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Your Position: HomeChina ToursChina Photography Tours12 Days Photo Tour to Dreamlike and Colorful Yunnan
  • Stone Forest
  • The Ancient City of Dali
  • Songzanlin Monastery
  • Bitahai Nature Reserve
  • Erhai Lake
  • Yulong Snow Mountain
  • The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple
  • First Bend of the Yangtze River
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Dongba Culture Museum
  • Naxi Ancient Music

You can click to see the attractions included in this tour itinerary.

12 Days Photo Tour to Dreamlike and Colorful Yunnan

Tour Code: CPT03
Tour Duration: 12 Days
Destination: Dali, Diqing(Shangri-La), Kunming, Lijiang
Tour overview: Praised as a dreamy and beautiful place, Yunnan Province of China has been described as the "heaven south of the clouds". City of Eternal Spring-Kunming, Historical Jianshui and Dali, Legendary Lijiang... Both you and your camera will fell in love with this beautiful place-Yunnan!

  • Tour Summary
  • Day by Day Itinerary
  • Reviews
12 Days Photo Tour to Dreamlike and Colorful Yunnan 12 Days Photo Tour to Dreamlike and Colorful Yunnan 12 Days Photo Tour to Dreamlike and Colorful Yunnan 12 Days Photo Tour to Dreamlike and Colorful Yunnan

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Tour Dates Destinations Services Provided Meals Included
Day 1 Kunming Upon arriving at Kunming airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Howard Johnson Tropical Garden Plaza Kunming Kunming Jin Jiang Hotel Yunnan Jinhua International Hotel
/
Day 2 Kunming/Jianshui This morning, we drive to the Stone Forest and have a visit there. Then we drive for three hours to Jianshui. Details... B,L
Day 3 Jianshui Today we will walk around the old town of Jianshui.
Then drive out of town to the village of Tuanshan to admire the ancient town and the Shuanglong Bridge.
Afternoon, we will visit the Confucius Temple and the Zhu Family Garden. Details...
B,L
Day 4 Jianshui/Yuanyang After breakfast, we drive across the mountain and descend into the Red River Valley. Take some photographic opportunities.
Afternoon, we drive to Laohuzui (Tiger's mouth) to gaze upon the sunset over the terraces before we drive back to Yuanyang. Details...
B,L
Day 5 Yuanyang Early this morning, we drive to Shengcun to view the sunrise over the terraces.
Then we will visit the Hani People.
In the afternoon, we drive to Laohuzui (Tiger's Mouth), another site of terraced paddies. Details...
B,L
Day 6 Yuanyang/Jianshui/Kunming Get up early to photo shoot the sunrise over the terraces.
After breakfast, we head back to Jianshui where we have lunch before continuing our drive to Kunming.
Afternoon will be free time for you to explore the town or to take a rest. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Howard Johnson Tropical Garden Plaza Kunming Kunming Jin Jiang Hotel Yunnan Jinhua International Hotel
B,L
Day 7 Kunming/Dali Take morning flight to Dali. Upon our arrival in Dali, you will be met & take a cruise on the Erhai Lake and visit The Ancient City of Dali , The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Dali Regent Hotel Dali Asia Star Hotel Landscape Courtyard
B,L
Day 8 Dali/Lijiang In the morning, we take a cable car to the top of Cangshan for a bird's eye view of the Erhai Valley. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Lijiang Ancient Town Hexi Hotel, Lijiang Jinhong Villa Hotel
B,L
Day 9 Lijiang Today we will visit and photograph the Yulong Snow Mountain , Dongba Culture Museum .
This evening, we will enjoy the Naxi Ancient Music . Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Crowne Plaza Lijiang Ancient Town Hexi Hotel, Lijiang Jinhong Villa Hotel
B,L
Day 10 Lijiang/Diqing(Shangri-La) After breakfast, we will drive to the First Bend of the Yangtze River and take a stop at the Tiger Leaping Gorge .
Then we keep on driving northwards to Zhongdian. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Shangri-la Paradise Hotel Holy Palace Hotel Pacific Rim Hotel
B,L
Day 11 Diqing(Shangri-La) Today we will drive to the Songzanlin Monastery to photograph the tranquil morning scenery before visiting the monastery.
Afternoon, we will drive to Bitahai Nature Reserve which is surrounded by snowy mountains and alpine lakes. Details...
First Class Deluxe Class Tourist Class
Shangri-la Paradise Hotel Holy Palace Hotel Pacific Rim Hotel
B,L
Day 12 Diqing(Shangri-La)/Kunming Take morning flight back to Kunming and then a connecting flight back home. Details... B,L
1. Normally hotels allow a maximum of 3 adults per room with an extra bed, at extra charge. Some hotels will allow three adults and a small child.
2. Tour price is indicative only, please enquire for a detailed quotation.
3. More people more discounts. Please enquire for more details.

