A 13 Days Trip in Yunnan - One

Written by May 23, 2013 02:27
Add Friends:
Email 1 Email 2 Email 3

No more than 10 friends at a time, please.

At my birthday celebration, my boyfriend gave me a very special present, that is, a journey to Yunnan. What a surprise! Although we have been together for year, we have never had a chance to visit a place that is so far from Beijing.

You will never know a place unless you come there and explore it in person. Before we came to Yunnan, I just knew that Yunnan was beautiful. When I came here, I really felt its beauty. My boyfriend and I spent 13 days in Shuanglang, Dali, Lijiang, Lugu Lake and Yuanyang. What a memorable trip!

Some travelers prefer to make out their itineraries and book accommodations before they go. But my boyfriend and I don’t like to do this. We love “unexpected surprises” during the journey. We didn’t book any hotel before we went to Yunnan. Except for Shuanglang and Lugu Lake, we easily found places to sleep. If you plan to visit these two places, we suggest you book a hostel in advance since there are just a few hostels in these two places. Accommodation is not a problem in Dali and Lijiang because there are many hostels. However, you’d better not take a trunk with you if you go to Lijiang and Dali. The bumpy stone tablet streets will get you mad.

Most travelers go to Kunming and start their trip there. Personally, I suggest you shouldn’t spend much time in Kunming. Just take some time to visit Haigeng Park and Cuihu Park (where you can feed the sea gulls) and Stone Forest. Many travelers who come to Yunnan prefer to taste Yunnan Rice Noodles. Go to Brothers Jiang if you want to try it.

If you go to visit Dali, do spend one or two nights in Shuanglang. It is a quiet place that hasn’t been commercialized. If you are tired of rush life in big cities, go here and experience slow life. Shuanglang is a village by the Erhai Lake. There you can find some characteristic hostels built by the lake. Nothing is better than lying on the bench to enjoy the sunbath.

Lugu Lake is beautiful. You should stay as long as you can to explore its beauty. It takes about 5 hours from Lijiang to Lugu Lake. When you get there, you can hire a car or rent a bike to have a thorough tour around the lake. It doesn’t cost too much to hire a car, usually CNY 150 to 300. Hiking around the lake is ok if you are energetic. My boyfriend and I chose to visit the lake by bike. We rode 80 kilometers in 12 hours and finally succeeded. The scenery we saw is totally different from that seen in a car.

Lijiang is too commercialized and crowded. I was totally disappointed. I suggest you don’t waste your time here. Take some time to visit Shuhe Ancient Town. It’s less crowded and commercialized. Those who come to Lijiang never miss visiting Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Me too. But I felt sad after climbing the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. More and more visitors come here. Unfortunately, the snow on the mountain is gradually disappearing.

Yuanyang is located in Honghe (Red River literally), a minority autonomous prefecture. There are three buses from Kunming to Yuanyang every day. The earliest one (a hard-seat bus) departs at 10:20. The other two are sleeping buses. The earliest bus from Yuanyang to Kunming leaves at 09:40. It is the only hard-seat bus. My boyfriend and I took the hard-seat bus for a round trip. Why? We can’t bear the mixed odor on the bus. The rice terraces in Yuanyang is amazing. You’d better go there during or after the Spring Festival Holiday.

We flew from Beijing to Kunming on March 28 and returned to Beijing on April 10. Our itinerary is as follows:
Day 1 March 28 Beijing to Kunming by air
Day 2 March 29 Shuanglang
Day 3 March 30 Shuanglang to Dali
Day 4 March 31 Dali
Day 5 April 1 Dali to Lijiang
Day 6 April 2 Lijiang
Day 7 April 3 Lijiang to Lugu Lake
Day 8 April 4 Lugu Lake
Day 9 April 5 Lugu Lake
Day 10 April 6 Lugu Lake to Lijiang
Day 11 April 7 Kunming to Yuanyang
Day 12 April 8 Yuanyang to Kunming
Day 13 April 9 Kunming to Beijing

Total cost: around 8400 RMB

Day 1

After landing at Kunming Changshui Airport, we took airport shuttle bus to Kunming Railway Station. There we deposited our luggage at the left luggage office. Then we took public bus to Haigeng Park. We spent around one hour in the park and then went back to downtown area. My boyfriend suggested we taste Yunnan Rice Noodles. Ok! We went to Qiao Xiang Yuan and had two bowls of rice noodles. It wasn’t as good as I thought.

