On your first day in Kunming, you are free to explore the beauty of the city at your own pace. You’ll visit Qiongzhu Temple and Stone Forest the next day. You’ll go to Dali by bullet train to visit Erhai Lake, Three Pagodas and Dali Old Town the following day. You’ll head to Lijiang the fourth day to visit Xizhou Old Town, Zhoucheng Village and Lijiang Ancient Town. The next day you’ll visit Baisha Village to explore Baisha Mural as well as Yuhu Village to visit the former dwelling of Joseph Rock. On the last day of your journey, you’ll be escorted to Lijiang’s airport for departure.
You’re recommended to visit flower and bird market or the Golden Horse and Jade Phoenix Archway.
Flower and Bird Market
Golden Horse and Jade Phoenix Archway
Breakfast & lunch
You’ll start your journey by visiting the splendid Qiongzhu Temple, which is honored as one of the national cultural relics in China and hosts the top-grade artistic achievements 7 hundred years ago. Qiongzhu Temple (Bamboo Temple) is a Buddhist temple located 12 kilometers to the northwest of Kunming. It was established during the Yuan dynasty as the first temple dedicated to Zen Buddhism in Yunnan. The major temple is enclosed by a stretch of courtyard walls and gables, emphasizing its status as the sacred centerpiece of the area. The temple is most notable for the painted clay sculptures of the 500 Buddhist arhats. Each arhat is vividly featured with unique facial expressions and body gestures, which marks a radical separation from the conventional style of Buddhist sculptures.
Next up, you’ll be chauffeured to the Stone Forest scenic area located 90 kilometers to the south of Kunming. Due to a process of weathering and erosion, nature has created an art gallery of limestone sculpture there. You’ll be amazed to discover the striking resemblance between the stones there and trees, animals and even fungi. The quintessential karst landscape will make every visitor lost in wonder. Altogether, you’ll explore a variety of bewitching landscapes including the Greater Stone Forest, the Lesser Stone Forest, the Naigu Stone Forest, the Zhiyun Cave, the Long Lake, the Da Dieshui Waterfall and the Qifeng Cave.
Breakfast & lunch
You’ll embark on a new section of the journey today by heading to the city of Dali, which serves as a perfect antidote to modern slump with its relaxed vibe and breathtakingly gorgeous scenery. The city is embraced by the stunning Erhai Lake to its west side and the magnificent Cangshan mountain to its east edge. Its high elevation ranging from 700 to 4300 meters makes it a perfect place for star gazing.
Upon arrival in Dali, you’ll pay a visit to the sparkling Erhai Lake (which is actually an alpine fault lake) in a boat trip and marvel at its gleaming aquamarine water.
The Three Pagodas is another unmissable spot as a typical historical symbol of Yunnan province and one of the oldest sublime architecture in South China. After that, you’ll spend the rest of the day roaming around the Dali Old Town, which hosts a large collection of traditional Bai architectures. Once served as a vital gateway of cultural exchange and trade with southeastern Asian countries, the place retains its unique ancient charm despite of the constant stream of tourists it accommodates each year. The Foreigner Street is lined with an abundance of bistros and trendy restaurants serving both modern dishes and regional delicacies. You can embark on a culinary tour and gorge on the local feasting when hunger strikes.
Dali Old Town
Breakfast & lunch
You’ll depart Dali and head to Lijiang on a 3-hour road trip. On your way back to Lijiang, you’ll visit the enchanting Xizhou Old Town. Xizhou is a cozy ancient city where a cluster of traditional Bai ethnic architectures are well preserved. You can explore the distinctive culture of the Bai ethnic group there.
You’ll continue heading north to visit Zhoucheng Village. The charming Zhoucheng Village is the largest Bai Minority settlement in Yunnan and is renowned for being the 'Hometown of Tie-dyeing Art'. The village is easily accessible as it’s close to both Erhai Lake and Xizhou Ancient Town. A visit to the area offers a fascinating insight into the history, culture and craftsmanship of Bai people. A workshop experience of the sophisticated tie-dying technique will satiate your curiosity and leave you with a precious memento to remember the trip with.
After that, you’ll be escorted to visit Lijiang Ancient Town. This well-preserved UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site covers an immense area of 1255 square kilometers. Once the habitation of local Naxi people, the place is now crammed with a profusion of fancy restaurants and boutique hotels, yet its enduring allure never fails to fascinate visitors. You can have an exploration of what the stores have to offer at daytime and stroll through its meandering streets when the whole place is lit up by lanterns and neon at night. The city was found on the streets radiating out from the landmark Square Street, which can help you better navigate the maze-like place just in case you get lost in your ambling.
Tie-dying workshop, Zhoucheng Village
Lijiang Ancient Town
Breakfast & lunch
After breakfast, you’ll be delivered to visit the charming Baisha Village. Baisha Village is named after the signature white sands abound in the area and is located 16 km to the northwest of Lijiang Ancient Town. It’s the earliest settlement of the Naxi people and houses myriad cultural relics and ancient buildings. You’ll visit a local Naxi family to learn more about their unique culture and lifestyle.
One of the biggest tourist draws in the village is the exquisite Baisha Mural, which consists of a series of paintings created 600 years ago, representing the first-class craftsmanship at that time and reflecting the spiritual pursuit and mundane life of Naxi people in ancient times. Not only does it stand out as a rare treasure of art, but it also serves as an important source of information for research on national religions, arts and history.
Next up, you’ll be delivered to Yuhu Village, which is an ideal place for a relaxing getaway from the bustling Lijiang Ancient Town. The village is a primitive and peaceful village inhabited by Naxi people where time has almost stood still. It holds a unique allure with its traditional Naxi lifestyle and its ancient houses entirely constructed with a rare type of stones. After taking only 10 minutes’ walk from the village, you’ll be amazed by the ravishing beauty of the Yuhu lake, which has shimmering blue water and a backdrop of the immense Jade Dragon Snow Mountain miles away. You’ll then visit the former residence of the Austrian-American explorer and botanist Joseph Rock, who was among those first groups of westerns that had been intoxicated by the beauty of Lijiang and had lived there for decades.
Afternoon is free for you to enjoy the small bridges, swift streams, cobbled streets and grey tiled roofs of the Residential Houses in the Lijiang Old Town. Enjoy the Naxi Ancient Music and Dance Performance at Dongba Palace in the evening.
Former residence of Joseph Rock, Yuhu Village
You’ll be picked up from the hotel and chauffeured to the airport according to your departure time.
|Kunming||Kunming Bank Hotel||Kunming Golden Dragon Hotel||Kunming Jinhua Hotel|
|Dali||Dali Regent Hotel||Dali Landscape Hotel||Dali Landscape Hotel|
|Lijiang||-||-||Lijiang Sanhe Hotel|
our itinerary customized: Day 1 Kunming-Stone Forest-Kunming Sightseeing: the Stone Forest, Guandu Ancient Town,Jingang Pagoda, You will drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. An old local saying says that 'If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.' Truly, the Stone For more..
Rating: [4 of 5 Stars!] by Eric Ma,05/15/2013