This tour will start with the Kunming-Dali night train and will take you to some distinctive scenic spots of Dali and Lijiang. Visit the less touristic villages Xizhou and Zhoucheng to witness authentic ethnic minority daily life, and cruise Erhai lake. In Lijiang, Naxi culture is a enduring part of life in the region you can't miss. See brilliant vistas on horseback and go to Yunhu Village, famous for its unique architecture and culture seen nowhere else.Xizhou: Bai-style traditional architecture along the old Tea-Horse roadZhoucheng: traditional Bai tie-dye workshop, learn how to tie-dyeErhai Lake: cruise to a local fishing villageBlack Dragon Pool: one of the most iconic views in ChinaDongba Museum: exhibits about the unique Dongba culture of the Naxi minorityYunhu Village: horse-back view of Jade Dragon Snow MountainLijiang ancient town: the top Old Town in all China
Day 1: Kunming - DaliGet to the meeting point (hotel lobby of Jinjiang Hotel 昆明锦江大酒店) by yourself at 18:30h. Your guide will explain the tour details, hands over the train tickets and answer any questions you might have. Walk to Kunming Train Station to catch the overnight train to Dali (soft sleeper). Your tour guide will not join you on the train.Day 2: Arrive in Dali (B/L)You'll be welcomed at Dali train station by your local guide in the morning. After breakfast, you will continue your way to Xizhou (1 hour drive). In this old town we will visit the morning market, where locals dressed in traditional minority clothing sell and buy local fruits, freshly cut meat, piles of fragrant spices, and so on. Wander through the rest of town, and visit Bai-style traditional architectural courtyards and explore the Bai minority’s culture. Next, you will go to Zhoucheng, “Home of the Bai minority Tie- Dye culture” and see firsthand how grandmothers hand over this century old tradition to mothers and daughters. After lunch you can relax on a cruise on Erhai Lake to Jinsuo Island, a cormorant-bird fishing village. Enjoy majestic view of the green and clouded Cangshan Mountain Range looming over the Three Pagodas from afar as swarms of birds fly around you over the tranquil lake. After that your guide will take you to check-in to your hotel. Use your free-time in the evening to have a drink in one of Dali’s many cozy little bars or warmly decorated coffeeshops, or stroll around its lively main streets where local artists sell all kinds of beautiful handicrafts.Day 3: Lijiang (B, L)After breakfast your driver will take you to Lijiang where you will visit the Black Dragon Pool. Enjoy one of the most iconic views in China of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the background of a beautiful Chinese garden. Next to the park, you'll find the Dongba Museum, where you can learn more about the unique matriarch Naxi minority culture. Afterwards your driver will bring you to Yuhu village, which is located in the southern valley with a full view of the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Visit the previous residence of Joseph Rock, who was a Victorian National Geographic explorer and botanist who spend over 20 years of his life in this area, recording Naxi culture and risking his life exploring the far corners of Yunnan. You then have the opportunity to feel like an explorer yourself on a guided horse trek leading you along the mountain slopes. Afterwards your driver will bring you back to Lijiang Ancient Town, with pretty streams winding through a maze of enchanting back alleys. This is where your tour will end.