12 Days Yunnan-Tibet Tour by Flight

With the most attractive destinations in China’s plateau region included, this 12-day Yunnan and Tibet tour will bring to a world where you can’t help marveling at every breathtaking landscapes.

Highlights

  • Visit famous cities in Yunnan like: Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-la;
  • Climb up the grandiose Potala Palace to admire its featured architecture and beautiful murals, Buddhist statutes and other collections;
  • Experience the authentic Tibetan culture and devoted pilgrimage by joining the worshipers in Barkhor Street and Jokhang Temple;
  • Visit Drepung Monastery and watch the brilliant live Buddhism Debating in the Sera Monastery;

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1 Arrive in Kunming
  • Day 2 Kunming
  • Day 3 Kunming-Dali
  • Day 4 Dali-Lijiang
  • Day 5 Lijiang
  • Day 6 Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Shangri-La
  • Day 7 Shangri-la
  • Day 8 Shangri-la-Lhasa
  • Day 9 Lhasa
  • Day 10 Lhasa
  • Day 11 Lhasa – Namtso Lake – Lhasa
  • Day 12 Lhasa Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities:Arrive in Kunming

Accommodation:Kunming

Meals:None

You’ll begin your journey to the diverse and captivating province of Yunnan from the capital city, Kunming. Upon arrival at the Kunming International Airport, meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel. 

Day 2 Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities:the Stone Forest, the Green Lake, Flowers and Birds Market

Accommodation:Kunming

Meals:Breakfast and Lunch

You will drive 86 km to the Stone Forest. An old local saying says that ‘If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.’ Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan.

After lunch, drive back to Kunming to visit the Green Lake and then enjoy a 20-minute walk to visit the Flowers and Birds Market in downtown area.

Day 3 Kunming-Dali High Speed Train

Sightseeing and Activities:Three Pagodas, cruise in Erhai Lake, Dali Old Town, Foreigner’s Street, Ancient City Wall

Accommodation:Dali

Meals:Breakfast and Lunch

Get up in the early morning. Transfer to train station. Take a high speed train from Kunming to Dali.

Arrive at Dali train station. Meet your local guide in Dali. Then visit Three Pagodas in Chongshen Monastery which has a history of over 1,800 years located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain facing to the Erhai Lake. Three Pagodas are made of three ancient independent pagodas forming a symmetrical triangle.

Then you’ll cruise in Erhai Lake by the small boat to the Jinsuo Islet in the east Erhai Lake. There are 200 Bai ethnic families around 1000 people in Jinsuo Island.In Erhai Lake cruise, you will enjoy the green Cangshan Mountain and the Three Pagodas from a far as well as lots of birds and seagulls flying over the lake. 

In the late afternoon, take a walk in Dali Old Town. Visit Foreigner’s Street and ancient city wall.

Day 4 Dali-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Xizhou Town, Zhoucheng Village, Lijiang Old Town

Accommodation:Lijiang

Meals:Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, head for Xizhou Town to fully appreciate Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards, taste their fragrant Three-Course Tea and explore their distinctive culture.

Transfer to visit Zhoucheng Village and the Bai people’s Tie-dying cloth workshop where you can take some special souvenir with the Bai ethnic style. 

After lunch, drive to Lijiang. You will be relaxed around Lijiang Old Town, a well-preserved old city of ethnic minorities with brilliant culture, is a central town of the Lijiang Autonomous County of the Naxi Ethnic Minority in Yunnan Province. Located on the plateau which is 2,400 meters above the sea level and embraced by the tree-covered Lion Mountain in the west, Elephant and Golden Row Mountains in the north, vast fertile fields in the southeast and crystal clear water running through, the old town looks like a big jade ink slab, therefore got the alias the Town of Big Ink Slab (Dayanzhen).

Day 5 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities:Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishuihe River,Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Spruce Meadow, Blue Moon Valley, Impression Lijiang Ethnic Show, Baisha Old Town, Baisha Murals 

Accommodation:Lijiang

Meals:Breakfast and Lunch

Drive about 30KM to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic Area. You will firstly reach Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M). Then you will take the sightseeig bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe River. Take cable car to Spruce Meadow and hike around 30 minutes in the forest. Then take a battery cart to Blue Moon Valley.

After lunch, you will enjoy the Impression Lijiang Ethnic Show directed by Zhang Yimou. It is held in Ganhaizi Meadow about 3100M above the sea level.

And then, you can stroll through Baisha Old Town, which is an enchanting traditional Naxi style old town.  Visit the Baisha Murals about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997.

