Stone Forest

Essence of Kunming

km-1: 3-Day Stone Forest and City Essence Tour
From: $389
Photography NatureCulture

Kunming is highly praised as "the spring city", due to its comfortable weather all year round. This tour will allow you to discover the most popular attractions in Kunming, including historical sites and unique natural scenery at the Stone Forest. Our "no shopping" policy ensures you will have a memorable trip in China.


  • Be amazed at the magical landscape of the Stone Forest
  • Visit the largest Buddhist complex in Kunming — the Yuantong Temple
  • Experience relaxing local life at the picturesque Green Lake
  • Discover the secrets in the Taoist Grottoes at the Dragon Gate

What's Included

  • Entrance to the attractions listed in the itinerary
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private transfers between the airport, attractions, and hotels
  • Private local English-speaking tour guide and driver service (except for voluntary tips)
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast and service fee
  • Shuttle bus fee in Xishan

Price Per Person in US Dollars

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 Kunming Arrival

Your private guide will pick you up outside the luggage claim area and transfer you to your hotel in a professionally-chauffeured vehicle. The rest of the day is for you to acclimatize and explore the city, or relax and recoup ready for the tour tomorrow.

Good to know:
If you arrive early in the morning and have some time to kill, you may consider enriching your day by visiting Yunnan Minority Village, which gives a very quick view of the various minorities in Yunnan and their cultures, costumes, and customs. If you are interested in the history of the American Flying Tigers during World War II, Kunming Museum is recommended.

Kunming New Era Hotel (superior class)/Green Lake Hotel (deluxe class).

Day 2Stone Forest, Green Lake Park Tour

After a 1½-hour drive from Kunming City, you can walk among the towering stones in the Stone Forest to feel the magical power of nature, which ‘carved’ the stones into peculiar shapes and created a forest consisting of gray columnar stones. Enjoy lunch in the scenic area.

Strolling in the most picturesque park in the Kunming urban area, the Green Lake Park, you can share the happiness of the local people doing tai chi, performing local opera, and other vibrant activities. If you visit the park in November or December, you will see the grandeur of huge flocks of red-beaked gulls that migrate there from Siberia.

After the tour, your guide will escort you back to your hotel for a good rest.

Good to know:
As the Stone Forest is a very popular must-see attraction, the countless tourist groups there during the peak season rank among travelers’ pet peeves. Due to the gigantic size of the park, your guide will help you find less visited and more remote areas to avoid the crowds, especially in the winter months.

Stone Forest and Green Lake
Day 3 The Dragon Gate on Xishan and Kunming Departure

You will visit two historical attractions, one reflecting Taoism while the other reflects Buddhism.

Follow the saying and walk pass the Dragon Gate on Xishan (Western Hills) to get prosperity in the future. You will have a bird’s-eye view of the Dianchi Lake and appreciate the groups of Taoist sculptures in the grottoes on the cliff in this scenic area.

After lunch in a traditional style restaurant, visit the Yuantong Temple, the largest and most ancient Buddhist temple in Kunming, to learn about the differences between the halls of the three denominations of Buddhism. There is also an elegant ancient garden style courtyard.

Sit back and relax as your guide will already have called to confirm your next journey. You will be transferred to your station or the airport in advance.

Good to know:
Shuttle buses between Xianshan Entrance and Xvguang Pavilion are included. If you would like to save time and energy, you can take the tourist tram from Xvguang Pavilion to General Liang’s Pavilion and take a chairlift down the hill.

Yuantong Temple and Xishan Dragon Gate

Trip Notes

1. Tailoring Your Tour

This tour is very flexible. You can alter the itinerary, and extend or shorten it to suit your price, interest, and schedule. Feel free to tell us your requirements, and we will be happy to help you arrange a tour using our professional knowledge and experience. We promise a "No Shopping Policy".

2. Optional Extension

Jiuxiang Cave
If you are interested in seeing the karst caves, Jiuxiang Cave is recommended after your visit to the Stone Forest and it takes approximately one hour to get there. There are more than 100 karst caves in Jiuxiang scenic area and it is the largest cave group system in China. Climbing up the 336 steps that lead to the Bat Cave could be a challenge for seniors. Please inform your trip advisor about your preferences.

Show and Entertainment
Dynamic Yunnan in Kunming is a large-scale song and dance performance featuring the remarkable and diverse local ethnic culture. It is another masterpiece from the famous Chinese dancer Yangliping who directs and heads the cast.
It is recommended to book with your guide a day before, or on the day, to allow flexibility.

3. Getting There and Traveling Away

Kunming is a convenient transportation hub. There are domestic flights to most of China's major cities, such as Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Chengdu and Shanghai. International routes include flights between Kunming and Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Rangoon and Singapore.

4. Hotel

Standard hotels with a convenient location and good reviews are recommended in the itinerary. If you prefer other hotel options (boutique hotels, economical choices, or Chinese-style hotels) or would like to book the hotels on your own, please feel free to inform us and we will be happy to adjust the details.

5. Booking Procedure:

Step 1: Submit your name, email address and traveling dates for the tour. The price may vary according to the location of your hotel.
Step 2: Choose to make payment via PayPal and your request will be listed as our top priority. We guarantee a 100% refund if you are not satisfied.
Step 3: Receive a reply within 24 hours. The tour will be tailor-made to meet your requirements and the booking confirmed.
Step 4: Enjoy the tour!

6. Payment Methods:

We now offer three payment methods: PayPal, credit card authorization via fax, and wire transfer. PayPal is recommended for its safety and efficiency. You can pay with USA dollars, Australian dollars, European dollars, and British pounds directly with your credit card or debit card if you do not have a PayPal account.

7. Cancellation Policy:

In the event of cancellation, we will refund any payment made to China Highlights (unless any cancellation fee is applicable) within 14 days of our receipt of your written cancellation request. Visit here for more details.

8. Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance is not included. We carefully selected some insurance providers from your region that give you the best value for money. Click here to go to the travel insurance page.