Price Inclusions and Exclusions

Price Include

A. Entrance fees:To scenic spots as listed above in the itinerary.
B. Meals: All meals as specified in the itinerary.
C. Private Transfers: Among airports, hotels and scenic spots while sightseeing in the above cities by the private air conditioned vehicle.
D. Guide and Driver: As outlined in the itinerary, a well selected English-speaking guide and driver will accompany you throughout the entire tour in that city. They do not fly with you from one city to another.
E. Hotels: Hotel Based on two persons sharing one room with twin beds. All hotels as listed in the above itinerary serve daily western or Chinese breakfast. All rooms are air-conditioned with private facilities unless specified.
F. Luggage Transfers: Between airports and hotels.
G. Service Charge & Government Taxes.
H. Travel insurance in mainland China during the above travel period.
I. Arrangements: The tour cost includes planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Price Exclude

A. Entry or Exit China International Airfare or train tickets.
B. Visa Fees.
C. Excess Baggage Charges.
D. Personal Expenses: Expenses of a purely personal nature such as laundry, drinks, fax, telephone call, optional activities, sightseeing or meals which are not included in the itinerary.
E. Meals: Any meals which are not specified with "B", "L" or "D".
F. Single Room Supplement.
G. Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness or damages incurred during your trip.
H. Gratuities, Tips to Guides and Drivers.

Day 1 Arrive in Kunming

Transfer via: Flight – on your own arrangement

Upon your arrival in Kunming, your local guide will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. For the rest of the day you will enjoy some leisure time to relax or have a first look at the new surrounding.

Day 2 Kunming to Jianshui (B, L)

Kunming to Jianshui (B, L)

Transfer via: private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Stone Forest

Today we will go on a full day trip to Stone forest. Due to a process of weathering and erosion, nature has created an art gallery of stone sculpture here. This typical Karst physiognomy seems like a forest of stone pillars and boulders. You will see fascination natural creations like Lion Arbor, Sword Peak Pond, Lotus Peak, Moon Lake, Jade Lake, and Dadie Waterfall.

Following, we will drive for three hours to Jianshui. Jianshui, is a culturally significant city south of Kunming, historically it has served as the home of many important officials.

Day 3 Jianshui (B, L)

Jianshui (B, L)

Sightseeing: Tuanshan village, Shuanglong Bridge, Confucius Temple, Zhu Family Garden

This morning, we walk around the old town of Jianshui. We then drive out of town to the Tuanshan village to admire the ancient town and the Shuanglong Bridge.

Then, we visit the nearby Confucius Temple. Jianshui Confucius Temple is the biggest one in Yunnan Province, it was first built in 1285, through expansion of more than 40 times, its area measures 114 mu (7.6 hectares) today. Construction is an imitation of the Qufu Confucius Temple,

In the late afternoon, we visit the Zhu Family Garden. It is seated in Jianxin Street, Jianshui County. It was built by Zhu Weiqing, a successful businessman and his brother, in late Qing Dynasty around 100 years ago, construction work brokenly lasted 30 years. Garden covers a total area of 20,000 square meters, this grand complex is a typical local residence with distinctive features, with labyrinth arrangements of yards, pathways and elaborately-furnished rooms and halls, and it enjoys the fame "the Grand View Garden in Southern Yunnan". Zhu Family Garden embodies the combination of inland Chinese.

