Three Pagodas and Cangshan Mountain | Dali | China
FROM: USD $6,645 pp

Setting out from Shanghai uncover China’s diverse Yunnan province, home to many of the country’s ethnically diverse minorities. From the Bai ethnic group in Xizhou and Zhoucheng, to the Naxi culture in Lijiang. Marvel at the Three Pagodas and explore delightful Dali, stroll through sensational Shangri-La before finishing in bustling Beijing.

Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Shanghai – soak up Shanghai’s old city, the Bund, Fuxing Park and French Concession
Dali – take scenic chair lift for aerial views of the ancient city
Xizhou Village – learn about Bai architecture in one of the towns finest structures
Baisha Village – uncover ancient murals in Liuli Dian Temple
Joseph Rock – visit the former residence of Austrian-born American Botanist who dedicated his life studying Naxi culture
Shangri-La – discover Tibetan culture at Songzanlin Monastery, Yunnan’s largest Tibetan Buddhist temple
Great Wall of China – hike to Mutianyu section of Great Wall and have picnic lunch amongst stunning scenery
Kunming – independently take in the highlights of Yunnan’s capital
Three Pagodas – marvel at the grandeur of the Three Pagodas
Zhoucheng – discover Yunnan’s largest natural village and “home of tie-dye”
Shiguzhen – visit the Naxi town and the First bend of the Yangtze River
Tiger Leaping Gorge – stand in awe at one of the deepest gorges in the world
Beijing – roam the streets of China’s fascinating capital. Summer Palace, Kunming Lake, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and Jinshan Park


12 nights 5 star hotels
One arrival transfer on Day 1 and one departure transfer on Day 13 from Beijing Capital Airport
Economy flights: Shanghai – Kunming and Shangri-La and Kunming – Beijing
Local guides for scheduled sightseeing in Shanghai, Kunming, Dali, Xizhou, Lijiang, Baisha, Shangri-La and Beijing. Unescorted travel between cities
Scenic chair lift in Dali
Foot massage in Beijing
12 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 2 dinners
All relevant transportation within China in private transport
Second class high speed train ticket, with allocated seating next to each other: Kunming – Dali
Entrance to all sites mentioned in the itinerary
Boat trip on Kunming Lake

Not Included

International flights and visa
Tip for your tour guide is not included in the Tip Kitty. We suggest USD$3-5 per day, per traveller for a job well done, however the amount is up to you


Day 1


Welcome to China! Arrive into Pudong International Airport where you will be met and transferred to the start hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax or explore before our Chinese adventure begins tomorrow.
Overnight: Shanghai

Day 2

Shanghai Sightseeing

Today we explore the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai. On our guided tour of the city we’ll visit the iconic Bund, with its waterfront promenade and grandiose pre-1949 buildings, Shanghai Museum, the picturesque Yuyuan Gardens and the Old City as well as feasting on a declicious dumpling lunch. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Shanghai  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3

Shanghai to Kunming

Shanghai - Kunming. This morning we escape the fast pace of the city and go for a relaxing stroll in Fuxing Park, a once private garden during the Ming Dynasty before the French took it after the Opium War and redesigned some elements. We witness locals performing their morning exercises, singing opera and dancing. Continue on a walking tour through the French Concession admiring the colonial buildings, outdoor cafes and funky art shops. After lunch, we board our flight to Kunming – Yunnan’s capital. Remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Kunming  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

Kunming to Dali

Kunming - Dali. After breakfast, travel from Kunming to the ancient city of Dali. Picturesquely situated on Lake Erhai with a backdrop formed by the peaks of the 50km long Cang Shang range. Our first stop is to Dali’s old town, to admire the Bai ethnic architecture, parks, markets and temples. We then make our way to the foot of Cangshan Mountain to marvel at the famous Three Pagodas. Built when the region was a major Buddhist centre, Dali’s distinctively tall pagodas remain upright, despite wars and earthquakes. The largest of them - Qianxun tower dates back to 824 AD, some hundred years older than the two smaller octagonal pagodas behind, is 64m high, and is embellished with Buddhas made from local richly veined marble on each of its 16 levels. Whilst sealed (preventing entrance inside), in any case the pagodas are best seen from a distance to take in their sheer size. We then take the scenic chairlift for aerial views of the city before checking into our hotel, a unique estate which has previously served as a hospital and military barracks.
Overnight: Dali  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5

Xizhou Vilage

Located to the north of Dali is Xizhou village, once a military stronghold during the Nanzhao Kingdom which flourished in the Ming Dynasty and became known as home to tea merchants, is now a farming town surrounded by rice paddy fields. Take time to stroll through the towns market admiring the unique Bai architecture until reaching Yan’s Compound, one of the towns finest structures. Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure to partake in some of the many optional activities available, try your hand at some cooking or calligraphy or perhaps relax with some yoga.
Overnight: Dali  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

Dali to Lijiang

Dali - Zhoucheng - Lijiang. This morning we take the short drive to the town of Zhoucheng. Known as the "home of tie-dyeing", a traditional art of the Bai minority. We have some free time to walk through the town and admire the locals making their tie-dyed garments. We then continue our journey to Lijiang, a Naxi stronghold where we have the evening at leisure to enjoy free time in the labyrinthine streets of Dayan Old Town.
Overnight: Lijiang  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7

