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8-Day Yunnan Discovery: Kunming, Dali, Lijiang & Shangri-La

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Bespoke This Itinerary

This itinerary is completely customizable and can be modified in any way. Select only the destinations you wish to visit, stay in accommodations that meet your preferences, engage in activities that pique your interest, have genuine experiences in lesser-known locales, take advantage of the insider knowledge of ICT Destination Experts, and design a trip that fits your budget. You dream it, we make it happen.
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Highlights
  • Admire the Stone Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a geological marvel.
  • Marvel at the iconic landmark of Kunming, the Golden Horse and Jade Rooster Archways.
  • Explore Dali Old Town: a sun-drenched gem cradled by Cangsha Mountains, kissed by Erhai Lake.
  • Delve into the Bai architecture of Xizhou, marked by intricate gateways and honeycomb designs.
  • Amble the serene Black Dragon Pool, where the Jade Dragon's snow-capped peak soars above.
  • Wander through the Old Town of Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Take a cable car to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, where a world of glistening glaciers awaits.
  • Visit Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world's deepest and most marvelous gorges.
  • Explore Sumtsaling, Tibet's golden gem, blends grandeur with murals into a breathtaking haven.
  • Dive into Potatso's jewel-toned beauty: turquoise, emerald, and white.
  • Wander sun-drenched Dukezong. Tibetan houses, prayer flags, magic.
  • Step into mosques, joining locals for Salat prayers and experiencing the unifying power of faith.
  • Halal meals (lunch & dinner) at hand-picked restaurants.
Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Kunming, Greet & Meet at Airport, Transfer to Hotel

Destination: Kunming
Meals Included: Dinner at Halal restaurant
Accommodations: 4-star Wanjinan Hotel Kunming (Muslim friendly hotel)

Your professional Muslim expert tour guide will meet you at the arrival hall of the airport with your private vehicle on standby and assists you to your hotel. Relax at hotel to recover from the jet lag. Known as the ‘Spring City’ for its equable climate, Kunming has long been recognized as one of China’s most habitable cities.

Day 2 Kunming, Stone Forest, Golden Horse & Jade Rooster Archways

Destination: Kunming
Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch & dinner at Halal restaurants
Salat Prayer: Kunming Yongning Mosque
Accommodations: 4-star Wanjinan Hotel Kunming (Muslim friendly hotel)

Embark on a scenic drive to the Stone Forest (approx. 80 km, about 1.5 hours), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a geological marvel. Walk through labyrinthine paths flanked by majestic stone pillars, sculpted by millions of years of erosion into shapes that resemble ancient trees, mythical creatures, and even human figures. Let your imagination run wild as you marvel at the sheer scale and majesty of this natural masterpiece. Take a break and delve into the Small Stone Forest. Here, intricate rock formations create a maze-like landscape, perfect for a leisurely stroll and a closer look at the delicate details carved by nature’s hand. Next, visit the world class 80-acre Astaxanthin farm, which employs advanced technology with 100% glass-tube photobioreactors to produce the world’s highest quality algae-based Astaxanthin. Take in the iconic sight of Kunming, the Golden Horse and Jade Rooster Archways.

Day 3 Bullet Train to Dali, Dali Old Town, Xizhou

Destination: Dali
Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch & dinner at Halal restaurants
Salat Prayer: Dali Nanmen Mosque
Accommodations: 4-star Dali Zhonghefang Hotel

Take a bullet train to Dali (approx. 2 hours). Dali, once the capital of the Nanzhao and Dali Kingdoms (738 – 1253), served as the political, economic, and cultural center of ancient Yunnan for over 500 years. Following Salat at Dali Nanmen Mosque, immerse yourself in the enduring allure and history of Dali Old Town, nestled between the serene Erhai Lake and the majestic Cangshan Mountains. Wander in the old town, taking in the city gates, ancient towers, old streets, temples, museums, and shops. The cobbled streets of Dali Old Town echo stories of bygone dynasties, while the vibrant Bai architecture offers a glimpse into the present. Delve into the unique Bai architecture of the old town of Xizhou, marked by intricate gateways and honeycomb designs. Discover the art of crafting Rushan, a local cheese, from the Bai community.

Day 4 Muslim Village, Transfer to Lijiang, Black Dragon Pool, Lijiang Old Town

Destinations: Dali, Lijiang
Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch & dinner at Halal restaurants.
Salat Prayer: Village Mosque
Accommodations: 4-star Bestli Hotel Lijiang (Muslim friendly hotel)

Unwind on a scenic land journey towards Lijiang. Along the way, make a delightful stop at a charming Muslim Village. Step into a unique architectural blend where traditional Chinese elements seamlessly embrace Islamic influences. Immerse yourself in Arabic language lessons and join a class alongside local Muslim women at the village mosque Madrasah. Connect with a welcoming Hui Muslim family, sharing tea and engaging in heartfelt conversations. Proceed along the Ancient Tea and Horse Road to reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang. Upon reaching, take a leisurely walk around the picturesque Black Dragon Pool for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Navigate through the narrow lanes and canals that crisscross Lijiang Old Town. Ascend the slopes of Lion Hill for a sweeping view of the old town and the surrounding mountains.