Day 4 Jianshui to Yuanyang (B, L)

Jianshui to Yuanyang (B, L)

Transfer via: private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Photo shoot the sunset at Laohuzui

After leaving Jianshui, we drive across the mountain and descend into the Red River Valley. This subtropical area is quite foggy throughout the whole year. The Rice terraces in Yuanyang present us with some magnificent photographic opportunities.

This afternoon, we drive to Laohuzui (Tiger's mouth) to gaze upon the sunset over the terraces before we drive to Yuanyang.

Day 5 Yuanyang Terrace (B, L)

Yuanyang Terrace (B, L)

Sightseeing: Yuanyang Terrace Filed, Hani Village

Early this morning, we drive to Shengcun to view the sunrise over the terraces. Discover the super gorgeous terraced rice paddies, which have been built and maintained for generations. Yuanyang Terraced Fields has been placed into the preparatory list of World Heritage in China; the Application of Honghe Hani Terraced Fields for World Heritage has been committed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization by Chinese Government in January, 2002.  

After that, we visit the Hani people in their thatched mushroom houses. The Hani are one of the many unique tribes in Yunnan. Walk in the Hani villages nestled amid the "Mirror of Heaven".

In the afternoon, we drive to Laohuzui (Tiger's Mouth), another site of terraced paddies.

Day 6 Yuanyang to Kunming (B, L)

Transfer via: private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: photo shoot sunrise over the terraces

Get up early and photo shoot the sunrise over the Hani Terraces.

After breakfast, we head back to Jianshui where we have lunch before continuing our drive to Kunming.

After a long day of driving, after checking in to the hotel, you will have free time to explore the town or just take a rest.

Day 7 Kunming to Dali (B, L)

Kunming to Dali (B, L)

Transfer via: Flight on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Erhai Lake, Ancient City of Dali, Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple

In the morning your local guide will transfer you to the airport where you take the flight to Dali.

Upon your arrival there, you will be greeted by your local guide and then visit Erhai Lake. Erhai Lake is the largest highland lake next to Dianchi and one of the seventh biggest fresh water lakes in China. It means, 'sea shaped like an ear', in Chinese. Implying that the lake is ear shaped and as large as a sea, hence it was so named. The lake covers an area of 250 square kilometers and is located about two kilometers east of Dali. 

The next stop will be the Ancient City of Dali, which is a magnificent ancient city with a perimeter of 6 kilometers. Its former city wall is 7.5 meters high and 6 meters thick. There used to be four city gates, each on one side. On the gates were the gate towers. While Xiaguan, the capital of the Autonomous Region of Dali, depicts you a scene of prosperity and bloom, the Ancient City of Dali will give you a simple, unsophisticated and quiet impression.

Finally you will see the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple. It is a symbol of the history of Dali City, and a record of the development of Buddhism in the area. As its name implies, Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle. This is unique in China.

Day 8 Dali to Lijiang (B, L)

Transfer via: private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Cangshan, Shaxi village

In the morning, we take a cable car to the top of Cangshan for a bird's eye view of the Erhai valley.

After lunch, we will drive to Lijiang. About three hours later, we get to Jianchuan and then take a country road to Shaxi. The Shaxi village is nestled deep within the Parallel Rivers area near Jianchuan between Lijiang and Dali. It is a culturally diverse town home to the Bai and Yi minorities.

Later, we drive to Lijiang and enjoy some free time.

