Classic Yunnan

Dali, Shaxi, Lijiang & Shangri-La

From £2600 per person in low season
From £3200 per person in high season

based on 8 nights inc. flights & daily experiences

Price Guide:

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* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.

Price includes:

  • Accommodation

  • Private transfers

  • Daily experiences

  • Daily Breakfast

per person based on two sharing. 
Please note that the cost of the itinerary will be higher during peak periods of travel, over Chinese National Holidays.

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At a Glance

  • Stay in charming boutique properties that are carefully curated to complement its environment.

  • Explore the Tibetan influenced town of Shangri-la and marvel at the stunning alpine scenery

  • Step back in time in  Lijiang Old Town, a Unesco World Heritage Site and immerse in the rich blend of cultural heritage through the ages.

  • Participate in Xizhou's Three Course Tea Ceremony, Rushan cheese-making, as well as Tie & Dye workshop

  • Spend a night in the quaint Shaxi, part of the Ancient Tea Horse Road

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

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From the subtropical lowlands in the south up to glacier-capped mountains in the north, Yunnan is a province of extremes. The climate varies so much across this vast and diverse area, that it has given rise to an ancient Chinese saying: “You can enjoy all four seasons on the same mountain, with each just a few miles from the next”. Generally speaking, most of Yunnan province is mild in winter and cool in summer, with large variances in temperature occurring across the day. Mornings can start with a wintery chill, and warm up to 25°C by lunchtime. Spring and Autumn are mild and pleasant and the best times to visit Yunnan, despite May being the rainiest month of the year. For snow-capped mountains and dramatic alpine scenes, the winter months of November to January can be spectacular.


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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday.


This itinerary introduces the best of four ancient towns of Western Yunnan, including Dali for the Bai minorities, Lijiang for the Naxi minorities, Shangri-La for its Tibetan influences and the often-overlooked Shaxi outside typical tourist trail.

  1. Fly into Dali

  2. Days 1-3: Dali

    As one of the more notable of ancient towns of China and a stop along the Tea-horse route, Dali is brimming with culture and history. The first stop of the itinerary is this charming town where you will visit the historic old town, the iconic Three Pagodas and a cable car ride to Cangshan Mountain Peak.

    To get you into the heart of local culture and ethnic tribes, we have also included one of the following two activities which you can choose from:

    Option A: 30-minute Rushan Cheese workshop. Learn how this unique culinary culture is made, boiled and shaped into the shape of a folding fan.

    Option B: 2-hour Tie & Dye workshop where you can learn about the traditional folk crafts of the Bai people.

    Accommodation: The One Resort Dali (2 nights)

  3. Days 3-4: Shaxi

    Leaving Dali behind, we proceed into the charming Xizhou Village where you will admire the historic architecture and sample its local traditional pancake known as Xizhou baba paired with the famous Bai's Three Course Tea.

    Afterwards, we spend an overnight stay in the quaint Shaxi. Most tourists have yet to discover this hidden gem of rural China, or only do so as a day-tripper. Here, you get to enjoy the charming night atmosphere for yourself.

    The next morning, we will visit the bustling bazaar at the Square Street, the Ancient Stage, the Yujin Bridge and enjoy a stroll along Shaxi's picturesque alleyways and village gates. Afterwards, we continue into the Stone Bell Temple of Shibaoshan with its magnificent ancient grottoes.

    Accommodation: Shaxi Jixiashan Sunyata Hotel (1 night)

  4. Days 4-7: Lijiang

    Just 2 hours from Shaxi is the delightful traditional town of Lijiang. Surrounded by rugged mountains and looming peaks, Lijiang is another great place to explore both scenic wonders and cultural heritage of Yunnan. Immerse in an in-depth Dongba Culture tour as you stroll along the historical streets of the old town, visit the Black Dragon Mountain Pond and up to the Lion Mountain for a bird's eye view of the city during the sunset.

    Your next morning starts with a bag with the magnificent Impressions of Lijiang performance. With over 500 dancers showcasing their ethnic costumes, it is one of the most impressive spectacles in Yunnan.

    Afterwards, there are countless activities to fill your time in Lijiang!

    Choose from one of the following four activities:

    Option A: Explore the outskirts of Lijiang and hear the interesting stories surrounding the Longguan, Baisha and Yuhu villages.

    Option B: Visit the Glacier Park, standing at 4,506 metres above sea level which makes it the highest cable car station in the world!

    Option C: Get up close to the natural white water terraces of Blue Moon Valley, also known as the Pamukkale of China. Afterwards, board a ropeway into Spruce Meadow.

    Option D: For the active travellers, enjoy a rewarding trek through Laojunshan's 99 Dragon Pool. Far from the usual tourist circuit, the hike traverses through dense forest, multi-coloured canyon walls and unique danxia landform of Liming.

