Yunan Highlights of Kunming,Dali, Lijiang & Shangri-la
Day 01Arrival in Kunming
Our guide will meet you outside the baggage claim area at Kunming Airport and transfer you to the hotel. The rest of the day is on your own to explore the city.
Full day tour to visit the Qiongzhu Temple and the Stone Forest.(B+L)
Stone Forest - The Stone Forest (Shilin) scenic area is situated in the Shilin Yi Autonomous County, about 86 kilometers (53.4 miles) away from Kunming. Covering an area of 400 square kilometers (154.4 square miles), the Stone Forest scenic area is composed of seven scenic spots, including the Big Stone Forest, the Small Stone Forest, Naigu Stone Forest, Da Die Shui, Long Lake, Moon Lake, Zhiyun Cave and Qifeng Cave. The Stone Forest is really a typical model of China's Karst, which is mainly distributed in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.
Day 03Kunming - Dali
Take an early morning flight to Dali. Visit the Erhai Lake Park, the Three Pagoda Temple and the Dali Old Town.(B+L)
Three Pagoda Temple - Having a history of more than 1,800 years, the Three Pagodas are symbolic constructions of the ancient Dali City. It is located at the foot of Mount Cangshan and facing Erhai Lake, approximately one kilometer (0.6 mile) far away from Dali. As its name implies, the Three Pagoda Temple is made up of three ancient independent pagodas standing in a symmetrical triangle. It will be a nice place for visitors to know the development of Buddhism in Yunnan during ancient times.
Dali Old Town -The history of Dali Old Town can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty when Dali was the capital of Nanzhao Kingdom. However, the current city was originally built in 1382 during the Ming Dynasty. In 1982, the city gate was rebuilt and the two characters 'Da Li' was the handwriting of Guo Moruo, a famous litterateur and poet of China. Nowadays, the Fuxing Road that goes through the South City Gate and the North City Gate has become a prosperous market street, selling marble, bandhnu and jewelry.
Day 04Dali - Lijiang
It takes about three hours' driving to Lijiang and transfer to the hotel. On the way to Lijiang, visit the Bai Traditional House in Xizhou and Zhoucheng, famous for tie dyeing. Visit the Square Street of the Lijiang Old Town.(B+L)
Lijiang Old Town - Lying on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, Lijiang Old Town was originally built in the later period of 13th Century. It has an elevation of 2400 meters (about 1.5 miles) and covers an area of 939 acres. The population of the old town is over 25,000, most of which are Naxi people. What is interesting is that Lijiang Old Town is the only Chinese historical and cultural town built without city wall.
Visit the Baisha Village and a local Naxi family, the Baisha Murals, the Rock Joseph's Former Residence in Yuhu Village. Afternoon is free for you to enjoy the small bridges, swift streams, cobbled streets and grey tiled roofs of the Residential Houses in the Lijiang Old Town. Enjoy the Naxi Ancient Music and Dance Performance at Dongba Palace in the evening.(B+L+D)
Baisha Murals - The notable Baisha Murals are the cultural outcome of the local Naxi nationality. The painting project has lasted for 300 years from the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. During the end of the Ming and the early period of Qing, it was the heyday of Lijiang murals. In 1996, Baisha Murals were announced as a Key Cultural Relics Protection Site of China.
Day 06Lijiang - Shangri-La
Drive to Shangri-La and transfer to the hotel. On the way to Shangri-La, visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the First Bend of the Yangtze River and the Stone Drum Town.(B+L)
Tiger Leaping Gorge - Being 60 kilometers (37 miles) away from Lijiang Naxi Autonomous County, the Tiger Leaping Gorge lies in the upper reaches of the Golden Sand River. Its total length is 18 kilometers (11.2 miles), with the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the east and the Haba Snow Mountain in the west. The vertical height of the gorge is 3,790 meters (12,434 feet), thus it is the deepest gorge of the world. Since the narrowest part is only 30 meters (98.4 feet) wide, the tiger could just leap from a reef to the other side of the river. So it gained the name Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Visit the Songzanlin Temple, the biggest Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Yunnan, the Bitahai Lake, Shudu Lake and a Tibetan family.(B+L)
Songzanlin Temple - As the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan Province, the Songzanlin Temple is only five kilometers (3.1 miles) far from the Shangri-La County. In 1674, the Fifth Dalai Lama applied to Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty for building the Songzanlin Temple. The construction was completed in 1679. The temple was also named 'Guihua Temple', which was given by Emperor Yongzheng (son of Emperor Kangxi).
Bitahai Lake - Located in the eastern area of the Shangri-La County, the Bitahai Lake is in the shape of trumpet shell, encircled by mountains. Covering an area of 148 acres, the lake is 40-meter (131 feet) deep and has an altitude of 3504 meters (11,496 feet). The plants around the lake are various, including spruces, pinares, oaks, white birches and azaleas.
Shudu Lake - As one of the biggest lakes of Shangri-la County, the Shudu Lake occupies an area of 15 square kilometers (3,706.5 acres). Lying in the northeastern part of the Shangri-la, it is 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) away from the county center. As is introduced, the plants around the lake are lush and the wild animals are various, such as the musk deer, golden cats, samburs, Tibetan eared pheasants, bears and panthers.
Day 08:Shangri-la- Kunming
Take flight to Kunming. Visit the Golden Temple, the Daguan Park and the Flowers and Birds Market. Check in at the hotel.(B+L)
Golden Temple - On the Mingfeng Hill situated in the northeastern suburb of Kunming City, the Golden Temple was built in the Ming Dynasty. The Mingfeng Hill was also named Xiangdu Hill. During the reign of Emperor Wanli, the hill was renamed Mingfeng Hill, on which the Golden Temple was built. Since then, the scenic area around the temple has become a well-known Taoist attraction of Yunnan.
Daguan Park - The Daguan Park in Kunming is located on the bank of the Dianchi Lake and faces the Western Hills which are on the other side of the lake. It is said that the original site of the Daguan Park was a small temple built by a monk for giving Buddhist lessons. Several years later, the governor of Yunnan Province Wang Jiwen was attracted by the beautiful scenery here and decided to construct a park by adding halls, pavilions, rockeries and porches. The most notable attraction in the park is the Daguan Pavilion.
Day 09Departure from Kunming