Day 9 Lijiang (B, L)

Lijiang (B, L)

Sightseeing: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Dongba Village

This morning, we visit and photograph the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain along with a bridge and a peaceful lake. It is the southernmost marine glacier in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. Altogether there are 13 peaks along the range, stretching for over 35km from south to north. The summit, Shanzidou, is 5596 meters above sea level. Viewed from afar, the snow-capped range resembles a silver dragon with snow curling up its middle. Rich forest, herb and animal resources thrive on the mountain.

On our way we will stop at Dongba Village in Yushui Stockade, which is built completely according to the traditional life style of Naxi Minority. You can feel the traditional atmosphere of national culture from the layout of its yard, building facilities, tools and details of life.

Evening we will enjoy ancient Naxi Music.

Day 10 Lijiang to Zhongdian (B, L)

Lijiang to Zhongdian (B, L)

Transfer via: private vehicle on our arrangement
Sightseeing: Tiger Leaping Gorge, first Bend of the Yangtze River

In the morning you will be transferred to Zhongdian

On the way, you will fist visit Tiger Leaping Gorge. Being one of Yunnan's most famous spots, the gorge itself is tucked neatly between the Yulong Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain, which surround its two sides.

Secondly, we will see the First Bend of the Yangtze River. It lies in Shigu Town, Lijiang. Rushing down from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, "the roof of the world", the Yangtze surges into Yunnan from its northwest, where it meets Lancang River and Nu River. Then, they go together through the high mountains and deep gorges of Hengduan Mountains. You will be impressed by this natural power.

Day 11 Zhongdian (B, L)

Zhongdian (B, L)

Sightseeing: Song Zanlin Monastery, Bitahai Nature Reserve

This morning, we drive to the Song Zanlin Monastery to photograph the tranquil morning scenery before visiting the monastery. Songzanlin Monastery, which is a typical Lama monastery. Located at the foot of Mt. Foping, four kilometers north of Zhongdian County, a monastery was first built here in 1679 and has been rebuilt many times. The architectural style of the building is a faithful imitation of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.

In the afternoon, we drive to Bitahai Nature Reserve, an intact natural attraction with various species of flora and fauna and of course picturesque landscapes. In the reserve itself, century-old pines and cypresses are growing around Bitahai Lake, in which the water is crystal clear. In the middle of the lake there is an islet covered by cedars and azaleas.

Day 12 Zhongdian to Kunming / Departure (B)

Transfer via: Flight on our own arrangement

In the morning, you will be met and transferred to airport to take a flight back to Kunming and then a connecting flight back home.

Comment on our service from Suzanne Eileen Chaddock, Canada
It was a fabulous trip. All the great things you made we were able to see and do while we toured your country.

Eden and I returned home to Canada yesterday. Just wanted to send you a huge thank-you for all your hard work organizing our China trip. It was a fabulous trip. All the great things you made we were able to see and do while we toured your country. If I hear of anyone heading to China I will recommend they get in touch with you.

Sincerely,

Suzanne

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Comment on our service from Ali Redza Bin Shuib, Malaysia
Our visit was a memorable one although it is a bit beyond our budget but I think it is worthwhile spending.

Thanks for your email. We are all fine thank you.

Our visit was a memorable one although it is a bit beyond our budget but I think it is worthwhile spending.
China tour in Guilin Tour in Guilin

We like your idea asking for feedback which is good for improvement.

Our respond are as follows:-

1. What do you think of our guide service?
The guide service is excellent. He assists us in taking photos and video with his own camera and share with us.

2. What do you think of our driver service?
The drive service is excellent. But if he could understand a bit of English would be better.

3. What do you think of the hotel service and their breakfast?
Hotel service was also excellent however Halal meal for Muslim tourist is good if you can prepare for their convenience.

4. Which meal makes you memorable?
Muslim Chinese Restaurant food in Guilin. We enjoy very much Chinese food but as Muslim it needs to be halal so once having a halal restaurant we enjoy the food very much especially the meat and chicken.

