. In the afternoon, explore the ancient town and learn more about the history of the beautiful area. This evening is free for your own explorations. You may circle back to the Foreigner Street, where handicrafts and local culinary delights attract many visitors or chose a nice restaurant for some traditional local food.

Accommodation:
• Shuiyun Shuyuan Classic Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 10: Dali – hike Mt CangShan, Xizhou Village
Spend the morning on Mount Cangshan. After taking the cable car up, hike through terraced fields, tea plantations and along the edge of a dramatic river gorge to reach a beautiful alpine meadow with hidden waterfalls and stunning views of Erhai Lake. (3 hours).
In the afternoon head to Xizhou village, 23 kilometers outside of Dali old town. Xizhou is famous for its Butterfly Spring and Bai architecture. Take a guided tour of the town and the local markets which offer a great chance to learn more about Bai architecture. Interact with some local families living in the traditional courtyards and get a feel for local life. Be sure to try some tasty local snacks such as baba (fried rice cake) or the local cheese.

Accommodation:
• Shuiyun Shuyuan Classic Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Day 11: Dali-Kunming-depart
This morning, take a fast train from Dali to Kunming (approximately 2.5 hours). Upon arrival, you will be met and be transferred to Kunming Airport for your departure.

Meals Included:
• Breakfast

Visas - A visa is required for entry into China for all nationalities except Japan, Singapore and Brunei who are allowed visa free stays under 14 days. Travellers holding APEC cards are allowed entrance visa free if their card has already been approved for China.

Under the current guidelines to get a visa you will need to provide the following:

- Letter of Invitation from a Chinese agency

- Copy of Flight tickets

- Hotel booking confirmation

- Travel Insurance (some embassies ask for this document) 

In some cases, you may be required to provide further information or documentation and if this is the case we will notify you as soon as possible.

Booking a Single Room - On this particular tour we are pleased to be able to offer travellers the option of pre-booking a guaranteed single room. Due to the variety of accommodation used on this tour, single rooms are available for a majority of the nightstops, however it would still mean sharing on any overnight trains. All of our tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.

Vaccinations and Your Health - We recommend that you contact your primary care physician or a travel doctor for advice on vaccinations and travel health and we advise that you check to see if your tetanus-diphtheria booster is still valid every 10 years. 

Insurance - Travel insurance is compulsory for all our customers. At the start of the trip you must provide us with: the name of your insurance company, your policy number, a 24 hour medical emergency contact number, and the expiry date of the policy. You should ensure that your policy covers you for medical expenses and repatriation. If you are unable to provide all this information at the start of the trip you will not be allowed to join the trip. You can purchase insurance easily online by checking our Travel Insurance page.

Luggage - One main piece of lockable baggage and a shoulder bag. Total allowance: 44lbs/20kgs. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage – so don’t overload yourself. It is essential that your baggage is lockable; the airline/train authorities insist on this. Please be aware, before boarding a flight in China that the Chinese authorities will only allow bottles onto aircraft if they have been checked in as main luggage. Any bottles in the hand luggage may be confiscated.

Itinerary Disclaimer – The information in this trip details has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. 

Accommodation -Your accommodation is selected for convenient.




11 Days