Colorful Yunnan / 11 days
1 Visit the Stone Forest outside of Kunming. Overnight in Kunming
2 Go to the Western Hills and visit Yunnan Nationalities Village. Overnight in Kunming
3 Drive to Dali, see the three pagodas and the monastery. Dali is home of the Bai minority. Overnight in Dali
4 Boat trip on Erhai Lake. Overnight in Dali
5 Drive from Dali to Lijiang and visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Lijiang is home of the Naxi minority. Overnight in Lijiang
6 To the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Overnight in Lijiang
7 To Lugu Lake. Lugu is home of the Mosu minority.Home stay with local Mosu family
8 Boat trip in dug out canoe on Lugu Lake. Home stay with local Mosu family
9 Drive to Shangrila through beautiful scenery. Shangrila is home of the Tibetan minority. Overnight in Shangrila
10 Visit the Songzanlin monastery. Overnight in Shangrila
11 Flight back to Kunming
Day 1: Start of the tour is in Kunming. Today we visit the spectacular Stone Forest 120 km outside of Kunming. This is a "forest" of limestone pillars which over the years have eroded into all kinds of different shapes. Beautiful place for hiking. In the afternoon back to Kunming.
Day 2: The Western Hills are situated 16 km south west of Kunming and these beautiful green hills have many temples dotted around. On the top of the hill you have a good view of the Dian lake, one of the biggest lakes in South West China. We will visit the Dragon Gate Cave, which consists of a number of sculptures, caves and corridors hacked out from the rocks. After visiting the Western Hills, we will go to the Yunnan Nationalities Village where you can see model minority villages representing all the 25 minorities living in Yunnan province.
Day 3: We travel by private car to Dali, some 5 hours away. In the afternoon you will visit the Three Pagodas in Dali as well as the impressive monastery which has been built behind these pagodas.
Day 4: In the morning you will make a boat trip on the famous Erhai Lake where we also make a stop on Jinsuo island to get a glimpse of the local life there. In the afternoon you are free to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Dali's
" Foreigner Street" with its many cozy bars and restaurants. Dali is the home of the Bai minority, wearing beautiful hats.
Day 5: Today we drive from Dali to Lijiang. Lijiang is a picturesque town, home of the Naxi minority. Lijiang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon you will visit one of the absolute highlights of Yunnan: the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. We will go to to the Glacier park where a chairlift will bring you to an altitude of 4506 meters! This is a great adventure and the view of the glacier is awesome.
Day 6: Today you will go to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world. At one point the gorge is so narrow, that legend has it a tiger once leaped across it. The gorge has soaring cliffs on both sides and very beautiful scenery.
Day 7: Today we leave Lijiang behind and head for Lugu lake, home of the Mosu minority. The Mosu are a subgroup of the Naxi, so even though their culture is similar, they still practice many old traditions now lost in Lijiang. Near the lake, we will stay in a local house with a local Mosu minority family.
Day 8: Today is spend on the Lugu lake. In a dug out canoe you will visit several islands on the lake.
Day 9: Shangrila (Zhongdian) is our next destination. Most of the day will be spend on driving to Shangrila, through spectacular scenery with green valleys and snow capped mountains around.
Day 10: Visit the Songzanlin monastery in Shangrila, a Tibetan buddhist monastery with about 600 monks in residence. This is a very important temple, and many Tibetan buddhist pilgrims travel for days to pray here. In the afternoon you have free time to walk around in Shangrila.
Day 11: Flight back to Kunming.