Classic Yunnan Exploration tour with High Speed Train

7 Days Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Kunming

With the abundant natural landscapes, diverse ethnic cultures, and convenient train transportation, Yunnan has been a new star for China train tour. Let’s check this following 7-day Kunming, Dali, Lijiang itinerary. This tour is designed for everyone whoever wants to experience the China high-speed train or plans to discover the charming Yunnan. You will have a chance to touch the stone peak that formed 270 million years ago, walk along the Erhai lake to see the reflection of Cangshan mountains on the water, step into the Dali ancient town to taste the local snacks and reach the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain whose main peak is 5596 meters above the sea level. I am sure this Yunnan high speed train tour is not only an enrichment of knowledge and experience, but also of course a big show-off to anybody. Join us and leave yourself a memorable and dazzling China train tour in Yunnan.

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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Kunming Arrival
Arrival in Kunming

Glad to meet you at Kunming, the capital and largest city of Yunnan Province. You will meet your guide at the airport, and then you will be transferred to your hotel.

Possessing the subtropical monsoon climate and located in the low latitude plateau, Kunming is featured by “spring all the year round” and enjoys the reputation of “Spring City” in China. It is surrounded by mountains on three sides and faces Dianchi Lake in the south. The scenery by the lake will definitely meet your taste.

Day 2 Kunming
Stone Forest, Yuantong Temple, Kunming Green Lake Park

Your 7-day China tour will start! As one of the top ten hot tourist cities in China and one of the first batch of excellent tourist cities in China, Kunming has a great number of national famous scenic spots. Today, you will pay a visit to three unmissable attractions.

Here comes the first one: Stone Forest which will take us about 1.5 hours and 85 kilometers from Kunming city center. The forest has been rated as “World Geopark” and “World Natural Heritage Scenery” by the United Nations. It owns a spectacular set of limestone groups and karst landscape. Known as the most spectacular in the world since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Stone Forest is composed of seven scenic areas: Naigu Stone Forest, Majorand Minor Stone Forests, Zhiyun Cave, Long Lake, Moon Lake, Dadie Waterfall, and Qifeng Cave, each of which has its own characteristics and tells different natural scenery. One more interesting thing is that about 300 million years ago, the Stone Forest was a vast sea. After a long period of geological evolution, it finally formed a very precious geological relic, covering many types of karst landforms on the earth. Here you will see sword-shaped, mushroom-shaped, tower-shaped, column-shaped stone peaks, as well as natural bridges, cone-shaped peaks and so on. Stone Forest boasts not only charming sights but also special festival culture. Torch Festival is the most solemn and grand traditional national festival here. It is generally held on the 24th of June of the lunar calendar every year and lasts for three days. It has been passed down for more than 2,000 years.

Your guide will take you to the nearby restaurant for lunch. After that, you will visit the second attraction: Yuantong Temple. We will spend about 1.5 hours and drive about 85 kilometers from the Stone Forest to the temple. Located on Yuantong Street in downtown Kunming, the temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Kunming, with a history of more than 1,200 years. Serving as an important Buddhist cultural resort and tourist attraction, it is now the seat of the Buddhist Association of Yunnan Province and Kunming City and also enjoys a good reputation in Southeast Asia. In ordinary temples, the terrain inside is higher than the gate. Differently, the more you go inside the Yutong Temple, the lower the terrain. This is very rare in Chinese temple architecture. Just like a beautiful South China garden, you can appreciate the green hills and gurgling springs while enjoying the Buddha statues and mural. Strolling around it, you will have a sense of quietness in a noisy city.

Then you will visit a lake park, one of the most beautiful parks in Kunming—Kunming Green Lake Park. It got its name because of its green water in all directions, green bamboo in four seasons, and green willows in spring and summer. In the beginning, it was a part of Dianchi Lake, but later it became an independent lake facing Yunnan University as the water level dropped. People also like to call it “an emerald embedded in Kunming”. Since 1956, Siberian seagulls have been flying to Kunming from November to the following March, and they have long been friends with the locals. At that time, visitors can see groups of seagulls flying over. Citizens will wave a loaf of bread in hand while the seagull will also fly down and takes it away. That is the scenery of Kunming and the tacit agreement between Kunming people and seagulls every winter. Such a harmonious scene brings people peace and happiness: the joyful cries of seagulls and the people throwing food. If lucky, you will see fashionable women expertly posing for photos with seagulls. Besides, lotus flowers are in full bloom from the end of June to August.

