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15-Day Shanghai and Yunnan Tour

Classic Shanghai to Yunnan Tour

In this 15-Day tour, you will venture into the tropical paradise of Xishuangbanna and Puer. Explore the stunning UNESCO-listed rice terraces of Yuanyang and the ancient town of Jianshui. Immerse yourself in the cultural richness of Kunming, visit the picturesque city of Dali, and discover the enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang.

The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Send us details of your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.

Tour 'Wow' Points

Embark on an Adventure to the Untamed Wild Elephant Valley

Wild Elephant Valley

Discover the Captivating Yuanyang Terrace Field in Southern Yunnan Province

Yuanyang Terrace Field

Embark on a Relaxing Journey Along the Scenic Erhai Lake

Erhai Lake

Explore the Well-preserved Lijiang Ancient Town

Lijiang Ancient Town

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Trip Advisor certificate of 2023 Tour Review

Itinerary Quick Look

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

DAY 1 Shanghai Arrival

Your private guide will be ready to meet and greet you at the arrival hall in Shanghai. A comfortable private car with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel. Your guide will help you to check-in.The remaining time in Shanghai is at your disposal.

DAY 2Shanghai to Xishuangbanna| The Tropical Botanical Garden at Menglun

Tropical Botanical Garden at Menglun: Immerse yourself in the captivating Tropical Botanical Garden, a renowned plant research station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Discover an expansive land area, abundant with tropical plants and medicinal herbs. The garden's unique location, surrounded by a river, provides a sanctuary for plants and ensures their protection. Experience the rich biodiversity, indulge in local cuisine, and enjoy the tranquil surroundings of this remarkable destination.

DAY 3 Xishuangbanna to Puer| The Tea Expo Park and Tea Plantation

Tea Expo Park and Tea Plantation: Discover the enchanting Tea Expo Park, nestled within vast eco-tea gardens surrounded by lush green mountains and hills. This park stands out amongst the many tea plantations in the region, offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Yunnan's renowned Pu'er Tea. Explore the tea's origins, cultivation, harvesting, processing, and special packaging, delving into its rich history and culture. The experience culminates in a memorable tea tasting ceremony, where you can savor the flavors of this remarkable beverage.

Wild Elephant Valley: Embark on an adventure to the untamed Wild Elephant Valley, situated at the boundary of the east and west zones of the natural preservation area. Located approximately 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Jinghong City and 115 kilometers (70 miles) south of Simao City, this area is renowned for its tropical scenery and the possibility of encountering wild elephants. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for these majestic creatures.

DAY 4 Puer to Yuanyang | The Yuanyang Terrace Field

Yuanyang Terrace Field: Discover the captivating Yuanyang Terrace Field in southern Yunnan Province, a UNESCO World Heritage Site candidate. Marvel at the engineering marvel created by the Hani ethnic group over 2,000 years ago. Capture breathtaking views from Duoyishu Village's scenic mountain terraces and Tiger Mouth Pass. Immerse yourself in the local culture at Qingkou Hani Ethnic Village. Visit during February and March to witness the terraces reflecting sunlight in vibrant colors or come in September to see the golden-hued mountains when the rice is ripe. Be prepared for varying weather and enjoy exploring the vibrant local markets. Experience the unparalleled beauty and rich heritage of Yuanyang Terrace Field on this memorable itinerary for US travelers.

DAY 5 Yuanyang to Jianshui | The Jianshui Old Town

Local Market: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the local market in Yuanyang, where people from various minority groups gather to buy and sell a diverse range of products. These lively bazaars, held weekly, provide a unique opportunity to experience the everyday life and customs of the local people. Explore the market, interact with the friendly vendors, and discover the treasures and flavors of this bustling gathering.

Jianshui Old Town: Step into history as you visit Jianshui Old Town, featuring a rich heritage dating back to the Tang Dynasty when it was initially built with earth. Later, it was expanded into a magnificent brick town during the Ming Dynasty. Though it endured wars and earthquakes, the East Gate tower (Chaoyang Lou) still proudly stands after 600 years. Explore the town's architectural wonders and feel the echoes of its past as you wander through its ancient streets.

Zhu Family Garden: Discover the captivating Zhu Family Garden, located on Jianxin Street. This private garden, spanning 20,000 square meters, was meticulously built during the late Qing Dynasty and is a shining example of local residential architecture. With its beautifully planned yards, gardens, well, and intricately furnished rooms and halls, the Zhu Family Garden offers a glimpse into a bygone era and showcases the distinctive features of the region.

