Yunnan Itinerary

Yunnan Travel Itinerary: from 5, 7, 8, 10 to 14 Days, Plan Your Yunnan Trip Route

Grace Wang
1475 Words/6 Minutes, By Grace Wang, Updated May 06, 2024

How many days would be appropriate for a typical Yunnan itinerary?

The answer is that it typically takes 6-8 days for one trip, and it's recommended to go in one direction each time. For example, you could visit the northwest part of Yunnan, including Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La; or the southern part, such as Kunming, Jianshui, Yuanyang, and Xishuangbanna; or the western part, like Kunming, Dali, Tengchong, and Nujiang.

Northwestern Part of Yunnan: the Most Popular Destinations

More than 90% of travelers visiting Yunnan for the first time choose the northwestern part of Yunnan. Here, there are classic travel routes including Lijiang Ancient Town, Shuhe Ancient Town, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Naxi culture, Dukezong Ancient Town, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Songzanlin Monastery, Meili Snow Mountain in Deqin County, Feilai Temple, Bara Gongba, and so on.

The best time to travel to the northwestern part of Yunnan is in spring and autumn. In spring, the weather warms up, and beautiful wildflowers can be seen everywhere; autumn is cool and refreshing, perfect for traveling. June to August is the rainy season in Yunnan, so travelers should bring rain gear when going out. View Yunnan Weather, the Bet Time to Visit »

Highlights of the Northwestern Part of Yunnan

5 Days Lijiang and Shangri La

Day 1, Arrival Lijiang

Day 2, Lijiang: Lijiang Ancient Town, Black Dragon Pool Park, Yak Meadow on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (including the cable car up/down and echo-friendly car)

Day 3, Lijiang to Shangri-La (170km, 2 hours) , Stone Drum Town including the First Bend of Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge Upper Section

Day 4, Shangri-La: Pudacuo National Park (including Bita Lake, Shudu Lake and Eco-Friendly Car), Songzanlin Monastery

Day 5, Shangri-La Departure

7 Days Kunming Dali Lijiang Shangri La

Day 1: Arrival Kunming

Day 2: Kunming: Stone Forest, Bamboo Temple

Day 3: Kunming to Dali by Fast Train, Dali Ancient town including the climbing of the City Wall, Boat cruise on Erhai Lake, Xizhou Bai Minority Village.

Day 4: Dali to Lijiang by transfer (185km, 2.5 hours), Lijiang Ancient Town, Wangu Tower, Black Dragon Pool Park

Day 5: Lijiang, Yak Meadow on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (including the cable car up/down and echo-friendly car), Impression Lijiang Show (VIP Seat), Baisha Murals

Day 6: Lijiang to Shangri-La (170km, 2 hours), Stone Drum Town including the First Bend of Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge Upper Section

Day 7: Shangri-La to Kunming by Flight/Train, Songzanlin Monastery, Pudacuo National Park (including Bita Lake, Shudu Lake and Eco-Friendly Car), Zhongdian Ancient Town

Southern Part of Yunnan: Architecture, Terrace Fields and Tropical landscape

The southern part of Yunnan mainly includes the famous Pu'er, known for its Pu'er tea, the architecturally renowned Jianshui, the distinctive culture of the Hani ethnic group and the colorful terraces of Yuanyang, as well as the tropical atmosphere of Xishuangbanna, which attracts tourists from all over the world with its Water Splashing Festival.

The best time to visit Xishuangbanna is from November to May, which is also the peak tourist season, with the grand Water Splashing Festival in April being the liveliest. The terraced fields of Yuanyang are best visited between November and April, known as the water season, ideal for photography, with December to February being the optimal months.