Yuantong Temple
Kunming Green Lake Park
Kunming Green Lake Park
Day 3 KunmingDali
Yunnan Nationalities Museum

This morning, we will head for Yunnan Nationalities Museum(closed each Monday)to enjoy unique local handicrafts. The museum stands in a national tourism resort and covers an area of 133,300 square meters. The building group combines the style of courtyard and corridor. It is a national first-class museum, the largest ethnic museum in China, and a well-known museum in Asia. Taking protecting and promoting national culture as its duty, the museum has a collection of more than 40,000 sets (pieces) of ethnic cultural relics with certain historical, scientific, and artistic value, among which ethnic costume cultural relics are the most complete in China. The Dongba scriptures of the Naxi people(a minority in Yunnan Province) are treasured here. The scriptures use ancient language and paintings to express the content of Dongba religion's religious activities.

Your Dali tour is waiting to say hello after you enjoy the museum and you will be transferred to the train station and take an estimated train D3803 15:04-17:28 to Dali. Your local guide in Dali will then transfer you to the hotel.

Dali is the place people yearn for in their hearts. Dali is as beautiful as a painting all year round, famous for four scenic themes “wind, flower, snow, and moon”. Here, you can take a boat along the lake, experience the Buddhist culture, and seek history in grottoes. How amazing it is! Immerse yourself in the romance of the ancient city, feel the elegance of Dali in the sunset, and pursue the vanity of modern times in the beautiful night.

Yunnan Nationalities Museum
Yunnan Nationalities Museum
Yunnan Nationalities Museum
Yunnan Nationalities Museum
Day 4 Dali
Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple, Erhai Lake, Dali Old Town

After finishing the breakfast, you will pay a visit to Three Pagodas and Chongsheng Temple firstly. The Three Pagodas is located in the Chongsheng Temple. Built from 824 of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the pagodas symbolized the history of Dali City and recorded the Buddhism development in the area. As its name shows, Three Pagodas include three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle which is unique in China. The middle pagoda—Qianxun Pagoda is 69.13 in height, and the other lower two stand to the south and north sides of it, both 42.19 meters. Qianxun Pagoda possesses many sculptures of Buddha made of gold, silver, wood or crystal, Buddhist scriptures, and more than 600 various Chinese herbal medicine, playing an essential role in explaining the ancient history of Dali City.

Then, we will go to an attraction that visitors must have a look at—Erhai Lake. Interestingly, “Erhai” means “a sea shaped like an ear” in Chinese, and that is the name origin. The Dali people consider it to be their “mother lake”. Actually, it is the second-largest freshwater lake in Yunnan Province, about 42.58 kilometers long, with a maximum width of 9.0 kilometers from east to west. The surface area of the lake is 256.5 square kilometers. On the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, locals will row wooden boats into the lake to enjoy the golden moon reflected in the lake. Apart from that, Cangshan Mountains that surround Erhai Lake is another famous attraction. There is a legend of Cangshan Mountains and Erhai Lake. An Emperor’s daughter had just got married, but her husband had to fight in a war and did not return after over ten years. People said he was dead; the princess began to cry day and night. And her tears turned to be the Erhai Lake. When her husband came home, the princess is dying. The husband felt heartbroken, so he swore to God that he wanted to turn into a mountain and accompany the Erhai Lake. Hence, they two stayed with each other forever. When the pure white snow on the Cangshan Mountains is mirrored in Erhai Lake, the majestic scenery makes people impressed. Also, the two spots are the first shooting choice for many movies and TV series.

Lunch will be in the local restaurant, and then you will visit the Dali Old Town. The town, with a span of 1,200 years, was once the capital of the Nanzhao Kingdom (738-902). It faces Erhai Lake to the east and Cangshan Mountains to the west. The city wall, traditional Bai ethnic minority folk houses, ancient buildings, temples, and streets lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels act as a nice place to hang out.If you go there during the day, you can carefully admire the buildings of the ancient city. At night, whether it is the glittering tower, the performances on the street, or the lanterns street, all make people feel delightful. Nothing is better than eating snacks while visiting the ancient city. Rushan is a specialty dairy product of Dali. Pour the boiled milk into the sour papaya juice. The milk will coagulate into lumps. Then press it into the shape of a fan and let it dry. The dried Rushan can be steamed or fried. It is the food that the locals like. If you also like to eat dairy products, don't miss it.

Erhai-Lake, Dali
Erhai Lake
Dali Old Town
Day 5 DaliLijiang
From Dali to Lijiang.Lijiang Ancient Town

This morning, we will pick you up from your hotel and then drive to Lijiang City. It will be about two hours and twenty minutes (170 KM). Lijiang Ancient Town, also named Dayan Old Town, was a former trading town and a stop for traders carrying goods on the Ancient Tea Horse Road. It serves as a UNESCO World Heritage Site attraction. Different architectural styles of Han, Bai, Yi, Tibetan, and Naxi nationalities cooperate and decorate the ancient town. The town is featured by ancient cobbled streets, stone bridges, and waterwheels decorated with flowers. There are hundreds of shops full of silverware, shawls, flower cakes, and snacks. Moreover, most of the small ornaments are made by local people.

