Magical for its natural and cultural wonders. This 7-day ready-to-travel tour shows Yunnan's beauties. Arriving in Kunming, you cross the province all the way to Zhongdian. Rugged mountains, Tibetan culture, fascinating small (fisherman) villages, natural botanical and zoological gardens, and old towns all with their own minorities. Magic forever....
Day 1: Shilin Stone Forest and Kunming city
Our driver and guide (if you wish to travel with a guide) will pick you up at the airport in Kunming. It is an 85 km ride to your first destination.
Your first stop will be the Stone Forest in Shilin. Stone Forest is a Unesco listed site. After the visit, you will drive in around 1.5 hours back to Kunming city.
In Kunming, you will visit Yutong Si Temple first. Secondly, you will visit Green Lake Park - also referred to as Kunming's Eye - and stroll around.
When ready to head to your hotel, we will help you to check-in. After you feel refreshed you can have dinner in one of the many restaurants in Kunming city.
Day 2: Fast train to Dali and explore Dali Old Town
After your breakfast, the diver will be waiting for you in the lobby. When you are ready, he will bring you to the train station to get on the fast train to Dali. He will help you to change the reservation into the tickets.
The train will leave according to its schedule. During the 2 hours trip, you can relax and enjoy the ride to Dali. During the ride, service will come by with drinks, snacks and otherwise.
Once at Dali train station a driver will stand by to pick you up. He will bring you to your hotel in the center of Dali Old Town.
Usually, we will meet you ourselves in the hotel, to make acquaintance and to help you check in. If you like, we will shortly show you around in Dali Old Town. The remaining part of the day you then can spend according to your wishes.
Day 3: Farmers and fishermen villages around Dali and the Erhai Lake
Without browsing Dali's surroundings, you actually haven't seen Dali. After breakfast, you will be picked up for a tour around villages near Dali. We will stop at various interesting points, to have time to 'inhale' Dali. For example, the Three Pagodas and farmers fields. You will visit the daily morning market in Xizhuo, you will meet farmers and fishermen, and you also will take a look at courtyard houses.
After an impressing morning, Chinese lunch in a village or the famous local dish Xizhuo Baba will refill your energy level.
Next is a local Bai performance, a walk at the shore of the Erhai Lake with beautiful old temples surrounding it.
In the afternoon we encounter the Bai village Zoucheng with its intimate market and small scaled Tie-Dye ateliers. The locals call it also batik.
You will be back in your hotel in Dali Old Town around 17:00.
Day 4: Explore Lijiang by day and night, Baisha and a Naxi farming village
After breakfast, you leave Dali to go by private car to Lijiang. The drive takes about 2 hours, but you won't be bored. The beautiful scenery once more will grab your attention, and there are of course many photo opportunities - have your camera ready! Around noon we check in at your hotel in Lijiang.
After lunch, you will drive to Baisha. Baisha is the former capital of the Naxi Kingdom. If the odds are in your favor, you might actually meet the legendary herbal doctor Ho. He might be waiting for you and invite you for a cup of herb tea.
Then, you will walk to an old temple and have a look at the ancient frescoes. Bring a torch!
Another walk to a Naxi farming village follows. If time and energy are sufficient, you will visit the famous Black Dragon Pool Park in Lijiang. In the evening you can listen to a concert of Naxi musicians. All musicians are senior citizens.
Don't miss your chance to stroll around this beautiful Old Town by night, after the show!
Day 5: Tiger Leaping Gorge & Shangri-La
Today you drive to Zhongdian, in 2001 officially renamed in Shangri-La. You will make a stop, after two and a half hour, at the Tiger Leaping Gorge. It is here that the Jinsha Jiang (meaning 'Golden Sand River') - the name for the upper reaches of the Yangtze - has cut a narrow gorge through the mountains.
Leaving the gorge, another three-hour drive will take you to Zhongdian, where you will spend the night.
After dinner, you have time to walk around the old city, and perhaps join the dance at the main square.
Day 6: PutaCho Forest Park, Songzanlin monastery and a Tibetan village
Today you will visit the beautiful PutaChuo Forest Park with the two lakes Bitahai and ShuDuHu and set eyes on grazing yaks on extensive grasslands. Then you will visit the Buddhist Songzanlin monastery, located just outside the city.
Next, your driver will bring you to a Tibetan village where you can visit a Tibetan family. Perhaps they offer you butter tea.
Unfortunately, time travels fast. It is time to return to Shangri-La Old Town, also referred to as Zhonxing, where you can have a pleasant stroll and perhaps you could buy some souvenirs.
Day 7: Relaxed morning before saying our goodbyes
After breakfast, we will escort you to the airport and say our goodbyes. You can take a plane to, for example, Lhasa (Tibet). Naturally, you will be met by one of my colleagues who will escort you to your hotel. Till we meet again!!