Shangri-La Transportation

Located in the northwest of Yunnan Province, Shangri-la has an average altitude of 10,761 ft (3,280 m). The special location makes its transportation different from other areas in China. The only airport in this area, Diqing Airport, operates limited flights every day. No rail line leads to this area yet. However, the Lijiang-Shangri-la rail route is under construction and is expected to operate in six years. Buses are the most common transport means in and around this area. Aside from buses, taxis, chartered cars and horse rides are widely used by local people and visitors.


Around 3.4 mi (5.4 km) from the city center, Diqing Shangri-La Airport is the largest airport in the east Tibetan area. Direct flights to/from several domestic cities are available, including Kunming, Chengdu, Lhasa, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Beijing and Shanghai. As it is close to the downtown area, passengers usually take a taxi to the airport at the cost of around CNY 30.

1. Banks: ATM of Agricultural Bank of China is in the waiting hall.
2. Dining facilities are on the right side of the 1st floor of the waiting hall, and the tea house is on the left side.
3. Useful numbers:
Airport Enquiry:  0887-8229916, 0887-8231553
Lost and Found Office: 0887-8229916, 0887-8231322

Long-distance Bus

In Shangri-La, coach is the most important vehicle. Visitors can travel by coach between Shangri-la Long-distance Bus Station and Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and other destinations. Here are some timetables for your reference:
 From Kunming
Schedule: 08:30, 09:30, 13:00, 18:30, 19:00, 19:30, 20:30
Passengers can take the bus at Kunming West Bus Station. It takes about 10 hours and costs CNY197-228.
Return trip: 11:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:30, 17:30, 18:30, 19:30

 From Lijiang
Schedule: 07:30 – 17:00 (every 30-40min) from Lijiang Bus Station; 08:20, 09:30, 10:30, 13:00, 14:30, 15:30 from Lijiang Express Bus Station
The duration of the whole trip is around 4 hours and the bus fare is CNY46-68.
Return trip: 07:10, 08:00, 08:30, 09:00, 09:30, 10:00, 10:30, 10:40, 11:30, 12:20, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:40, 18:00

 From Dali (Xiaguan)
Schedule: 06:30 – 12:00 (every half an hour), and 18:30
Passengers can take the bus at Dali North Bus Station. It takes about 7-8 hours and costs CNY83-106.
Return trip: 07:00, 08:00, 08:30, 09:00, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30

City Bus

There are six city bus lines in town. Please note that bus no. 2 take passengers to the local Long-distance Bus Station and no. 3 leads to Songzanlin Monastery. To take a city bus, it is suggested to prepare CNY1 loose change in advance. 


Taxis in Shangri-la are in service for 24 hours. As the town is not large, many taxi drivers don’t charge by meter. Usually the fare is no more than CNY10 if shuttling within the town. If you insist in paying according to the taximeter, the starting rate is CNY5 for the first 3km (2mi), and it costs CNY1.8 for each subsequent kilometer (0.6mi). CNY2 fuel fee is required for each ride.

Chartered Car

The scenic cities in Yunnan are usually far from one to another. To avoid tiring bus travel, many people prefer to charter a car or van. By doing this, they can not only have a good rest, but also freely appreciate the nice scenery on the way. Here is the approximate chartered car charge for your reference (all for single trip):
To Songzanlin Monastery: about CNY50;
To Potatso National Park: CNY150-200;
To Thousand Lakes Mountain: CNY400;
To Lijiang: CNY500-600;
Shangri-la – Tiger Leaping Gorge – Lijiang: CNY600-800.


In many places of Shangri-la, the most beautiful scenery cannot be admired without horses. For instance, the way to the Bitahai Lake is much easier by horse than car. After getting to Shuangqiao by car or bus, most tourists choose to hire a horse to the scenic spot at a cost of around CNY50. The horses are provided by local Tibetans. They will tell you how to ride as well as any dos and don'ts.
- Last modified on Jan. 28, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Shangri-La Transportation
Asked by Kate from THAILAND | Jan. 23, 2019 22:34Reply
Shangri-La or Zhongdian
Is it the same place? and what's about Riwa?
Answers (1)
Answered by Grace from CANADA | Jan. 28, 2019 19:26

Yes, these three are the same place.
Asked by Kwang from THAILAND | Dec. 23, 2018 08:39Reply
Is there any public bus from shangrila to tiger leaping gorge?and the bus schedule?
Thank so much
Answers (3)
Answered by Olivia from FRANCE | Dec. 23, 2018 22:09

You need to take a coach from Shangri-la Coach Station to Qiaotou Town first. As I know, the bus schedule is 14:30 every day. After arriving, hire a private car to the scenic area.
Answered by Kwang from THAILAND | Dec. 24, 2018 04:50
00Reply much of bus ticket from shangrila to qiaotou town?
2.bus schedule from qiaotou town to lijiang?ticket rate? and the bus schedule?
Thank you very much.
Answered by Olivia | Dec. 26, 2018 17:39

1. CNY22 per person
2. Sorry, I cannot find the exact bus schedule on the internet.
Asked by Anupab from THAILAND | Nov. 14, 2018 18:47Reply
Return bus ticket Lijiang - Shangri-la

Can we buy the bus ticket in advance or it can be purchased only before departure?

Does the last bus only depart at 15:30?

Answers (2)
Answered by Setlla from USA | Nov. 15, 2018 23:14

Hi, both are OK. And the last bus indeed departs at 15:30.
Answered by Anupab from THAILAND | Nov. 16, 2018 01:40

Thank you. See on anoter website there is anoter later schedule. Not really sure now.
Asked by Nitchanun from THAILAND | Nov. 08, 2018 03:04Reply
Bus from shangrila to kunming
We will come back to Kunming by bus on 4 Jan 2019
What time available? Cost? How long?
Answers (1)
Answered by Delaney from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 08, 2018 19:48

There are four buses available: 08:30, 14:00, 18:00 and 19:00. The ticket price is CNY290. The duration is about 9 hours.
Asked by Pichada from THAILAND | Nov. 05, 2018 01:26Reply
Hi I want to know the bus schedule from Kunming to Shangri-la and What type of this bus and price?
Answers (1)
Answered by Cal from USA | Nov. 06, 2018 22:17

The bus schedule is 08:00 or 09:00, 14:00, 20:00 and 20:30. The ticket price is CNY208/ 249 per person. It is a large coach for passengers.
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