D01 -- KUNMING ARRIVAL (Dinner)
After airport formalities, meet your guide and transfer to hotel.
Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan, is well known as the City of Eternal Spring. Take a city tour to the down town if time permits.
D02 -- KUNMING – STONE FOREST – KUNMING (Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner)
Drive to the Stone Forest (85 km, 1.5 h). An extremely rare geological phenomenon dating back to 270 million years ago, the Stone Forest is 80 hectares of limestone pillars in fantastic shapes that resemble a forest viewed from a distance. The Stone Forest is also home to the Sani tribe, a branch of the diverse and scattered Yi minority renowned for their diligence, embroidery and dancing. On the way, visit a Yi minority village.
D03 -- KUNMING – DALI (2100 meters) (Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner)
Transfer to airport for morning flight Kunming to Dali (35 min).
Upon arrival, proceed to visit the Three Pagodas, followed by a 1.5 hours cruise on the Erhai Lake (named for its ear-like shape) with a stop at Jinsuo Island. Then explore in the Dali Ancient Town with a history of 1,300 years, which is the home to Bai minority. The town, whose format is like a chess board with four gates guarding in the directions of east , south, west and north stands between Cangshan Mountains and Erhai Lake, a natural configuration that seems specially designed for a good bountiful life.
D04 -- DALI – LIJIANG (2500 meters) (Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner)
Overland drive 200 km, or 3 hours to Lijiang. En route, stop and visit the Bai minority’s village and market.
A gathering place of the Naxi minority, Lijiang Ancient Town is a mountain town of stone and tile, laced with canals and lanes, which has been listed as an UNESCO world monument. Upon arrival, proceed to visit the Dongba Culture Museum and the ancient town which is in the form of an official ink stone. Unlike most of the old towns in China, there is no city wall due to a superstitious belief of the local ruler whose family name is Mu (tree), when encircled by walls, would be Kun (besieged).
D05 -- LIJIANG (Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner)
Proceed to Yak Meadow of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Watch the show “Impression Lijiang” performed by 400 locals of 10 ethnic groups and 100 horses in an outdoor theatre against the backdrop of the snow mountain. It was directed by Zhang Yimou, director of the 2008 Olympics Opening & Closing Ceremonies and winner of dozens of world movie prizes.
Then visit the Baisha Frescos and the Former Residence of Joseph Rock, the Austro-American botanist and explorer who lived here from 1922 to 1949, introducing innumerable plant species to the West and completing rigorous works on Naxi ethnology.
D06 -- LIJIANG— SHANGRI-LA (3100 meters) (Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner)
Drive 200 KM northern to Shangri-la, 4.5 hours.
Stop at Stone Drum Town for a dramatic view of the Yangzi's near-180-degree turn. Then is the Tiger Leaping Gorge. The Jade Dragon Snow Mountains and the Haba Snow Mountains lean close to each other and a large volume of torrent moving between them cutting deeper and deeper into the bottom of the gorge. Upon arrival, drive to the ancient town of Shangri-la with rest of the day at leisure for your own exploration.
D07 -- SHANGRI-LA (or Gyalthang in Tibetan) (Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner)
Visit Gedan Songzanglin Monastery, the one with 700 monks and one living Buddha, founded in the 17th century during the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama and is nicknamed by local the Lesser Potala Palace. Half day tour to Pudacuo National Park with virgin forests of spruce, pine and meadow dotted with wild flowers and tranquil lakes. After back to the town, visit a Tibetan family.
D08 -- SHANGRI-LA-- KUNMING DEPARTURE (Breakfast)
Transfer to airport for morning flight to Kunming. Connect the departure flight.
Private tour price for per person -- CNY 8442
Conditions: Minimum 2 persons to travel together and 2 persons to a room