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Colorful Yunnan - 13 Days, 12 Nights

Beijing - Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Shangri-La - Shanghai

Get off the beaten path with this tour through China’s Yunnan Province, home not only to picturesque landscape and pleasant climate, but also rich ethnic folk culture. Drive through exquisite scenery in this land built of high plateaus and looming mountains rising over 2000 meters above sea level.  Wander through minority villages and witness an old way of life. See some of China’s most extraordinary geographic sights and begin and end your journey in the comfort of China’s most modern and vibrant cities: Beijing and Shanghai.

Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, dropoffs, and daily excursions. 
Choose Your Own Dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.
Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you and let you know the change in costs.
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Trip Highlights

  • Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City
  • The Great Wall
  • China’s rural villages
  • A traditional Beijing duck dinner
  • A chair lift ride for panoramic views of China’s snow-clad mountains


Day 1:  Arrive Beijing
Upon arrival in Beijing you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy free time to rest or explore the city on your own. Overnight in Beijing.

Day 2:  Beijing
Your tour of the capital city begins with historical Tiananmen Square. From the square, walk through the gates to explore the endless halls and palaces of the Forbidden City, which took 15 years (1405-1420) for 100,000 artisans and laborers to construct. In the afternoon visit the Summer Palace – the summer resort of China’s monarchs during the Qing Dynasty. Overnight in Beijing. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 3:  Beijing
After breakfast, visit the Great Wall of China, the only man-made construction visible from outer space. In the afternoon, visit the 7km long Sacred Way consisting of stone carvings of animals and officials and one of the Ming Tombs. Enjoy a Beijing duck dinner in the evening. Overnight in Beijing. (All meals)
Day 4:  Beijing to Kunming
Spend the morning exploring China’s largest altar—the Temple of Heaven. If time permits, visit the Hongqiao Market or Silk Alley for shopping. Take an afternoon flight to Kunming where you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel.  Spend the rest of the day resting or exploring on your own. Overnight in Kunming. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 5:  Kunming

Enjoy a full day excursion to the Stone Forest, a rare geological phenomenon composed of gray limestone pillars split by rain water and eroded to their present fanciful forms. Overnight in Kunming. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 6:  Kunming to Dali
Take an early morning flight to Dali – the home of the minority Bai people. Upon arrival you will be met and begin a full day tour including a cruise on the Erhai Lake, the 1000-year-old Three Pagodas at Chongsheng Temple, and the old city of Dali. Overnight in Dali. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7:  Dali to Lijiang

After breakfast drive to Lijiang stopping to visit the morning market in Xizhou and take in the typical architecture of the Bai. Upon arrival, visit the old city of Lijiang, said to be a “living museum,” and wander through the Black Dragon Pool Park – the best known and most frequently visited park in Lijiang. Overnight in Lijiang. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 8:  Lijiang
Enjoy a full day excursion to  Yak Meadow, a mountain surrounded plateau. Ride a chair-lift for a panoramic view of the snow-clad mountains. In the afternoon, visit the Baisha Fresco, dating back to the Ming Dynasty and stop to explore Yuhu Village. In the evening relax to a Naxi Classical Music Show. Overnight in Lijiang. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 9:  Lijiang to Shangri-La
After breakfast, embark on a 5 hour drive to Shangri-La, a peaceful and quiet land situated at an altitude of 3200m.  Get a glimpse of China’s diverse landscape as you pass by forest reserves alongside the extreme upper reaches of the Yangtze River. Stop along the way to admire the scenic First Bend of the Yangtze River and Tiger Leaping Gorge. Overnight in Shangri-La. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 10:  Shangri-La
Begin your morning with a visit to the Songzanlin Monastery, nicknamed the Lesser Potala Palace. Holding about 700 monks and one living Buddha, the monastery is a must see in this region. In the afternoon visit the Napa Lake Reserve and take in beautiful vistas of blossoming flowers and lush grassland dotted with sheep and cattle.  Visit a local Tibetan family and explore a local market. Overnight in Shangri-La. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 11:  Shangri-La to Kunming to Shanghai
Take a morning flight back to Kunming, stopping over to stretch your legs at the West Hills before continuing onward to Shanghai. Overnight in Shanghai. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 12:  Shanghai  
Begin your tour of Shanghai with the Bund—a walkway along the river offering beautiful views of the river and the 19th Century European-Style buildings that once housed the colonial powers. In the afternoon visit the Shanghai Museum for an incredible collection of ancient Chinese art.  Continue on to the Jade Buddha Temple and the Yu Garden and Bazaar. In the evening enjoy an amazing contortion and acrobatic show. Overnight in Shanghai. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day13:  Departure         
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy free time for last-minute shopping before being transferred to the Pudong Airport for your onward journey. (Breakfast)

Inclusions and Exclusions

Our Package Rates Include

  • Private airport transfers
  • Daily accommodation with breakfast
  • Private vehicle transportation for all excursions per itinerary
  • Meals as listed in above itinerary
  • Services of a local, English-speaking guide for all visits and excursions
  • All tours and activities mentioned in the itinerary, including entrance fees
  • Naxi Classic Music Show in Lijiang and Acrobatic show in Shanghai
  • Internal flights for Beijing to Kunming, Kunming to Dali and Shangri-La to Kunming and Kunming to Shanghai including tax

Rates Do Not Include

  • International airfare
  • China visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for drivers and guides
  • Expenses of a personal nature

To Book This Tour

Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you are interested in this tour. To prepare a proposal, we'll ask questions about how many people are traveling, your preferred travel dates, standard and types of accommodation, and any special interests that we may be able to accommodate.

Once we have finalized a customized price quote for you, your agent will inform you a per-person non-refundable deposit to initiate reservations (typically 20% of tour cost). Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.

If your reservation is made less than 75 days prior to departure, the non-refundable deposit will allow us to initiate reservations. Full payment will be due immediately upon confirmation of all hotels and transportation services. If the services quoted cannot be confirmed, alternate accommodation or transportation will be arranged and the price will be adjusted accordingly.

Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 2 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation containing your itinerary and detailed information on the logistics of your trip.
Please review our complete terms and conditions:
Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellation/Refund Policies

- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.
- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.
- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.
- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.
- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.
- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.

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