Yunnan: South of the Clouds

  • The blissful Ringha Valley: perfect for taking long walks and visiting local homes
  • Stay at a sublime lodge in Tacheng, a hidden gem of a Tibetan village set amid radiant rice paddies
  • Explore the carvings of remote temples and grottoes that survived the cultural revolution
China Yunnan Province
Trip Type: Sample Itinerary
Trip Length: 13 Days
Activity type(s): Cultural Tour, Day Hiking
Trip Extensions: Call 888-570-7108 for custom extension options

We’re Yunnan fans, and to show you why, we’ve designed a trip that ventures far off the beaten track to little-touristed villages and towns while still paying respects to the cities worth seeing. We’ve scouted out sensational hiking options to showcase the splendid scenery and offer encounters with Yi, Bai, Lisu, and Tibetan peoples, whose unique cultures inspire fascinating conversations.

After starting in Kunming, the City of Eternal Spring, we fly northwest to the 19 peaks and 18 streams of Dali, a major entrepôt on the southern Silk Road.

Nearby we explore Shaxi, a historic tea - and horse trading town that transports us back in time to the first years of the Ming Dynasty. We continue to glorious Lijiang, taking in its UNESCO World Heritage Site-designated old town. In Tacheng, we stay in a remarkable lodge nestled in a lush valley with verdant rice paddies, taking walks and meeting Tibetan locals (and very few other travelers). Next is a scenic drive to Meili and time at a wonderful lodge in the five-family farm village of Gujiunong. Finally we travel to the edge of the Tibetan Plateau to explore Gyelthang’s Tibetan monasteries and markets, and hike in the beautiful Ringha Valley before flying back to Kunming.

Yunnan Province tour map

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1: arrive in Kunming
  • Day 2: bamboo temples and markets
  • Day 3: fly to Dali, explore
  • Day 4: on to Shaxi via Xizhou village
  • Day 5: Shaxi exploring
  • Day 6: to Lijang and Bai villages
  • Day 7: visit Shigu village en route to Tacheng
  • Day 8: Tacheng and surroundings
  • Days 9 & 10: drive to Meili, hiking
  • Day 11: on to Gyelthang via Gonjo village
  • Day 12: Ringha Valley
  • Day 13: fly to Kunming, depart.