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Yunnan Explorer

Private Travel | General interest 10 Days & 8 Nights Lead-in price: £3795

Venture into Yunnan province in the far southwest of China, one of the country's lesser-visited and more ethnically diverse regions. The city of Lijiang has a wealth of history, cultural sites and some charming hotels, but the main attractions lie beyond, where the scenery is remote and spellbinding, with evocatively named locations such as Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Tiger Leaping Gorge.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Striking scenery at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain & Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Discover Naxi history in Lijiang & Shuhe Ancient Town
  • Visit the mountain town of Zhongdian & tour the Songzanlin Tibetan monastery
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Superior Private Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Chengdu


Day 2: Fly to Lijiang

Arrive in Chengdu and connect with a domestic flight to Lijiang. You will be met at the airport and transferred into Lijiang’s historical centre, once a staging post for travellers on the Tea Horse Road. Stay at the LUX* Hotel Lijiang for 3 nights. (N)

Day 3: Lijiang

Take a guided tour of the historical centre, then drive out to Shuhe Ancient Town, a village north of Lijiang that was once home to members of the Naxi minority ethnic group. Visit the Mu Family Mansion, the former residence of Naxi chieftain, and wander the well-preserved cobbled streets to explore gardens, temples and museums. Optional evening Naxi music performance. (B)

Day 4: Lijiang

Full-day tour to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, including a visit to Baisha village to see the Baisha Frescoes, a collection of murals depicting scenes from traditional village life and Tibetan Buddhist iconography. (B, L)

Day 5: Zhongdian

Drive to north to Zhongdian, a city with a strong Tibetan influence due to its proximity to Tibet. Stop en route for views of the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the first bend of the Yangtze river at Shigu. Stay 2 nights at the Songtsam Retreat Hotel. (B, L)

Day 6: Zhongdian

Morning tour of Songzanlin Tibetan monastery, which is modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa and has a delightful setting against a backdrop of dramatic mountain scenery. Afternoon visit to the Pudacuo National Park, home to a diverse array of karst features and beautiful landscapes. (B, L)

Days 7-8: Benzilan

Drive north to Benzilan in the foothills of the Meili mountains. Stay 2 nights at the LUX* Tea Horse Road Hotel. Benzilan, set on the ancient Tea Horse Road trade route, has preserved its authenticity and opens an extraordinary window onto Tibetan culture. Spend the following day walking scenic mountain trails overlooking the Yangtze river, trying local produce or visiting the lamasery of Dongzhulin. (B)

Day 9: Fly to Chengdu

Drive to Diqing Shangri-La airport near Zhongdian and fly to Chengdu. Transfer into the city centre and overnight at the Buddha Zen Hotel, a traditional courtyard-style building near the Wenshu monastery. (B)

Day 10: Fly home

Transfer to the airport and fly home*. (B)

Meal basis:

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information * Extension:

Chengdu is famous for a number of giant panda research centres located in and around the city, so if you would like to extend your tour to see these iconic animals, please speak to your travel consultant.

Superior Tour

This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.

Single supplement

Available on request.

Tailor-made travel:

For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.

Superior private tour accommodation

  • LUX* Tea Horse Road Lijiang
    LUX* Tea Horse Road Lijiang

    In the heart of the Unesco-protected old town, the LUX* Tea Horse Road Lijiang is tucked away in a typical courtyard-shaped house and features traditional Naxi architecture. Taking inspiration from the Tea Horse Road, one of China's most spectacular routes, the hotel offers traditional cookery and calligraphy lessons as well as cycling and walking trails through the surrounding countryside.

Superior private tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Guideline Prices

Low season from £3795 per person

High season from £3995 per person


Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • • International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
    • UK departure and overseas airport taxes
    • Accommodation, itinerary & meal basis as described
    • Local Transfers in a private chauffeur-driven vehicle
    • The support (if required) of an English speaking local representative
    • Local guides and entrance fees where applicable

Destinations on this tour

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