    Accommodation: The Bivou Lijiang (3 nights)

  5. Days 7-9: Shangri-La

    We continue along the Tiger Leaping Gorge for a short hike with a beautiful mountain and river canyon views. The last stop takes us to the Tibetan-influenced town of Shangri-la - spectacular scenery, alpine beauty and immersive Tibetan culture. Visit Songzanlin Monastery and explore various local villages. Spend some time to have a relaxing walk around Shiga Mountain and rejuvenate amidst the beautiful surrounds before heading back home.

    Accommodation: Shangri-La Resort, Shangri-La (2 nights)

  6. Fly home from Shangri-la


  • Blue Moon Valley

    Today, you will visit the natural white water terraces of Blue Moon Valley, also known as the Pamukkale of China. You will also board a ropeway for a bird's eye view of the river valley.

  • Cultural Dali

    Take a cable car to Cangshan Mountain Peak and walk to explore the Gantong Temple and Zhonghe Temple. Proceed to the famous Three Pagodas of Dali before ending with a visit to historic Dali Old Town.

  • Cultural Lijiang Tour

    Embark on a walking tour of Lijiang old town and step back in time with the traditional buildings and lovely alleyways. Then head to Black Dragon Mountain Pond and if time permits, visit the Dongba Institute and up to Lion Hill for a bird's eye view.

  • Donglianhua, Weishan & Weibao Mountain

    Today, we make visit to two ancient villages of Donglianhua and Weishan before continuing into Weibao Mountain for a 40-minute hike to Changcun Cave.

  • Full day Highlights of Shangri-la

    Visit Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan today. Head to Shiga Mountain for relaxing walk and explore local villages on the way. Climb up to the top of Guishan Hill.

  • Glacier Park

    At 4,506 metres above sea level, Glacier Park is one of the world's highest cable car stations. You will be provided with one oxygen canister. Optional visit to Spruce Meadow (3,200m) or Yak Meadow (3,700m) is available.

  • Half Day Visit to Tanwei Village

    Make a trip to Tanwei Village and immerse in the authentic culture and the Tibetan way of life. Try their yak butter tea and tsampa, a staple in their diet.

  • Half day visit to Tiger Leaping Gorge

    Head to the Tiger Leaping Gorge and embark on a short hike. Be captivated by the beautiful views of the flanking mountains and river canyon.

  • Impressions of Lijiang Performance

    Be amazed by the dazzling performance of "Impressions of Lijiang", one of the three outdoor shows of famous director, Zhang Yimo. Watch as more than 500 dancers wear their ethnic costume to perform with the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as its backdrop.

  • Mu Palace Exploration

    Enjoy a tour of the Mu's Family Mansion, who was once the ruler of Naxi from the Yuan to Qing Dynasty. The layout of the Mu Residence follows that of the Forbidden City of Beijing and is termed the Forbidden City of Lijiang.

  • Naxi Orchestra & Throat Singing

    This evening you will have the chance to experience the traditional throat-singing and dòngjing performance of the Naxi Orchestra.

  • Nixi Tangdui Black Pottery Village

    Get your hands on as you watch local pottery makers knead and fire their famous black clay products. Have a chance to make your own pottery too!

  • Outskirts of Dali Exploration

    Visit the rotating market in a local village and watch the locals go about their daily activities. Take a boat cruise of Lake Erhai and enjoy the scenic lake views.

  • Outskirts of Lijiang Exploration

    Explore the surrounds of Lijiang and visit the villages of Longquan, Baisha and Yuhu, each with their own interesting stories.

  • Potatso National Park

    Today, we escape into the wilderness of Potatso National Park, stop by scenic spots of Shudu Lake, Bita Lake and Militang Alpine Pasture. On your return, we will make a stop at Xiao Zhongdian Village with its unique setting by a colossal valley.

  • Rushan Cheese Workshop

    This 30-minute workshop provide unique insights into the unique culinary culture of the Bai people. Rushan cheese is made from fresh milk, boiled and shaped into a wrapped thin sheet resembling a folding fan.

  • Three Course Tea Ceremony

    Experience the ancient tea ceremony customary to the Bai people. The practice has been ongoing since the Ming dynasty.

  • Tibetan Bisong Village

    Step back in time as you visit the little known Bisong Village where locals continue to live pure, peaceful lives. Visit a local Tibetan family's home for a serving of warm yak butter tea and tsampa.

  • Tie & Dye Workshop

    Learn about the traditional folk crafts of the Bai people in this Tie & Dye Workshop. The workshop takes approximately 1.5-2 hours to complete.

  • Wen Hai Lake

    Venture into the countryside with a visit to Wenhai Lake to visit the local rural villages.

  • Xizhou Morning Market & Zhoucheng's Farmer Home

    Stroll through the Xizhou Morning Market to purchase fresh produces. Afterwards, we continue into a local farmer's home in Zhoucheng to learn about their produces and taste their local specialties, finished off with a Three Course Tea Ceremony.


Dali, Shaxi, Lijiang & Shangri-La

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 020 3993 8476 to start planning your holiday.

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