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Yunnan: 10 Reasons you need to visit

| Words by Ellena Johnstone |

It's time to visit Yunnan...

Want to explore a land of snow-capped peaks, fluttering prayer flags, traditional tea houses and ornate pagodas? Visit Yunnan.

This corner of old world China has so much to discover. Here’s our top 10 reasons to visit Yunnan:

1. Glimpse ‘traditional’ China

Yunnan is a province of quaint villages, peaceful temples, cobbled streets and authentic tea houses - a glimpse of old-world China a world away from the commotion of its major cities.

2. Meet the Bai People in Dali

Not only is the walled city of Dali incredibly beautiful, it is also home to the Bai people. The Bai are one of 56 recognised minorities in China, and are responsible for building the iconic Three Pagodas.

Tianmen Mountain Skywalk

3. Take in the incredible natural scenery

Snow-capped mountains, undulating rice terraces, shimmering lakes and vast gorges: Yunnan has no shortage of natural landscapes to explore.

4. Traverse Tiger Leaping Gorge

No trip to Yunnan is complete without visiting Tiger Leaping Gorge, a vast canyon on the Jinsha River just north of Lijiang.

Tianmen Mountain Skywalk

5. Discover Tibetan Culture

For a taste of Tibet, head to Zhongdian. Perched high in the mountains, this hillside town is a predominantly Tibetan community, complete with strings of prayer flags, Buddhist monasteries and traditional wooden dwellings.

Tianmen Mountain Skywalk

6. Taste Yak Butter Tea

Zhongdian is the perfect place to try a Tibetan delicacy – yak butter tea! On our 8 day Yunnan Explorer tour, we sit down with a local Tibetan family to try this traditional drink with the locals.

7. Get your culture fix in Kunming

Kunming is the modern capital city of Yunnan Province. Take an afternoon exploring its many museums, or wander Green Lake Park (Cuihu Park), with its picturesque bridges and pavilions.

Tianmen Mountain Skywalk

8. Sample Yunnan’s unique cuisine

Try Yunnan’s best known dish, GuoQiao, or ‘crossing the bridge noodles’. It is a rice noodle soup similar to Vietnamese Pho – not surprising as Yunnan shares a border with Vietnam!

9. Visit charming Lijiang

Cobbled lanes, traditional timber houses, quaint market squares: charming Lijiang is like nowhere else in China, and a must-visit while in Yunnan. Make sure to climb Lion Hill for breathtaking views over the old town.

Tianmen Mountain Skywalk

10. Absorb Naxi culture

Another of Yunnan’s many ethnic minorities, Lijiang is the perfect place to absorb traditional Naxi culture. Wander the market square to catch a traditional music performance.

Interested in visiting Yunnan? Check out our popular Yunnan Explorer small group journey, or enquire about our private Mountains and Monasteries private itinerary.