11 Days Yunnan and Zhangjiajie Nature Wonders Tour with Minorities Discovery
This private tour includes many different famous highlights of South-west China, an insight into the local ethnic minority culture and some incredible scenery. From Yunnan(Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri La) to Hunan(Zhangjiajie), this...
Code of Tour: CDT0000088888
Length of Travel: 11 Day
Destinations of Tour: Kunming-Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri La-Shaxi-Dali-Kunming-Zhangjiajie
Departure City: Lijiang
Price of Tour: Request
Type of Tour: Private
Features of Tour: Ethnic culture tours Family tours Snow mountains tours
This private tour includes many different famous highlights of South-west China, an insight into the local ethnic minority culture and some incredible scenery. From Yunnan(Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri La) to Hunan(Zhangjiajie), this tour offers you an off the beaten path route to explore the real life of the local ethnic minorities, appreciate the marvelous Karst landscapes and enjoy a leisurely life in the rural villages. You will visit the World Heritage Sites including Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area, Lijiang Old Town, Three Parallel Rivers Protected Area and Kunming Stone Forest – UNESCO Heritage of Karst Miracle.
- Visit the wonders of China in Zhangjiajie.
- Experience local ethnic culture of Yi, Naxi, Tibetan, Miao, Tujia and Bai.
- Wonders of The Stone Forest in Kunming;
- Anceint Towns in Lijiang;
- Impressive Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang;
- The deepest gorge of the world–Tiger Leaping Gorge;
- Tibetan culture in Shangri La;
- Mysterious Tibetan Lamaism: Songzanlin Monastery;
- Romantic Erhai Lake and Dali Old Town;
- Nature wonder of Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area;
- Day 1: Lijiang Arrival
- Day 2: Lijiang
- Day 3: Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri La
- Day 4: Shangri La
- Day 5: Shangri La-Shaxi-Dali
- Day 6: Dali
- Day 7: Dali-Kunming-Shilin-Kunming
- Day 8: Kunming-Zhangjiajie
- Day 9: Zhangjiajie
- Day 10:Zhangjiajie
- Day 11: Departure from Zhangjiajie
Day 1 Arrive in Lijiang
Sightseeing and Activities:Arrive in Lijiang, Lijiang Old Town
Arrive in Kunming, take the speed train to Lijiang.
Arrive in Lijiang, explore Lijiang Old Town. Lijiang Old Town has a history of more than 800 years; it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi ethnic people.
Day 2 Lijiang
Sightseeing and Activities:Yulong Snow Mountain, Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishui River and Terraces, Baisha Old Town and Murals
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Enjoy the sunrise of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lijiang Ancient Town in the morning, drive about 30KM to Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M), you will take the sightseeing bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe River, take the chairlift up to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cableway will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around 1 hour in the original forest in Spruce Meadow (3200M).
After lunch, you will enjoy the Impression Lijiang Ethnic Show directed in Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M). A cultural show demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area. The show takes place inside Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park at 3500m in an outdoor theater specifically designed to showcase the mountain which is used as a backdrop. The production itself was designed by Zhang Yimou, Fan Yue and Wang Chaoge, with a cast of over 500 people and a number of horses.
In the afternoon, you’ll stroll through Baisha Old Town, which is an enchanting traditional Yunnan town. Visit the Baisha Murals about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997.
Day 3Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri-La
Sightseeing and Activities:The First Bend of Yangtze river, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Old Town, Guishan Hill Park, Giant Prayer Wheel
Accommodation: Shangri La
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
From Lijiang, you’ll drive about 60KM to the First Bend on the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, visit the Iron Chain Bridge, the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in the Shigu town. The town of Stone Drum got its name from a large, cylindrical, marble tablet shaped like a drum. The scenery is magnificent as the road running through the Lijiang valley which is filled with wheat fields and drying haystacks.
Visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha River in this area because you can find gold in the river.
Afternoon, you’ll head for Shangri La, the former Zhongdian which is well-known as the paradise destination for every tourist. Upon arrival in Shangri-La, you will enter the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys. Walk around Dukezong Ancient Town, an important town of the Ancient Tea-horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India.
Day 4 Shangri La
Sightseeing and Activities:Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, Bala Gezong Grand Canyon, Bala Village
Meals:Breakfast and Lunch
In the morning, visit the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere.
And then, head to Balagezong Grand Canyon, which is located about 31 miles (50km) northwest of Shangri-la County. It earns very high admiration for the mysterious ancient Bala Village, hospitable villagers, holy snow mountains, plank road over Gangqu River, and precipitous gorges, especially Shangri-la Grand Canyon. It is a pure land isolated from the outside world, waiting for visitors to discover its unique beauty with rich Tibetan culture.
The first stop you will arrive at is Bala Village on the mountainside. It is the only village in this vast land in the past years. Tibetan scripture records that millions of years ago, a group of people tried to find an ideal place without wars and miseries.
Shangri-la Grand Canyon
The U-shaped Shangri-la Grand Canyon, formerly called Birang Grand Canyon, is the main gorge with distinctive vertical climate.
