Yunan South of the Clouds

About This Trip:

Yunnan—which literally means “South of the Clouds” due to its location just in the south of the lofty Tibet-Qinghai Plateau—is home to some of the most diverse cultures, ecology, and terrain in China. With its verdant low-lying valleys, spectacular white-capped mountains, rustic towns and villages, and a lively mix of ethnic minority communities, Yunnan has long inspired poets and travelers.

Our Yunnan tour starts from Dali, which is located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain and was built in the reign of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty (1382 AD). We will spend enough time exploring Lijiang which is known for the famous Dragon Snow Mountain, its ancient town as well as the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

  • Duration: 8 days
  • Priced From: Upon request
  • Time to Visi: All year
  • Destination: Dali-Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri-la
  • Theme: Nature, Culture,Minority
  • Itinerary

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    Day 1 Arrive in Dali

    Take the flight to Dali airport, on arrival you will be transferred to Dali old town. The highlight of today is the visit of the Old Dali Town, which is located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain and was built in the reign of Emperor Hongwu of Ming Dynasty (1382 AD). You can taste some local snacks when your walk along the small streets. 

    Day 2-- Dali

    This morning we drive to Mt. Cangshan , take the cable car up to Cangshan Mountain, Leisure hiking down to the Cangshan Mountain, overlook the old town and Erhai Lake. In the afternoon we will have a boat ride on Erhai Lake to local ethnic Bai villages; overnight in Dali.

    Day 3 --Dali/Shaxi/Lijiang

    This morning we drive to Lijiang. On the way we will stop in Shaxi old town, where used to be an ancient trading post, and late afternoon we will arrive in Lijiang old town, free evening for you to walk around.

    Day 4 – Lijiang

    In the morning we stroll through Lijiang Old Town’s lanes and local market. In the afternoon we will hike near Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Next, we will have dinner in Naxi ethnic minority village. After that we go back to Lijiang old town.

    Overnight in Lijiang.

    Day 5 –Lijiang/Tiger Leaping Gorge/ Shangri-La

    We will drive for two hours to Qiatou (which means Bridge End in Chinese) (1835m). After crossing the Yangtze River, you will arrive at Tinas’ guest house. On the way you will have a great view of Yulong Snow Mountain and overlooking the Jinshaojiang River Valley. After a short rest in Tinas’ guest house, you will have a 2 hours walk to the Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge. Hiking down to Tina’s Guest house passing a small but high waterfall on the way. Next, we will trek further down to the Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge and back (which will take about two hours). After lunch, we will drive to Zhondian. 

    Day 6 Shangri-La

    Today we will visit Bitahai Lake and Ganden Sumsanlin Monastery. Hidden in dense forest, Bitahai is a well known freshwater lake in western Yunnan. In Tibetan, Bita means a blanket of oak trees. With an elevation of 3540 meters , the lake is 40 meters at the deepest and remains emerald all year round. Ganden Sumsanlin monastery is the largest monastery in Yunnan, built in the 17th century. This impressive monastery was established under the instruction of the 5th Dalai Lama, and is home to over 700 monks. We will drive back to Zhongdian, where you get free time to explore the old town. 

    Day 7 Shangri-Li

    Today we will go to the local village, see their traditional dancing there, and visit the local Tibetan family, have the experience of sipping yak butter tea with them. You will be able to try the Tibetan hot pot there, then go back to Shangri-la

    Day 8 – Depart Shangri-La

    The guide and driver will send you to the airport for the flight to Kunming, then change flight out of Kunming on your own. End of the tour.

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