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12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

Singapore, Singapore
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12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

Hi there,

I'll be in KunMing from 27 May to 8 Jun 13 (12 days). I'm into trekking, hiking and nature stuff for this trip.

(1) I'm wondering if it's too ambitious to want to cover KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge and Shangri-La all within these 12 days?

(2) If it's not, I wonder if anyone has any itinerary to recommend?

(3) Would appreciate an estimate of the costs required for the itinerary proposed.

:) Thank you!

Singapore, Singapore
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1. Re: 12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

Also, I'll be travelling alone...

Chengdu, China
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2. Re: 12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

It is up to you how much to spend for a holiday.For tight budget,you may choose to stay in hostels,simple food,catch train or public bus. Should you have a loose budget,you will be able to totally upgrade all those by staying in luxury resort,eating in boutique restaurants,travelling by flight,ect.

But to my experience,you will at least spend CNY 3000 for 12 days travel around Yunnan.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: 12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

It is good enough for 12 full days on these places.

Here is a framework for your itinerary;

5/27: Kumming- Lijiang by night train, leaves at 20:53/21:58/22:27 and arriving at 06:35/07:13/07:39 respectively.

5/28: Lijiang

5/29: Lijiang

5/30: Lijiang- TLG

5/31: TLG

6/01: TLG- Shangri La

6/02: Shangri La

6/03: Shangri La

6/04: Shangri La

6/05: Shangri La- Kumming, leaves at 08:30 and arrives at 19:50 (Kumming Xi/West bus station, 2012.10 info)

6/06: Kumming

6/07: Kumming

6/08: Kumming

For the budget, assuming stay at Youth Hostels Association’s (YHA) dorm room and by bus. I breakdown into 6 categories;

1. Inter-city traffic: totally RMB444.

1.1 Kumming- Lijiang by night train: RMB147,

1.2 Lijiang- TLG by bus: RMB25,

1.3 TLG- Shangri La by bus: RMB35,

1.4 Shangri La- Kumming by express coach: RMB237 (2012.10 price).

2. Lodging: totally RMB495

2.1 @RMB45 x 11nights= RMB495. For details, please surf www.yhachina.com

3. Intra-city traffic: totally RMB120

3.1 Average RMB10/day x 12 days

3.1.A Kumming bus fee: RMB1~2/journey.

3.1.B Shangri La bus fee: RMB1/journey.

4. Meals: totally RMB975

4.1 Average RMB75/day (my 2012.10~11 fiscal report) x 13days.

5. Scenic point’s admission fee: RMB100 x n

5.1 Take average each one= RMB100, e.g.;

5.1.A: Lijiang= @RMB80 (mandatory)

5.1.B: Stone Forest= @RMB175

5.1.C: Golden Palace= RMB10

5.1.D: Bamboo Temple= @RMB6

6. Excursion: unknown and depends on your option.

Beijing, China
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4. Re: 12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

Entry fees are a big cost. In addition to above around Kunming as listed above:


Old Town Preservation Fee, RMB 80

Mu Family Residence in Old Lijiang, RMB 60

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Park, RMB 105

JDSM Shuttle bus + Cable Car to one of the mountains = RMB 20 + RMB 80-180 dep on which mountain.

Baisha Murals, RMB 30

Tiger Leaping Gorge, RMB 65 (assumes you will hike not go to the bus scenic lookout)


Songzanlin Monastery, RMB 85

Pudacuo Ntl Park, RMB 190

Etc, etc. These fees are not incidental and start to add up quickly, and are not avoidable if you want to see something. Budget accordingly.

Edited: 21 February 2013, 02:38
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5. Re: 12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

Hi , i am from Lijiang , accordin to your planning , i arrange this itinerary for you , hope it is useful for you .

