6-Day Kunming, Dali, and Lijiang Tour

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 most famous cities of Yunnan — Kunming, Dali, and Lijiang. Enjoy awesome scenery and the cultures that Chinese minority people have created. Understand their love of life, nature, and their homeland.(km-4)

Tour 'Wow' Points

Admire the Stone Forest and Dance in Stone Village

Explore the less-visited Stone Forest, and be amazed by its unique landscape. From natural to man-made wonders, see how the Yi people use local limestone to build their village. Learn to play the Yi "guitar" and have a happy dance.

Naigu Stone Forest
Dance of Yi people

Experience the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Bai Tie-Dye

Journey into the peaceful life of the Bai people in a village at the foot of the Cangshan mountains. See their pursuit of beauty in their old stages, house doors, headwear, and family tie-dyeing workshops. Discover the secrets of the dye, and dye your own handkerchief the traditional Bai tie-dye way.

plants for dyeing

Taste Home-Cooked Cuisine in a Bai Lady's Home

Sit in the traditional courtyard of a Bai lady's home. The hostess will warm your stomach and your heart with her home cooking. Sour and spicy fish, deep-fried pea cake, Bai-style roast cheese, and stir-fried organic vegetables will make you eat unstoppably. Also enjoy the amazing beverage that Bai people treat important guests to.

Bai cuisine
Bai lady making tea

Listen to a Naxi Shaman's Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Stories

Pilgrimage to the holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and stop at a quite Naxi village to visit a Shaman's home. Learn some mysterious Naxi characters, and enjoy a piece of Naxi music. Be impressed by the Naxi people's passion for their lifestyle, homeland, and love.

visit a shaman
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

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Since 1959 we've guided everyone ranging from US presidents, Australian Geographic and retired backpackers. Our goal is to create unique trips that take you off-the-beaten path, helping you discover China in a more authentic way. Our motto: "Discovery Your Way!"

Itinerary Quick Look

Here is a suggested itinerary. We are happy to customize a tour according to your interests.

DAY 1 Kunming | Arrival

Meet your private local guide in the arrival hall after walking out of the luggage claim area. Our guide will help you check-in and make sure everything at the hotel is satisfactory.

If you arrive during daytime, you can walk to Green Lake Park near the hotel, where you are likely to find local people in traditional dress dancing together. You are welcome to enjoy them.

DAY 2 Kunming to Dali | Stone Forest and Stone Village

Skipping the touristy part of the Stone Forest, you will visit the Naigu Stone Forest — the 'Ancient Black' Stone Forest. Climb to a high platform for a magnificent panoramic view and also take a little path threading the narrow space between the stones to witness the fantastic formations up close.

The Stone Forest area is the home of the Yi ethnic minority. Visit a unique Yi village built from the local limestone in the afternoon. Appreciate their usage of stones and their beautiful village. Try playing the Yi “guitar” and dance with them.

In the evening, transfer back to Kunming to catch a bullet train to Dali.

DAY 3 Dali | Ancient Town Life, Bai Village Visit, and Lakeside Biking

It is nicer to explore Dali Ancient Town in the early morning when there are not so many tourists. You will not only be impressed by the beautiful city gate and elegant buildings on the streets, but also feel the spirit of local life when you see people doing shopping in the food market and children walking to school.

Stroll out of the ancient town to discover an authentic Bai village at the foot of Cangshan — the 'Dark-Green Mountains'. Learn and experience the unique tie-dyeing of the Bai people and find the wind, the flowers, the snow, and the moon depicted on their Bai traditional dress. Enjoy the privilege of tasting home-cooked cuisine in a private Bai house.

Have a bike ride along Erhai Lake in the afternoon. Feel the wind, enjoy the flowery meadows and rice fields, and see the clouds floating above the majestic Cangshan mountians.

DAY 4 Dali to Lijiang | The Exquisite Kingdom of the Naxi

Pay a visit to Black Dragon Pool Park, where the view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is one of the most famous postcard-perfect sceneries in southwest China.

Then discover the best-preserved minority ancient town, Lijiang Ancient Town, which is a valued heritage site bequeathed by the governor of the Naxi. The exquisite architecture shows you the splendid culture of the Naxi ethnic minority. Climb up to Lion Hill to have a bird's-eye view of the whole town at sunset.

DAY 5 Lijiang | Snow Mountain — Protecting and Protected

Pilgrimage to holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the morning. The mountain massif is believed to guard and bless the Naxi, and so they in turn protect it.

Take a cable car to Spruce Meadow at an altitude of 3,240 meters (10,630 feet). Besides appreciating the awesome natural landscape and views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, you will unlock its romantic legends with the help of your guide.

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

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.

DAY 6 Lijiang Departure

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

Hotel Selection

—the Icing on the Cake

Boutique hotels are recommended to enrich your travel experience.

Banyan Tree Lijiang
the courtyard of the hotel
the wooden buildings of a hotel
FromCNY6,440/USD990 p/p Based on a private tour for 2 people. Price varies depending on program, travel date, number of people and chosen hotel

Price includes:

  • 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
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