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Kunming Lijiang Shangri-La Lhasa Namtso Tour

10 Days
Kunming - Lijiang - Shangri-La - Lhasa - Namtso - Lhasa
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter
Tour Type:
Private Tour
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This 10-day classic trip will take you to enjoy the highland natural view and brilliant culture from Yunnan to Tibet. Yunnan, characterized by its beautiful natural scenery, diverse ethnic customs, and pleasant climate, has become an important tourist destination, replete with tourist spots such as old Lijiang Ancient Town, magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, steep Tiger Leaping Gorge, and stunning Shangri-La. Tibet, due to its unique religious and cultural heritage, is considered one of the most enthralling places to visit in this world. Here you can see red and white Potala Place soaring in the middle of the city, the sacred Jokhang Temple with pious pilgrims, dazzling highland lake Namtso, etc.

DayRouteAttractions & Activities
1 Arrival in Kunming Dian Lake, 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-Lhasa, 460km, Approx. 6hrs Namtso Lake
10 Lhasa Departure Send off to the airport/train station

Daily Itinerary


The arrival day in Kunming allows you to meet your tour guide and relax a bit before the exhilarating tour of the city. Your tour guide will take you to your hotel.

After resting, you'll get started with your tour of the city, beginning with the tour of the Western Hills known as the "Sleeping Beauty Hills". Then you will enjoy 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. 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, by which you can experience the charm of The City of Flowers.

Stay overnight in Kunming

Dian Lake in winter
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 a half hours by bus and within 2 hours by train. Also, it's accessible within 20 minutes by a high-speed train.

In the late afternoon, you will take a flight to Lijiang. The flight duration is 1 hour.

Stay overnight in Lijiang

A woman-like stone
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 extensive research on the Naxi minority. Afterward, 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.

Stay overnight in Lijiang

Shaxi Old Town near Lijiang
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. You can also visit the Chain Bridge in Shigu town. Afterward, 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 sent to your hotel and you're free to explore the city at night.

Stay overnight in Shangri-La

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 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.

Stay overnight in Shangri-La

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 Yarlung 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 to the plateau weather.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

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 the 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 Tibetan Buddhism, and features Buddhist prayer wheels, reclining deer, and golden sutra streamers. Also, you can see a great many pilgrims praying in front of the temple and doing kora with local pilgrims.

After visiting the Jokhang Temple, you can stroll in the old alleys of Barkhor Street, where you may drink sweet tea, chat with locals to experience 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 building complex that looks also like piles of rice heaps in the distance. Drepung monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery, where lived more than 10 thousand monks in the past.

In the afternoon, tourists will pay a visit to Sera Monastery, which is one of the "great three" Gelug monasteries of Tibet. Its most famous Buddhist debate is held around 15:00 to 17:00. If the debate is not your type, you can also enjoy the three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Paintings of Buddha.

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(4300m).

Located 92km from Lhasa city, Yampachen is rich in geothermal energy and is known for its hot spring baths. People enjoy the blue sky and white clouds when taking a bath in the outdoor hot spring. It's optional.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Your Tibet tour ends today. After breakfast, you will be free in the morning. Our staff will collect you at your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station.

Our Service


  • Tibet Tourism Bureau Permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance tickets fee for tourist attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Experienced local English-speaking tour guide;
  • Travel-licensed vehicle according to group size & season as itinerary needed including gas and parking fee;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel, or guesthouse. Please tell us your preference;
  • Breakfasts provided by hotels;
  • Pick-up & Drop-off service from Airport/railway station;
  • Travel Agency Liability insurance;
  • Government tax;
  • Express delivery fee of Permit (eg. SF. Express);
  • Food & lodgings for guide & driver;
  • Oxygen tank for emergency use;
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person per day.


  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese Visa/China Group Visa; (Note: we could help you by providing the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies for your Chinese Visa or the invitation letter for your China Group Visa)
  • Domestic flight/train to and out of Lhasa; (We can help you book the domestic flight/train ticket at the BEST price. Please contact us for details.)
  • Meals are not included but we will recommend some good ones for you according to your requirements. Usually, it takes 3-10 USD per person for each meal.
  • While the gratuity for guide and driver is NOT mandatory, it is expected. Based on their service, you can tip them on the last day of the tour. Each of you is suggested to tip them 5-10 USD/day in total;
  • All the commission and tax charged by PayPal, Bank, and government when making payment. (e.g. PayPal --- 4.4%. Wire transfer --- 2%);
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks, optional tour activities, etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions.

Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients

Asked by MART***

my husband does a lot of work in china and so we would like to explore a bit more of China and visit Tibet.
We could arrive May 16 2020 and we need to be in Beijing June 9, 2020.
We dont like group travel and we like to be active. So some hiking would be great. We have hiked Mt Manaslu in Nepal and hiked in Kyrghystan and Myanmar .
We are curious about the yunnan province , but for sure want to see Tibet.
Hope to hear from you soon

Answered by Catherine

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to visit Tibet and prefer some hiking as well. We can customize a private tour for you. I recommend 5 Days Lhasa & Samye Monastery Tour, 5 kilometers north of the Samye Monastery, located a Qingpu practice site, it is a three-sided valley. There are hundreds of small stone houses and caves scattered on the front of the hillside. Guru Padmasambhava once practiced here. You can do short hiking.  5 Days Lhasa & Ganden Monastery Tour is also recommended. You can have a short hiking on Wangbur Mountain. In the end, we can add two days tour to Namtso. What do you think?  By the way, from Yunnan to Lhasa, I suggest you take a direct flight from Kunming to Lhasa. 

Asked by sugi***

Hi there,
\-How much for this private trips,we have 4-6 people for 02-June-2019
\- Regards,

Answered by Cherry

In your inquiry, you mentioned you would like to have 11 Days Yunnan Tibet Impression Tour with the departure date on June.2nd. 

Here is the itinerary of 11 Days Yunnan Tibet Impression Tour.

What Our Customers Say
Paro Dzong

As I return home from my Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet adventures, I owe you a very BIG “ THANK YOU “, for making it one if not the best trip ever! Your thorough planning, flawless execution and above all your willingness to respond to ALL of my questions is most appreciated. I must give a big compl ....

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