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The Land of Jade and Tea

Travel days:  15 days
 /  14 nights

  • All flights mentioned in the program are in economy class and include airport tax and fuel surcharge.
  • All transfers mentioned in the program are in air-conditioned vehicles.
  • First entrance fee for all sights mentioned in the program.
  • Accommodation in specified hotel with breakfast.
  • English speaking local guide for all mentioned sightseeing. Other languages are available on request.
  • 24 hours TUI China telephone hotline (German and English speaking): +86 13910187388
  • Tips.
  • Personal expenses.
  • All expenses not mentioned above.
  • Hotel            
    On request
  • Difficulty Level :***
  • Best time to visit: March-May, September – November
  • Retrace the history of Yunnan and its great trading past
  • Explore ancient villages and towns, some are key trading towns and home to various minority cultures
  • Easy hikes through mountains, villages and gorges
  • Visit a mixed of regional historical sites including monasteries, nunneries and churches

Travel content

With Yunnan becoming ever more popular among visitors to China, this tour offers more than the classic route. This adventure, what can truly be described as 'off the beaten track', is perfect for both newcomers and those that are familiar with the traditional sites of Yunnan. After the ancient cross roads town of Dali, our tour is designed to take the road less traveled, off the main highway and into the back country of Yunnan Province. Her,e the stunning mountain scenery is matched by the fascinating minority cultures far less visited by outsiders and eager to share their history as tea and jade traders. Indeed, modern day travelers to this corner of China are re-tracing the once flourishing trade links used in this region between Tibet, Burma and China.

Travel Itinerary

  • Day 1:
    • Arrive in Kunming
    • If time allows, have a walking tour of the city
    • Overnight in Kunming
  • Day 2:
    Kunming – Dali
    • Fly to Dali
    • Explore Dali Ancient Town
    • Have a walk on the Cangshan Mountain and boat ride in Erhai Lake
    • Overnight in Dali
  • Day 3:
    Dali – Nuodeng (178km, 3.5 hours – 4 hours)
    • Transfer to Nuodeng, a village with a history of over a thousand years, also a key commercial center in ancient Yunnan
    • Wander around the ancient village and have tea with local villagers
    • Hike up to Hu Tou Mountain (Mt. Tiger Head)
    • Overnight in Nuodeng
  • Day 4:
    Nuodeng – Shaxi
    • Drive to Shibaoshan Grottoes, dating back some 800 years
    • Drive (30 mins) or walk (1-1.5 hours) to Shaxi town, a historical market town on the Tea & Horse Route, where the market tradition is still kept alive every Friday
    • Walk around the ancient town to track its history
    • Overnight in Shaxi
  • Day 5:
    Shaxi – Liming
    • Walk around the surrounding village in the morning
    • Drive to Jianchuan (1 hour), a town famous for its wood carvings
    • After lunch, drive to Liming (3 hours), home of the Lisu People
    • En route, stop at Shigu town for a grand view of the first bend of the Yangtze River
    • Overnight in Liming


  • Day 6:
    Liming – Weixi
    • Hike the "thousand turtles' mountain", a signature example of Karst topography
    • Transfer to Weixi (4.5 – 5 hours), literally meaning 'the key bond of inland China and Tibet'
    • Overnight in Weixi  
  • Day 7:
    Weixi – Cizhong (138km 6 hours)
    • Drive to Cizhong and enjoy the diverse landscape along the road, especially the views of the Mekong River
    • En route, stop at Xiao Weixi Church and Shouguo Temple
    • Free time in the evening
    • Overnight in Cizhong
  • Day 8:
    Cizhong – Deqin (80km 3-3.5 hours)
    • Have a morning walk in Cizhong village and see the Catholic Church
    • Drive to Deqin town and have lunch
    • Visit Feilaisi Temple, literally means "flying in temple"
    • Check into guesthouse in the village nearby
    • Overnight in Feilaisi
  • Day 9:
    • Watch the sun rise in the early morning
    • Walk (2-2.5 hours) to Mingyong Glacier. Alternatively, ride a horse (1.5-2 hours) to approach this miracle of Nature
    • Overnight in Feilaisi
  • Day 10:
    Deqin – Zhongdian
    • Transfer to Zhongdian (4 hours). Drive through the Baima Snow Mountain (Mt. White Horse), the largest and highest nature reserve in Yunnan with fantastic views of snowy peaks, glaciers, lakes and forests
    • Visit a unique nunnery in the area along the way
    • After lunch, continue on the journey to Nixi Village, known for pottery making, where you will make your own pottery
    • Free time in Zhongdian in the evening
    • Overnight in Zhongdian
  • Day 11:
    • Visit Songtsam Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Yunnan
    • Visit Dabao Temple and make your own prayer flag
    • Explore Zhongdian Ancient Town and have tea with local people
    • Overnight in Zhongdian
  • Day 12:
    Zhongdian – Lijiang
    • Drive to Lijiang (4 – 4.5 hours)
    • Free time in the afternoon to explore Lijiang Ancient Town
    • Overnight in Lijiang
  • Day 13:
    • Morning walk in local market
    • Visit Black Dragon Pool Park and Dongba Cultural Museum
    • Bike ride to Baisha town and Puji Temple
    • Overnight in Lijiang


  • Day 14:
    • Drive to Yuhu, where Joseph Rock used to live
    • Start hike to a well preserved village – Wenhai, home to stunning scenery, many species of plants and animals
    • Return to Lijiang
    • Overnight in Lijiang
  • Day 15:
    • Transfer to the airport for your flight back home
    • End of service