Day 1: Arrival In Kunming
Upon your arrival, our guide will meet you at Kunming airport or train station and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Kunming
Day 2: Kunming - Stone Forest - Dounan Flowers Market-Kunming
After breakfast, travel 90 KM to Lunan County and explore the Stone Forest. Return to Kunming in the afternoon.
Stone Forest: Located 120 kilometers southeast of Kunming, the Stone Forest is a typical karst formation covering an area of more than 350 square kilometers. In 2007, it is listed as World Natural Heritage. Walking inside the forest, you will find a wonderland consists of innumerable huge rocks of fantastic shapes.
The fresh flowers were transacted in the “Flower Street” in the past. Now, the Flower Market covering an area of over one hundred mu is a multi-functional system of information transaction, storage, commercial residence, finance, air transportation and technical consultation. Kunming International Flower Auction Center established here is connected to Holland Flower Auction and Transaction Market famous in the international world. With five to six million cut flowers traded every day, Dounan Flower Market has become the largest cut flower transaction center in China. There are over 500 flower shops in the transaction hall with more than 300 species of flowers falling into 60 categories planted at home and abroad traded. Various flowers such as fragrant lily, rose, forget-me-not, carnation, butterfly orchid, African daisy, and gypsophila produce a “Sea of Flowers”. The flowers in Dounan are very cheap. When the flowers go on the market, you can buy butches of carnations with two or three Yuan and fill your room with flowers. In fact, the flowers are cheaper than vegetables.
Kunming - Dali
Take Night Train to Dali, overnight in sleeping seats of the train.
Day 3: Dali Old Town-Zhou Cheng Tie-dye Cloth Museum-Three Pagodas Park-Erhai Lake
Dali Old Town is about 13km away from Xiaguan in Dali City and is one of Dali's Three Ancients-ancient city, ancient pagoda and ancient steles. History of Dali can be dates back to 1382 during the Ming Dynasty and it has been listed among the top historic cities of China.
Early starting then have a cruise in the vast blue Erhai Lake, then visit ZhouCheng Village and know about ethnic Bai People's Tie-dyeing Cloth with Wax (a technology of printing flower patterns on cloth). Tour to Xizhou Township and visit unique dwellings with typical Bai People's features. Afterwards, go to the Chong Sheng Temple which is famous for its Three Pagodas and then wander in Dali Ancient City.
Erhai Lake: Covering an area of 251 square kilometers, it is one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China and the second largest lake in Yunnan. The peaks of Cangshan Mountain are often mirrored in the lake, making majestic scenery. It would be a great pity if people traveling to Dali without going for a boat ride in the lake.
Bai people: The Bai people have a long history and well-developed culture. 80% of the population of 1.39 million live in the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture around the Erhai Lake with exquisite scenery. The Bai people have their own spoden language but do not have a written one.
Three Pagodas: These pagodas are located between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake, about 1.5 kilometers northwest from the ancient city of Dali. They were built in the Five Dynasties (907-960AD). In the time of Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms, Chongsheng Monastery was the largest monastery in this area and the Three Pagodas were only a part of it. The pagodas were built because of two main reasons. Firstly, they were holy structures that invoked the Buddha's protection against the frequent disasters of floods and earthquakes. Secondly, the pagodas were used as a storehouse for scriptures and precious objects.
Overnight in Dali
Day 4: Dali-Shaxi Old Town-Shibao Mountain Grottoes
Drive 2 hours to Shaxi Old Town.Shaxi Old Town has (aka Shaxi Ancient Village) a long history that can be traced back to the the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Periods (770BC -221BC), and it is the only one surving market town in the ancient Tea Horse Road.
Shibao Mountain is situated in Jianchuan County, 25 km. away from the county seat and 140 km. away from Dali. Here, evergreen trees, elegant temples, superb and exquisite grottoes and the scenery in general are attractive. Shizhongshan (Stone Bell Mountain), a branch range of Shibaoshan, has a huge bell-shaped rock on top of the mountain, hence its name. The scenery on Shizhongshan is famed for its towering peaks, dense forest, grotesque rocks, bamboo groves and the luxuriant growth of azaleas. There is a temple on the mountain, namely the Stone Bell Temple constructed in the Nanzhao Kingdom period and renovated during the Qing Dynasty. Up to the present, 16 grottoes distributed over the Lion Pass, Shadengqing and the Stone Bell Temple have been discovered and there are 139 statues in them.A wide range of subject matters are featured in the grottos, including political life of the Nanzhao Dynasty (738-902), Buddhist figures and religious beliefs of the Kingdom of Dali. The grottos here were listed into the first batch of China's historic and cultural sites in 1961. A total of 16 grottos and 139 sculptures were open to the public so far, the earliest carvings date back to the Tang and Song Dynasties while the latest ones are carvings of the Ming Dynasty.
Overnight in Shaxi Old Town
Day 5:Shaxi Old Town-Lashi Lake-Lijiang
Drive 2 hours to Lijiang. Visit Lashi Lake and Lijiang Ancient Town.
Arrive at Lashi Lake and have a half-day tour to visit it which has been approved as a plateau wetland nature reserve in Yunnan in 1998. You will experience the traditional, rural Naxi lifestyle in a beautiful and peaceful setting. You also will cruise around the lake, watching a variety of protected migratory bird species such as the black-necked crane, whooper swan and black stork. After paying a visit to Naxi Minority houses of local residents.