Baisha Village

Today we explore the city and surrounding areas of Lijiang. Our first stop is to Baisha village, known for its Naxi people and ancient murals, many of which are housed in the Liuli Dian Temple. Next, we visit Dr Ho, famous for being “the Taoist physician in the Jade Dragon Mountain”, before heading onto Jade Dragon Mountain for a visit to the Yugeng Monastery and the former residence of famous botanist, Joseph Rock, which now serves as a museum. Our final stop is to Lion Hill for incredible views of the landscape. Return to Lijiang for evening at leisure.
Overnight: Lijiang  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Lijiang to Shangri-La

Dali- Tiger Leaping Gorge - Shangri-La. Bid farewell to the city of Dali this morning as we make our way to spectacular Shangri-La making a few stops on the way. Our first stop is to the first bend of the Yangtze River, due to the sudden drastic turn the river takes, and the old Naxi town of Shiguzhen. After visiting the old town and view point we continue to Tiger Leaping Gorge where there is time to walk and take in the scenery. Some 16km long and up to 3000m deep, it is the world's deepest canyon. The gorge is so narrow at various points that legend has it a tiger once escaped pursuit by leaping across. Upon arrival in Shangri-La we have the evening at leisure.
Overnight: Shangri-La  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9


Wake up in Shangri-La, on the border of Tibet, and take a walk through the cobbled lanes of the Old Town, passing the Zhuangjin Tong, the world’s largest prayer wheel standing 21 meters high. Next, we head to the viewpoint at Napa Lake, Songzanlin Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yunnan and finish our day visiting a local Tibetan family to gain insight into their unique way of life. Tonight, we have a group meal together.
Overnight: Shangri-La  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10

Shangri-La to Beijing

Shangri-La - Kunming- Beijing. This morning we board our flight to Beijing, stopping over in Kunming. On arrival to Beijing we have some free time before feasting on the famous local dish – peking duck.
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11

Beijing Sightseeing

Today we explore the Chinese capital. First, we learn about Beijing’s hutongs in the Hutong Musuem, before making our way to the Summer Palace for a boat cruise on Kunming Lake. Lunch is a group affair in a local restaurant. Our afternoon finds us exploring the famous Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City before visiting Jingshan Park for incredible views of the city.
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12

The Great Wall

No trip to Beijing would be complete without a visit to one of the city’s greatest landmarks – the Great Wall. This morning we visit Mutianyu, the best-preserved section of the wall, to learn about the incredible history and structure and stop for a picnic lunch amongst the incredible scenery. Return to Beijing where our feet are rewarded with a relaxing foot massage after a long day of touring. Evening at leisure
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13


Our tour comes to an end today with an included transfer to Beijing Capital Airport for your onward flight. Alternatively we can arrange post tour accommodation if you'd like to extend your stay.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are ‘per person’, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. The single supplement price needs to be added to the per person price if single rooms are required. If travelling solo, an additional ‘1-person’ supplement will apply.

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The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

Radisson Blu Hotel Shanghai New World, Shanghai

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The Radisson New World is a contemporary and comfortable hotel with all the conveniences of a business hotel. The guestrooms are spacious, plush and fully equipped for your lodging needs, many with magnificent views of the city. Amenities in the hotel include a spa, sky bar and a revolving restaurant at the top of the unique 208m tall tower.

Green Lake Hotel, Kunming

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Ideally located next to Kunming Green Lake Park is the Green Lake Hotel. Each luxuriously decorated guest room features cosy seating areas and windows overlooking the Green Lake or city, alongside amenities such as a flat-screen TV, minibar and complimentary WiFi. Guests can dine in one of the onsite restaurants and relax in the sauna after an action-packed day of touring.

The Liden Centre , Dali

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

This award-winning boutique hotel showcases traditional Bai heritage. The property has previously served as military barracks, a hospital and kinder garden since it was constructed in 1947. Each guest room is traditionally decorated with locally crafted furniture and features an electric kettle, hairdryer and bathrobes. There is a terrace for guests to enjoy their morning coffee and a fitness centre for those looking to work up a sweat. Other facilities include a shared lounge, and an onsite restaurant serving Chinese cuisine.

InterContinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort, Lijiang

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Combining traditional and modern aesthetics the InterContinental Lijiang Ancient Town is ideally located overlooking the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Each spacious guestroom features a flat screen TV, Wifi, and large bathrooms featuring bath tubs and showers. Guests can unwind in the onsite swimming pool and spa which offers massages or facials or exercise in the onsite gym. The onsite restaurant serves a variety of Cantonese and Sichuan dishes, as well as local specialities and authentic Yunnan cuisine.

Songtsam Linka Shangri-La , Shangri-La

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Located 5 minutes from the Songzanlin Monastery Temple is a charming Tibetan-style hotel in the heart of Shangri-La. The traditionally decorated guestrooms feature a safety deposit box and cable TV. The property features two onsite restaurants, one serving local cuisine and the other serving Western dishes. Guests can also sip on a cocktail and relax on the terrace, enjoy a message or curl up by the fireplace with a good book.

Fairmont Hotel, Beijing

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The boldly designed Fairmont is a luxurious hotel with natural light-filled interiors that are accented by contemporary Chinese artwork. The rooms feature a blend of traditional and contemporary Chinese style, with floor-to-ceiling-windows and state-of-the-art amenities. The hotel also features renowned restaurants, bars and a large spa.

In Brief

Hotel Rating
5 star
Tour Guide
yes - for all included sightseeing
Breakfast: 12, Lunch: 9, Dinner: 2
Click to play videoThe view across the Huangpu River to the modern cityscape of Pudong in Shanghai
A temple of the waterfront, surrounded by lush foliage, in Dali
Beautiful waterfall and scenery in Lijiang
Click to play videoBeijing cityscape with a view of the sprawling Forbidden City palace complex from above
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