It is also called Heaven-leading Gorge or Tongtian Gorge. The gorge actually leads to Balagezong Snow Mountain, a sacred mountain.
Balagezong Snow Mountain
With an altitude of 17,408 feet (5306m), it is the highest mountain in Shangri-la County. Three snow-clad peaks, which are believed to be the incarnations of three daughters of a mountain God, tower into the clouds against the sunshine.
At the northeast of the snow mountain stands the Shangri-la Stupa. It is actually a mountain resembling a round-based stupa and two mountains beside it look like a Lama and an unfolding sutra. As the only natural stupa all over the world, it enjoys a great reputation.
Day 5 Shangri La-Shaxi-Dali
Sightseeing and Activities:Shaxi Old Town, Sideng Street, Yujin Bridge, Anceint Stage, Dali Old Town
Meals:Breakfast and Lunch
In the morning, transfer from Shangri La to Shaxi around 222 kilometers (about 3.5 hours) , stop to visit Shaxi Ancient Town, a famous trading town on the Tea-Horse Trail. With a history over 2,400 years, Shaxi is the most authentic old town which is different from Lijiang or Dali old towns. Upon arrival, take a visit to Yujin Bridge from late Ming Dynasty and Xingjiao Temple which is the largest and most typical Acarya temple of Esoteric Buddhism and preserves over 20 pieces of wealthy Buddhism themed frescos. Slower your pace and find more hidden gems!
Enjoy a leisure walk along the old streets to the lively Sifang Square, the center of trading paved with red sand stone and surrounded by old locust trees for a seek of the traces of the Tea-Horse Trail and imagination of the past stories. The local market in Sideng Sifang Street is the only market well preserved till now along Tea-Horse Road. If you come on Fridays, you can attend the Shaxi Friday Market running more than 1 kilometer, and local farmers sell daily goods ranging from dried goods, baskets, traditional Chinese medicine, shoes, and vegetables, etc. Looking around, you can see an ancient stage used to perform Dongjing ancient music and other traditional dance.
Afterwards, be followed a trip to explore Dali Old Town. Used to be the ancient capital of Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms, Dali Old Town is formed in the square-shaped structure, laid out on a typical north-south, east-west axis with five north-south and eight east-west streets. Wander leisurely through the historic streets with weeping willows dancing and colorful flowers blooming in the sunshine.
You will visit the symbolic Wuhua Tower in a drum tower outlook. Continue to find Honglongjing (Red Dragon Well) with lovely view of clear water flow on layers of stone stages between the ancient dwelling houses and modern bars. Walk along Renmin Road to visit those bustling shops selling Yunnan specialties and some interesting items and then encounter the only Christianity church in this Chinese old town to feel the mixture culture there. As you feel the ancient flavor of the old site, stroll to the famous must-visit Foreigner Street to soak in the busy atmosphere along the old path and in those boutique shops and old coffee shops. Enjoy your time roam in this famous old town and feel like going back to the old times.
Day 6 Dali
Sightseeing and Activities:the Three Pagodas Temple, Erhai Lake Cruise, Dali Old Town, Ancient City Wall
Meals:Breakfast and Lunch
In the morning, we will visit the symbol of Dali – Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple. Built in 10th century in Nanzhao Kingdom, Three Pagodas is made of one big pagoda and two small pagodas forming a symmetric triangle. If you look at it from a distance, the pagodas are like three giant ballpoint pens breaking up the landscape of the never-ending mountains. Here, you’ll get close to look at the pagodas to know more history and stories, visit the royal temple in Dali – Chongsheng Temple, take awesome photos of Three Pagodas and the reflections.
After breakfast, go to the famous Erhai Lake (Ear-shaped Sea), which is reputed as the “Immaculate Jade between Mountains”. Normally, there are three ways to explore the lake. You can ride a sightseeing bus(default), enjoy a boat trip or try cycling. Please tell your best pick to your travel consultant before booking the tour, as the final prices will differ by activities you choose.
Continue the driving from Shaxi to Dali Old Town (130KM/2 hours); Then, stop to “Hometown of Bai People’s Tie-dye Art” – Zhoucheng Old Village for an appreciation of Tie-dye. Tie-dye is a typical feature to present the Bai’s excellent handcraft with various colors and elegant designs. You’ll visit local indigo workshop in Zhoucheng and know the way of making. (Optional experience of Tie-dyeing Family Workshop and Tie-dyeing Class in Zhoucheng Village: If you are interested, you can follow the local Bai people to learn some traditional skills of how to knot and view your works to be dyed into different colors with beautiful designs. This whole experience takes about 1.5 hours.)
In the late afternoon, visit the houses of the Bai minority people in Xizhou Old Town. You will see typical Bai traditions and dresses. Some buildings are old and have typical ancient architectures, and are the ‘real local’ houses. Then hop in a horse-drawn carriage to enjoy a relaxing tour along the lakeshore of Erhai, which is blessed with a mild climate and stunning scenery. Have lunch at a popular local restaurant.
