Travel with Rita: 7 Days Classic Lijiang / Dali / Kunming Tour

Day 1   Chengdu to Lijiang

I live and work in Chengdu, so we started this tour here for my annual vocation with my family. In the early morning, we took a flight from Chengdu to Lijiang. When we arrived in Lijiang Sanyi Airport, it is only 08:10am, when the moon is still on the sky and the sun is rising. This beautiful picture stocked me a lot. Then, we took an airport bus directly to the Blue Sky Hotel Station, then a taxi to the hotel in Lijiang Ancient Town.

Lijiang Ancient Town

After checking in at the hotel, we went to visit the Shuhe Ancient Town and had lunch there. Then, we go to visit the Lashi Lake.

Shuhe Ancient Town Shuhe Ancient Town2

When visiting the lake, we took a Horse riding along the Horse Tea Trail to see the Naxi local families in the villages and Boating on the Lashi Lake. As we visited in late November, I caught the chance to watch the migratory birds there (from the end of October to the beginning of April, the lake is home to tens of thousands of migratory birds coming to feed on its abundance of local crops, aquatic plant species and different species of fish).

Lashi Lake

After the tour, we got back to Lijiang Ancient Town and had a nice dinner there (including the Lijiang Stuffed Bun and the Yunnan Rice Noodles)

Day2   Lijiang -Tiger Leaping Gorge – Lijiang

As I’m a free traveler and want to explore more when trying to organize the tour by myself, after breakfast, we go to the Lijiang bus station to take the 2-hour bus to the Tiger Leaping Gorge. On the way, we had the chance to view the First Bend of the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery.

Tiger Leaping GorgeThe bus was supposed to stop atQiaotou, where the hiking to Middle Tiger Leaping started (which need at about 2 days). As we did not plan enough time for the hiking, together with other several visitors, we asked the bus driver to stop us at the Upper Tiger Leaping, where most easy visitors chose to go. In the upper part of Tiger Leaping Gorge, we walked to Tiger Leaping Rock. Then, we go on walk about 10km to the Middle Tiger Leaping along the highway about 2.5 hours.  It is a nice walking along the Jinsha River. After visiting the Tiger Leaping Rock at the middle Tiger Leaping, we took a bus back to Lijiang city.

In the evening, we tried a little beer in the bars on the famous bars’ street.


Day3   Lijiang – Dali

Today, we took an easy Lijiang city tour. Firstly, we went to the Wangu Tower, where we enjoyed a panoramic view of this fascinating old city. And then, we climbed up to Lion Hill to have an overlook Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance.

Wangu Tower

Later, go to visit the Mu’s Residence, which is known to almost every Chinese people by the television drama The Man from Mu’s Residence, which is performed by famous Korea Actress and Chinese Actor.

Mu’s Residence

(Originally, we planed 4 days in Lijiang. However, as we got the news from the weather forecast that it will rain the day after tomorrow, but we were pretending to see the beautiful Winter Cherry Blossom in Dali city, so we changed our train tickets and went to Dali one day in advance.) And stay overnight at hotel at the Erhai Lake bank.

Day4   Dali

We get up early and have a look at the beautiful sunrise on the Erhai Lake. Lots of small boats are working on the lake.Erhai Lake


After breakfast, we rent a battery car to go round the lake and enjoy the clean water and blue sky. We drove from Caicun to Shuanglang.

Erhai 2

On the way, we enjoyed the local people’s life and their snacks and also pass away by Butterfly Spring, where you can see some of the Winter Cherry Blossom.

Butterfly SpringAfter lunch, we visited Xizhou Ancient Town, which isthe major habitat for the Bai people.

In the middle afternoon, we reached Shuanglang Town in the middle afternoon. After sight-seeing there, we driven back to the Ancient town and had a far evening view of the Three Pagodas.


Day5   Dali Cangshan Hiking

Today, we have a hiking on the Cangshan Mountain which means Green Mountains in Chinese.

Cangshan Mountain

First, we took a cable car to get to trail. Then experience the15km-long paved walking trail which passes some temples, waterfalls, caves and shrines. We viewed off the mountain for the whole Erhai Lake, which looks like an ear of human. The miraculous weather with rain on the mountain but sun in the city left us the chance to catch the beautiful rainbow. This was amazing.

Far View of Erhai

After walking through the trail, we took cable car to the Dali Old Town.

Day6   Dali-Kunming train

Having breakfast at the hotel, we had an easy Dali Old Town walking tour.

In the Town, we enjoyed pink Winter Cherry Blossom and the yellow Ginkgo Leaves. It was so charming.

After lunch, we went to Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Monastery.

After the tour, we took a taxi to Dali train station to take our overnight train to Kunming.

Three Pagodas

Day7   Kunming city tour – Chengdu

Today, we arrived at Kunming in the early morning. We took the public bus to the Haigeng Park beside the Dianchi Lake, where we have a morning interaction with the Sea Gulls.

Dianchi Lake

Later, we go on to take another bus to the Western Hills, and visited the magic Dragon Gate and also a short visit to the Nie’er museum, where is to memorize the famous musician Nie’er , who created the Chinese national anthem.

Dragon Gate

Later, we move on back to the urban city to the Green Lake Park. Here can share the happiness of local people’s doing tai chi, performing local opera, and see the grandeur of huge flocks of black-headed gulls that migrate there from Siberia, and also met our friends working in Kunming there.

After an early dinner with my friends, we took a taxi to the airport for our flight back to Chengdu city.

As limited time and with family, we just chose to do some easy city tour this time. And I’m planning to have an in-depth tour to the beautiful Yunan next time, possibly the subways and bullet trains will be well put into use in the near future.
Recommended Similar YUNNAN Trips:

>> 8 Days Classic Yunnan Tour (Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La)

>> 6 Days Kunming, Dali, Lijiang Essence Tour

>> 4 Days Kunming & Dali Highlights Tour

Want to know more about the experienced travel expert Rita’s Yunnan trip? You could just contact her directly.

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