South of the clouds – Yunnan 云南

At the end of April I’m planning a trip to Yunnan 云南. It’s a province located in the central – Southern part of China, bordering Tibet, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

What is there to see in Yunnan?

First of all I would mention ethnical diversity. 56 ethnic groups are recognised in China. Yunnan is the province where 25 different ethnic groups live together. 38% of Yunnan population are members of ethnic minorities groups. Apart mandarin, which is widely spoken, every minority has it’s own dialect.

If you don’t get to visit Tibet, Yunnan is the closest you can get to that kind of dreamy landscape. It’s a mixture of history, culture, religion, beautiful landscapes and people.

Who is travelling to Yunnan and when?

We will be 5. Me and my husband, my 5 years old son, my beautiful sister (you can check her nicely curated instagram here) and her husband.

It’s a little bit complex, because we will come from different directions. My sister and brother in low are flying from Bucharest to Beijing, where I will pick them up and give them a tour. Then we will fly directly to Dali, where we’ll meet with my husband and son, who are flying from Shanghai.

We should all start our trip together on the 24th of April 2019.

yunnanHere’s my old school itinerary, not the final one, only a sketch.

We will start our trip in Dali.

Day 0 – Husband and son fly from Shanghai to Dali where they will spend the night and wait for us.

Day 1+2 – Me, my sister and brother in law fly from Beijing in the morning. A driver will be waiting for us at the airport, then pick up the others and start exploring.

Planning to see:

  • Weishan 巍山
  • Weibao Mountain 巍宝山
  • Donglianhua Village 东莲花

Sleeping in Dali 大理古城 @ Dali Yunxi Boutique Inn.

Day 3 – Visit Xizhou 喜洲镇 on the way to Shaxi 沙溪镇. Visit Shibaoshan 石宝山.

Sleeping in Shaxi 沙溪镇 at Water Inn (2.100m altitude).

Day 4+5 – Heading towards Lijiang. Planning to visit:

  • Baisha
  • Shuhe

Sleeping @ Xilu Xiaoxie Inn (2.400m)

Day 6+7 – going as North as reasonable to Benzilan, the closest place to the Autonomous  Region of Tibet, at the border with Sichuan.

Sleeping in Bairen @ La Maison d’Estelle Tulu Lodge, a refurbished Tibetan house. The host is a French lady who has been living there for a while now.

Day 8 – Going to the highest point of our trip: Shangri-La 香格里拉市 · སེམས་ཀྱི་ཉི་ཟླ་གྲོང་ཁྱེར།, former Zhongdian (renamed in 2001) or as the locals call it Gyalthang or Gyaitang

Sleeping @ Oxygen Space Inn at 3.280m.

Day 9 – Take a flight from Shangri-La to Kunming and then another one to Shanghai.

The End of our “South of the clouds” trip.

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