11 Days Yunnan Classic Tour with Jianshui Old Town and Yuanyang Hani Rice Terraces

This Yunnan classic tour will lead you to visit most part of Yunnan Province. It is not only a classic tour, but also a photograph and minority culture discovery tour. Yuanyang is more original than the others. In Yuanyang, you will see a lot of Hani, Miao, Yao minorities. If you are lucky to meet the Sunday market in Laomeng Town, you will see more than 5 minorities dressing the ethnic costume in the market. Also you will have the chance to see the sunrise and sunset of the Yuanyang Hani Rice Terraces. If you come here at the beginning of the March, you will enjoy the Hani and Yi ethnic performance in the rice fields.

Highlights:

  • Visit the highlights of Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La, Jianshui and Yuanyang.
  • Discover the ethnic culture of Yi, Bai, Naxi, Tibetan, Hani, etc.
  • Enjoy the magnificent scenery of Yuanyang Rice Terraces.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Kunming Arrival
  • Day 2: Kunming – Stone Forest – Jianshui
  • Day 3: Jianshui – Yuanyang
  • Day 4: Yuanyang
  • Day 5: Yuanyang – Kunming
  • Day 6: Kunming – Dali
  • Day 7: Dali – Lijiang
  • Day 8: Lijiang
  • Day 9: Lijiang – Shangri-La
  • Day 10: Shangri-La
  • Day 11: Shangri-La Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Kunming Arrival

Sightseeing and Activities:Green Lake
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: None

You’ll begin your journey to the diverse and captivating province of Yunnan from the capital city, Kunming. Upon arrival at the Kunming International Airport, meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel. If time permits, take a leisurely stroll along the Green Lake, a charming area of teahouses and small boutiques selling handicrafts and beautiful local paintings.

Day 2 Kunming -Stone Forest – Jianshui

Sightseeing and Activities: Stone Forest, Jianshui Old Town, Chaoyang Gateway, Family Zhu Family Garden
Accommodation: Jianshui
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

You will drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. There is a local saying: ‘It is a waste of time not to visit the Stone Forest while visiting Kunming’, which vividly expresses the deep love of the local people toward this world wonder. The quintessential karst landscape makes every tourist lost in wonder. And then, you’ll drive around 4 hours to Jiangshui.

After arriving at Jianshui, you’ll visit the Jianshui Old Town and the Chaoyang Gateway Tower, which was built in Ming Dynasty (1389). It is also known as ‘Miniature Tian’an men’ because the out shape of it is similar to Tian’anmen Square in Beijing. Visit a typical southern private garden-the Garden of Family Zhu.

Day 3 Jianshui-Yuanyang

Sightseeing and Activities:Jianshui Confucius Temple, Tuanshan Village and Zhang Family Garden, the sunset of Laohuzui Terrace Field
Accommodation: Yuanyang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit the Confucius Temple, which has a history of 700 years. It is the second largest Confucius Temple in China. Then you’ll visit Tuanshan Village and the Garden of Family Zhang. Tuanshan Village is a rare surviving example of an intact-albeit neglected-traditional walled Yunnan village compound in southwestern China, and has been added to the 2005 list of internationally significant sites by the World Memorial Fund for Architecture (WMF), an international fund for the protection of world heritage sites.

In the afternoon, you will transfer to Yuanyang and enjoy the sight of terraced fields of Laohuzui (Tiger Mouth) at sunset

Day 4 Yuanyang

Sightseeing and Activities: sunrise of Duoyishu Rice Terrace Field, Doyishu Village, Qingkou Hani Ethnic Village, Bada Rice Terrace, Shengcun Market, the sunset of Longshuba Rice Terraces
Accommodation: Yuanyang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Get up very early in the morning, you’ll drive to visit Duoyishu Village and enjoy the sunrise of Duoyishu Rice Terrace Fields when the sun appears above the eastern horizon. The terraced fields are ring upon ring and cascade one by one. They go along the hillside up to the sky. You will see the scenery of the terraced fields from the top of the mountains to the bottom. They are all farms under the sunshine and cloud and mist. The landscape is spectacular. And then, you will visit Qingkou Village and rice terraces where Hani people for generations inhabit. Visit Bada Hani Rice Terrace, Shengcun Market as well. You will enjoy the sunset of Longshuba Rice Terraces in the late afternoon about 5KM away from Xinjie Town.

Day 5 Yuanyang-Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities:Xiushan Mountain Park, the Six Gezi Wooden Caving Doors in Sansheng Palace, Xingmeng Mongolian Village
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning you’ll drive back to Kunming. On the way, visit Xiushan Mountain Park, the Six Gezi Wooden Caving Doors in Sansheng Palace and Xingmeng Mongolian Village. Arrive in Kunming in the late afternoon.

