Yunnan Essence Tour to Lijiang and Shangri-La

5 Days Lijiang-Shangri-La

This 5-day Yunnan tour of Lijiang and Shangri-La is designed for visitors who don’t have long-term holidays but want to see all the essences of Yunnan. Lijiang Ancient Town will be the start of this YunnanLijiang Shangri-La tour. You will climb the highest mountain in Yunnan – Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, hear the roar from the Tiger Leaping Gorge by the Yangtze River, step on the sacred stairs of the Songzanlin Monastery, and so on. Come and join in this Yunnan essence tour to Lijiang and Shangri-La, you won’t regret it! Also, the itinerary could be tailor-made according to your preference. Contact us, we will present your dream trip.

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Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Lijiang Arrival
Lijiang Ancient Town, Lion Mountain, ancient water wheel, Sifang Street, Mufu Mansion

Today, our guide will wait for you at the arrival hall at the Lijiang airport with your name sign. Then you will take a private vehicle to the hotel.

The Lijiang area is located in the northwest part of Yunnan Province where the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau join, and was once a transit point for the Silk Road and the ancient Tea Horse Road. That was the reason why Lijiang became one of the earliest cities in the ancient Wild Southwest China. Lijiang has a very long history and has become a very popular travel destination because of its unique human and natural landscape. Here is a rich ethnic flavor, staggered residential architecture, a relaxed pace of life and a colorful nightlife.

Many travelers think that the Lijiang Ancient Town represents the whole Lijiang area, but it is not. In addition to the ancient town, the Lijiang area is much larger than the Lijiang Ancient Town, and there are many places worth visiting - such as the quiet and relaxing Shuhe Ancient Town, the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the beautiful Black Dragon Pool.

After a short rest, your first adventure will start from the Lijiang Ancient Town.

The Lijiang Ancient Town has many attractions such as Sifang Street, Mufu Maison, Wufenlou Building, Ancient waterwheel and Lion Mountain.

If time allows, we will first go to the Lion Mountain which is located surrounding the ancient town. On top of the mountain, it is the best place to have the panoramic view of Lijiang ancient town. It is also the best place to see the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from a distance.

Then we will go inside the ancient town. The ancient water wheel is the first thing you will see which is closed to the west entrance of the ancient town.It is the landmark of the Lijiang Ancient Town which also is the oldest agricultural irrigation tool in China. The guide could tell you how it works in the old days for the farmers if you are interested.

Then we will move on to the Sifang Street which is the center core of the Lijiang Ancient Town.There are many snacks and restaurants all around, so you can get a lot of Naxi specialties just by strolling around. If you want to try some local snacks, the guide will give you some advises.

Of course, we won’t miss the most famous attraction in the ancient town – Mufu Mansion. Mufu Masion was originally government office. It was built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). After reconstruction in 1998, it was changed to the Ancient Town Museum.It is the best place to know the changes of the Lijiang Ancient Town in the history.

Enjoy some free time on your own. Maybe you could find something as souvenirs for your family and friends.

Then you will head to the hotel.

Lijiang Anceint Town
Lijiang Ancient Town
Day 2 Lijiang
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Spruce Meadow, Blue Moon Valley, Baisha Mural Paintings, Shuhe Ancient Town, Black Dragon Pool Park

After breakfast, we will first go to visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain which owns a special place in the hearts of the local Naxi people. They considered the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as their sacred mountain. That is why until now, no one has ever climbed to the top of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Local people didn’t allow outsiders set foot on the top of the mountain.

We will take a ropeway directly to the Spruce Meadow.

At an altitude of more than 3,200 meters, Spruce Meadow is a quiet meadow surrounded by ancient trees and vines. It is said that from Spruce Meadow, you can reach the mysterious land of the Naxi legend, the "Third Kingdom of Jade Dragon". According to the Dongba Sutra (Dongba is a local religion of the Naxi People in the past), "Third Kingdom of Jade Dragon " has "inexhaustible silk and clothes, inexhaustible fresh fruits and treasures, inexhaustible sweet milk and wine, inexhaustible golden sand and silver coins ". That is an ideal country in the eyes of the Naxi people. So many people go to Spruce Meadow to look for the entrance to that mysterious country. Around Spruce Meadow, you will see some girls in bright ethnic costumes, who sing and dance on the meadow and among the forest, adding color to the snowy meadow tour.

After spending some time on the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, we will go down the hill and visit the Blue Moon Valley which located at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The water melted from the glacier flowing down to the valley. It formed a moon-shaped lake with blue colored water in the Blue Moon Valley, hence the name. It looks very special against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains. This place is said to be the prototype of the Blue Moon Valley in "The Vanishing Horizon" written by British author Hilton.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

After saying goodbye to the Snow Mountain, we will go to the Baisha Village to pay a visit to the famous Baisha Mural Paintings. On the Baisha Mural Paintings, there are ancient people hunting, fishing, cutting wood, weaving and other labor scenes. There are also images of running horses, blooming flowers, mountains, fields and birds, etc. The paintings are reflection of the ancient local life which are true national treasures.

