Explore medieval China on a historical Yunnan tour. This mountainous region’s world-class relics will make an anthropologist out of you!

5 Days, 4 Nights     ASK US FOR PRICING

Delve into the mysteries of medieval China on a 5-day Yunnan tour!

You’ll visit famous sites like the Three Pagodas at Chongsheng Temple, explore the charming UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang and relax by Erhai Lake. Along the way, meet Bai, Yi and Naxi ethic groups and learn about their cultures and traditions.

Cycle around historic old towns, walk through cobbled streets, and summit mountains. This bespoke Yunnan tour is full of insight and charm, peppered with insider knowledge along the way.

You’ll start your tailored Yunnan tour in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province. A scenic drive will bring you to Dali, where you’ll gain unique insights into the culture and traditions of the “Bai” people.

Explore the charming, cobbled old town by bicycle, stopping by the Three Pagodas at Chongsheng Temple along the way.

Next, it’s on to Shaxi, a town famous for the Tea-Horse Road, an ancient trading route. Shaxi is a fascinating town boasting a fusion of different influences. If you’re there on a Friday, visit a produce market popular with Bai and Yi ethnic groups. Next you’ll go to “Stone Treasure Mountain,” a stunning area replete with ancient temples, caves and stone sculptures.

Your Yunannese adventure will continue in Lijiang, home to the Naxi people, then your custom Yunnan tour will end with impressive panoramic views on top of Jade Dragon Mountain.


“The wonders and mysteries of ancient Yunnan will be revealed to you throughout this tour. You’ll dive deep into culture and history and have unique insights along the way.”

K Lian, Backyard Travel China Specialist


Mingle with the Bai people and learn about their unique culture and traditions
Cycle on the shores of Yunnan’s “ocean,” Erhai Lake
Discover Tea-Horse Road, an ancient trading route
Visit Mu Palace, built in the same style as Beijing’s Forbidden City

Daily Itinerary


  • Daily Itinerary
  • Day 1: Kunming - Shuanglang

    Welcome to the first day of your bespoke Yunnan tour! Start by traveling from Kunming to Dali, home to the Bai minority. The Bai, who nowadays number less than 2 million, first settled around the Erhai Lake (“ear-shaped lake”) region 3,000 years go. Bai means “white” in Chinese and the traditional dress of the Bai is predominantly white. Their homes are also unique to this region and you will be able to see them while exploring the old town of Dali. The region, which dates back to 1000 BC, has played an integral role in Yunnan’s history.

    The famous Dali marble is of such high quality that in Chinese they simply refer to it as “Dali stone.” Dali stone is extracted from the quarries in Mount Cangshan with large quantities being exported to countries in South East Asia. If you’d like, we can stop at a marble factory en route to Shuanglang.

    In order to escape the growing tourist crowds in Dali, we will opt to stay in quieter Shuanglang on the western bank of Erhai Lake. The lake covers 250 km2 and is considered Yunnan’s “ocean.” Here, you can opt to stay overnight in the house of a famous local artist. The village has become a famous location for artists from Kunming, including choreographer Yang Liping who organizes the show “Dynamic Yunnan”.

    Next, explore Shuanglang by bicycle. Ride around the lakeshores and discover the daily life of Bai fishermen, viewing the stunning Cangshan Mountains in the distance.

    Here in the village, the pace of life has not changed much over the decades, enabling you to gain a unique insight into local culture. Local markets pass through the village, and with some luck you’ll be able to see the famous Shase market, which is held on the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th of each month.

    Overnight in Shuanglang.

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

    Shilin Stone Forest National Park
  • Day 2: Shuanglang - Dali - Shaxi

    You’ll start your Yunnan tour today by exploring Dali Old Town. You’ll see traditional Bai houses, which are particularly distinguishable and famous for their front porches adorned with beautifully carved arches.

    Next we will visit the Three Pagodas at Chongsheng Temple at the foot of the Changshan Mountains. Built in the ninth century, the Pagoda of a Thousand Awakenings is characterized by its square design. Unfortunately the three pagodas, which were part of a vast mosaic center, were almost completely ruined in an earthquake. Remaining temples were restored and now function as a museum, which you will have the chance to explore.

    Enjoy lunch en route to Shaxi, roughly a five-hour drive away.

    The town of Shaxi formerly served as a stop on the Tea-Horse Road that ran through the region, which plays an important part in the town’s history and heritage. Today, it still remains an important trade route between the remote areas of Xishuangbanna, Tibet and onto Nepal, Laos, Burma and India.

    Shaxi is a unique town mixing elements of a Western cowboy outpost, a backpacker’s oasis and a typical Chinese village. Ancient stables have been renovated into modern hotels and traditional wooden homes have been transformed into trendy cafes and restaurants.

    Overnight in Shaxi.

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

  • Day 3: Shaxi

    Spend this morning exploring the maze of paved avenues in the old town or venture to the surrounding countryside at your leisure. If you’d like, you can go on an excursion to visit the Three Terraced Pavilion and a nearby Buddhist Temple. Please discuss this option with your Travel Specialist.

    Every Friday in Shaxi is market day, which is popular with Bai and Yi ethnic groups who come from the mountains to exchange and sell food.

    After lunch, travel on to Shibaoshan, otherwise known as “Stone Treasure Mountain,” a collection of ancient temples, caves and stone sculptures. This is also home to the statue of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, and the Stone Treasure, which symbolizes female genitalia. Many women come from across the country to touch the rock to improve their chances of conceiving a child.

    You will also be able to soak in the spectacular views of the nearby villages and valleys. Beware of the resident monkeys who will try to steal snacks from passers-by. Spend the evening in Shaxi at your leisure.

    Overnight in Shaxi.

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

  • Day 4: Shaxi - Lijiang

    Start your Yunnan tour today by traveling to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang. Traditional redwood and brick houses with grey slate roofs, canals, cobble stone paths and stone bridges all contribute to this town’s charm. Here you will learn about the culture and traditions of the Naxi people, who fled from Tibet over 2,000 years ago.

    Lijiang is also known as the “Big Inkpot” due to the network of canals that flow through the village. Rise early and head up Lion Hill to enjoy your morning coffee while you soak in stunning views over the valley below.

    Continue on to Mu Palace, named after the Chinese warlord. The palace boasts a fusion of Ming and Qing architectures—the same styles used at the Forbidden City in Beijing.

    You’ll discover a local nearby market on the edge of the old town and get a flavor for “real” Lijing. See locals dressed in traditional outfits, selling teas, fruits and vegetables and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

    You’ll also get to see the Black Dragon Pond Park, which offers stunning panoramic views of the Jade Dragon Mountain. Travel back to the center of the old town and spend the evening at your leisure.

    (Please note: There is a lot of walking during this day, so please bring suitable footwear. There is also an option to stay in the quieter Baisha Village, 25 minutes outside of Lijiang. If you’re interested, please consult with your Travel Specialist.)

    Spend the night in Lijiang.

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Rapeseed-Field-Luoping,Yunnan-Chinavisit Yunnan in May, another best place to visit in asia this year - Backyard Travel
  • Day 5: Lijiang - Jade Dragon Mountain - Kunming

    Today you’ll head to the magnificent Jade Dragon Mountain. Satseto, as its known in the Naxi language, is named after the God of War in the Dongba religion. We’ll head to a lesser-known rural area called Yak Prairie, which has stunning views of the glacier.

    This marks the end of your custom Yunnan tour. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your onward travel arrangements.

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

    Yulong Xueshan in Lijiang

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

This Yunnan tour can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Talk to us about Your Holiday

Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.




Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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