Embark On A Historical 2-Week Itinerary of Southwest China

Author: Nidhi Sood on Feb 27,2023

Southwest China is a region of incredible natural beauty and fascinating cultural diversity. Over the course of two weeks, you can explore the region's stunning landscapes, ancient temples, and vibrant cities. 

A tour at a glance

Tour Price

Our private tours typically range from $500 - $1000 per person/per night depending on chosen hotels and room categories, vehicles used, types of tours, flight cost, time of year and other factors. Make an inquiry for a customized trip quote.

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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kunming

Upon arrival, meet your private guide, who will drive you to your hotel. Later, explore the city, take a stroll around Green Park Lake, which is bordered by teahouses and bridged by ancient bridges. Explore local markets and try some local Yunnan cuisine, such as cross-bridge noodles and three-course-meat. Return to the  hotel.

Day 2: Kunming Exploration

This morning, visit the Stone Forest accompanied by your private guide. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its towering karst formations. Then, visit the Kunming Botanical Garden. After lunch, head to the Yunnan Provincial Museum, and the Yuantong Temple. Return to your hotel for dinner. 

Day 3: Venturing to Dali

Hop on a three-hour drive to Dali, city known for its ancient towns and beautiful scenery. Visit the Dali Ancient City and take a boat ride on Erhai Lake. Later, visit the historic Three Pagodas area. Check into your luxurious hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. 

Day 4: A Walking Tour of Dali

In the morning, enjoy a guided walking tour to soak in some of the lovely sweeping views of Dali. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the hillside in the afternoon before you continue with your walk. Explore the produce market in Xiaguan discovering local fruits and vegetables and also traditional handicrafts, before returning to your hotel.

Day 5: One Day Tour of Shaxi

Head for Shaxi on a two-hour drive. You will have a brief stop at Xizhou, which has always been favored by the rich tea merchants who constructed amazing homes in this tiny lakeside town. Afterward, your private guide will take you to the village of Shaxi, to explore the deep countryside, intertwisting through villages and rice paddies. Meander around its market square and along the river, praising its 14th-century Ming Dynasty buildings. Enjoy a traditional dinner before checking into a luxury hotel for rest. 

Day 6: Heading to Lijiang

This morning, take an hours drive to Lijiang. There is a stop in between to visit the grottoes and temple complex of Shibaoshan before your guide takes you further north to Lijiang, a pretty town in the shadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The drive with the excursion will take approximately 4 hours. Reach Lijiang in the late afternoon to check in to your hotel. 

Day 7: Exploring Lijiang

Today, you will traverse out of Lijiang to visit Zhiyun Monastery, which is one of five most significant lamaseries in the region having a 300-year history. After lunch, return back to Lijiang and take a tour of Lijiangs medieval streets filled with slate-tiled houses and latticed with mountain streams and waterways. Visit the Lijiang Museum, which offers a fascinating look at the history and culture of the Naxi people, who have lived in the area for centuries. Return to the hotel.

Day 8: One Day Tour of Tacheng

Embark on a private transfer to Tacheng (an hour and fifty minute drive), which is the gateway to the Snub-Nosed Monkey National Park. You will first visit the splendid Tiger Leaping Gorge, which is one of the world's deepest gorge and admire the gorge from a viewing platform. You can also take a steep walk down steps If you wish to the Jinsha River at the bottom. Later, continue to Tacheng, a journey of about four hours through mountains and valleys. Upon arrival, check in to your lodge accommodation.

Day 9: Traveling to Zhongdian

Visit Xianggujing Golden Monkey National Park which is about 30 minutes from Tacheng. Later in the afternoon, you will depart from Tacheng for Zhongdian with your private guide on a three-hour journey. Famous as Shangri-La and sometimes known as Gyalthang in Tibetan, it is situated at 3,200 meters above sea level. You will experience a distinctive blend of Tibetan and Han cultures here. On reaching, check in to your hotel. 

Day 10: Zhongdian Exploration

Today youll visit Songzanlin Monastery which is the largest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in China and discover Shangri-Las Tibetan culture. It has amazing views over a valley and gives you an insight into the day-to-day life of its monks by exploring some of the interesting surrounding Tibetan villages. Afterward, soak in the gorgeous scenery of Napa Lake, where there may be chances to spot some wildlife and birds.

Day 11: Journey to Yuanyang

This morning, youll be transferred to the airport for your one hour flight to Kunming. Upon arrival, drive to Yuanyang five hours south of Kunming. Situated in Honghe Prefecture, along the Red River, Yuanyang is famous for its splendid rice terraces, part of which now forms the 45th UNESCO World Heritage Site in China. After check-in, enjoy an overnight stay in town.

Day 12: Traversing to Jianshui

Today youll spend most of your time exploring Yuanyang accompanied by your guide. First, visit to a bustling morning market for an opportunity to witness various ethnic minorities such as the Hani, Miao, Yi, Dai, and Zhuang in their vibrant costumes gathered to sell their products or to buy supplies. Later, make your way to explore the Hani rice terraces. Afterward, you will be driven to the town of Jianshui in Yunnan province. The journey will take approximately two and a quarter hours. Enjoy the  historic center. Then, check into your hotel for dinner and overnight stay. 

Day 13: Exploring Jianshui

Start your day with a visit to the Jianshui Old Town, which is a well-preserved historical district with narrow streets and traditional buildings. After exploring the old town, visit the Jianshui Confucian Temple, which is one of the best-preserved Confucian temples in China. In the afternoon, visit the Zhu Family Garden, which is a beautifully preserved traditional Chinese garden. In the evening, explore the night market in Jianshui, where you can try some local street food and shop for souvenirs. Before heading back to your hotel for the night, visit the Jianshui Ancient City Wall, which offers beautiful views of the city from its ramparts.


Day 14: Departure Back Home

After breakfast, take a 2-hour flight to Kunming. Check into your hotel. Spend the evening at leisure and enjoy a farewell meal, before your private guide drives you to the Kunming Changshui International Airport in time for your return flight back home.

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