Then we will keep driving to the Shuhe Ancient Town. It is called “Shaowu” in Naxi language, which means the valley under the high peak. Shuhe Ancient Town is one of the earliest settlements of the Naxi ancestors in Lijiang, and is a well-preserved important market town on the ancient tea horse road.Even now, there are many minority groups living in Shuhe Ancient Town, the most representative of which are the Bai, Yi and Hui. The guide will tell you some interesting traditional festivals in this small town.


Our final destination today is the Black Dragon Pool Park. Black Dragon Pool is the source of water for the Lijiang Ancient Town. Here is the best place to take photos of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, especially with the good weather.According to legend, in the past, the Naxi boys and girls would sing by

the Black Dragon Pool on a specific day to find their future mates.

Baisha Mural Paintings
Baisha Mural Paintings
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Day 3 LijiangShangri-la
First Bend of Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge

After checking out of the hotel, we will drive to the Shangri-La by private car. Lijiang to Shangri-La is more than 170 kilometers, at present, there is no train between the two places. The only way is to travel by car.It takes more than 4 hours on the road. We will have two stops before we reach the Shangri-La.

After driving around 1.5 hours, we will reach our first stop. Our first stop is the First Bend of Yangtze River which is located between Shangri-La and Lijiang, near the Shigu town which belongs to Lijiang city. The Yangtze river rushes down from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and enters Yunnan. To Shangri-la'sShasong Bi village, it suddenly came to a 180-degree sharp turn, forming a rare "V"-shaped bend. So, people call this world wonder for the "First Bend of Yangtze River". After taking some amazing pictures, we will go on our tour.

Then we will keep on driving for 2 hours and go to our next stop the Tiger Leaping Gorge which is famous for its "danger". The main peak is 5,596 meters above the sea level, and the west coast peak is more than 3,000 meters above the water. Tiger Leaping Gorge (Lijiang section) is famous for its depth and danger, with three sections: upper, middle and lower.The Tiger Leaping Gorge in Lijiang belongs to the Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge.It is a spectacular place to watch the river lapping the Tiger Leaping Stones in the heart of the river. This part of the Tiger Leaping Gorge is very flat and easy to walk, more suitable for families to travel. If you really don't have the stamina, you can also take a rickshaw. If you are physically fit, you can go to Shangri-La's Tiger Leaping Gorge on foot, which will be a different experience.

Tiger Leaping Gorge
First Bend of Yangtze River
First Bend of Yangtze River
Day 4 Shangri-la
Songzanlin Monastery, Potatso National Park

After breakfast, we will drive about 20 minutes to reach our first stop at Songzanlin Monastery. There are not only the beautiful architectures, but the monastery religious artifacts and precious cultural relics in the Songzanlin Monastery. Among them, there are eight gold statues of Sakya Buddha, Pattra-Leaf Scripture, colorful gold-painted thangka, golden lamp, and the books. Because these are extremely valuable, a lot of treasures usually are not showed to people easily. Songzenlin Monastery and the Potala Palace are both Tibetan monasteries, quite similar in terms of architectural craftsmanship, so it is also known as the small Potala Palace.

Then our next stop is Potatso National Park. It takes 40 minutes’ drive from Songzanlin Monastery. In Sanskrit,Potatso means “wish everyone will reach the ideal shore”. Pudacuo National Park, with an average elevation of about 3,500 meters above sea level, consists of three major attractions: Shudu Lake, Mili Pond and Bita Sea.Right now, Shudu Lake is the only open section of the Potatso National Park.Mili Pond and Bita Sea is temporary closed for ecological maintenance.

Shudu Lake is one of the largest alpine lakes in Shangri-La. A 3kilometers wooden trail has been built around the lake, allowing you to see the beauty of this lake from different angles. Hiking is the best way to visit the lake, and you can encounter cute squirrels among the plants that grow along the lake.

After enjoying a fresh air in the Potatso, we will drive back to the hotel to overnight.

Tips: Below are some taboos for visiting in Songzanlin Monastery:

  1. Ladies should not dress too revealing, do not wear super short skirts and suspenders.
  2. When entering the halls, do not step on the threshold.
  3. Do not take pictures of the Buddha statue.
  4. Don't make loud noises.
  5. Do not make indecent behavior and conduct inside the temple.
  6. Some houses along the road are built privately. They are not belonging to the temple. Do not enter without permission, so as not to cause misunderstanding.
Potatso National Park
Potatso National Park
Songzanlin Monastery
Songzanlin Monastery
Day 5 Shangri-La/Departure
Flight back home

In the morning, our guide and driver will wait for you at the hotel lobby. Then we will drive to the airport.

The guide will help you to check-in at the airport. Your amazing Yunnan tour ends here.

Editor: Lexie Jia

This tour ends here
Tour Map
City Five Star hotel list Four Star hotel list
Lijiang Wonderport International Hotel Lijiang Wangfu Hotel
Shangri-La Paradise Hotel Ri Yue Xing Cheng Hotel
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 coolAbout your child or infant, please contact us for a discounted price.

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