Classic Yunnan (15 days / 14 nights)

Rice ifelds april2

Take this tour and be amazed by Yunnan’s major cultural and natural heritage sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and off the beaten tracks gems. You will gain a broad and deep understanding of Chinese culture and traditions.


Day 1 : Kunming (alt : 1900m)

Welcome to Yunnan’s capital city. Situated on a karst plateau, in the centre of the province, Kunming enjoys a pleasant climate all year round – hence its name: the City of Eternal Spring. Airport transfer to hotel and settling in. A stroll around the town, depending on your arrival time. Briefing about the trip ahead. The evening show ” Dynamic Yunnan ”.

Overnight accommodation in Kunming 4*.

Day 2 :Kunming – Shilin – Kunming (alt : 1900m)


Departure for Shilin, 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.

Overnight accommodation in the same hotel.

Day 3 : 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 4 : Yuanyang (alt : 1900m)

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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 5 : Yuanyang (alt : 1900m)

Departure in the early hours of the morning for a local market (Dai, Yi, Hani, Yao and Miao). After lunch, a visit to a Yi village and a sunset at a superb site where the rice paddies resemble mirrors that reflect the sky.

Overnight in the same inn.

Day 6 : Jianshui (alt : 1450m)

Confucius temple gate

Morning departure for Jianshui (Approx. 4 hours’ drive). Considered the most beautiful city in southern Yunnan, Jianshui was long a place of exile for intellectuals condemned by the Empire. The town continues to exude a “Han” atmosphere which is a rarity in this province with its wealth of ethnic minorities. 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.

Overnight accommodation in Jianshui in a charming hotel.

Day 7 :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 8 : Dali (alt : 1900m)

Leave for Dali (7 hours of very good road). Dali, with its narrow streets, old stone houses and flower gardens has preserved its authentic character. Settling into the hotel.

Overnight accommodation in the old town in a charming typical Bai hotel surrounding a flowery courtyard.

Day 9 : Dali (alt : 1900m)

Les 3 pagodes

Free day exploring the old town, nestled between the Cangshan mountains (average altitude 4000 m) and Lake Erhai.

Overnight accommodation in the same hotel.

Day 10 :  Dali (alt : 1900m)

Discover beautiful villages such as Shuanglang, 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. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Overnight in the same hotel.

Day 11 : Shaxi (alt : 2080m)


Departure for Shaxi (about 3 hours’ drive).Visit of Three Pagodas. The tallest of the three has 16 tiers that reach a height of 69 meters. 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 12 : 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 13 : 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 a UNESCO World Heritage site. Arrival in the late afternoon.

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

Day 14 : 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.Free time in afternoon.

Overnight in the same hotel

Day 15 : Lijiang (alt : 2400m)

Transfer to the airport.

Price per person

  • Based on 2 people travelling together, 15 days from  21 500 RMB or 2718 €*
  • Based on 4 people travelling together, 15 days from  15 460 RMB or 1933 €*
  • Based on 6 people travelling together, 15 days from  12 720 RMB or 1590 €*

* Calculated with the exchange rate 1 € = 8 ¥

This price includes

  1.  Transportation by private vehicle with driver (gasoline and tolls included)
  2. Airport transferts
  3. Accommodation as indicated (16 nights)
  4. Breakfasts
  5. Lunch (day 2)
  6. The 3 evening meal in the paddy fields
  7. Having a guide who speaks fluent Chinese and English accompanying you
  8. All entrance fees to sites included in the program (Dynamic Yunnan, Stone Forest, the various rice fields panorama points, village of Tuanshan, Confucius Temple, Zhu residence, Three Pagodas, Shibaoshan mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lijiang Old Town, Black Dragon Pond, Songzanlin Monastery)
  9. Local travel insurance. Please note this does not replace Repatriation Insurance *
  10. The good company and cheeriness of our team !

This price does not include

  1. International and domestic flights to Kunming and from Shangri-La
  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 : 15 days / 14 nights
  • Cities visited  : Kunming, Shilin,Yuanyang, Jianshui, Dali, Shaxi, Lijiang,
  • Option : Hiking in the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Shangri-La
  • Price from   : 1590 €*
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    Recommandé par le Guide du Routard !


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