Yunnan experience (12 days / 11 nights)


sunrise march

From south to north, Yunnan will surprise you with its landscapes, the diversity of its minorities and its history. Ethnic markets, UNESCO heritage sites and traditional villages, will make this trip is an unforgettable immersion in the province

Carte Yunnan sud et nord 2

Day 1 : Yuanyang (alt : 1900m)


Departure from Kunming for Yuanyang (7-8 hours’ drive). A visit en route to a Mongol village, by midafternoon we cross over the Red River then we discover the fabulous terraced fields (UNESCO site) that have been sculpted on the side of mountains for over 1000 years by the Yi and Hani people. Beautiful sunsets at a stunning site overlooking rice paddies that stretch out as far as the eye can see.

Overnight accommodation in a friendly inn in a Hani village renowned for its terraced paddy fields

Day 2 : Yuanyang (alt : 1900m)

An early morning start to revel in the spectacle of the sea of clouds at sunrise over the paddy fields. Then a morning visit to the Hani village where we are staying. In the afternoon hiking along a cobbled road that zigzags in and out of the paddy fields and a visit to a pretty village.
Beautiful sunsets at a stunning site overlooking rice paddies that look like mirrors.

Overnight in the same inn

Day 3 : Jianshui (alt : 1450m)


Departure in the early hours of the morning for a local market. After lunch, departure for Jianshui (Approx. 3.5 hours’ drive). Considered the most beautiful city in southern Yunnan, Jianshui was long a place of exile for intellectuals condemned by the Empire.

Overnight accommodation in Jianshui in a charming hotel.

Day 4 : Jianshui (alt : 1450m)

A morning visit to the second largest Confucian Temple in China – second only to the one in Qufu (which was the master’s home province) and to the Zhu residence, built in the late nineteenth century by wealthy merchants. In the afternoon walk in the old town.

Overnight accommodation in the same hotel.

Day 5 : Shilin (alt : 1900m)


Visit to the village of Tuanshan, the seat of the Zhang Clan, a wealthy family that made its fortune in the salt trade. Amongst the maze of its backstreets you’ll discover old dwellings and courtyards dating from the late nineteenth century. On the way back a stopover at Double Dragon Bridge built in the eighteenth century. Departure for Shilin (Approx. 4 hours’ drive).

Overnight accommodation in Shilin.

Day 6 : Shilin – Kunming (alt : 1900m)

The Stone Forest here is a UNESCO heritage site and one of the most popular tourist sites in Yunnan, yet the beauty of its karst formations are exceptional. A multitude of footpaths in the surrounding countryside give you a chance to get away from the crowds and to admire the beautiful and surreal landscapes. Visit to the Black Stone Forest, less frequented than the Shilin site and a very pleasant detour.

According to the availability :
Overnight sleeper train (arrived next day in Dali nearly 6.30 am).
Express bus in the afternoon (Approx. 5 hours’ drive).Overnight in Dali.

Day 7 : Dali (alt : 1900m)

dali mr

Dali, with its narrow streets, old stone houses and flower gardens has preserved its authentic character. Free day exploring the old town, nestled between the Cangshan mountains (average altitude 4000 m) and Lake Erhai.

Overnight in the same hotel.

Day 8 : Shaxi (alt : 2080m)

Discover beautiful villages such as Zhoucheng, Xizhou etc. bordering Lake Erhai with stunning, almost maritime panoramas, in the heart of a region where the Bai ethnicity. Attractions include temples, markets and traditional houses. In the afternoon departure for Shaxi, Visit Sideng, former regional trading post located on the Tea and Horse caravan trail. The main square, old dwellings and small temples are now preserved sites. Inhabited by the Bai ethnic group the town has retained many of its traditions due to its isolated location.

Overnight in Shaxi in a charming hotel.

Day 9 : Shaxi (alt : 2080m)


Day trip to the Shibaoshan archaeological site that dates back to the Nanzhao Kingdom (8th century). Sandstone statues, temples with cornice blocks and beautiful landscapes. Opportunity to return to the hotel on foot via a graveled road (2 hours of easy, flat or downhill walking), making a loop through the photogenic rock formations typical of this region.

Overnight in the same hotel.

Day 10 : Lijiang (alt : 2400m)

Departure for Lijiang (about 5 hours’ drive.) Stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge situated at a staggeringly narrow part of the valley. Carved between the Haba and Jade Dragon mountains with peaks over 5000 m high, these are some of the deepest gorges in the world. Its vertical and vertiginous panoramas are simply breathtaking ! Continue on to Lijiang, the capital of the Naxi ethnic group. Lijiang is now a UNESCO classed World Heritage site. Arrival in the late afternoon.

Overnight in a charming hotel in the heart of the old town.

Day 11 : Lijiang (alt : 2400m)

Morning walk in the old town at the very best time, before the myriad of shops are open. Visit the Black Dragon Pool park and Dongba Museum which exhibits the Naxi shamanistic religion with their pictographic writing used for the transcription of their founding legends. Free time in afternoon.

Overnight in the same hotel

Day 12 : Lijiang (alt : 2400m)

Transfer to the airport.

Price per person

  • Based on 2 people travelling together, 12 days from  15 840 RMB or 1980 €*  
  • Based on 4 people travelling together, 12 days from 11 480 RMB or 1480 €*  
  • Based on 6 people travelling together, 12 days from  9 440 RMB or 1180 €*

* Calculated with the exchange rate 1 € = 8 ¥

This price includes

  1.  Transportation by private vehicle with driver (gasoline and tolls included)
  2. Accommodation as indicated (11 nights)
  3. Breakfasts in Yuanyang and Jianshui
  4. The 3 evening meals in the paddy fields
  5. Having a guide who speaks fluent Chinese and English accompanying you
  6. All entrance fees to sites included in the program (Stone Forest, the various rice fields panorama points, village of Tuanshan, Zhu residence, Confucius Temple, Shibaoshan site, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lijiang Old Town, Black Dragon Pond)
  7. Local travel insurance. Please note this does not replace Repatriation Insurance *
  8. The train or the bus Kunming/Dali
  9. The good company and cheeriness of our team !

This price does not include

  1. International and domestic flights to Kunming and from Lijiang
  2. * Repatriation Insurance, which you must purchase before your departure. Documentation or other evidence (such as the credit card purchase of flight) will be requested
  3. Personal expenses
  4. Tips for the guide and driver
  5. Your meals and drinks


 At a glance

  • Duration : 12 days / 11 nights
  • Cities visited : Yuanyang, Jianshui, Shilin, Dali, Shaxi, Lijiang
  • Option : Kunming, Hiking in the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Shangri-La
  • Price from  : 1180 €


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