Day 1 :one day trip around Kunming city ---Stone Forest and Jiouxia

After breakfast , drive about 2 hours to Stone Forest , visit there about 2 hours , then keep driving about 1 hour to Jiouxia , visit the nice waterfall there , then drive back to Kunming ,then fly to Lijiang , overngight in Lijiang .

Day 2: one day trip to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain , Baisha village .

after breakfast , drive 45 minutes to Gaihaizi , from there transfer the bus Yak Meadow , catch the cable to Yak Meadow , after there , go to visit the Blun Moon Pool ---a very nice pool at the foot of Snow Mountain , and then if you like , you may go to enjoy the Impresion Show---a nice tranditional minorty perfermance , then drive 25 minutes to Baisha village , go to visit the Baisha Mural or call on the Doctor Ho ---- a 87 yeas old Herblist . at last , drive back to Hotel .

Day 3 : one day ecotourism to Lashi Lake ,Shuhe and Black Dragon Pool Park

after breakfast , drive about 30 minutes to Lashi Lake , ride the bicycles or local horses around the village and forest, canoeing with local fisherman in the lake, then drive 20 minutes to a Naxi village to have lunch , in a tranditional Naxi family , after there go to visit a Buddhist temple by the side the of the Lake , then drive about 30 minutes to Shuhe , have a walking there for 1--2 hours , the go to visit the Black Dragon Pool Park , walking back to Lijiang Old town .

Day 4 : one day trip to Shigu and hiking the Tiger Leaping Gorge

After breakfast , drive about 40 minutes to Shigu old town , view the First Bend of Yangtzi River , then keep driving about 1 hour to Tiger Leaping Gorge , trekking there about 3---5 hours in the Middle gorge,overnight in the Gorge ( Tina's )

Day 5 : one day trip to the Shangrila ( Songzailin Temple + Shangrila Ancietn Town )After breakfast , drive about 2.5 hours to Shangrial , then go to visit the Songzailin Temple ----the biggest buddhist temple in Yunnan , then drive about 10 minutest Ancient Town , have a walking there .

D6: one day trip to Pudaocuo National Park + Tibetan Village

Drive about 40 minutes to Pudaocuo National Park , walking 3---4 hours in the Park along the nice Lakes and forests , then drive to Napa Lake with tibetan village , go to visit traditional tibetan family , overngith shangirla .

Day 7 : one day trip to Shaxi and Shibaoshan mountain

after breakfast , drive 4 hours to Shibaoshan mountain -----a natural botanical garden with forest and Buddhist temple and grottoes , trekking and stay there for about 2 hours , if you like , you can see the many monkeys there , from mountain top trekking about 1 hour to Shaxi old town , have a walking in the Shaxi Old Town , overnight in Shaxi old town .

Day 8: Shaxi ---Dali

After breakfast , drive about 1.5 hours to Dali , visit the Three Pogodas Temple , Erhai Lake and Xinzhou Bai old town , overnight Dali old city .

Day 9 : one day tirp to Wenshan old town and Wenbaoshai mountain .

Drive about 1 hour to Wenshan , visit the Wenshan Yi old town , then keep driving about 20 minutes to Wenbaoshai Mountian , trekking there about 1 hour, then drive back to Dali , catch the night train to Dali or fly to Kunming , nice trip is over

How about this trip , i hope you like it .

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6. Re: 12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

Hi, I am interested in your opinion. I will be traveling with my parents (who are in their 70's) and my two kids (age 12 and 14) to Yunnan in July. We are somewhat flexible with time. Do you think we can do a nice day trip to Leaping Tiger Gorge? Or is it too difficult for older people? Do you think it's better to stay in Shuhe or Lijiang? How many days do you think we should stay in the Lijiang area?

I am thinking of visiting Shaxi after that. Is it easy to get there? Is it worth staying there a few days?

After Shaxi and Lijiang, should we bother going to Dali? We eventually want to get to Guilin, and I guess we would either fly from Lijiang or Kunming, or take a train from Kunming. I understand there is now train service between Lijiang, Dali, and Kunming.


