Code: YUNNAN02

9 Days Panoramic Yunnan Tour to Kunming, Dali, Lijiang & Shangri-La

► Route: Kunming Stone Forest Jiuxiang Dali Ancient City Erhai Lake Lijiang Old Town Shuhe Ancient Town Baisha Murals Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Tiger Leaping Gorge Shangri-La Potatso National Park
Day 1 Kunming City Tour
It is recommended that you spend the first 2 days in Kunming City, the capital of Yunnan Province. You can stay near the Kunming Old Street, which is convenient for you to arrange a complete day tour of Kunming City. 

► Recommended Route: Old Street Haigeng Park of Dianchi Lake (2 hours) Yunnan Nationalities Village (2 hours) Yunnan Provincial Museum (2 hours) Guandu Ancient Town (2 hours) Green Lake Park (1 hour)

It takes half an hour and costs CNY 30 from Kunming Old Street to Haigeng Park, which is the best place to appreciate the Dianchi Lake, Kunming’s most iconic scenic spot. Especially from November to the next March, when black-headed gulls come for the winter, the scene is spectacular and interesting. After viewing the lake, walk 5 minutes north to the Yunnan Nationalities Village, where you will be amazed by the diversity of Yunnan’s local ethnic cultures, including their residential houses, crafts, and performances.

After lunch, take a taxi for 25 minutes at a cost of CNY 30 to the Yunnan Provincial Museum for a comprehensive understanding of the local history through its rich collection. Then a 5-minute walk north is the Guandu Ancient Town, a bustling town with more than 1,000 years of history. Finally, take a taxi for 40 minutes at a cost of CNY 40 back to your hotel in the Old Street. If time permits, you can also visit the nearby Green Lake Park. Kunming is really a tourist-friendly city that all the sites recommended today are free except for the Nationalities Village which charges CNY 90 for admission.

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Day 2 Day Tour to Stone Forest & Jiuxiang
On the second day, you are recommended to visit the famous world heritage site of Kunming – Stone Forest in the morning, and the Jiuxiang Scenic Area in the afternoon, both of which are located to the east of the city. After breakfast, head to the Stone Forest to enjoy the magnificent karst landscape.

How to Get There:
Take a taxi from the Old Street to Kunming East Coach Station first, taking 25 minutes and costing CNY 30. Or you can walk to the Wuyi Road station to take the metro line 3 to the East Coach Station, which takes 30 minutes and costs CNY 3. Here there are buses running to the Stone Forest.
► Bus Hours: 8:00-18:00
► Frequency: every 30 minutes
► Distance: 82 km (51 mi)
► Duration: 1.5 hours
► Fare: CNY 34

Facts of Stone Forest

► Recommended Touring Route: Shilin Lake Big Stone Forest Lion Pavillion Qingniu Xishui Stone Screen Inscriptions by Zhu De Crocodile Stone Stone Forest Landscape Daoshan Huohai Lotus Peak Jianfeng Lake Yangtian Fudi Old Vine Rhinoceros Watching the Moon Elephant Stone Turtle Stone Bell Stone Natural Singing Hall Wangfeng Pavilion Heart Stone Cat and Mouse Tiaoyue Field Lotus Pond Tang Monk stone Ashima Small Stone Forest
► Opening Hours: March to October: 7:30-18:30; November to February: 8:00-18:00
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 3 hours
► Ticket Price: CNY 130 for admission; CNY 25 for battery car.

After lunch, head to the Jiuxiang Scenic Area, to see the karst mountains, valleys, and splendid underground caves. 

► How to Get There: From Shilin Bus Station at the exit of the Stone Forest, there are minibuses to Jiuxiang, which take 40 minutes and costs CNY 10.
► Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 1 to 2 hours
► Ticket Price: CNY 90 for admission; CNY 30 for cableway

If you can finish the tour before 14:30, there would be enough time to travel directly to Dali by train. Otherwise you’d better get back to Kunming by bus to stay one more night, and travel to Dali the next day. From Jiuxiang, you should take a minibus to Yiliang North Railway Station. It takes 40 minutes and costs CNY 10 to 20. Here you can take a train to Dali, with a transfer at Kunming.

Train 7451 from Yiliang North Railway Station to Kunming Railway Station

► Time: 15:30 – 17:57
► Duration: 2 hours 27 minutes
► Fare: CNY 10.5 for a hard seat

After 18:00, there are 8 trains from Kunming to Dali. G2848 is recommended.

Train G2848 from Kunming Railway Station to Dali Railway Station

► Time: 18:41 – 20:46
► Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes
► Fare: CNY 145 for a second-class seat; CNY 231 for a first-class seat; CNY 260 for a VIP seat

After arriving, take a taxi from the railway station to the hotel you’ve booked in advance in the Dali Ancient City, taking 35 minutes at a cost of about CNY 50. Check in and have a good rest.

