How to Travel between Kunming and Shangri-la

Shangri-la is about 630 kilometers (390 miles) northwest from Kunming. Currently, 3 travel ways are feasible between these two cities, including flights, long-distance buses and high speed train + coach. No direct train runs between Kunming and Shangri-la now. The direct flight takes 1.5 hours on the way and ticket fare ranges from CNY 800 to 1,000 for Economy Class. In general, the long-distance bus from Kunming to Shangri-la needs 9 to 9.5 hours with the fare of CNY 208 - 249 per person. Besides, passengers can take a high speed train to Lijiang Railway Station first; then transfer to a direct coach to Shangri-la; The whole single trip spends 7 to 8 hours and costs CNY 290 per person at least. 
How to Travel Between Kunming and Shangri-la

How to Travel from Kunming to Shangri-la


1. Best Way: Kunming to Shangri-la Flight: 1.5 hours, CNY 800 - 1,000

More than 15 Kunming to Shangri-la flights are operated by popular airlines from Kunming Changshui International Airport to Shangri-la Diqing Airport from 07:25 to 21:30. The time onboard is about 1.5 hours, and the ticket fares range from CNY 800 - 1,000. Passenger would have a large chance to get discounted flight tickets if they book in advance.

2. Alternative Choice: Kunming to Shangri-la Long-distance Bus: 9 to 9.5 hours, CNY 208 - 249/person

Both Kunming Coach Station and North Coach Station operate direct long-distance buses to Shangri-la currently. With the duration of 9 to 9.5 hours, travelers can catch this chance to appreciate the impressive natural scenery along the road. Here under are the detailed schedules and ticket prices of the coaches running from Kunming to Shangri-la:
 From West Coach Station: 08:30, 09:30, 19:00
Ticket Fare: CNY 208 - 249 per person
 From North Coach Station: 17:30
Ticket Fare: CNY 208 per person

3. Kunming to Lijiang Train + Lijiang to Shangri-la Long-distance Bus: 7 to 8 hours, CNY 290/person

Although there is no direct train between Kunming and Shangri-la, passengers can make a stop at Lijiang. First of all, take a high speed train from Kunming Railway Station to Lijiang Railway Station. It spends 3 to 3.5 hours on the way and costs CNY 208 - 220 for Second Class Seat. 

Then take a taxi to Lijiang Coach Station. The duration is about 20 minutes with the cab fare of CNY 15 - 20. After arriving, take a direct long-distance bus to Shangri-la. The duration is about 4 hours.
 Schedule: 08:50, 09:30, 10:00, 10:40, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:30, 17:10
 Ticket Fare: CNY 62 - 68 per person

How to Travel from Shangri-la to Kunming


1. Best Way: Shangri-la to Kunming Flight: 1.5 hours, CNY 800 - 1,000

The daily flight from Shangri-la to Kunming usually has 1.5 hours’ flying time. There are 15 to 20 flights serving the public from Shangri-la Diqing Airport to Kunming Changshui Airport, operating from 09:20 to 23:25. As the most convenient way, it is a prior choice for passengers who have tight schedule. Purchasing flight tickets in advance will help you enjoy 20-80% discounts. 

2. Alternative Choice: Shangri-la to Kunming Long-distance Bus: 9 to 9.5 hours, CNY 223 - 264/person

There are some long-distance buses serving passengers travelling from Shangri-la to Kunming every day, which needs 9 to 9.5 hours in general. They depart at 08:30, 09:00, 18:50 and 19:00 from Shangri-la Coach Station, costing CNY 223 - 264 per person. Taking long-distance bus is a relatively cheaper choice for passengers compared with flight.

3. Shangri-la to Lijiang Long-distance Bus + Lijiang to Kunming High Speed Train: 7 to 8 hours, CNY 290/person

From Shangri-la to Kunming, passengers can take a coach to Lijiang firstly. They depart at 09:00, 09:30, 10:00, 11:20, 12:10, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:40, 17:20 and 18:00 with the travel time of 4 hours, costing CNY 62 - 68 per person. Then take a taxi to Lijiang Railway Station, where you can find frequent high speed trains to Kunming. The cab fare is about CNY 15-20. The high speed train takes 3 to 3.5 hours on the way with the ticket fare of CNY 208 - 220 per person.

Kunming - Shangri-la Direct Train: 6 hours when opened in 2020

The direct train between Kunming and Shangri-la is still under construction, which is scheduled to serve the public since late 2020. The part between Kunming and Lijiang has already been finished. After the completion, it will only take 6 hours to travel between Shangri-la and Kunming by train. 
- Last updated on Jul. 17, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on How to Travel between Kunming and Shangri-la
Asked by Mag from SINGAPORE | Jul. 16, 2023 01:37Reply
Is the Shangri-la ~ Kunming Direct Train (6 hours) started operation?
Answers (1)
Answered by Olivia | Jul. 17, 2023 20:10

No, the section from Shangri-la to Lijiang is still under construction. The Lijiang - Kunming section has been in service.
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