6-day Scenic Holiday
Kunming, Dali, Lijiang
Have a brief encounter with the City of Eternal Spring, trace the ancient caravan route through Yunnan and marvel at the beauty of snow-capped mountains on the Tibetan plateau.
- Explore the mysterious stone forests of Shilin
- Take a boat down a subterranean river
- Ride a horse on the ancient Tea Horse road
- Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Lijiang’s old town
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Day 1: Kunming
Settle into your hotel in Kunming. Take an evening walk around Kunming’s old streets or wander around Cui Lake before going to watch the Dynamic Yunnan show. Choreographed by a famous Chinese dancer, this is your introduction to the 25 ethnic minorities in China who live in Yunnan province, their song, dance and culture.
Day 2: Kunming - Shilin - Dali
In the morning, we drive out to Shilin, a petrified forest shaped by wind and rain erosion. The fantasy rock formations of this UNESCO world heritage site will transport you to another world. Our next stop is Jiuxiang caves, the largest cluster of karst caves in China. We explore this subterranean wonderland both by foot and by boat.
After returning to Kunming, we take a bullet train to Dali where we will be staying the night.
Day 3: Dali - Erhai - Cangshan
Dali is the stronghold of the Bai ethnic minority and the one-time capital of the Kingdom of Nanzhao. We will take a drive around Erhai lake which lies on the fringe of the city, enjoying the mild weather and light breeze and visiting the markets and villages nearby.
From here, we head to the iconic three pagodas of Chongsheng temple, symmetrically arranged at the foot of Cangshan Mountain. A short cable car ride will take us up Cangshan where we can walk through rich flora and lush vegetation and soak up the misty mountain views.
Day 4: Dali - Shaxi - Lijiang
We continue tracing the ancient caravan route that used to weave through Yunnan and drive to Lijiang, a beautiful UNESCO heritage old town and home to the Naxi ethnic minority. En route, we can stop by Shaxi, an idyllic village and key landmark on the ancient Tea Horse road.
Our tour in Lijiang starts from Black Dragon Pool, the town’s primary water source. We walk through the park and into Dayan old town, learning about traditional Naxi architecture, sampling authentic Pu’Er tea, or just enjoy the stroll through the cobbled streets. We will end up at Lion’s Hill, the best place to get a bird’s eye view of the old town.
Day 5: Lijiang Shuhe and Baisha Old Towns - Lashi Lake
Lijiang’s UNESCO heritage old towns comprise three towns – Dayan, Shuhe and Baisha. We will spend the morning exploring the two other towns which are quainter and more pastoral, and learn more about the Naxi way of life. Baisha also contains some of the few remaining Naxi murals painted in the Ming Dynasty that survived destruction during the cultural revolution.
In the afternoon, drive out to Lashi lake to soak up some nature. Lashi Lake is a wetland nature reserve just out of the city, a haven for migrant birds in winter and also the origin of the ancient Tea Horse Road.
Day 6: Lijiang - Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Finally, after admiring Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from afar, we get up close by visiting the national park. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has 13 peaks, the tallest Shanzidou stands at 5,596m. Here, we can take a cable car to the glacier park to get a better view, and also visit the Blue Moon Valley and its jewel toned lakes.
Your private transportation will be waiting to take you back to the airport to catch your flight home.
Optional add-ons: For an unforgettable experience
Embark on an in-depth cultural exploration of Lijiang’s old town on two wheels. Our experienced cycling guide is of Naxi descent and is well-versed in the history and hidden attractions of Lijiang’s towns. Over 6 hours and more than 20km, you will cycle through the well-preserved Shuhe and Baisha towns and be immersed in the local Naxi way of life.