5. Could you please advise why you choose us to be your tour operator for your holiday?
You are the one that positively respond to my request so that is why we chosen you.
China tour in Yangshuo Guilin Li River cruise

Please come to Malaysia, you will enjoy here.

Thank you and best regards,
Ali Redza & Saadah

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Comment on our service from Manuela Campanale, Italy
All the guides you proposed us were excellent! Very kind and nice, we have been very happy to meet them. From the terraces of Guilin to the old part of Lijiang to the Potala Palace, everything was very interesting!

Tour in Yunnan Meet in Guilin
Thank you for your mail and the photo!!! We are fine and I hope you are fine too!!!

1. What do you think of our guide service?
All the guides you proposed us were excellent! Very kind and nice, we have been very happy to meet them.

2. What do you think of our driver service?
The same as the guides, excellent drivers, we had no problems and we felt safe on the road.

3. Which meal makes you memorable? Please name the reason why you like or dislike it?
The dinner with you of course! :-) However the food has been very good everywhere apart the lunch on the boat at Guilin that was really very very poor. We did not like it at all.

4. Could you please advise why you choose us to be your tour operator for your holiday?
Because we have already been in China with your T.O. and we had been satisfied.
Tour in Tibet Tour in Yunnan, China

5. Which part of sightseeing was the most memorable for you?
Many parts, from the terraces of Guilin to the old part of Lijiang to the Potala Palace, everything was very interesting! As I told you this third tour was the best one for us: the weather was fine and not foggy, many interesting things to see and people is more kind in this south part of China, also the guides. We think we will do the fourth tour in the next two years :-)

No other suggestion, everything was OK

I wish you a nice day,

A very big hug from Manuela
 

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Comment on our service from Doreen Jung,Canada
Our family was very happy with our tour and the services of the tour guides & drivers in each city were excellent. The hotels arranged by you were perfect for our family and the meals provided were wonderful.

Our family was very happy with our tour and the services of the tour guides & drivers in each city were excellent.  The hotels arranged by you were perfect for our family and the meals provided were wonderful.
Longji Rice Terraces Guilin tour
Thank your for all your organizing and help with our trip.  Cici in Beijing, Wendy in Xian and Lee in Quilin were all fantastic tour guides.  It was wonderful to see Lee again.  She was our guide in 2014 when we visited Guilin and Yangshuo.   Your agency helped us with our trip that time too.

Thanks for the lovely tea cups - they will always be reminders of a special time our family had on our holiday in China.

If there are any websites you would like us to post reviews, we will be happy to do so.
Cormorant fishing Long-hair Show 

My children said "It was a trip of a lifetime!" and we want to thank you for helping it go so well!

Have a good day and thanks again,
Doreen Jung

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Comment on our service from Sandra Santos, Portuguese
Let me thank you for organizing once again a great tour. All went really well with Kevin the Tour guide - his command of English was really good. Xi’an is an amazing city. We had a great time.

Good morning,

Hope all is well.

I am sorry for the late email but it has been very busy on this side :-)

Let me thank you for organizing once again a great tour.

All went really well with Kevin the Tour guide - his command of English was really good.
Xi’an is an amazing city.
We had a great time.

Thank you once again.

Cheers,
Sandra Borja-Santos

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Comment on our service from Yuyi Yeow, singapore

I must commend your team as well as our guide and driver for their excellent service and job done. We were very satisfied with the arrangements.

Thank you for your follow-up email. I must commend your team as well as our guide and driver for their excellent service and job done.

My young son felt at home with her, and she went out of her way to take care of him and entertain him during the trip. She was also very knowledgeable about most things that we had questions about. We were very satisfied with the arrangements.

I've attached a few photos of us having a great time. We were lucky to experience good weather in Nanjing as well during our travels, with no rain and warm temperatures.

  

Will definitely contact you when we next return to China.

Best Regards,
Yuyi

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