Yunnan: Get Going On Ethnic Trails & Exhilarating Hill Adventures


No longer is the world’s attention drawn away from this breathlessly beautiful location inside China. Bordering Myanmar and Vietnam and located on the south west tip of China Yunnan today has a series of luxury lodges and small hotels inviting both the rich and the budget travelers to its hilly magnificence. Here fresh mountain air is not just what you can expect to get. Yunnan takes you straight into China country with a pleasant pull. It has everything- thick green forest over, a lake that stretches out in midst of the mountains lending the place a mystic charm and the snowed peaks that you can wake up to. There are also the traditional Chinese minority cultures to see closely.

Yunnan really isn’t for the faint hearted. For one its over 2000 meters from sea level so you’ll have to pack your woolens. And then it’s not the conventional holidays in the hills you can look out for. Not if you want to go back with memories of a great oriental adventure! There are pagoda and lakes, mountains and people but there’s also the climbing and hiking to experience.

A good way to go about visiting Yunnan is by picking a fixed tour to it. Most tour packages cover all important spots but if you really want to see Yunnan from beyond-the-usual eye stay longer. You can start with the capital city of Kunming where you’ll be arriving by flight anyways. The city has nice urban spots to check out. From here you can take off to Stone Forest that has limestone formations estimated to have formed 20 million years back. There are several ethnic Chinese villages on the route where you can halt for sometime and mingle with local groups.

The Shaxi was earlier a trading post part of the ancient silk route. Now you can drive through rural landscapes to this cobbled village and stay there for a day. The Jade dragon snow mountain forms a plateau called Yak meadow from where you can sight the mighty glacial peaks. Breathe in the fresh mountain air as nature overgrows its boundaries! Yak meadow is best visited from Lijiang that is a heritage town known for its stone bridges, beautifully carved water wheels and narrow, winding lanes. Check out the Black dragon pool park while you’re there. In another direction there’s the Baisha Frescos that have well preserved Ming wall-paintings.

A lot many people like to visit the famous lake Lugu before heading towards Lijiang but that’s not always convenient. You can plan to visit the village of Zhongdian, now nicknamed ‘Shangri-La’ particularly if you’re interested in going to the Tiger Leaping Gorge. This is a gorge that rises above high mountains and the river Yangtze making for a splendid scenery!

With so many legends and customs woven around the lives of people and the locales Yunnan is sure to keep you hooked till your last day of holidaying! This location has spots like the 17th century Songzanlin monastery and beautiful countryside. If your eyes aren’t satiated enough with natural delights there is the Napa lake reserve quite close where you can run into herds of grazing yaks meandering amid lush blossom trees.