Tour of Yunnan: 11 days with driver and guide in China
If you want to come on a trip to Yunnan from this blog we offer you an 11 days tour with driver and Spanish speaking guide. Discover the deepest and most authentic China. Located in the southwest of China, bordering Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, Yunnan is slowly becoming the favorite province of many foreigners living in China.
We will visit ancient Chinese cities that have managed to preserve their original old town, visit the highest river canyons in the world reaching 2000 meters in altitude, and meet different ethnic minorities in Yunnan province.
This Yunnan tour is similar to the other Yunnan tour we organized, but a little shorter for those travelers who do not have so much time. Here is a summary of the itinerary of our organized trip through Yunnan that summarizes our motto of seeing amazing places but also living unique experiences.
Itinerary through Yunnan – Map with all the places that we are going to visit
Trip to Yunnan – 14 day itinerary through Yunnan (China)
Day 1: Kunming, the city of spring
Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, is known as “The Spring City” for its good climate. It is located 1,800 meters above sea level.
We will visit the sights of the city center and the Green Lake, a beautiful lake where locals gather to perform traditional Yunnan dances. Overnight in Kunming.
Day 2 & 3: Yuanyang rice terraces
325 km away are the Yuanyang Rice Terraces, one of the best rice fields in all of China. It is almost unthinkable to travel to Yunnan and not visit the Yuanyang rice fields.
We will enjoy the famous rice terraces of Bada, Duoyishu and Laohuzui and make a route through lesser-known but equally spectacular villages.
Day 4: Jianshui and Double Dragon Bridge
From Yuanyang terraces we will drive to Jianshui, which is 110Km to the north.
On the way, we will stop to see the Double Dragon Bridge (Shuang Long Qiao) built during the Qing Dynasty in the 19th century and visit TuanShan, a well-preserved ancient village 13Km from Jianshui.
We will also enjoy the old part of Jianshui and the main wall similar to what one can find in the Forbidden City of Beijing. We will stay in Jianshui.
Day 5 & 6: Dali town and Erhai Lake
During the trip from Kunming to Dali we will visit a few villages and places of interest along the way. Dali is one of the most famous cities in Yunnan for its beautiful old town. On the first day, we will visit the old part which is surrounded by walls and has managed to preserve the traditional architecture of the Bai ethnic minority.
On the second day, we will tour Erhai Lake, one of the largest lakes in China. We will stop at different fishing villages and visit the Three Pagodas of Dali. Both days we will stay in the old part of Dali.
Day 7: Dali – Shibaoshan Mountain – Shaxi
Shaxi, just two hours from Dali (150 km), is a quiet village historically known as a tea and horse trading center. We will visit Shibao Mountain, home to some of China’s most important stone carvings.
Shaxi, still far from tourism, is perfect for immersing yourself in the China of dynasties and emperors. Overnight in the old town of Shaxi.
Day 8: Shaxi – Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangrila
In our way to Shangrila, we will visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the highest river canyons in the world where we can enjoy the spectacular views of the Yangtze River. Then we will continue to Shangrila.
At 3300m above sea level, Shangrila is the capital of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Most of the inhabitants are ethnic Tibetans and the architecture of the houses and temples are Tibetan style. In Shangrila we will visit the old part and its surroundings, full of Tibetan temples and abundant nature. 220km from Shaxi. Accommodation in the old part of Shangrila.
Day 9 & 10: Lijiang Old Town
Lijiang: Possibly the most charming village in Yunnan but also the most touristy. Stone bridges, streams, cobblestone streets and houses of traditional Chinese architecture make it still worth a visit.
Day 13: Leave China
Departure from China from Lijiang Airport. It is also possible to return to Kunming to take a flight from there.
Services included in the trip to Yunnan
To make your trip around Yunnan easier, the price of the route we offer is almost all included:
- 10 days in 3-4 star hotels.
- Breakfast at the hotels.
- Private Spanish-speaking guide for the entire trip.
- Car with private driver for the whole trip.
- Tickets to temples and parks.
- Travel insurance. (5% discount on your Mondo travel insurance)
- Processing the tourist visa for China (in the Chinese Embassy of your country they should tell how to apply for tourist visa). News! No visa fee is required for a 15-day stay! For citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia, from December 2023 to November 30, 2024, ordinary passport holders of these countries will be able to do business or travel to China without a visa for up to 15 days.
