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TTCS: 6 Days Yunnan Essence Tour
Tour Type: Private Tour,your family, friends or group
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
Tour Highlights:
    • Visit the Stone Forest with many looking like petrified trees thereby creating the illusion of a forest made of stone;
    • Relax yourself in Dali Old Town, the historical ancient town situated between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake;
    • Enjoy a refreshing walk at beautiful Western Hills to see the outstanding Dragon Gate and overlook the peaceful Dianchi Lake and Kunming City;
    • Enjoy stunning ethnic culture of Bai ethnic groups and feel the ceremony of Three-Course Tea and witness how Bai’s tie-dye is famous all over China;
    • Explore old towns of Lijiang listed into UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 - Dayan Old Town, Shuhe Old Town and Baisha Village to fully appreciate the Naxi culture in various ways.
    • spend a day out of the old town hiking along the well-known Tiger Leaping Gorge well situated between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain.
From $910 per person Free Inquiry
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Day 1 Kunming Arrival & Kunming (L) Arrive in Kunming - Yunnan Nationalities Museum - Western Hills & Dragon Gate
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Welcome to Kunming, the Spring City of China! Upon arrival at the Kunming airport/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. (Please note: to take the afternoon itinerary, you'd better arrange flight or train landing in Kunming before 10:00.)

In this afternoon, you’ll take a visit to Yunnan Nationalities Museum for a wonderful understanding of the 25 ethnic minority groups in vast Yunnan. This largest minority museum in whole Asia boasts a collection of over 20 thousand pieces (units) of precious cultural relics to show you the beautiful costumes, diverse ethnic festivals, daily life scenes, exquisite musical instruments, brilliant cultural texts, and so on to know the essence of Yunnan culture!

Later, visit the famous Western Hills which is called “Sleeping Beauty Hills”, looking like a beautiful young lady lying beside Dian Lake (the largest freshwater in Yunnan and famed as the “Pearl on the Plateau”). It is a particularly pleasant experience to walk in such verdant forest mountain park with elegant sightseeing and a series of cultural relics and sites, including some old temples. You will not miss the symbolic visit to the magic Dragon Gate as it says “If you do not visit Western Hill, you haven't visited Kunming; if you do not come to Dragon Gate, you haven't been to Western Hills”, where to admire the colorful old grottoes on the wall and catch the panoramic view of the large peaceful Dianchi Lake and Kunming City. (You can visit the temples if interested. Huating Temple and Taihua Temple are included in the ticket.)

After the tour, drive back to your hotel.

Western Hill Dragon Gate
Yunnan Nationalities Museum
Day 2 Kunming - Stone Forest & High Speed Train to Dali (B, L) Stone Forest - Green Lake - 2 Hours High Speed Train to Dali
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After breakfast, your local guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and then escort you to discover Stone Forest first for about 1.5 hours’ riding (85km)!

Kunming Stone Forest as the “Essence of World Karst Landform” has been listed as the UNESCO World Natural Heritage with the incomparable coverage of 12 square kilometers’ stone pinnacle groups. Take the sightseeing bus to visit the Greater Stone Forest Scenic Area to admire the typical concentrating cinerous stone pinnacles by walking through the maze of stone peaks and jumping high for the panorama of the forest of protruding stone peaks. Also, you will see the famous peak on many photos and even stones towering over 40 meters. Then, continue to ride the bus to explore the Lesser Stone Forest to closely look at the iconic stone “Ashima” like a young lady, listen to the touching love story of Ashima, and fill your eyes with the emerald garden-like park of wilder stone peaks surrounded by lush green plants and blossoms. Take the sightseeing bus to exit the scenic park.