The streets are paved with red breccia and built along mountains and rivers. Water plays a role of great importance. The main water source, Black Dragon Pool (Heilongtan) owns many streams which can reach every family and street. Willow trees grow everywhere and almost 350 varied and inimitable bridges stand in the little town. Additionally, Mufu (Mu Clan’s Mansion), the residence of the Naxi people’s Mu clan who were in charge of Lijiang, covers an area of 28,000 square meters, with 162 rooms in total and 11 tablets given by emperors, reflecting the ups and downs of the Mu family history. Xu Xiake (a Chinese travel writer and geographer) once spoke highly of the Mufu building. A saying goes that “One fails to reach Lijiang without going to Mufu”. Sifang Street, aka “Rice Noodles Street”, situates in the town center and is one of the busiest places. Festivals will be celebrated here each year when a stage is set for singing and dancing. In addition, you will also see the Big Waterwheels rotating by the river flowing through the town which is a landmark here.

Lijiang-Ancient-Town, Lijiang
Lijiang Ancient Town
Lijiang-Ancient-Town, Lijiang
Lijiang Ancient Town
Day 6 LijiangKunming
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Spruce Meadow, Blue Moon Valley. From Lijiang to Kunming

This morning, you will visit another must-see attraction, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. As the southernmost snow mountain in the northern hemisphere, it is well-situated above Lijiang Ancient Town and its 13 snow-capped peaks look like a flying “Giant Dragon”, so it is called “Jade Dragon”. With altitudes of at least 4,000 meters, the 13 peaks are covered with snow all the year, among which the Shanzidou Peak boasts the highest altitude of 5,596 meters. The mountain is also called the “Natural Glacier Museum” for it has all types of glaciers. Popular activities here are taking a cable car or hiking up the mountain to enjoy the snow scenery.

You will go to the Spruce Meadow by cable car. It is a huge lawn hidden in the primeval spruce forest and is located at the eastern foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, 3,240 meters above sea level. The legend goes that it is the place that the first death for love in Naxi happened. Their happy life was destroyed by a feudal polygamous marriage. They want to get the pure love only between the two of them. So, they come to the Spruce Meadow and suicided together. As time goes, tragedy has become a romantic story appealing to numerous lovers to come here. You will see beautiful lassies from Naxi Minority and Yi Minority who wear colorful clothes singing and dancing on the plateau or in the forest. Their clothes are dotted with ethnic features. You may have a chance to take photos or dance with them hand in hand.

The last place to view is Blue Moon Valley, which lies in the valley on the south side of Spruce Meadow, just like a blue moon inlaid under Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The lofty and magnificent snow-capped mountains, azure blue lakes, and beautiful canyon scenery here are known to people at home and abroad. Also, the white mud at the riverbed will be swirled up when it rains, making the water as white as milk, so that is how it owns the other name White Water River (Baishui River).


1. Make sure to carry portable oxygen canisters before climbing the mountain in case of high-altitude sickness, and you can buy them at the town supermarkets or the cable car station.

2. Prepare warm clothes and thick gloves for coldness; down jackets are also available to rent in the scenic area.

An estimated train D8790 16:42-20:11 will greet you in the afternoon to go back to Kunming. Your tour guide will wait at the station and take you to the hotel.

Jade-Dragon-Snow-Mountain, Lijiang
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Blue-Moon-Valley, Lijiang
Blue Moon Valley
Day 7 Kunming Departure
Fly back to your sweet home

Time flies! Your China tour welcomes the last day, and we will take you to the airport according to your flight and you will fly back to your sweet home. We are looking forward to serving you again in the other cities of China. Wish you all the best!


If your flight is in the late afternoon, you can visit the Kunming Flower and Bird Market which is the biggest, most attractive shopping market in the city. It is a place with distinctive characteristics and full of life interest. In the narrow half-kilometer-long street, you will see shops standing in abundance and crowds of people stopping for searching for something amazing. There are 300 fixed areas for selling flowers, birds, fish, insects, jewelry, handicrafts, antiques, coins, and so on. Orchids, camellias, lilies, and tulips bloom in profusion, and birds such as parrots, mynahs, thrushes, and cuckoos sing leisurely. That is a good experience!


Editor: Tingting Li

Proofreader: Betsy He

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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