8 Days Yunnan Exploration Tour
D1: Dali –Weishan altitude 2100ms(1.5 hours roads)
Arrival at Dali (night train or morning flight) then drive to Weishan county which is still unknown by the tourists and it also the birthplace of the Nanzhao kindom. Depending on the day you arrive, along the way , in a town Dachong, 10,20,30 of every month, there will be a market where you can stop and meet the minorities Hui and Yi. Continue to the Weishan old town . Walk around the old town and climb to the Hongwu gateway to have a bird view of the overall city. Lunch in one local restaurant then drive to the Weibaoshan which is one of the famous 13 Daoist mountains in China. The mountain is very quite and there are around twenties temples hidden in the forest.
After the visiting , drive back to Dali time free afternoon in the Dali old town. night at Dali
Hotels recommended : Jim’s Tibetain guesthouse charming (southern gate of the old town), Landscape hotel 4* (in the old town) fairy land guesthouse ,Dld Banyan tree 5* (in the old town) Linden Centre 4* super charming (Xizhou village)
D2: Dali altitude 1900ms
Take a pictures from outside for the Three Pagodas ( there too many groups visiting this place and the temple is rebuilt, if you want we can visit inside) then drive to Xizhou village to assist the morning market which hold every morning ; then take local village taxi (horse carriage ) through the rice field to the Erhai lake where we take small boat to see those cormorants catching fish in the lake. Have lunch at Zhoucheng Bai minority village where a lot of family workshops making the batik with the plant indigos.
Time free in the afternoon
Night at Dali
D3 Dali –Shaxi altitude 2050ms(3hours’ road)
Along the way , we will stop to visit two places: the first stop is the West lake which is one hour’s road from Dali. We can go through those village seprated in the middle of the lake , we call it mini Venice .
The second stop is the Shibaoshan mountain which is 40 minutes away from our destination Shaxi village. This mountain is famous for two sites
:one is the Baoxiang temple hanging at the cliff, the other is the grottos sculpted along the red rock . if we have time and energy we can climb both of the two sites , if not we go directly to the grottos because it is magnificent. After visiting the grottos, we can walk down to Shaxi or take the car down
Night at Shaxi
Hotels recommended: Dragonfly guesthouse charming (in the village, surrounded by the rice field
Laomadian super charming (in the middle of Shaxi old town)
D4 :Shaxi---Lijiang altitude 2400ms (3 hour’s roads)
Walk around a bit in the morning in the Shaxi old village which was one very important stop for the ancient Tea-horse Caravan then drive to Lijiang. On the way stop to visit the Zhiyun lamasery temple on the lake Lashi, the temple is quite and you can meet the little monks running around the temple. Continue to Yuhu Naxi people village which is at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow mountain (5596 metres) , have lunch in one naxi family then walk around the village .
After the Yuhu ,drive to Baisha village which is the biggest Naxi people village in this region where you can visit the world famous and interesting Dr. He,who take care of the sick persons with traditional herbe medicines. Then go back to Lijiang old town which was the biggest crossing for the ancient Tea-horse Caravan and was listed in the the Unesco in 1997.
Afternoon we go to one nice teahouse to taste the famous Pu'er tea, then time free for walking the old town.
Night at Lijiang
Hotels recommended :
Yiyuan guesthouse (taditioanl naxi house , in the old town)
Sanhe 3*(in the old town)
Zengarden 4* (in the old town, charming guesthouse, there are two, one is near the Sifang Square and the other is in the lion hill with good view )
Crowne plaza 5*(at the side of the old town)
Pullman resort 5*(in the new town, not very convenient )
Banyan tree 5* ( in the new town , not very convenient)
This day we will visit the Mu’s palace, known as forbidden city of Lijiang, the ancient palace of the local royal family Mu. Climbing to the Lion hill where you can have a bird’s view of both the old town and the new town. Visiting the biggest market nearby then drive to Black Dragon Pool Park and the Dongba culture museum .
Afternoon time free for explore more about the old town.
Hotels ( above)
D6: Lijiang—Shangri-la altitude 3200ms(4hours’ roads)
We have a long way to Shangri-la but we stop twice along the way. The fisrt is the Shigu village where we can visit one huge drum of stone made in two thousands years ago and the fisrt bend of Yangze river that changes the direction of Yangtze River. Then we continue to the Tiger Leaping Gorge .after lunch we walk down to the river to see the narrowest point of the gorges (a round trip is 50 minutes) then we drive another two hours to climb Shangri-la , passing the village Yi , Naxi and Tibetan along the way.
On arrival at Shangri-la checking the hotel
Hotels recommended :
Mountain Inn guest house (in the old town)
Gesang relay guesthouse (in the old town)
Tibetan home 4* (in the old town)
These are all changed from Tibetan houses
Songzan hotel 4* (in the temple Songzanlin)
Songzan retreat 5*(behind the temple songzanlin)
Banyan tree 5* (Renhan village ,20 kilometres from city)
In the morning, visiting the Songzanlin temple , known as the small palace Putala , in which there more than 700 monks and it is also the biggest temple of yellow hat of this region.. then drive to Renhan Tibetan village , visit the small temple Dabaosi on the top of the hill surrounded by thoudsands of praying flags.
Then walk around the quite Tibetan village, choose one family to visit and taste their butter tea , yak cheese and the Zamba, talking with the family.
Back to the city in the afternoon and visit the Turtle hill where you can see the biggest praying Stupa in the world. It needs several people to move it.
Time free for the rest of the day.(there are one so called National park but I don’t suggest going there because all the Chinese groups going there and we have to visit by bus ,not allowing to walk by yourselves)
Night at Shangri-la
D8: take the morning flight and end of the trip.