Day 6 Lijiang-100KM-Tiger Leaping Gorge-100KM-Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:the First Bend of Yangtze River, Iron Chain Bridge, Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dukezong Ancient Town, Guishan Hill 

Accommodation:Shangri-La

Meals:Breakfast and Lunch

From Lijiang, you’ll drive about 60KM to the First Bend of the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, visit the Iron Chain Bridge ,the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in the Shigu Old Town. The town of Stone Drum got its name from a large, cylindrical, marble tablet shaped like a drum. The scenery is magnificent as the road running through the Lijiang valley which is filled with wheat fields and drying haystacks. 

Visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river.

Then you will enter the Tibetan cultural area and a landscape of barley fields and yaks scattered in the valleys. Walk around Dukezong Ancient Town, an important town of the Ancient Tea-horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet and India. Walk up to the top of Guishan Hill or Tortoise Hill, you will see the largest Prayer Wheel of the world and have a panoramic view of shangrila county and Dukezong Ancient Town. 

Day 7 Shangri-La

Sightseeing and Activities:Songzanlin Monastery,Tibetan Family, Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park

Accommodation:Shangri-La

Meals:Breakfast and Lunch

Today, visit the Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan. Songzanlin Monastery has another alias – ‘the little Potala Palace ‘, so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere.

After that, pay a visit to a Tibetan Family and have Yak Butter lunch in the family.

And afterwards you’ll visit the tranquil Shudu Lake in Pudacuo National Park. Pudacuo National Park is located in one of the most biologically-diverse regions of the world. While the region comprises only 0.7 percent of China’s land area, it contains more than 20 percent of the country’s plant species, about one-third of its mammal and bird species and almost 100 endangered species.

Day 8 Shangri-la-Lhasa by Flight

Sightseeing and Activities:Lhasa Arrival

Accommodation:Lhasa

Meals:breakfast

Upon arrival at theLhasa airport. You will meet our local tour guide and driver in the arrival hall and they will escort you to the hotel. During the drive to your hotel, you can enjoy the breathtaking view along the Yarlong Tsangpo River. 

After you arrive at your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the Lhasa local area

Day 9 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Potala Palace, Barkhor Street, Jokhang Temple

Accommodation:Lhasa

Meals:breakfast
Today will visit Lhasa’s cardinal landmark Potala Palace, the spiritual center of Tibet, and the Jokhang Temple. Then stroll around at the famous Barkhor Street.

Potala Palace is known as the highest palace in the world, well worth visiting for its artistic value, historic purposes, and cultural awareness, has been regarded as the No. 1 must-see attraction in Tibet.

Jokhang Temple (or Jokhang Monastery), situated at the heart of the old town of Lhasa, is the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest destination for all Tibetan pilgrims, as well as a prime seat of the Gelugpa of the Tibetan Buddhism.

Day 10 Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities: Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka, Sear Monastery

Accommodation:Lhasa

Meals:breakfast

Explore the Drepung Monastery up on the hillside, experience wonderful views of the whole of Lhasa city on the roof of the hillside, visit Norbulingka – the summer palace of Dalai Lamas, and enjoy interesting “Buddhism Scriptures Debating” at the Sera Monastery.

Day 11 Lhasa-Namtso Lake-Lhasa

Sightseeing and Activities:Namtso Lake

Accommodation:Lhasa

Meals:breakfast

Today will have a full excursion to the holy lake Namtso.

Namtso Lake is one of the 3 holy lakes in Tibet, playing an important role among Tibetans. Every sheep year in Tibetan calendar, the Trekking Namtso Festival is held and numerous pilgrims from far away visit the lake to pay homage.

Day 12 Lhasa Departure

Sightseeing and Activities:Lhasa Departure

Accommodation:none

Meals:breakfast
On this day you will be free until your tour guide escorts you to the airport for your flight to your next destination.

Recommended Hotels

City 5-star 4-star 3-star
        Kunming         Crown Plaza Kunming City Centre          Wenhui Hotel           Long Teng Hotel
            Dali                           Hilton Hotel         Landscape Hotel             Taiheju Hotel
         Lijiang                InterContinental Hotel            Wangfu Hotel           Louwailou Hotel
      Shangri-la                      Shangri-la Resort          Zhaxidele Hotel           Maoyuan Hotel
Lhasa Intercontinental Lhasa Paradise Lhasa Yak Hotel Lhasa Xiongbala Hotel

Quotations

Group size(person) 5 Star ($) 4 Star ($) 3 Star ($)

Service Included:

  • Pick up from hotel before the tour.
  • Drop off to hotel after the tour finish.
  • All Entrance Fees of tourist attractions listed in the itineary.
  • Lunches included in Beijing,Xian,Shanghai city tour.
  • One Dinner included in Lhasa.
  • Local English Speaking Tour guide.
  • AC comfortable tourist Vehicle.

Service Excluded:

  • International Airfare or Train Tickets to enter or leave China;
  • China Entry Visa Fees;
  • Optional tours or activities you’ve chosen;
  • Tips & gratitude to drivers and guides;
  • Personal expenses;