Day 6 Kunming – Dali

Sightseeing and Activities:the Three-pagodas in Chongshen Temple, Erhai Lake Cruise, Dali Ancient Town
Accommodation: Dali
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, take the high speed train to Dali. As a historically and culturally famous city of China, it is renowned for her historical interest and Bai ethnic culture. After landing, you will visit the Three Pagodas in Chongshen Monastery which has a history of over 1,800 years located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle.

After lunch, you’ll cruise in Erhai Lake by the small boat to the Jinsuo Islet in the east Erhai Lake. There are 200 Bai ethnic families around 1000 people in Jinsuo Island. In Erhai Lake cruise, you will enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas from a far as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake. At last, you will visit the Ancient Dali Town, walk around the Foreigner Street and enjoy the relax time with local people. After climbing up to the City Wall of Dali, you will have a panoramic view of the Erhai Lake.

Day 7 Dali -Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Xizhou Town, Zhoucheng Village, Black Dragon Pool, Dongba Museum, Lijiang Ancient Town
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, you will head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture. Visit Zhoucheng Village and the Bai people’s Tie-dying cloth workshop where you can take some special souvenir with the Bai ethnic style.

Drive about 180KM to Lijiang with the beautiful farmlands and ethnic villages on the way. Lunch at NO.8 Restaurant at the bank of Black Dragon Pool, after lunch you’ll head for the scenic Black Dragon Pool and the Dongba Museum to explore the rich Naxi minority culture.

In the late afternoon, explore Lijiang Old Town. Lijiang Old Town has a history more than 800 years; it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi ethnic people.

Day 8 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishuhe River, Yulong Snow Mountain,Spruce Meadow, Baisha Old Town and Baisha Murals
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive about 30KM to Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M), you will take the sightseeing bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe Rivertake the chairlift up to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cableway will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around 1 hour in the original forest in Spruce Meadow (3200M).

After lunch, you will have an option to enjoy the Impression Lijang Ethnic Show (Tickets:190 Yuan not included) directed in Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M). A cultural show demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area. The show takes place inside Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park at 3500m in an outdoor theater specifically designed to showcase the mountain which is used as a backdrop. The production itself was designed by Zhang Yimou, Fan Yue and Wang Chaoge, a cast of over 500 people, and a number of horses. In the afternoon, you’ll stroll through Baisha Old Town, which is an enchanting traditional Yunnan town.  Visit the Baisha Mural about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997.

Day 9 Lijiang- Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:First Bend on the Yangtze River, the Iron Chain Bridge, the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument, Tiger Leaping Gorge
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

From Lijiang, you’ll drive about 60KM to the First Bend on the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, visit the Iron Chain Bridge, the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in the Shigu town. The town of Stone Drum got its name from a large, cylindrical, marble tablet shaped like a drum. The scenery is magnificent as the road running through the Lijiang valley which is filled with wheat fields and drying haystacks.

Visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river. Afternoon, you’ll head for Shangri La, the former Zhongdian which is well-known as the paradise destination for every tourist. Upon arrival in Shangri La, you will have entered the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys.

Day 10 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Sogzanlin Monastery, the Bita Lake & Shudu Lake, Dukezong Ancient Town, Guishan Hill, the largest Prayer Wheel
Accommodation: Shangri-La
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, visit the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere.

And afterwards you’ll visit the tranquil Bita Lake & Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park. Pudacuo National Park is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. While the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China’s land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species.

Visit Dukezong Tibetan Ancient Town in the late afternoon, climb up to the top of Guishan Hill or Tortoise Hill, you will see the largest Prayer Wheel of the world and have a panoramic view of shangri-La county and Dukezong Ancient Town.

Day 11 Departure from Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities: Departure from Shangri-La
Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Shangri-La airport for the departure flight to next place.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostel
Kunming Crown Plaza Kunming City Centre Wenhui Hotel Baiyun Hotel T&T Story Hotel
Jianshui Lin’an Zhu Family Garden Jianshui Hotel Huiyuanlou Guesthouse
Yuanyang Duoyishu Landscape Hotel Yunti Hotel(Shengcun Village) Yunti Hotel(Xinjie Village) Guanjing Tiantang Hostel
Dali Hilton Dali Resort And Spa Landscape Hotel Taiheju Hotel Dali Fengxue Gucheng
Lijiang InterContinental Lijiang Wangfu Hotel Louwailou Hotel Baisha Holiday Resort
Shangri-La Shangri-La Hotel Zhaxidele Hotel Shenqu Hotel Wu Fu South Yunnan Boutique Inn

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • High speed train tickets from Kunming to Dali (2nd class seats).

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.