Services not included in the trip to Yunnan
- Lunches and dinners (We have not included it to give more flexibility to the travelers to choose want they want day by day. It’s difficult to spend more than 10-20 euros a day per person. If you want, we can include the food in the total price.)
- Airline ticket. We can advise dates, combinations and flights, but it is recommended that the payment of the airline ticket be made personally and individually.
Trip to Yunnan: Travel as a couple, with friends or in a group
You can choose to travel to Yunnan as a couple, with friends or in an organized group. If you prefer to travel as a couple or with friends in private, we can organize a trip to Yunnan during any time of the year. However, if you choose to travel in an organized group, we have divided the travel groups into fortnights. The groups are minimum of 2 people and maximum of 10.
- First half of July
- Second half of July
- First half of August
- Second half of August
- First half of September
Frequently asked questions about our 11-day route to Yunnan
- We are currently working closely with an agency in China. They are in charge of managing the legal formalities, travel insurance, invoicing, hotel reservations and arranging transportation and driver for us.
- My responsibility and my job is to plan the route, organize the groups, coordinate with the agency the requirements and needs of each group, be your guide during the trip and make sure that everything goes as agreed.
- In case I cannot be your guide due to previous commitments or other reasons, you will be accompanied by another Spanish-speaking guide, resident in Yunnan and with experience.
- From Madrid to Kunming or from Barcelona to Kunming, a return flight ticket usually costs between 800 – 1200 euros.
- Most hostels are 3-4 starts. We have looked for accommodation that combine a modern style with the traditional style of each place we are going. Therefore, we will be able to enjoy the essence of each place and, at the same time, have all the amenities at hand. You can contact us so that we can send an example of the list of our hotels.
- Breakfast is included at all hotels. It can be free buffet or a la carte choice. In almost all hotels you can choose between western or eastern breakfast.
- The best time to visit a water- filled rice terraces in Yunnan is between December and February. In Yunnan, the weather is usually good throughout most of the year, but if you come in the summer, during the rainy season, it is possible that rains.
- If this route is not suitable for you, we can also design/organize a more personalize route for you.
Price of the 11 day trip to Yunnan
The price of the trip varies according to the people who come on the trip. The more people who sign up, the cheaper it is:
- 1-3 Persons: 2200 euros per person + Airline ticket
- 4-6 Persons: 1900 euros per person + Airline ticket
- 7-10 Persons: 1975 euros per person + Airline ticket
Prices are approximate and may vary according to the requirements of each group and the season in which they travel. Especially in August, which is the high season, prices may increase.
- The maximum altitude of the area involved in the activity is 1892. Although no physically strenuous activities will be done, the altitude may cause dizziness, headache, higher than normal fatigue, lack of appetite.
- During winter, the lowest (night) temperature in the area of the activity is around 0 degrees. Please, wear warm clothes.
- When entering the minority areas, please obey the customs of ethnic minorities; respect all local customs and cultures.
- Considering the safety of this activity, the travel agency and the tour guide will not be legally or financially responsible for all consequences caused by accidents and injuries due to personal factors and natural factors during the activity.
- Strictly protect the environment and remove the garbage. It is prohibited to place commemorative signs and other items in the area of the activity. Wild animals and plants will be protected and will not be killed or destroyed.
- Due to the environment, conditions, if there is any dissatisfaction with food, housing, transportation, please understand that this is an adventure trip.
- Take good care of public property. If there is any damage caused by you, you will compensate according to the degree of damage.
- The tour leader has the right to adjust the content and schedule of the activity, according to the progress of the activity, weather conditions and other factors.
More information or contact
Don´t hesitate to have a look at the blog for information on each city. Don’t hesitate to have a look at the blog for information on each city. Also, you can check out my post about The 8 Best Places to Visit if you are coming from Yunnan.
You may also be interested in our other 14 days Route Organized by the most Outstanding Places in Yunnan. Take a look at the two itineraries to see which one you like best. If you decide to go on a trip to China and want to do a route around Yunnan, contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Attention: The restrictions for Covid-19 in China are over, so we are back to organizing routes through Yunnan. News! During the next year, no visa fee will be required for a 15-day stay in China. For citizens of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia, from December 2023 to November 30, 2024, ordinary passport holders from these countries will be able to do business or travel to China without a visa for up to 15 days. Take advantage of the opportunity!
Destiny does not make home visits.Carlos Ruiz Zafón