China Bike Tour in Yunnan

7 Days Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Kunming

Do you want to have a bike tour in the most beautiful cities in China? We’ve made a great plan for you! This bike tour is in the Yunnan Province that is located in the south of China. First, you will enjoy Dali biking tour. Dali is a beautiful city with many mountains and lakes in the Yunnan Province. Its weather is also great. After you get to Dali, you can take a bike along Erhai Lake, the second largest lake in Dali. You will admire the beautiful scenery there. Besides, many water birds are living around Erhai Lake. So you may see some interesting water birds when you are biking. Then you will have a Lijiang biking tour. Lijiang is not far away from Dali. There are many ancient towns in Lijiang, and the distance between these towns is short. So we will arrange a Lijiang cycling tour for you to visit different ancient towns leisurely. You will pass through the Lijiang Ancient Town, Shuhe Ancient Town, Baisha Old Town, Yuhu Village, and Yufeng Monastery during this tour. Are you ready to have a 7-day tour and take a bike to visit some beautiful attractions in China? We’ve arranged everything for you. Please contact us soon!

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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Kunming
Arrival in Kunming. Take you to your hotel

Welcome to Kunming! Once your plane lands at Kunming, your local guide will pick you up at the airport and then take you to your hotel.

Kunming is the provincial capital of Yunnan and is located in the southwest of China. It covers an area of 21,012.54 square kilometers and has more than eight million people. The weather in this city is also very good. You will feel that it is like spring all year round. Kunming has 26 nationalities. Every year, many festivals will be celebrated in Kunming. For example, the Torchlight Festival is the traditional festival of the Yi nationality, Bai nationality, Naxi nationality, and other nationalities. This festival is celebrated at the end of the 6th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. People will dance and sing around the fire on that day. Besides, the Lisu nationality’s traditional festival is called the Knifeladder-Climbing Festival, which is celebrated on the 8th day of the second month of the Chinese lunar calendar. After celebrating the Knifeladder-Climbing Festival, the Water-Sprinkling Festival of the Dai nationality is coming. People will sprinkle water on other people on that day, which, they think, can make them not get ill.

Day 2 Kunming
Yunnan Ethnic Village, Haigeng Park, West Mountain

You will visit the Yunnan Ethnic Village this morning. The Yunnan Ethnic Village is located in the southwestern suburbs of Kunming and is close to Dian Lake. The village is not large and only covers an area of 0.89 square kilometers. But there are 25 Chinese ethnic groups in this village, such as the Dai nationality, the Yi nationality, the Miao nationality, the Zhuang nationality. Every ethnic group has its own area in the Yunnan Ethnic Village. You will find the features of every ethnic group are different. In the area of the Yi nationality, for instance, you will see many patterns of tigers because the Yi people worship tigers. According to their legend, there is a large tiger that created the earth. Its eyes became the sun and moon. Its skin became the sky and the strips on its skin became the roads. Its bones became mountains and its hair became plants. But the Yi people believe that only black tigers can bring them good luck. If they see a white tiger, they will think that they are unlucky. If you walk into a Bai nationality’s area, the hospitable Bai people will give you a warm welcome. Besides, you can also go to visit the area of Moso nationality. This unique nationality still keeps the tradition of matriarchal society. For example, new babies will not be raised by their mothers, but their mothers’ brothers.

After lunch, you will head to the Haigeng Park that is next to the Yunnan Ethnic Village. The Haigeng Park was built at the end of the last century. It is about 2.5 kilometers long and 200 meters wide with an area of more than 0.49 square kilometers. You will see Dian Lake in the Haigeng Park. There is a legendary story about this park and Dian Lake. It is said that, a long time ago, the house of a newly-married couple was located at the area of this park. Every day, the husband, a hunter, would walk a long distance to get fresh water for his wife, meanwhile hunted with bow and arrow. When he arrived at a freshwater lake, he saw an eagle holding a red fish in its mouth. Then the hunter shot an arrow at the eagle and killed it. The red fish was saved by him. In fact, the red fish was the daughter of the Dragon King(the king of sea in Chinese legend). To thank this hunter, the daughter of the Dragon King turned the land nearby the hunter’s house into a freshwater lake. Since then, the kind-hearted hunter did not need to walk a long distance to get the fresh water.