Tip: The entrance ticket to Haigeng Park is 10 RMB per person. The park itself isn’t big. But it is a good location to enjoy the Dianchi (Tien Lake).

Afterwards, we went to the Cuihu Park by bus. This park doesn’t charge you the entrance fee. According to the locals, there are many black-headed gulls in winter. Unfortunately, we came here too late and didn’t see the black-headed gulls. However, we saw black swans here.

We stayed at Cuihu Park until it was totally dark. Then we had our dinner and went to the Kunming Railway Station to catch the train to Dali.

Day 2 Dali to Shuanglang

The night train reached Dali Railway Station past 07:00. We left the station and took a bus to Xiaguan Bus Station. There we bought two bus tickets from Dali to Shuanglang. Each cost 13 RMB. The bus finally stopped at Dajianpang Village in Shuanglang 1.5 hours later. We entered the village, lodged at a hostel and then began to explore the village.

Tip: Dajianpang is a finish village. Tourists who come to Shuanglang almost accommodate here. They will find many pieces of hostel advertisement at the entrance of the village.

Shuanglang is not as commercialized as Lijiang or Dali. Here we saw many people from Bai Ethnic Minority. We tried to talk to them but they left quickly. Maybe, they were too shy to meet us.

Today, we tasted Hot and Sour Fish and Stewed Chicken with Potato. The Hot and Sour Fish is a famous dish in Dali. Almost each family can make it.

Day 3

We got up very early this morning to appreciate the sunrise. However, the sun hid in the cloud and never showed up. It didn’t matter. We didn’t see the sunrise but we did appreciate the tranquil beauty of the Erhai Lake.

Today we were going to tour around the Erhai Lake by bike. We checked out, deposited our luggage at the hostel and then rented two bikes at the entrance of the village. It cost 20 RMB per person and no deposit was collected. Didn’t they worry that we leave and never come back?

We planned to have a round trip from Dajianpang Village to Wase. It’s about 30 kilometers. Never rode so long before but I couldn’t believe that I made it. Perhaps, the charming scenery expelled my tiredness so that I could finish it. We returned the bikes, got back our luggage and caught the last bus from Shuanglang to Dali.

Tip: The bus from Shuanglang to Dali is not available after 16:00.

We got to Dali Ancient town nearly 18:00. Then we found a hostel, deposit our luggage and went out for dinner. After dinner, we went back to the hostel to have a good rest. It’s really a busy day!

Day 4
Today’s plan was to explore Dali Ancient Town and visit Caicun Pier.

My boyfriend and I were very lucky. We found a church by chance and wanted to enter for a visit. When we entered the church, we noticed that some people were attending the worship. They invited us to join in them. That’s fine. We chanted and prayed together and received the sacrament at last.

In the afternoon, we took No.2 bus to Caicun Pier. It took us 10 minutes. I was thinking of go boating in the Erhai Lake. Unfortunately, it was fishing moratorium period. Those small boats were forbidden to leave the pier. What about the sight-seeing boat? We didn’t like it. So we just took a walk on the embankment for a while.

 More Yunnan Travel Reviews
1. Ten Days Travel in Yunnan (including Dali, Lijiang, Lugu Lake, Shangri-La and Kunming) - III LIQIONG from China Oct 8, 2012 21:56
2. Ten Days Travel in Yunnan (including Dali, Lijiang, Lugu Lake, Shangri-La and Kunming) - II LIQIONG from China Oct 8, 2012 21:54
3. Ten Days Travel in Yunnan (including Dali, Lijiang, Lugu Lake, Shangri-La and Kunming) - I LIQIONG from China Oct 8, 2012 21:53
Comments (0)

Write Your Comment

You can post as a member (Login first) or a guest!

*Name: Country:

No more than 2,000 characters, please.

Send me an Email if anyone replies.

Your Reply to

You can post as a member (Login first) or a guest!

*Name: Country:

No more than 2,000 characters, please.