Day 3 Dali Ancient City Sightseeing
► Recommended Route: Dali Ancient City (2 to 3 hours) Chongsheng Temple (1 to 2 hours) Three Pagodas Reflection Park (1 hour) Yunshang Flower Sea or Zhang Family Garden (1 to 3 hours)

First, you can take a leisurely morning walk through the ancient city.
► Top Attractions: Wuhua Tower, City God Temple, South Gate Tower, Mansion of General Du Wenxiu, Dali Cathedral, Foreigners’ Street, Honglongjing Bar Street, Fuxing Road, Dali Museum, Dali Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum, Shuanghe Bridge, Xiyun Academy, Yuer Garden…
► Ticket Price: Free to enter the ancient city; some attractions inside charge separately.
► Opening Hours: The city opens all day long, while some sites inside open from 8:00 to 17:00.

Around noon, take a taxi, for 10 minutes and costing CNY 10, to visit the Three Pagodas in the Chongsheng Temple, once the imperial temple of the ancient Dali Kingdom. 
► Opening Hours: May to October: 7:10 – 19:00; November to the next April: 8:00 – 17:30
► Ticket Price: CNY 75 for entry; CNY 110 for the admission and the round-trip sightseeing car.

About 10 minutes’ walk south from the temple lies the Three Pagodas Reflection Park, where you can take great photos as there is a pool with a perfect reflection of the elegant ancient pagodas.
► Opening Hours: 8:00 – 17:00
► Fare: Included in the ticket of the Chongsheng Temple

Afterwards, if you go from March to June, it is recommended to visit the Yunshang Flower Sea, which opens from 8:00 to 19:00 and requires an entrance fee of CNY 34; while in other seasons, you can visit the Zhang Family Garden instead, which opens from 8:00 to 19:00 and with a ticket price of CNY 90. From the Three Pagodas Reflection Park, it takes 15 minutes and costs CNY 15 to 20 to get to either of the two sites.

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Day 4 Erhai Lake Tour by Jeep or Motorcycle
Erhai Lake is a must-see waterscape of Dali. The best way to tour the lake is to rent a motorcycle or a jeep with driver to go around it clockwise.

► Recommended Touring Route: Dali Ancient City Panxi Corridor Xizhou Ancient Town (1 to 2 hours) Haishe Ecological Park (1 hour) Butterfly Spring (1 hour) Shuanglang Ancient Town (2 hours) Nanzhao Folk Island (1 hour) Wase Town (2 hours) Little Putuo Island (30 minutes) get back to Dali Ancient City
► Opening Hours: All day long
► Recommended Time for a Visit: one day
► Ticket Price: Free for the lake, but some attractions around the lake charge separately.

In the morning, drive half an hour along the West Huanhai Road to view the scenery of the Erhai Lake, and you’ll reach the first highlight of today, Xizhou Ancient Town, to explore the secret of the Ancient Tea-Horse Road. This town retains relics of the old commercial groups, and the characteristic residences of the local Bai people. Visit the lively traditional market and try the authentic Xizhou snacks, and you will feel the simple happiness of the Yunnan aborigines. Another highlight in the afternoon is the Shuanglang Ancient Town on the northeast shore of the Erhai Lake. You can take photos, go rafting, or see the stylish studios of many artists. Near the town, Yuji Island and Nanzhao Folk Island are good places to watch the sunset. Finally, follow the East Huanhai Road to enjoy the scenery back to Dali Ancient City.

You are advised to take a train to Lijiang tonight, so you'd better return to Dali before 19:00 to leave enough time for catching the train. Take a taxi to the Dali Railway Station in 35 minutes at a cost of CNY 50, or take the bus line 8 to get there in 1 hour at a cost of CNY 3.

Train D8135 from Dali Railway Station to Lijiang Railway Station

► Time: 20:07 – 21:49
► Duration: 1 hour 42 minutes
► Fare: CNY 60 for a second-class seat; CNY 95 for a first-class seat

Book a hotel in the Lijiang Old Town in advance. Upon arrival, take a taxi to the old town in 20 minutes at a cost of CNY 20.

Day 5 World Heritage Sites – Shuhe, Baisha, and Lijiang Old Towns
In the morning, visit Shuhe Ancient Town in the north of Lijiang. This town is more quiet and simple. It was once an important site of the Ancient Tea-Horse Road, with a history even longer than the Lijiang Old Town.
► How to Get There: A taxi from Lijiang Old Town to Shuhe takes 20 minutes and costs CNY 20 to 25. Or you can take the bus line 111 from Dayan Huaxiang to the south gate of the town in 50 minutes at a cost of CNY 2.
► Top Attractions: Qinglong Bridge, Sifang Street, Jiuding Dragon Pool, Ancient Tea-Horse Road Museum, Sansheng Palace, Sifang Music Square…
► Opening Hours: All day long
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 3 hours
► Ticket Price: Free

After lunch, go further north to visit the Baisha Ancient Town, secluded with fewer tourists while famous for its exquisite and rare Baisha Murals with hundreds of years of history.
► How to Get There: A taxi takes 10 minutes and costs CNY 10 to 15. Or you can take the bus line 6 from Shuhe Wenming Village to the Baisha Town in 30 minutes at a cost of CNY 2.
► Opening Hours: The town opens all day long; Baisha Murals opens from 8:00 to 17:30.
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 to 3 hours
► Ticket Price: Free for entering the town; CNY 30 for the murals