Then we will take you to visit the West Mountain. It’s over 2,000 meters above sea level. The scenery in the West Mountain is so beautiful. Whenever you visit the West Mountain, you will not be disappointed. The West Mountain is gently undulating. If you look at it carefully, you may find some part of it looks like a sleeping beauty or a sleeping Buddha, etc. Besides, there are various plants on the West Mountain. Most of these plants remain green throughout the year, such as Camphor trees and Madhuca pasquieri. But to make the scenery of the West Mountain more beautiful, the local government started to plant some trees in other colors in 1998. For example, the government has planted many lacquer trees in this place. The yellow flowers of this kind of tree will blossom from May to June. The government has also planted many red maples. Its purple flowers will blossom in May. In addition to the beautiful scenery, there are also interesting activities. Local people often climb the West Mountain to admire the scenery every March. They will sing folk songs, have a picnic and perform the lion dance at that time. If you get there in March, you may see these traditional Chinese activities.

Yunnan Ethnic Village
Yunnan Ethnic Village
West Mountain
West Mountain
Day 3 KunmingDali
Take a train to Dali, Dali Ancient Town

This morning, you will take an estimated train D8692 10:02/12:04 to Dali. Your local guide will wait for you at the train station. Once you’ve arrived there, your local guide will pick you up and take you to have lunch.

Then you will visit the Dali Ancient Town. It is situated in the western Yunnan Province. Most of the residents in the Dali Ancient Town are of the Bai nationality. The Dali Ancient Town was built in 1382 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) with an area of 3 square kilometers. It is about 1,000 meters wide and 2,000 meters long. There are three main streets, six alleys and four gates in the town. The South Gate of the Dali Ancient Town is the oldest one. It is also a famous filming location, which symbolizes ancient Dali. The South Gate has a history of more than 600 years. It was repaired in 1998. When you come here, you will see two Chinese characters meaning “Dali” written by a famous Chinese writer in 1861. It’s said that the ancestors of Bai nationality followed the “footprints” of a pair of cranes to come here and started to live in this place. For this legend, the South Gate is also called the Two Cranes Gate.

Dali Ancient Town
Dali Ancient Town
Dali Ancient Town
Dali Ancient Town
Day 4 Dali
Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple, Xizhou Ancient Town, Erhai Lake

Today, we will take you to visit the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple. The middle pagoda is called Qianxun Pagoda. It is 69.13 meters high with 16 floors. The other two pagodas are only 42.19 meters high with 10 floors. In ancient times, Buddhists believed that building pagodas could help them to become Buddhas after they were dead. That was also why the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple were built. But there may be another reason. It’s said that dragons used to live in Dali. These dragons were in awe of pagodas and were afraid of roc that is a very large divine bird. Local people didn’t want dragons to harm them. But they knew that they couldn’t find the roc to protect them. So they built the three pagodas to make dragons not harm the human beings who lived in this place.

After visiting these three pagodas, you will go to the Xizhou Ancient Town. It has become a famous town since the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Nowadays, there are thousands of houses in this ancient town and about one hundred houses are old buildings that were built hundreds of years ago. There are many colorful paintings on the walls and doors of these houses. Local people painted flowers, bamboos, boats, animals, etc. on the doors and walls. You can feel the deep love of local people toward their hometown through these paintings. Besides, there is an interesting custom in this old town. When you enter the Xizhou Ancient Town, you will see two old trees first. The two trees are very important to the local people. They believe the two trees will bring good luck to them. So they will walk around the trees for blessings when they are holding an activity. If a resident of the old town is dead, the funeral procession will also make a circuit of the two trees. They think the person’s soul is still alive, even though his body is dead. So they want the dead person’s soul to have a look at the two trees for the last time.

After lunch, you will enjoy biking along Erhai Lake (Er means ear in Chinese and hai means sea in Chinese). The shape of Erhai Lake is like an ear, and the local people are used to calling this lake “hai” in Chinese. Erhai Lake covers an area of 246 square kilometers and is just a little smaller than Dian Lake. Biking along Erhai Lake will be an unforgettable experience for you. You will probably find some beautiful animals on the way. There are about 59 kinds of water birds living around Erhai Lake, including 46 kinds of migratory birds. If you are lucky enough, you may see Ardea cinerea, a large water bird with a long neck and gray feathers. They always stay alone and didn’t want to stay with their partners.

Xizhou Ancient Town
Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple
Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple
Day 5 DaliLijiang
Drive you to Lijiang, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Spruce Meadow

After breakfast, we will drive you to Lijiang. It lies about 160 kilometers to the north of Lijiang and it will take you about 2 hours and 20 minutes to get there.