Jianshui Confucian Temple: Delve into the rich cultural heritage of Jianshui as you visit the magnificent Jianshui Confucian Temple. Standing for over 700 years, this temple is one of China's largest Confucian temples, built in commemoration of the renowned Chinese philosopher, Confucius. Experience the grandeur of this historic site and witness the solemn ceremonies held twice a year during Chinese New Year and on September 28, Confucius' birthday.

DAY 6 Jianshui to Kunming | The Ancient Stone Forest

Ancient Stone Forest (Naigu Shilin): Located just 13 kilometers north of Shilin, also known as the Mozhai Stone Forest, the Ancient Stone Forest (Naigu Shilin) holds a unique charm. In the local Yi language, 'Naigu' translates to 'ancient' and 'black'. Spanning over 5,000 mu (around 824 acres), this site features a newly developed 6-kilometer-long travel route. Contrasting with Shilin's stone forests, the Ancient Stone Forest boasts distinct features and styles, offering a distinctive experience for visitors.

DAY 7 Kunming to Dali | The Ancient City of Dali

Ancient City of Dali: Explore the enchanting Ancient City of Dali, located at the foot of Cangshan Mountain and just 13 kilometers away from Xiaguan, Dali City. Built in 1382 AD during the 15th year of the Ming Dynasty's Hongwu period, this city holds a prominent place on China's list of Famous Historic and Cultural Cities. Inhabited by the Bai people, the city offers a glimpse into their simple and authentic way of life. Adorned with elegant gardens, traditional houses, and clear flowing springs, the Ancient City of Dali is a true gem waiting to be discovered.

Three Pagodas: Marvel at the iconic Three Pagodas, nestled between the majestic Cangshan Mountain and the sparkling Erhai Lake. These ancient pagodas, built over 1,000 years ago, stand tall and commanding. Housing precious Buddhist scripts and scriptures, they are not only architectural marvels but also vital spiritual landmarks. Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural significance of this remarkable site.

Explore the Er'hai West Shore by Horse Carriage: Embark on a relaxing and fascinating journey along the scenic west shore of Erhai Lake by horse carriage. Departing from Xizhou, this hour-long tour offers a unique vantage point to appreciate the beauty of the lake's surroundings. Each horse carriage can comfortably accommodate up to four people, providing a delightful and memorable experience.

DAY 8 Dali to Nuodeng| The Nuodeng Village

Nuodeng Village: Discover the charming Nuodeng Village located at the southern end of the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site. This cozy village, nestled along the beautiful winding bends of Bijiang River, holds historical significance as an early economic center of the Bai minority. Known for its abundant salt deposits during the Tang Dynasty, Nuodeng was a thriving commercial hub in Yunnan's west. Today, it preserves the famous Nuodeng Ham and offers stunning mountainous landscapes. Immerse yourself in the village's rich history and cultural heritage on this memorable itinerary for US travelers to China.

DAY 9 Nuodeng to Shaxi | Shaxi Ancient Town

Shaxi Ancient Town (including the Xingjiao Temple, Sideng Street, and Tea Horse Road Exhibition Hall): Immerse yourself in the captivating Shaxi Ancient Town, home to traditional Bai architecture and a rich history dating back to the Spring and Autumn period. As the last market town on the ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Trail, Shaxi still hosts a vibrant weekly market. Explore the Xingjiao Temple, Sideng Street, and the Tea Horse Road Exhibition Hall, all while breathing in the allure of this endangered yet captivating site. Discover the fascinating stories of trade and cultural exchange on this memorable itinerary for US travelers exploring China.

DAY 10 Shaxi to Lijiang | Jianchuan Ancient Town

Jianchuan Ancient Town: Step back in time as you explore the historic Jianchuan Ancient Town, a significant stop along the Tea Horse Road. This town is renowned for its vibrant Bai culture, with 92% of its residents belonging to the Bai ethnic group. Immerse yourself in the authentic ambiance of the Bai nationality's cultural center.

Discover the allure of ancient Bai-style residential houses, city gates, temples, and bridges that still remain intact. Each structure holds stories of the Bai people and their connections to the rich history of horse caravans along the Tea Horse Road.

