Yunan-Tibet tour is one of those “once-in-a-lifetime” tour packages that you should not miss. Yunnan, being a province of China that is characterized by natural resources, has the largest diversity of plant species in China. Moreover, Yunnan Province is replete with tourist spots that include Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La, and many other places of interest. On the other hand, Tibet is considered as one of the most enthralling places to visit in this world due to its unique religious and cultural heritage. Hence, the tour of Yunnan and Tibet is definitely the most desirable tour package for most tourists.
|Day||Route||Attractions & Activities|
|1||The Arrival at Kunming||Dian Lake, Taihua Temple, Huating Temple, Dragon Gate, Flowers and Birds Market|
|2||Tour of Kunming||Stone Forest|
|3||Kunming to Lijiang||The Ancient Town of Lijiang|
|4||Lijiang to Shangri-La||The First Bend of Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge|
|5||Shangri-La||Songzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park|
|6||Shangri-La To Lhasa||Pick up and transfer to the hotel|
|7||Lhasa sightseeing||Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street|
|8||Lhasa sightseeing||Drepung Monastery, Sera monastery|
|9||Lhasa-Namtso(4600m)-Lhasa, 500km, approx. 9hrs||Namtso Lake|
|10||Lhasa departure||Send off to train/airport|
Daily ItineraryCollapse Expand
The arrival day at Kunming allows you to meet your tour agent and relax a bit before the exhilarating tour of the city. Your tour agent will guide to your hotel and provide you with the necessary travel permits.
Once rested, you'll get started with your tour of the city, beginning with the tour of the Western Hills known as the "Sleeping Beauty Hills". This is surely a memorable trip that allows you to luxuriate at the beauty of the Dian Lake, the largest fresh-body water in Yunnan. Along the lake shoreline, you can take a lovely walk along the fantastic parkways to explore its famous temples like the Taihua Temple and Huating Temple. There, you can climb up the magical Dragon Gate to get a panoramic view of the surroundings. After the Dragon Gate, you can visit the Flowers and Birds Market that attests to the fact that Kunming is a veritable city of flowers.
- Dian Lake
Right after breakfast, you can prep yourself for the 85-km trip to the majestic Stone Forest with its awesome Karst landform. It is a UNESCO World Nature Heritage, characterized by grey limestone pillars. Weathered-beaten by the passing of time, these limestone formations create an illusion of a forest. You can take a walk around the Greater Stone Forest and marvel at the gray-back stone peaks. You can also ascend to the forest to get a panoramic view of this fabulous stone forest. The Stone Forest is situated in Shilin Yi Autonomous County. It is reachable within one and half hour by bus and within 2 hours by train. It is, however, accessible within 20 minutes by high speed train.
If time allows, you can take a 40-minute drive to Nuohei Village, a typical Yi village. This is a famous stony village with amazing Karst backdrop. Here, you can explore its unique stone houses, stone walls, paved roads, stone mills, and stone squares, and learn more about the local customs of the Yi minority people.
In late afternoon, you will take a flight to Lijiang. The flight duration is 1 hour.
- Stone Forest
You will spend your full day exploring the ancient town of Lijiang including the Naxi Dongba culture.
Here, you can get acquainted with the Naxi people, houses, writings, ancient music, dance, and culture. The first stopover is the Yuhu Village, perched at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Here, you can visit the former residence of Joseph Rock, an Austrian-American Botanist who did an extensive research on Naxi minority. Afterwards, you can visit Baisha Village and see the Baisha Mural Paintings. You can also drop by Dabaoji Palace and Liuli Temple. Other places to visit this day include the Dongba Culture Museum, The Black Dragon Pool Park, Lijiang Ancient Town, the Mufu Palace also Known as the forbidden city of Lijiang, the Sifang Street Square, The Lion Hill, and the Wanggu Tower.
- The Ancient Town of Lijiang
Once you've finished your breakfast, get ready to take a 45-minute drive to the First Bend of Yangtze River. Here, you'll get to see the magnificent Yangtze River turn almost 180-degree. The view is surely breathtaking like a beautiful canvass at a museum. You can also visit the Chain Bridge in Shigu town. Afterwards, you can view the deepest and most majestic river canyon of the world called the "Tiger Leaping Gorge." This canyon measures almost 15 km. Here, you'll experience the 1,000 stairs along the plank road going to the Tiger Leaping Rock. Soon after, you'll move to Shangri-La which is a two-hour drive away. Along the way, you'll see fabulous views, and upon arrival at Shangri-La, you'll be billeted to your hotel and you're free to explore the city at night.
- The first important bend of the Yangtze River
- Tiger Leaping Gorge
Shangri-La has been made famous by the novel of James Hilton—Lost Horizon. So, touring Shangri-La is like reliving what James Hilton had seen before. Here, you'll see the Songzanlin Monastery, known as the "Little Potala Palace” and the largest Buddhist monastery in Yunnan. You can walk up the 143 steps of the monastery and visit the major lamasery buildings. If there is ample time, you can also take a jaunt to the Lamuyangcuo Lake and enjoy its majestic view.
Later in the day, you can visit the Pudacuo National Park, home to diverse species of fauna and flora. Stroll along the Shudu Lake shoreline and hike to the Bita Lake. The tour may also include a visit to an actual Tibetan family to get an in-depth experience of Tibetan lifestyle.
- Songzanlin Lamasery
- Potatso National Park
From Shangri-La, you'll board a plane to Lhasa. Upon arrival at Lhasa Gonggar Airport, your guide will meet up with you and escort you to your hotel. Along the road from the airport, you'll get a glimpse of the beautiful Yarlong Tsangpo River. You'll also see colorful flags and Big Buddha engravings along the way. Upon reaching your hotel, you can rest for a while or explore the adjacent places to your hotel to acclimate yourself with the Tibetan Weather.
On your third day, you will be feeling much more acclimatized to Lhasa’s high elevation. It is an excellent idea to spend the day exploring the Potala Palace, which is the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. The superb collections of Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. It is best to explore the inside of the Potala in the morning for 2-3 hours. Afterward, you can walk the pilgrimage route around the Potala Palace.
In the afternoon, you will head to the Jokhang Temple, which is well known as the center of the Tibetan Buddhism, features Buddhist prayer wheels, reclining deer, and golden sutra streamers. Also, you can see a great many of pilgrims praying in front of the temple and do kora with local pilgrims.
After visiting the Jokhang Temple, you can stroll in the old alleys of Barkhor Street, where you may drink the sweet tea, chat with locals to experience the real-life in Lhasa.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
In the morning, you are heading to Drepung monastery, which means Monastery of Rice Heaps in the Tibetan language. It's a white magnificent construction that looks also like a pile of rice heaps in the distance. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where lived more than 10 thousand monks before Tibet liberation.
In the afternoon, tourists will pay a visit to Sera Monastery, which is one of the "great three" Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Monks debate starts around 3 to 5 p.m. It’s very attractive even if you don’t understand what they are talking about at all. If the debate is not your type, you can also see the three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha inside the monastery.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
Today you are going to see Namtso lake, one of the three most holy lakes in Tibet. It's also the highest lake in the world and the third largest salt lake in China. The name of Namtso means “lake from heaven” in the Tibetan language. And the gorgeous landscape is really like heaven. You will be totally intoxicated in it. After that, we will go back to Lhasa by passing through Yampachen(4300m) and Tsuphu Monastery(4300).
Located 92km from Lhasa city, Yampachen is rich in geothermal energy and is known for hot spring bath. People enjoy the blue sky and white cloud when taking a bath in the outdoor hot spring. It's optional.
Stay overnight in Lhasa
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