After the discovering, drive back to Kunming downtown and enjoy a leisure visit to Kunming Green Lake. This pretty park with a lovely lake, old-styled pavilions, corridors, flowers, etc. is the most popular place for an authentic feeling of local Kunming people’s leisure life with citizens singing, dancing, talking, exercising, etc. During November to the next March, Black-headed Gulls from Siberian will never be late to fly there for their expecting comfortable warm winter holiday. Do not miss playing with those adorable and vigorous elfin during your relaxing roam!

After the tour, you’ll be escorted to Kunming Railway Station to take a high speed train from Kunming to Dali (about 2 hrs). After your arrival at Dali Railway Station, your local guide and drive will meet you there and escort you to your hotel in Dali Old Town. Have a nice sleep!

Major Stone Forest
Kunming Green Lake
Day 3 Dali (B, L) Three Pagodas - Erhai Lake - Dali Old Town
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After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, pay a 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…

Then, head 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.

1. Erhai Lake Sightseeing Bus Tour (about 1 hour CNY 50/pp): There are sightseeing roads built around the lake. On the west bank of the lake, there is also a 27.5-kilometer-long Ecological Corridor with mini sightseeing buses offered. Hop on the mini bus, you will get the placid lake view while moving, with fresh air and gentle wind kissing your face.

2.Erhai Lake Boat Tour (about 2~3 hours from CNY 145/pp): On Erhai Lake cruise, you’ll enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and Three Pagodas from afar as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake. Enjoy an excursion to one of the famous islands for an in-depth look at the peaceful Bai fishing village and other sites on island.

3.Erhai Lake Cycling Tour (about 2 hours from CNY 50/pp): If your energy permits, you can choose a cycling tour along this picturesque Erhai Lake, which may give you a more exciting experience there than the cruise and bus.

Later, 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.

Dali Old Town Wuhua Tower
Dali Erhai Lake
Day 4 Dali - Lijiang (B, L) Xizhou Ancient Town - Zhoucheng Tie-dye - Transfer to Lijiang - Lijiang Old Town
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After breakfast, you’ll start your exploration of Xizhou Ancient Town, an authentic old town where local Bai people really live and work. Set eyes on the local morning market - a place for local people in traditional costumes trading daily supplies, including fresh vegetable, fruits, meats, and many kinds of food and daily necessities. It is a great opportunity for getting close to local living conditions. Walk into the “the Museum of Bai Architecture” and appreciate the exquisite residential complexes decorated fabulous sculptures, paintings, pointed eaves and wall screens. Taste Bai’s Three-Course Tea in bitter, sweet and mixed flavors and experience the tea ceremony to enjoy deeper of the artistic culture of Bai ethnic people. Then, visit Yan Family Compound where to appreciate the delicate courtyard houses, screen walls, colorful paintings, and more decorations to learn more about the fine Bai ethnic architecture.

Then, transfer to “Hometown of Bai People’s Tie-dye Art” - Zhoucheng Old Town 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.

Later, transfer to Lijiang with 2 hours’ driving. Upon arrival, enjoy a memorable tour to wander in Lijiang Ancient Town (Dayan Ancient Town). Established in the Ming dynasty as a commercial center, Lijiang Old Town is a well-preserved 800-year-old town for Naxi ethnic group, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Walk to the central area of the old town and visit Mufu Palace. A saying goes “there is Forbidden City in the North, Mu’s Residence in the South”. Mu’s Residence was called the miniature Forbidden City. Looked from a far distance, it likes a grand imperial palace and it is famous for the grandness and architectural buildings. Getting into the palace, you can know Tusi’s ruling history and appreciate Naxi people’s brilliant culture and fine arts. Then, wander through the old alleys, old bridges, featured shops and bars to Sifang Street Square, a mingling ground to enjoy lively atmosphere and unwind yourself. If time permits, join the Naxi people and tourists to dance happily in a round. (Optional Activity: Take a leisure walk up to the Lion Hill and climb up the 33-meter-tall Wanggu Tower - the landmark building of Lijiang to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole old town and overlook the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance.)

