A deep insight of Yunnan ethnic villages, primitive tribes, markets which are seldom even never visited before.
Why Recommend It
You will travel in the south part of Yunnan, the tempreture could be very high(up to 90℉ even more) in summer, we suggest you make your journey from October to April the next year. As you will drive for more than 2000 kilometers across the villages and forest, the driving time would be pretty long everyday and accommodation in some places will be not very good which you need to prepare for this in advance. We don't suggest visitors who have high demand of food and hotel to go this route.
Kunming arrival (Altitude: 1900 meters). Upon your arrival in Kunming, your guide and private car will greet you at the airport or railway station and send you to the hotel. As the capital of Yunnan, Kunming earns the name of “Spring City” because of its warm weather of 15℃~ 25℃ (or 59℉~ 77℉) all year long. For the rest of today, you can have a soft walk around but be careful of being lost, and get ready for the coming 16 days. Overnight in Kunming.
Kunming (Altitude: 1900 meters). Our driver and guide will pick you up at your hotel at 9 a.m . First you will visit Green Lake Park(Cui hu) for about 40 minutes. Then we will drive you to Yunnan Minority Village(Min Zu Cun) and this will take about 2-3 hours. After lunch, you will have a visit to West Mountain(Xishan) to overview the whole city and Dianchi Lake. Don’t want to climb? No need to worry about cause we have a cable car direct to the top. In West Mountain it will take about 3 hours and then we will drive back to your hotel. If you are not tired, you can also take a visit to Golden Horse and Jade Rooster Memorial Arch by your self or ask our driver and guide to take you there. In the evening, if you don’t know how to spend your time, we strongly suggest you watch the Yunnan Impression Show which starts at 8 p.m and lasts for 110 minutes. Overnight in Kunming.
Kunming- Luxi (200 KM; 3.5 hours; Altitude: 1750 meters). Today you will leave Kunming for your next stop, Luxi County, and your ethnic village tour really begins. You will have a 2-3 hours’ visit in Stone Forest in the midway and have lunch there. After that drive along the country road to Yi minority’s Nuohei Village. This village also has another name called Stone Village, which means the houses there are made of stones. You will take about 1.5 hours hanging around the village and taking pictures and chatting with the villagers, and then drive about 1.5 hours to Chengzi Ancient Village of Yi minority. Different from the stone village in Nuohei, Chengci ancient village is mainly made of earth. Take another 1.5 hours and drive to Luxi and check in your hotel. Take a good rest and get ready for the next day. Overnight in Luxi.
Luxi- Jianshui(250 KM; 4 hours; Altitude: 1300 meters). Leave for Jianshui County at 9 a.m, in the midway visit one of the largest Mosque in Shadian and have lunch there. When you arrive in Jianshui, hang around Jianshui ancient town,look for the ancient wells of different sizes and shapes hidden in every corner and take pictures at Chaoyang Arch(which earns the name of Tian’an’men of Southwest China). For the last of today, take a visit to Zhu Family Garden which has 100 years history and learn about this wealth family’s thriving and decline. Overnight in Jianshui. Tips: you can choose to stay in this 100-year residence in Zhu Family Garden.
Jianshui-Yuanyang(160 KM; 3 hours; Altitude: 1600 meters). Morning drive to Yuanyang Hani Nationality County and visit Yi minority’s Tuanshan village, Double-dragon Bridge on the way. By the time you reach Yuanyang Terraced Fields, which is photographers’ dreaming place, and drive to Bada to enjoy the amazing sunset above the Ailao Mountain.Overnight in Yuanyang.
Yuanyang ( Altitude: 1600 meters). Toady we suggest you get up early to watch the grand sunrise in Duoyishu. Many valid photographers take several weeks just to wait for the perfect moment of the sunrise. After the sunrise drive to Hani minority’s Shengcun Village to watch their morning market. If you are luckily enough to come across their marketing day which happens once a week, the market will be a lot more prosperous and many Hani minority’s aged females wear their traditional costumes and sell unknown dry animal bodies or medicines which you can never ever see in cities or other countries. Rest for today? Hiking is strongly recommended. Walking alone the terraced fields and villages, you will get a better understanding of Hani minority’s culture and customs. In the late afternoon, watch sunset at Laohuzui and end today’s tour. Overnight in Yuanyang.
Yuanyang- Mojiang- Pu’er(370 KM; 6 hours; Altitude: 1300 meters). Drive to Pu’er, the origin of Pu’er Tea. In the midway you will take a stop in Mojiang and visit Bixi ancient town of Hani Minority people and the Shuangbaotai Well, which the local Hani people believe if the pregnant momen drink the water in the well, she will have twin babies. And indeed there are many twins in this place. Overnight in Pu’er.
