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How to Get to & Get around Shangri-la

Located in the northwest of Yunnan Province, in the Tibetan Plateau foothills, Shangri-La is a small mountainous county. Transportation options are limited.

There are limited daily flights to Shangri-La, but no railway to this area yet. Bus is the best option for travelling from the nearby popular tourist cities of Dali and Lijiang.

Shangri-la Airport

Transfer to Shangri-La
Diqing Shangri-La Airport is located 5.4 km southeast from Shangri-La County. At present, Shangri-La has flights from/to Kunming, Chengdu, Lhasa, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Shanghai and Beijing, etc. It takes about 50 minutes from Kunming to Shangri-La, 1.5 hours from Chengdu to Shangri-La and 1 hour and 40 minutes from Lhasa to Shangri-La.
There is not train running to Shangri-La yet. Travelers can take long-distance buses to Shangri-La instead of train. There are six daily buses from Kunming to Shangri-La, taking about 10-12 hours for 720 km; about 7-8 hours from Dali to Shangri-La for 300 km; about 3.5-4 hours from Lijiang to Shangri-La for 180 km. Long distance buses are also available between Deqin (220km, 6 hours), Panzhihua (400km, 15 hours), Daocheng (300km, 12 hours), Lhasa (1700 km, 4 days), etc.

Transfer within Shangri-La
To get around Shangr-La, travelers can take taxi or bus to the nearby attractions. There are mini vans offered by the private drivers which can take you to the scenic spot. You should discuss the price with the drivers before you get on the minivan. When book a tour package with us, you’ll enjoy worry free private transfer service.

Direct Domestic Flights to Shangri-La:

From Per Day Journey (Approx.)
Kunming 4 1h
Chengdu 2 1h 20m
Chongqing 1–2 1h 40m
Lhasa 1 1h 50m
Guangzhou 2 per week 2h 50m

Good to know: The airport is about 5 km (3 mi) from downtown Shangri-La. There is no shuttle bus at present. Taxis cost about 30 yuan.

By Long-Distance Bus

Highways are the main means of transportation for locals and tourists to get to Shangri-La from the main cities of Yunnan.

From Distance (km) Journey (h) Price (yuan)
Kunming 630 12 200–250
Dali 305 7 80–100
Lijiang 176 4 50–70

Good to know:

It is a long way to go from Kunming (or Dali) to Shangri-La directly. A more comfortable way is to take a train from Kunming to Dali/Lijiang, and enjoy sightseeing there; and then take a bus from Lijiang to Shangri-La.

Getting Around Shangri-La

City Buses

There are several public buses in Shangri-La. Bus 3 can get you to Songzanlin Monastery, a popular spot in Shangri-La, for 1 yuan.


Shangri-La is a small town. The taxi fare is about 5 yuan within the town.

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