Afterwards, be followed a trip to explore Dali Old Town. Used to be the ancient capital of Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms, Dali Old Town is formed in the square-shaped structure, laid out on a typical north-south, east-west axis with five north-south and eight east-west streets. Wander leisurely through the historic streets with weeping willows dancing and colorful flowers blooming in the sunshine. You will visit the symbolic Wuhua Tower in a drum tower outlook.
Continue to find Honglongjing (Red Dragon Well) with lovely view of clear water flow on layers of stone stages between the ancient dwelling houses and modern bars. Walk along Renmin Road to visit those bustling shops selling Yunnan specialties and some interesting items and then encounter the only Christianity church in this Chinese old town to feel the mixture culture there. As you feel the ancient flavor of the old site, stroll to the famous must-visit Foreigner Street to soak in the busy atmosphere along the old path and in those boutique shops and old coffee shops. Enjoy your time roam in this famous old town and feel like going back to the old times.
Day 7 Dali-Kunming by Speed Train
Sightseeing and Activities:The Green Lake, The Flowers and Birds Market, Zhuanxin Farmers’ Market, Jinma Biji Archway
Meals:Breakfast and Lunch
Enjoy the relax time in Dali Old Town in the morning, take the speed train to Kunming. Meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel.
Welcome to Kunming, the Spring City of China! Upon arrival at the Kunming train station, the local tour guide and driver will meet you in the arrival hall and escort you to your hotel and help you check in.
Your private tour today will begin with a visit to the Zhuanxin Farmers’ Market, which is the largest marketplace in Kunming. Roaming around this place, you will get an impression of the local people’s daily life, since thousands of people come here to buy fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. every day.
In the late afternoon, walk around Jinma Biji Archway（in Chinese: 金马碧鸡坊）and then visit Jingxing Birds and Flowers Market. At last, stroll around the Green Lake. Green Lake Park, aka Cuihu Park, situated almost in the city center and facing Yunnan University, is one of the most beautiful parks in Kunming city. It is at the foot of Luofeng Mountain and on the west side of Wuhua Mountain.
Day 8 Kunming-Zhangjiajie
Sightseeing and Activities: Kunming-Zhangjiajie
Today the tour guide and driver will take you to Kunming Airport for the flight to Zhangjiajie.
See the most beautiful attractions of Zhangjiajie, featuring pristine natural scenery of grotesque peaks, clear water, and dense forests. Grasp the chance to visit the world’s longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge- the Grand Canyon Glass Bridge. We will help you make the best use of your time and energy to see the essence of this World Heritage Site, and see in person why it inspired Avatar’s Hallelujah Mountain.
Day 9 Zhangjiajie
Sightseeing and Activities: Zhangjiajie national forest park, Bailong elevator , Yuanjiajie , Avatar moutain, Tianzi mountain
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
After breakfast at your hotel, you will make your way to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park to start today’s adventure. Explore beautiful scenery during your ride to Bailong Elevator made of see-through glass before using it to ascend to Yuanjiajie Mountain. Venture from Yuanjiajie’s summit with a soft hiking to the Pillar of Southern Sky, an inspiration for Hallelujah Mountains in the movie, Avatar.
From there, you will proceed to the Platform of Forgetfulness to admire nearby peak-views before walking across the First Bridge Under Heaven. Next, park shuttle bus will take you to visit Tianzi Mountain where Imperial Writing Brush Peaks, Xihai Stone Forest, and other incredible views and sceneries.
Day 10 Zhangjiajie
Sightseeing and Activities: Tianmen Tianmen Mountain, heavy gate , 999 sky ladder, Glads walk . Sand Stone painting gallery
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Guide and driver will you up at your hotel Lobby in the morning,then you will visit an art gallery of sandstone painting to appreciate a new kind of painting style. Afterward,we will drive to Zhangjiajie city to visit th e Tianmen moutain, appears as the ”New Legend Of Zhangjiajie “, It’s the highest spot (1500m) in the whole Zhangjiajie area.
The landscape there is totally different from, meanwhile, at the same level as the ZJJ national Park. Both are world-class scenery. Unbelievably, this single mountain holds 4 World Guinness Records in its small body. and any of them will be overwhelmingly impressive to the traveler of any type. we will experience sky walk , 999 steps , 99 curves Tongtian Road.
Day 11 Departure from Zhangjiajie
Sightseeing and Activities: Departure from Zhangjiajie
After breakfast, transfer to Zhangjiajie Airport for returning.
- All land transfer and transportation as listed in the itinerary;
- Excellent English speaking tour guide and skilled driver;
- Entrance tickets mentioned in the itinerary;
- Two bottles of water each day each person;
- Accommodation with breakfast;
- Meals as mentioned.
- Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
- Chinese visa fees;
- Tips to guides and drivers;
- Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
- Personal travel accident insurance;
- All optional programs.
- Visitors are advised to always carry changes of clothing due to the large variations in temperature between day and night.
- Protecting oneself from strong UV radiation at high altitude.
- Protecting oneself from altitude sickness. Lessen the effects of altitude sickness, avoid strenuous exercise and have plenty of rest.
- Respect local customs , habits, and religious beliefs.
- When take photos, please pay attention to your safety, do not shoot in dangerous areas.