Xizhou Old Town
Lijiang Old Town
Day 5 Lijiang (B, L) Yuhu Village - Baisha Murals - Shuhe Ancient Town - Dongba Culture Museum - Black Dragon Pool Park
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After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, you’ll be transferred out of Lijiang Old Town to Yuhu Village which is located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Walking into this authentic Naxi Village, you’ll see unique stone houses, Naxi ladies dressing in traditional clothes, kids playing, a tranquil Yuhu Lake…explore leisurely around the village and then go to explore the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, who was an Austrian-American Botanist came to Lijiang and stayed in Yuhu Village for 27 years and made huge research work on Naxi minority.

Later, head to Baisha Village and appreciate the ancient Baisha Mural Paintings. Houses here are arranged on a north-south axis around a central, terraced square. Visit Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple to view murals painted over 1000 years ago which depict subjects relating to Buddhism, Taoism and the life of the Naxi people, incorporating cultural elements of the Bai people. (Optional experience: You can have in-depth cultural experience to learn how to make Baisha embroidery instructed by the local masters in Baisha Village.)

Then, it is followed by a relaxing trip to Shuhe Ancient Town - one of the earliest settlements of Naxi people as well as the well-preserved stop of the Ancient Tea Horse Route. This ancient town is less crowded than Lijiang Dayan Old Town. Take a nice stroll here to explore local cultures, folk customs and traditions over several centuries.

After that, transfer to Dongba Culture Museum where more than 10,000 Dongba cultural relics show mysterious Dongba culture of the Naxi people. Take a gentle walk to Black Dragon Pool Park to enjoy gorgeous view and peaceful surroundings. If weather permits, get to the best spot to overlook the snow-capped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and shoot some amazing pictures.

Black Dragon Pool Park
Baisha Mural Paintings
Day 6 Lijiang & Lijiang Departure (B, L) First Bend of Yangtze River - Tiger Leaping Gorge
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After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, drive about 52 kilometers from Lijiang to view the First Bend of Yangtze River. The upper reach of the Yangtze River is Jinsha River coming down from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and when it arrives at Shigu Town, it is obstructed by Hailuo Mountain and forms a V-shape turn. Then it changes the direction and goes to the northeast. You’ll reach the observation deck to catch a panoramic view of the bend, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before your eyes. You’ll have a look at local market and Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in Shigu Town.

Later, be transferred to visit the one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyon in the world - Tiger Leaping Gorge. It is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site called Three Parallel of Yunnan Protected Areas. This steep gorge is situated between the 5596 meters Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to the south and 5396 meters Haba Snow Mountain to the north. Measuring 17 kilometers in length, the whole gorge is divided into three parts: upper, middle and lower gorge and you’ll pay a visit to the maturest section - Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge. Walk about 1,000 stairs along the plank road from the entrance to the Tiger Leaping Rock. Take a moment to enjoy the magnificent gorge view and rolling waves. (Travel tip: This gorge is suitable for most travelers with easy walk. Comfortable shoes are recommended.)

After the tour, drive back to Lijiang. Your guide and driver will escort you to the airport or railway station to catch your flight / train (after 17:00) to next destination. (Note: If the departure time will not match your trip schedule, our travel consultant will help you adjust the itinerary to well suit your time. Please feel free to contact us.)

First Bend of Yangtze River
Tiger Leaping Gorge
B-- Breakfast L-- Lunch D-- Dinner

The quotation for this trip is from Request P/P

1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.

2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.

Price Includes.

    Professional licensed English-speaking guide;

    Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;

    Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);

    Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;

    Domestic flights (economy class) and high-speed trains (second class) as listed in the itinerary;

    Airport (and train station) pick up and drop off;

    Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;

    All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);

    Accident insurance;

    Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Price Excludes.

    China visa;

    Personal expenses;

    Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;

    Single Room Supplement;

    Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;

    Recommended optional activities;

    Flights or trains not listed in the itinerary;

    Excess Baggage Charges;

    Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.

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