The dance of minority people
Yunnan Ethnic Minorities Tour
Home China Tours Yunnan Tours Yunnan Ethnic Minorities Tour

6-Day Kunming, Dali, and Lijiang Tour

Yunnan is the province with the most ethnic minorities in China. It is the homeland of 25 minority groups, who have created a colorful patchwork of cultures. They coexist harmoniously with the natural environment and eke out a traditional living with their hard work. They give this land an ethnic soul.

This 6-day Yunnan tour includes the essential attractions in the three main cities of Yunnan — Kunming, Dali, and Lijiang. You will enjoy the elegant scenery, discover Yunnan's history, and experience the minorities' unique customs.

Highlights

  • Lose your way in the less-visited karst landscape of the Stone Forest
  • Learn to make famous Yunnan flower cakes in a village of Bai nationality
  • Hop in a horse-drawn carriage to explore well-preserved Xizhou Ancient town
  • Take a cable car up to the holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
  • Visit a shaman of Naxi nationalily to discover the mysterious culture

Tour Map

6-Day Kunming, Dali, and Lijiang Tour map
Day 1Kunming Arrival

When you walk out of the luggage claim area, you will find your private guide waiting for you outside the gate, holding a welcome sign on which your name is clearly written. A professionally-chauffeured vehicle will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you check-in and make sure everything at the hotel is satisfactory. Relax for the rest of the day.

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.

Hotel options:
Kunming New Era Hotel
Green Lake Hotel

Day 2Stone Forest and Bullet Train to Dali

breakfast and lunch

After a 1½-hour drive, visit a fantastic natural phenomenon located 90 kilometers southeast of Kunming — the Stone Forest. The various shapes of limestone were formed due to millions of years' movement of the Earth. The Stone Forest area is the home of the Naxi people, and their folk customs have become a spectacular scene. The colorful embroidery and minority dances combined with the natural scenery will surely leave you with a lasting impression. Enjoy a local lunch in a quaint courtyard with the Stone Forest Park in the background.

In the afternoon, transfer back to Kunming to catch the bullet train to Dali

Your guide and driver in Dali will meet you at the exit of the train station and will escort you back to your hotel.

Good to know:

For Chinese tourists, the Stone Forest Park is a must-see attraction; therefore, 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 quieter, more remote areas to avoid the crowds, especially in the winter months.

Stone Forest Stone Forest

Day 3 Three Pagodas, Xizhou Bai Family Visit, Erhai Lake and Dali Ancient Town Tour

breakfast and lunch

First, Have a stop at the Three Pagodas Park for a landmark photography. Towering aloft in a triangle shape, the Three Pagodas were built more than 1,000 years ago. They show the Bai people's respeciton to the nature.

Continue to a rose garden where you will learn how to make the famous Yunnan flower cake, which is representative of the snacks in Yunnan. Enjoy the cake you have made with a cup of flower tea and see the clouds floating above Cang Mountain.

The landmark of Dali The landmark of Dali
Learn to make Yunnan flower cakes Learn to make Yunnan flower cakes

Have lunch at a popular local restaurant. And then visit the houses of the Bai minority people in Xizhou Village. You will see typical Bai traditions and dresses. Some buildings are old and have typical ancient architectures, and are the ‘real local' houses. Then hop in a horse-drawn carriage to enjoy a relaxing tour along the lakeshore of Erhai, which is blessed with a mild climate and stunning scenery.

Drive back to Dali Ancient Town. Your guide will show you around the town and give you some information about some famous buildings. In a quiet corner of the town, you will also find a Chinese-style Catholic church that was built in 1927. Stay overnight in the ancient town and relax.

Hotel options:
Gurong Hotel
The One Hotels & Resorts

The performance of Bai people in Xizhou village The performance of Bai people in Xizhou village

Day 4Dali to Lijiang Transfer and Lijiang Ancient Town Tour

breakfast, lunch and dinner

Your personal guide and driver will transfer you directly from Dali to Lijiang. Enjoy lunch and start the tour in Lijiang. Lijiang Ancient Town is the best-preserved minority ancient city. Most of the people living there belong to the Naxi minority, some of whom still make a living by making handicrafts of silver, leather, textiles, and some local snacks. Enjoy the quaint city scenery and see plenty of handicrafts in a distinctive style only found in this area of China. You can climb up to Lion Hill to have a bird's-eye view of the whole town.

Then pay a visit to the Black Dragon Pool Park, where the view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is one of the most famous postcard-perfect sceneries in southwest China. Stay overnight in Lijiang Ancient Town.

Good to know:

Lijiang Ancient Town attracts more tourists than the Forbidden City in Beijing during peak season. Here are some tips to escape the hordes of tourists:
1. Stay overnight in Lijiang Ancient Town and start early: 80% of the tourists will be in 20% of the places. Get up early and find the best spots with the help of your guide.
2. Stay overnight in Shuhe Ancient Town: 20-minutes away from Lijiang by car, Shuhe ancient town is less touristic and quieter.

Hotel options:
Ivy Garden Resort Hotel
InterContinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort

Have a bird's eye view of the Lijiang Ancient Town Have a bird's eye view of the Lijiang Ancient Town

Day 5Baisha Murals, Naxi Shaman's Family Visit and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Tour

breakfast and lunch

The Baisha Murals in Baisha Village were painted hundreds of years ago, and the paintings took about 300 years to complete. By appreciating these unique murals, you will learn about the cultures of central China, the Naxi Minority, and Tibet, as well as the stories of Tibetan Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.

You will understand more about the mysterious Naxi culture by visiting a shaman's house in the village. Learn some Naxi characters and enjoy a piece of old Naxi music. You will be impressed by the local people's passion for their culture and homeland.

Have a walk in Baisha village Have a walk in Baisha village
Visit a shaman of the Naxi nationality Visit a shaman of the Naxi nationality

Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant run by a local Naxi family. You will also have a chance to learn making Naxi pancakes (Naxi baba) for the main dish of your lunch.

The Spruce Meadow is a vast meadow at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, with an altitude of 3,240 meters. Besides appreciating the elegant natural landscapes and view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, you will unlock the romantic legends with the help of your guide. If you are interested in photography, you will find it a perfect destination. After the tour, transfer back to Lijiang for another peaceful night.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Day 6Lijiang Departure

Your guide and driver will escort you back to Lijiang Airport to catch your flight and end this colorful tour.

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. 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.

3. Hotel

Hotels with a convenient location, regional features and good reviews are recommended in the itinerary. If you prefer other hotel options (luxury hotels, boutique hotels or economical choices) 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. Here are some alternatives for your reference:

From USD1,039 p/p

based on 2 persons and 5-star hotel

Service Includes
  • 1-1 consultancy from an experienced travel expert
  • Private air-conditioned business car with big windows and ample space
  • English speaking local guide
  • Activities, hotels, and meals listed in the itinerary
  • 24/7 helpline for while you are traveling
INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TRIP