Pu’er- Jinhong(120 KM, 2 hours; Altitude: 550 meters). In the morning visit Chinese Pu’er Tea Expo park, then drive to Jinhong, Xishuangbanna. For the last 7 days, you’ve already seen Yi Minority and Hani Minority, and there will be totally different minorities waiting for you in your rest journey. Today you will first get to Tuguo Village. This is a Dai minority village and it is known for its long history of earthenware making. If lucky enough, you might have the chance to visit one earthenware artisan and watch how they make clay into different beautiful cups, bottles an so on. Another village is you will visit is Mengyang Han-Dai village in which there are both Han people and Dai Minority people. The two nationalities influence each other in every aspect and it is easily to figure out by their architecture and costums. Overnight in Jinhong.
Jinhong-Menghai-Lancang(180 KM; 3.5 hours; Altitude: 1000 meters). Drive to Lancang Lahu Minority Autonamous Prefecture, and on the way vist Bala Ai’ni Minorty village, Aini Minority used to be a branch of Hani Minority. But as time goes by, they two have distinctive difference in many aspects. After the visit to Aini’s village, drive to Thousands-acre Ancient Tea Plantation in Jingmai, and learn about the Dai People’s Tea culture and their Tea-making technology. In the afternoon drive to Wengji and visit Bulang Minority’s village. Bulang nationality don’t have characters but their oral culture is extremely rich and even now they still preserve very traditional customs. The last village is Lahu Minority village when you arrive in Lancang. The ancestor of Lahu people come from Ganshu Province and QInghai Province and at first they made a living of nomadism, and finally settled down in Lancang. Overnight in Lancang.
Lancang-Cangyuan(230 KM; 6 hours; Altitude: 1250 meters). Drive to Cangyuan. Upon your arrival, take a visit to Guang Yunmian Temple which was built 170 years ago. The architecture style is a mixture of Han nationality and Dai nationality. The large paintings on the walls and beautiful woodcarving will leave you a deep impression. After this, get to know the Cangyuan Cliff Pictures. These pictures were drawn in the late Neolithic Age 4 thousands years ago. They reflect people’s living in agriculture, hunting, war and so on at that time. Overnight in Cangyuan.
Cangyuan-Lincang(240 KM; 5 hours; Altitude: 1500 meters). Today you will drive to the border to visit a new nationality, Wa minority. For their residence, we don’t use Wa ethnic village, but Wa primitive tribe. Uncultivated, seldom known by the outside world, and their houses are mainly made of earth and dry couchgrass. After lunch drive to Lincang and take a visit to the local Bowl Burn-made Kiln. Overnight in Lincang.
Lincang- Lushi Ancient Town(200 KM; 5 hours; Altitude: 1750 meters). This morning you will take 5 hours’ drive to the next destination, Lushi Ancient Town in Fengqing County. A long driving time but absolutely worth it. It is the No. 1 town along the Tea & Horse Ancient Road in West Yunnan and also the most mysterious ancient town in China. In the town there are several nationalities living together: Yi, Dai, Miao, Hui, Bulang, Lisu and Bai. Overnight in Lushi Ancient Town.
Lushi Ancient Town- Baoshan(240 KM; 5.5 hours; Altitude: 1700 meters). In the morning visit the market in the town, and then drive to Baoshan. On the way visit several local villages. Overnight in Baoshan.
Baoshan- Yunlong(130 KM; 3 hours; Altitude: 1650 meters). Today you will visit a Bai minority village in Yunlong, called Nuodeng ancient village. In this village, many architectures were built in Ming and Qing Dynasty 400- 800 years ago and there still exist a large scale of Taoist Temples and nearly no modern buildings. As the name of this village “Nuodeng” has never been changed since Tang Dynasty 1000 years ago, it is also called the “Thousand-year Bai Village”. Overnight in Yunlong.
Yunlong- Dali(160 KM; 3 hours; Altitude: 2000 meters). From today your ethnic village tour is coming to an end and it’s time to have some leisure time to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful scenery. Upon your arrival in Dali, check in a hotel besides the Erhai Lake. lying down on a deck chair and take some beer in you hotel or hanging around Dali ancient town. Overnight in Dali.
Dali(Altitude: 1650 meters). Drive to Xizhou to see the everyday market or the Monday market if the date is right. Dali is the hometown of Bai minority people. Rely on Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake, Bai people have a wealthy life and their houses are pretty large with beautiful paintings. In the afternoon you may want to ride a bicycle along the Erhai Lake to discover the beautiful scenery or go across the villages along the lake to find more interesting things. Overnight in Dali.
Dali departure. Today our guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel (depend on your flight time) and send you to the airport. It finally comes to an end of your ethnic village tour. For the rest of your journey in China, if you have any plans, we can also help you with it!