Rent horse from local villagers and ride it along the Ancient Tea-Horse Road. The ancient Tea-Horse Road plays a similar role as the Silk Road does, and is a vital part of the international trade in the history (between China, India and Middle Asia). What's more, it was a road linking culturally Tibetans and other Chinese in the history, and promoting the spread of Buddhism. In late afternoon transfer back to Lijiang, and overnight at the hotel in Lijiang.
Lijiang Ancient Town: It is also named Dayan Ancient Town, famous for its scientific architectural layout. Crisscrossed by crystal-clear rivers and meandering cobbled streets, Lijiang Ancient Town is a treasure in the field of urban construction in China.
Visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the Baisha Murals and the Ancient Shuhe Village of Naxi People.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain: The mountain is ten miles from Lijiang, its landscape includes one of the southernmost glaciers in the world. The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has 13 peaks, the main peak is 5,596 meters above sea level, and is annually snowcapped. Scientists say that the mountain formed over 230 million years ago from ancient geosynclines when dinosaurs roamed on the Earth. In the Naxi People¡¯s language, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain means the place for loves that die for their love. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has rich vegetation coverage, featuring distinct and complete alpine vertical ecosystem from subtropical zone to frigid zone.
Baisha Old Town: One of the 3 famous old towns in Lijiang, it i also the heritage site place, the old architecture here reflects the Naxi civilization, it is the culture town of Lijiang, travellers can see the local embroidery school, the last Black Smith's working house and Dr. He's chinese medicinal clinic.
Naxi People: They live in concentrated communities in the Lijiang Naxi Autonomous County in Yunnan Province, their language belongs to the Chinese-Tibetan language family. More than 1,000 years ago, the Naxi people had already created pictographic characters called the "Dongba script".
Overnight in Lijiang
Day 7: Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri-La
Drive 180Km to Shangri-la. On the way, visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the First bend of the Yangtze River.
Tiger Leaping Gorge: The gorge is regarded one of the longest, deepest and narrowest gorges in the world. It is about 98 kilometers northwest of Lijiang Ancient Town, lying between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and and Haba Snow Mountain. The gorge stretches about 15 kilometers (9 miles). For the experienced and adventurous, thrilling raft rides are available. The magnificent backdrop of the gorge, combined with the twisting white water will create an exhilarating and unforgettable white water rafting experience. For those who prefer a gentle ride, slow-speed drifting is available in the calmer sections of the gorge.
First bend of the Yangtze River: When you are on the way to Shangri-La from Lijiang, there are 2 stops for visits: Tiger Leaping Gorge and the First Bend of the Yangtze River. Rushing down from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, "the roof of the world", the Yangtze surges into Yunnan from its northwest, where it meets Lancang River and Nu River. Then, they go together through the high mountains and deep gorges of Hengduan Mountains. Rushing southwards from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Yangtze is blocked by the Hailuo Cliff at Shigu in Yunnan, which makes it turn roughly to northeast, forming a rare great bend of "V" shape, which is called the First Bend of the Yangtze River.
Overnight in Shangrila
Day 8: Shangri-la
Tour to the Songzanlin Lama Temple and Dukezong Old Town
Songzanlin Lama Temple: Also named Guihua Monastery, the temple is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Shangri-La of Yunnan province. It is one of the famous monasteries in the region, nicknamed as "the little Potala Palace", for the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere.
Dukezong Old Town:
Dukezong Old Town was once the biggest and best-preserved Tibetan residents in China. It was the transportation hub of the Ancient Tea Route. It is located in Shangri-la county. It has a history of over 1300 years and a center of economy and culture among Tibet, Yunnan and Sichuan
The name Dukezong in Tibetan language has two meanings: one is a castle built on the rock, the other is moonlight city. When the old town was being built, they obtained raw material locally. There is a kind of white clay being used to paint the outer wall. Therefore, the residents paint all the outer walls in white. The style still remains today. In the night, the moonlight shines on the white walls, which makes the town more charming.
Day 9: Putatso National Park Tour
Potatso National Park consists of Baitahai, Shudu Lake and Militang Pasture. The Potatso National Park is 3,500 meters to 4,000 meters above the sea level. Potatso National Park is an inseparable part of the world natural heritage Three Parallel Rivers by UNESCO, it also serves as a natural reserve. Potatso Park has a well-preserved eco-environment, which has marsh, brooks, lakes, and springs. virgin forests, flora and rare fauna. And during summer, the amazing sceneries of Potatso Park made people call it the home for rhododendron, meconopsis, spruce, primrose, fir, and other rare plants. Also there are many wild lives in the park, for example, wild boar, leopard, musk deer, pheasant and other different species of birds.
Militang is the vastest pastureland in Potatso Nationa Park and it is between Baitahai and Shudu Lake. There are scattered with yaks and cabbage-like grass which is called Yak-butter Grass by locals because the local Tibetans uses the leaves to wrap yak butter. People can have a eye outline when overlooked the Militang, so it means “the Buddha’s eye” in Tibetan language.
Overnight in Shangrila
Day 10: Shangri-la - Kunming - Departure
Take morning flight to Kunming. Then change flight back to your hometown.