DAY 11 Lijiang | The Shuhe Ancient Town

Shuhe Ancient Town: Explore the enchanting Shuhe Ancient Town, also known as Longquan Village, which holds the charm of a forgotten time. As one of the well-preserved towns along the ancient tea and horse route, it offers a glimpse into the rich history of trade and cultural exchange. Marvel at the peaceful surroundings and admire the intricate temple complex as you soak in the serene ambiance of this hidden gem.

Naxi Shaman Family Visit: Delve into the mysterious Naxi culture with a visit to a Naxi Shaman Family. The shaman, known as a Dongba, is revered as a wise master who played a pivotal role in creating the Naxi written language. Explore the Dongba script, learn about Naxi music, and gain insights into the deep connection between nature and humanity. Immerse yourself in the passion the Naxi people have for their lifestyle, homeland, and their profound love for their culture.

Baisha Murals at Baisha Village: Step into history as you marvel at the ancient Baisha Murals, which date back over a thousand years. Combining the cultural influences of the Han, Tibetan, and Naxi people, these murals depict the life stories of Tibetan Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Take a leisurely walk through Baisha Village, allowing you to absorb the local life and immerse yourself in the unique culture of the area.

DAY 12 Lijiang to Shanghai | Lijiang Ancient Town

Lijiang Ancient Town: Explore the well-preserved Lijiang Ancient Town, a city with a rich cultural history. Visit in the early morning for a less crowded experience, as the town comes alive with lights and crowds in the afternoon and evening.

Zhiyun Monastery: Discover the unique architectural design of Zhiyun Monastery, which combines influences from the Naxi, Han, and Bai cultures. Enjoy breathtaking views of Lashi Lake from the monastery, and experience the peaceful ambiance of this lesser-known lamasery.

Black Dragon Pool: Visit the enchanting Black Dragon Pool Park, known for its picturesque beauty. Take in the serene surroundings and marvel at the stunning Black Dragon Pool.

DAY 13 Shanghai| The Bund and Zhujiajiao Water Town

Experience the allure of The Bund, a historic embankment along the Huangpu River. Marvel at the well-preserved European-style buildings that line its promenade, offering a glimpse into Shanghai's trading past. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere that now defines The Bund, with its modern developments, chic restaurants, upscale shops, and lively bars. Be sure to visit in the afternoon or evening to witness the enchanting lights that illuminate the area.

Visit the impressive Shanghai World Financial Center, a soaring skyscraper that serves as a symbol of Shanghai's prosperity. Take in awe-inspiring views from its observation deck, the highest in the world, and explore the diverse offerings within the building, including hotels, apartments, restaurants, shopping malls, and offices.

Indulge in a Zhujiajiao Boat Ride, where you can peacefully glide along the water and admire the town's scenic highlights. Discover historical attractions such as the ancient pharmacy, Post Office, art galleries, temples, museums, and gardens during the 20-minute ride. Allow the intimate setting of the boat to provide a personal experience of this charming water town.

DAY 14 Shanghai| Yuyuan Garden and Shikumen

Explore the enchanting Yuyuan Garden, a meticulously designed private garden showcasing classic Chinese architecture. Immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance as you admire the rockeries, pavilions, ponds, and corridors. Don't miss the bustling marketplace surrounding the garden, offering a blend of culinary delights, handicrafts, and souvenirs.

Visit the revered Jade Buddha Temple, home to invaluable Buddha statues carved from precious white jade. Experience the vibrant atmosphere as worshippers and visitors gather, immersing yourself in the spiritual energy the temple offers.

Take a leisurely stroll through Shanghai's Old Street, where well-preserved traditional houses and narrow lanes transport you to the bygone era of the city. Engage with local life and explore the various shops and stalls, filled with antiques, crafts, and souvenirs, allowing you to discover unique treasures.

Experience the distinctive Shikumen style of housing and witness its evolution from residential neighborhoods to modern gathering places filled with bars, tea houses, and entertainment centers. Don't miss the opportunity to glimpse into the past at Wu Li Xiang, an exhibition that showcases the furnishings and essence of traditional Shanghainese homes.

DAY 15 Shanghai Departure

Our guide will help you transfer from your hotel to Shanghai Pudong Airport for departure with independentcar/van and guide.

Tour Price

FromUS3,750 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

Tour code: cht-cx-36

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