After lunch, we will drive for about 40 minutes to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, about 22 kilometers north of Lijiang. The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has 13 main peaks. Its largest peak is 5,596 meters above sea level. The people of the Naxi nationality believe that Sanduo, the god who guards them, becomes the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. There is a story about Sanduo. It’s said that a hunter would climb to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to hunt every day. One day, he found a snow-white stone in this mountain. The stone was large and looked like a strong person. But this snow-white stone was not heavy at all. It was so strange and the hunter decided to bring it home. However, when he climbed down to the foot of the mountain, he couldn’t take it anymore because it turned very heavy. So he put it on the foot of this mountain. After he returned to his village, he told this thing to the villages. All the villagers thought the snow-white stone might be the incarnation of Sanduo. Later, they built a temple to worship the snow-white stone. It is said that, when the Naxi people were in danger, a person in white always brought them through.

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is covered with snow all year round. You will take a cable car to visit the Spruce Meadow with an elevation of 3,240 meters. It got its name because there are many spruces in this beautiful place. In the view of the Naxi people, they even think this place is the entrance to heaven. In different seasons, the Spruce Meadow will present different sceneries. In spring and summer, you will see colorful flowers and green grass. In autumn, the grassland will be dressed in yellow ‘coat’, and in winter, it is covered by white snow. Whenever you come here, you will be shocked by its fabulous scenery.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Spruce Meadow
Spruce Meadow
Day 6 Lijiang
Lijiang Ancient Town, Shuhe Ancient Town, Baisha Old Town, Baisha Mural Paintings, Yuhu Village, Yufeng Monastery

Today, you will visit many attractions by bike. After breakfast, you will start your Lijiang Bike tour from the Lijiang Ancient Town. It was built at the end of the 13th century with an area of 7.279 square kilometers. It used to be the business center. As the center of Lijiang Ancient Town, Sifang Street was the busiest place in ancient times. Sifang means “square shape” in Chinese. It was built in Ming Dynasty. And it was named according to the shape of ancient Chinese square seal. Nowadays, it is still the busiest street in the Lijiang Ancient Town. You will see many stores, bars and tea houses in this place.

Then you will take a bike in the Shuhe Ancient Town. Different from the prosperous Lijiang Ancient Town, the Shuhe Ancient Town is quieter. There are not so many businessmen and stores in this place. You can visit the ancient town in a relaxing way. You will see old houses, black stones, ancient bridges and rivers in this ancient town. Sometimes, you may see several old people sitting in front of the old houses and chatting with others leisurely.

Then you will go to the Baisha Old Town. It is the place where the culture of the Naxi nationality originated. You can feel the Naxi people’s culture by enjoying the ancient Baisha Mural Paintings. There are 55 paintings in the Baisha old town and all of them were made during Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty (1636-1912). You will see the Buddha images of Buddhism, Taoism, and Lamaism were put together in one painting. It may look strange, but it shows that in ancient times, different religions could coexist with each other harmoniously in this place.

After lunch, you will continue your bike tour in the Yuhu Village. It is not far away from the Lijiang Ancient Town. In the old days, the king of the Naxi people asked his people to build an artificial lake in this place, as well as an imperial palace for short stays. At that time, the king liked raising deer there. The earliest residents in the Yuhu Village were people who guarded the palace and raised deer for the king. When you stroll around this village, you will see a beautiful lake and old buildings in this village. This beautiful lake is called Longnǚ Lake. Longnǚ means the daughter of the Dragon King(the ruler of all rivers, lakes and seas) in Chinese mythology. It is said that this lake got its name because one of Dragon King’s daughters had been imprisoned in this lake.

After taking a bike in Yuhu Village, you will go to the Yufeng Monastery. It is a lama temple. And it was built in 1700 in the Qing Dynasty. Yufeng Monastery is famous for its camellia flowers. These flowers were first planted about 300 years ago. They will blossom in spring and wither in summer. More than 20,000 camellia flowers will be exhibited in this place for more than 100 days, and lots of visitors will come here to enjoy the beautiful camellia flowers each year. But if the  camellia flowers have withered when you come here, don’t be upset. The paintings on the wall of the Yufeng Monastery are also great. The rich Lamaism culture embodied in these paintings will take you into a new world.

Lijiang Ancient Town
Lijiang Ancient Town
Yufeng Monastery
Yufeng Monastery
Day 7 LijiangKunming Departure
Drive you to the Kunming Airport. Flight back home

Today, you will say goodbye to China. Our guide and driver will take you to the airport according to your flight schedule. Hope this China tour have created lots of unforgettable memories for you and we look forward to your next meaningful China tour with China Tour Star.

Author: Xinli Zhang

Proofreader: Yan Liu

This tour ends here
Tour Map
City Five Star hotel list Four Star hotel list
Kunming Grand Park Kunming UChoice Hotel
Dali The One Hotels & Resorts Landscape Hotel
Lijiang Wonderport International Hotel Lijiang Wangfu Hotel
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