Get back to the Lijiang Old Town in the afternoon. If time allows, you can visit the Mu’s Residence and wander around the Sifang Street, buying souvenirs and tasting local snacks.  After nightfall, the rich nightlife of the bar street will not disappoint you.
► How to Get There: Take a taxi to get back to Lijiang Old Town in 25 minutes at a cost of CNY 35.
► Top Attractions: Sifang Street, Big Waterwheel, Mu’s Residence, Lion Mountain, Wangu Tower, Wuyi Street, Big Stone Bridge…
► Opening Hours: The town opens all day long, while the Mu’s Residence opens from 8:30 to 17:30.
► Recommended Time for a Visit: half to one day
► Ticket Price: CNY 50 for the Old Town Maintenance Fee; CNY 40 for Mu’s Residence

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Day 6 Day Tour of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Today, you are recommended to visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which is the snow mountain closest to the equator in the northern hemisphere. Book a ticket of the Big Cableway to ride to a height of 4,506 meters (14,783 feet), from where you could hike up to see the magnificent glacier.

► How to Get There: Take a taxi from the old town to the mountain in 40 minutes at a cost of CNY 80 to 100. You can also hire a car for a round trip at a price of CNY 200 to 300.
► Top Attractions: Glacier Park, Blue Moon Valley, Spruce Meadow, Yak Meadow, and Ganhaizi Meadow…
► Opening Hours: 8:00 to 18:30 for the mountain; 7:00 to 18:00 for the Big Cableway
► Recommended Time for a Visit: one day
► Ticket Price: CNY 100 for the mountain; CNY 180 for a round trip of the Big Cableway; CNY 20 for the sightseeing bus; CNY 280 to 346 for the show of ‘Impression Lijiang’.

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Day 7 Tiger Leaping Gorge on the Way from Lijiang to Shangri-La
Tiger Leaping Gorge is the most scenic and challenging hiking destination in Yunnan. The roaring Jinsha River, runs through the steep and spectacular gorge between the lofty Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain. 

► How to Get There: There is a bus from Lijiang Bus Station to Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge, leaving at 8:30, passing by the Hutiaoxia Town, and reaching the gorge in 2 hours. A ticket costs CNY 25.
► Opening Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 1 day
► Ticket Price: CNY 65 for entry from Lijiang; CNY 45 for entry from Shangri-La

Visit the Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge, or if you are physically fit, you can transfer from the Hutiaoxia Town to the Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge for a hike, which usually takes 4 hours with high requirements for physical strength and endurance. Whichever route you choose, you'll end up back to the Hutiaoxia Town and take a 2-hour bus ride to Shangri-La, which costs CNY 40 to 60. The last bus is around 17:00. If you miss it, you need to charter a car or carpool with other travelers.

After arriving at Shangri-La, take a taxi to reach the Dukezong Ancient Town in 10 minutes at a cost of CNY 15, and check into the hotel you’ve booked in advance.

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Day 8 Shangri-La Day Tour
In the morning, you are suggested to visit the Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province. Built on a hillside, it looks like an ancient castle and is known as the Little Potala Palace.

► How to Get There: A taxi from Dukezong Ancient Town to the monastery takes 15 minutes and costs CNY 20. You can also take bus line 3 from the east gate of the ancient town to the monastery, taking 30 minutes and costing CNY 2.
► Opening Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 to 3 hours
► Ticket Price: CNY 90

After lunch, return to the Dukezong Ancient Town. You can walk in the Moonlight Square, climb to the top of the hill in the Guishan Park for a panoramic view of the town, and join other tourists in turning the world's largest prayer wheel to pray for yourself and ward off misfortune.

► Opening Hours: All day long
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 hours
► Ticket Price: Free

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Day 9 Potatso National Park
Today's recommended destination is the Potatso National Park, which offers stunning plateau landscapes, lush forests, meadows, lakes and wetlands that are perfect for taking pictures. Although the Bita Lake and Militangya Alpine Pasture inside are in maintenance for the time being, you can still visit the Shudu Lake and Luorong Village. The lakeside footpath is a classic way to tour the park and cure all unhappiness.

► How to Get There: There are 3 buses to the park from Shangri-La Bus Station every day. The departure time is 08:30, 09:30 and 10:30. You can consult the driver for the time of the return bus. It takes half an hour and costs CNY 15 for a single trip. You can also take a taxi to go there at a cost of CNY 70.
► Opening Hours: 8:30 – 16:00
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 3 to 5 hours
► Ticket Price: CNY 80

In the afternoon, you can continue your Shangri-La tour and visit Napa Lake Nature Reserve or return to the downtown and take a bus back to Lijiang, where you can continue the trip or transfer back home.

Bus from Shangri-La to Lijiang:

► Hours: 8:00-18:00
► Frequency: every 30 to 120 minutes
► Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours
► Fare: CNY 75