Day 5 Lijiang, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Impression Lijiang Show, Blue Moon Valley

Destination: Lijiang
Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch & dinner at Halal restaurants. 
Salat Prayer: Lijiang Mosque
Accommodations: 4-star Bestli Hotel Lijiang (Muslim friendly hotel)

Set off on an unforgettable journey to the towering Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a sacred haven standing tall at an elevation of 5596 meters, majestically piercing the sky. Begin your adventure with a thrilling cable car ride that takes you to the Glacier Park at an elevation of 4506 meters. From there, challenge yourself with a trek to the elevation of 4680 meters. As you ascend, take in the awe-inspiring vistas of the snow-capped peaks. Next, dive into the local culture with a live performance of ‘Impression Lijiang’. This spectacular show, set against the backdrop of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, is a vibrant display of the region’s traditions and folklore. Wander along the enchanting Blue Moon Valley. Tucked away in the foothills of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, this valley is a hidden gem with its tranquil blue lakes and lush greenery. Salat prayer at Lijiang Mosque. 

Day 6 Bullet Train to Shangri-La, Rest at Hotel, Dukezong Old Town

Destinations: Lijiang, Shangri-La
Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch & dinner at Halal restaurants.
Accommodations: 4-star Ramada by Wyndham Diqing.

Take a bullet train to Shangri-La (approx. 1.5 hours). a mystical Tibetan paradise where snow-capped peaks kiss the clouds, prayer flags flutter in the breeze, and ancient monasteries whisper tales of lost horizons. Rest at hotel to acclimate to the high altitude of 3200 meters. Before dinner, lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleys of Dukezong Old Town. Sun-bleached Tibetan houses adorned with colorful prayer flags line the narrow lanes, while the scent of yak butter tea hangs in the air. Shop for local handicrafts, sip on a steaming cup of tea in a traditional teahouse, and soak in the timeless charm of the town.

Day 7 Shangri-La, Sumtsaling Monastery, Potatso National Park, Tibetan Family Visit

Destination: Shangri-La
Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel, lunch & dinner at Halal restaurants.
Accommodations: 4-star Ramada by Wyndham Diqing.

Morning visit to Sumtsaling Monastery, perched on a hilltop overlooking the town. Witness monks in their crimson robes chanting prayers, the rhythmic hum filling the air. Soak in the panoramic views of the surrounding valley and the golden prayer wheels glinting in the sunlight. Head to Potatso National Park, a paradise of turquoise lakes, lush meadows, and snow-capped mountains. Hike around the serene Napa Lake, its reflection mirroring the snow-capped peaks above. Breathe in the crisp mountain air and let the tranquility wash over you. Finally, immerse yourself in the Tibetan lifestyle by visiting a local family, engaging in conversation with the host, and sampling the local butter tea.

Day 8 Depart Shangri-La
Enjoy a private transfer to the airport for your departure flight. We’re grateful for the opportunity to craft such a memorable journey for you and eagerly look forward to your next visit!

Meals Included: Breakfast at hotel

Price Inclusions

  • Second class bullet train tickets
  • Hotel accommodations with daily breakfast
  • Halal meals (lunch & dinner) as specified in the itinerary
  • Experienced private English language speaking tour guide
  • Private air-conditioned vehicle with experienced driver for land transportation
  • Admission tickets to sightseeing places

Price Exclusions

  • International airfares
  • Optional tour & insurance
  • Gratuities or tips to guides and drivers
  • Excursions & activities not included in itinerary
  • Expenditure of a personal nature, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry.

Complementaries

  • Two bottles of mineral water every day during tours
Know Before You Go
  • Altitude Sickness: Given that the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain stands at a height of 5596 meters and the Glacier Park at 4506 meters, there exists a potential risk of altitude sickness. Symptoms of altitude sickness can include headache, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. If you begin to notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to make your way down without delay.
  • Altitude sickness can strike even the toughest adventurers. It’s recommended to carry portable oxygen canisters with you as a precaution against altitude sickness. These can be procured from local supermarkets or at the cable car station before your ascent.
  • Equip yourself with warm clothing and heavy-duty gloves to combat the icy conditions prevalent at high altitudes on the mountain.
  • Eye Protection: A pair of sunglasses is necessary to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays.
  • Cableways: There are three cableways in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic Area, running to Glacier Park, Spruce Meadow, and Yak Meadow.
  • This itinerary can be tailored to your individual interests
Photos