Western Part of Yunnan: Unraveling the Mystery Culture Along the Nu River

Central and Eastern Part of Yunnan: Spring and Fresh Flowers

14 Days Kunming Yuanyang Jianshui Dali Lijiang Shangri La


Day 1: Arrival in Kunming, visit Green Lake, Jinma Biji Archway and Flowers and Birds Market

Day 2: Stone Forest, and Guandu Ancient Town

Day 3: Kunming Western Hill, Longmen Grottoes and Dianchi Lake

Day 4: Stone Forest, drive to Yuanyang, and stay in Yuanyang

Day 5: Yuanyang Terrace Fields

Day 6: Yuanyang to Jianshui, visit Tuanshan village, Shuanglong bridge and stay in Jianshui

Day 7: Jianshui back to Kunming, take train to Dali, stay overnight in Dali

Day 8: Erhai Lake Cruise, Three Pagodas, Dali Old Town

Day 9: Dali to Lijiang, Xizhou Town, Zhoucheng Village, Black Dragon Pond, Lijiang Ancient Town

Day 10: Lijiang, Ganhaizi Meadow, Baishuihe River, Yak Meadow, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Old Town, Baisha Murals

Day 11: Lijiang to Shangri La, First Bend of the Yangtze River, the Iron Chain Bridge, Tiger Leaping Gorge

Day 12: Shangri La, Pudacuo National Park, Sogzanlin Monastery, Tibetan family Visit, Dukezong Old Town, the largest Prayer Wheel

Day 13: Hiking and culture experience for a day

Day 14: Shangri La Departure

If you're not satisfied with any of the above routes, please contact one of our Yunnan travel experts. She/he will definitely assist you in customizing a Kunming or Yunnan itinerary that suits you best!

Frequently Asked Questions on Yunnan Travel

When visiting Yunnan for the first time, where should I go and for how many days?

For a first-time visit to Yunnan, it's usually recommended to explore the northwest region, including Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La. A suggested duration would be 6-8 days.

How can travelers from Singapore get to Yunnan?

As of 2024, Singapore Changi Airport offers two direct flights to Kunming: MU5082 (12:20-16:30) and TR160 (22:05-02:05). There are also two direct flights from Kunming back to Singapore: MU5081 (07:20-11:20) and TR161 (03:05-07:15).

Flight schedules may vary depending on specific circumstances, so it's advisable to check professional ticket websites for the latest information.

Of course, travelers from Singapore can also reach Yunnan from other places. For example, they can first visit Guilin, Guizhou, Chengdu/Jiuzhaigou, Tibet, and then come to Yunnan for further exploration.

Travelers departing from Malaysia, how can they go to Yunnan? Are there flights available, and how long is the flight?

Travelers departing from Malaysia can reach Yunnan by air. There are direct flights, and the journey typically takes around 4 hours.

From Kuala Lumpur Airport to Kunming, there are 2-4 direct flights daily. The earliest is AK101 (13:05-16:55), with other flights around 9 PM. Direct flights from Kunming to Kuala Lumpur have approximately three flights per day, with the earliest being MU9629 (16:20-20:10).

From Kota Kinabalu International Airport, travelers need to transfer in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, or Shenzhen to reach Kunming, with a total travel time of 8-10 hours.

Flights departing from Penang International Airport are most economical with a transfer in Kuala Lumpur, with a travel time of approximately 5-9 hours.

For flights from Langkawi International Airport and Basha Dato' Haji Ahmad Badawi Airport, travelers also need to transfer in Kuala Lumpur, with a total travel time of around 8-11 hours.

How do Australian travelers get to Yunnan?

Australian travelers can reach Yunnan by flying from Sydney Airport (SYD), Melbourne Airport (MEL), or Brisbane Airport (BNE) with a layover in Guangzhou or Shanghai before reaching Kunming, which takes approximately 14-16 hours. Flights departing from Canberra Airport (CBR) and Perth Airport (PER) require more than 24 hours.

Of course, travelers from Australia can also first visit other places such as Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, etc., before heading to Yunnan.

How far is it from Shanghai to Yunnan, and what transportation is convenient?

The straight-line distance from Shanghai to Yunnan is approximately 2060 kilometers. It takes about 3 hours by plane and around 12 hours by high-speed train.

Kunming Itinerary

Informative Articles for Your Yunnan Trip

Yunnan ItineraryPudacuo National Forest Park, Shangri La
Grace Wang

Hi, I’m Grace Wang, if you like my article, please share it with your friends. Any sugguestions on this article, please contact me. Thanks!

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