Bangkok-based Backyard Travel is presenting a new way to explore China’s Yunnan Province by train. The tour will call at some of the province’s most popular destinations including Kunming, Dali and Lijiang as well as the Jade Dragon Mountain, Erhai Lake and the Three Pagodas at the foot of the Changshan Mountain.
The six-day, five-night trip begins in Kunming, the provincial capital province with an important visit to the Yunnan Ethnic Minorities Museum. With more than 20 of China’s 56 ethnic minorities living in the Yunnan, the museum is an essential stop on the rail tour.
From Kunming the journey moves by overnight train to Dali, home to the Bai hill tribes and several scenic regions including Erhai Lake and the Changshang Mountains. Dali’s old town is a maze of white-walled homes fronted by beautiful porches which the local Bai community takes care of with great pride.
Travelers can also visit the Three Pagodas at the ninth century Chongsheng Temple which lies at the foot of Changshang Mountains, a temple also referred to as the “Pagoda of a Thousand Awakenings.”
Lijiang is the next stop after a 2.5 hour train ride. Lijiang is known for its labyrinth of traditional redwood and brick houses topped with grey slate roofs interlaced with canals and stone bridges. Populated mainly by the Naxi people, Lijiang is lovingly referred to as the ‘Big Inkpot’ due to its network of canals that spread as if originating from an overturned pot of ink. While in Lijiang, travelers can visit the Mu Palace (named after Imperial Chinese warlords) and spend time in the old part of town to experience the local markets.
Day five of the fully customizable China tour provides travelers the opportunity to venture to the Yak Prairie viewpoint to see the magnificent Jade Dragon Mountain from a less crowded spot. For active and ambitious travelers may climb to Ganzidou to oversee the landscape from an elevation of 5,600 meters.
The tour concludes with a horseback ride along the Tea Horse Road near Lashi Lake in the National Wetland Park.