Edited: 05 June 2013, 17:34
Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: 12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

My husband and I visited Yunnan in November 2011. I wrote a trip report if you would like to check it out. We visited Dali and Shangrila from Lijiang and also spent our final night in Lijiang before flying home. We stayed in three different inns in Lijiang and Blossom Hill Inn Joyland was by far our favourite.

July will be a better time of year to visit Shangrila than November. Our driver stopped at Tiger Leaping Gorge so that we could have a short walk. Unfortunately I had caught a bad cold so we only went on to the viewing platform. There are quite a few steps down to the walking tracks. It will depend on your parents fitness as to whether they would be capable of trekking. It is not necessary to do the entire hike.

I would suggest you go to Shangrila and stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge on the way otherwise it's a long drive for just a short stop at the Gorge. Your children will enjoy Shangrila.

Personally I love Lijiang and would definitely recommend that you stay there rather than Shuhe. You can easily visit Shuhe and Baisha villages from Lijiang. We stayed 2 nights at the Linden Centre on the outskirts of the traditional village of Xizhou. The Linden Centre is a taxi ride from Dali and is run by an American couple. It is frequented by western tourists and they provide guided walks and activities like calligraphy. It is a good place to stay with children but although we enjoyed our stay it felt like being part of a small tour group. To take advantage of the experience the Linden Centre offers I think you would need to stay there for at least 3 nights.

Dali is a "living" town and gives a more raw perspective of life in Yunnan. We had intended staying overnight in Shaxi before returning to Lijiang but there was a mix-up with our booking at the Dragonfly Inn (now called Old Theatre Inn). Shaxi is a bit out of the way so takes extra travelling time.

We loved Yunnan, you will have a wonderful time there it is quite different to other parts of China.

Beijing, China
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8. Re: 12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

#6, I'm not going to sugarcoat it: July is normally an unfortunate time to be visiting not only Shangri La but this entire area, definitely worse than November (per poster above). In November you only have to deal with cold and things are rather brown, but that is infinitely preferable to having to deal with rain, particularly since so much in Yunnan is done in the great outdoors. July is the rainiest month of the year and it may be heavy enough and continuous enough to disrupt your daily plans. Or you could get very lucky and just encounter a shower or two here and there.

However, since this is a done deal, you have no choice but to work with it, but try to keep some flexibility and every day keep up to date with the weather forecast for the next several days. Chinese forecasts are normally pretty accurate. Be prepared to reprioritize and reshuffle activities if a decent day is forecast, and put mission-critical outdoor stuff on that day. For instance, you can explore Lijiang Old City even if it's raining out, or see the Dongba Museum. But Jade Dragon Snow Mountain would be an expensive disaster to try in serious rain. As for the TLG trip, hiking on either upper trail or from road down to river is appropriate only for very fit 70 year olds without major health issues. (In the rain, Gorge hiking is appropriate for nobody since it's too slippery and dangerous.) However, it certain is doable to view the Gorge from the lookout areas that aren't that far from Qiaotou. There are some on both sides of the river and they are accessible by vehicle rain or shine. You get the flavor of the Gorge though not the full range of scenic views that you get from hiking, but it won't take much time and can be slotted in on the travel day from Lijiang to Shangri-la.

I wouldn't commit to Shaxi until you have a better idea of the weather, which won't happen until you get to Yunnan. It's a place that you'd want to have some decent weather to make it worthwhile. Shaxi is only "easy" to get to by private van/driver, but it will take time. It is doable by public transport (bus) but takes a transport switch in Jianchuan. Including it or not, depends on the overall time you have for this trip, but I wouldn't plan for more than an afternoon, overnight, and maybe most of another day, including Shibaoshan. I think Dali is a good place for the family so I'd keep it in, maybe on the way back from either Lijiang or Shaxi and before returning to Kunming.

9. Re: 12 days for KunMing, Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge & ShangriL

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