Eight Days Kunming - Dali - Lijiang – Shangri-la Highlights Tour
Duration: 8 days
Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Shangri-la (Stone Forest - Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery - Tiger Leaping Gorge - Songzanlin Monastery)
Departure date: As you prefer
Availability: Whole year
You will experience the ancient towns, unsophisticated villages, fantastic world heritage sites and legendary Shangri-la; Magnificent scenery of Yunnan-Tibet Plateau, and colorful customs of ethnic minorities & authentic Tibetan culture.
1.Visit the geological Karst wonder - Stone Forest
2.Tour the magnificent Cangshan Mountain
3.Marvel at the breathtaking Tiger Leaping Gorge
4.Experience Tibetan custome and lifestyle in ancient Gyalthang Town
Day 1 Arrive in Kunming - Free time
Arrive in Kunming, the Spring City of China. Meet your guide at the airport and transfer to the featured hotel to check in. After a little rest, free to explore around Kunming city, such as the "Kunming 's Jade" - Green Lake Park, Kunming's symbol building - Phoenix Archway, and the vibrant Flowers and Birds Market. Tonight you will stay at the featured hotel in Kunming.
Green Lake Park ，Phoenix Archway， Flowers and Birds Market
Day 2 Kunming (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
In the early morning we take you to visit the Yunnan Stone Forest, which is one of most remarkable natural phenomena of China. You will wonder at the innumerable bizarre-shaped ancient limestone cliffs and peaks, which is created by wind and water erosion some 270 million years ago.
After lunch you will proceed to explore the Guandu Old Town, which is one of the historic and cultural towns in Kunming area. The ancient Shaolin Temple and Vajra Pagoda are the must-see of this old town. You will spend a lazy afternoon without the hassle of leaving the city. You can sit down for a cup of tea and chat with local people. A designated food street on the old town's east side offers a wide selection of local eats. Tonight you will stay at the hotel in Kunming.
Yunnan Stone Forest ；Guandu Shaolin Temple Vajra Pagoda in Guandu Old Town
Day 3 Kunming - Dali (Breakfast, Lunch)
After breakfast in the hotel, you will go to visit the Western Hills where Taoist temples and Buddhism Temples could be found. A very beautiful lake view of the Dianchi Lake comes into your eyes if being on the top of the Hills - Dragon Gate. The elevation of the Dragon Gate is over 2,300 meters, 300 meters higher than the water surface of the Dianchi Lake. It consists of the Sanqing Temple and the Dragon Gate Grotto which was accomplished through 72 years of hard work (1781-1853). The 3rd March of lunar year is a festive time in the Western Hills, when it is considered the best time for Kunming residents to climb the mountains and look into the distance, to admire the spring flowers and appreciate the feeling of new life.
After lunch, transfer to Dali city, the economic and cultural center of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. Overnight at the hotel in Dali.
Western Hill， Dragon Gate， Dali Old Town
Day 4 Dali - Lijiang (Breakfast, Lunch)
Today, enjoy your one-day day city tour. You will first take a visit to the famous Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Monastery. Then continue to explore Cangshan Mountain that made up of 17 peaks, among which, Malong Peak is the highest one that reach the height up to 4122m. You will catch a cable way up the mountain. On the mountain top, you can enjoy the fantastic view of Erhai Lake.
Afterwards proceed to Xizhou Village which is located about 18 kilometers north of Dali. Xizhou Village is one of the Bai ethnic minority villages around the Erhai Lake and has historic prominence with a cluster of over 100 protected buildings. You will be escorted to visit the house of local residents which is characterized by a traditional Chinese rectangular courtyard with a screen wall facing the gate. You will be greeted with the show of Three Courses of Tea which is the genuine tea ceremony of the Bai minority, and treated to a song & dance performance by local Bai people. In the late afternoon transferred to Lijiang. Enjoy a leisure stroll in Lijiang Old Town in the evening.
Dali landscape - "Three Pagodas" ,Magnificent Cangshan Mountain ,Entrance of Dali Old Town
Day 5 Lijiang (Breakfast, Lunch)
After breakfast at hotel, start your visit to the Mu Mansion which is famed as Forbidden City of Naxi people. It is once the residential and working site of the Naxi rulers of Lijiang in the ancient time.
Then you will enjoy beautiful natural scenery in Black Dragon Pool Park which is located at the foot of Elephant Hill. It was built in 1737 during the Qing Dynasty and offers a spectacular view on the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Proceed to tour the Dongba Culture Exhibition Museum, which represents the Dongba Pictographic Characters and Naxi Minorities mysterious Culture, some of which still use the matriarchal social system up till today. In the late afternoon, transfer back to the Lijiang Old Town. You are free to explore this ancient town.
Mu Mansion, Black Dragon Pool Park ,Dongba Culture Exhibition Museum
Day 6 Lijiang - Shangri-la (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
In the morning drive to Shangri-la. On the road, you can enjoy the spectacular view of the First Bend of Yangtze River at Stone Drum Village. Also you will view the deepest gorge in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. Its magnificent scenery will be among the best of your whole trip. What's more, you can admire the fascinating meadow scenery on the way.
First Bend of Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Village on the way to Shangri-la
Day 7 Shangri-la (Breakfast, Lunch)
In the morning you will take 2 hours to visit the fascinating Napahai Lake, the largest grassland in Zhongdian. Napahai is in fact a seasonal lake. When summer comes, snow on the adjacent mountains melts and flows down into about ten rivers forming a vast lake. You will appreciate a grand area of peaceful lake surrounded by snow mountains. In the dry season, Napahai becomes a boundless green grassland where you will find flocks of yaks, horses and sheep. Also you have chance to see the precious black-necked cranes, of which only 6,000 remain in the world. During the dry season, this grassland is an ideal place for horse-back trekking. You can hire a horse from local people with a reasonable fare.
After lunch visit the ancient Songzanlin Monastery, which is the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monastery in southwest China. In the main hall you will appreciate a series of precious Buddhism-related objects like scriptures written on palm leaves, the Shakyamuni statues, etc. Standing on the roof of the temple, you will amaze at the magnificent landscape of front meadow and the town. The blue sky is so close to you as if you can reach it with your hand. Downhill along the hill slop, you will find smaller temples and monk's residences where about 700 monks live. If you want to deeply experience the Buddhists' life, you can join in the morning class or evening class. You will have a peacefull mind and remain in deep thought.
On the way back, explore a local village and be a guest in a Tibetan family with a taste of Tibetan specialities such as yak butter tea, yogurt & Tibetan barley. Then you head for the ancient Gyalthang Town, which was established in Tang Dynasty. Though it is small, the old town is quite different form others in Yunnan. You can find many Tibetan cultural facts such as Buddhist paintings and Tibetan residences side by side. A peaceful cobble path guide you to the Daguishan Hill where you can turn the biggest praying wheel in the world and take a birds-eye view of Shangri-la. Tonight you will stay at the hotel in Zhongdian.
Napahai Lake, Songzanlin Monastery,Gyalthang Town
Day 8 Depart Shangri-la (Breakfast)
Today's Activities Free at leisure until transfer to the airport for next destination. Wish you a happy journey!
Attractions Visited in This Tour
- Jingxing Flowers and Birds Market
- Shilin (Stone Forest)
- Dali Ancient City
- Lijiang Old City
- The first band of Yangtzi River
- Tiger Leaping Gorge