16 Days Best Yunnan Tea Tour along the Ancient Tea Horse Road

Speaking of  Yunnan, there is also a Yunnan specialty that everyone knows well except for the beautiful local scenery, that is Yunnan Pu’er tea.

Yunnan is the origin of tea, and in addition to the famous Yunnan Pu’er tea, there are many tea, such as Dianhong (Yunnan black tea), Dianlv(Yunnan green tea), qizibing tea, Yunnan Tuo tea, etc. Various kinds of tea make Yunnan form a unique tea culture tourism. This tour will lead you to explore the tea in Yunnan.

Highlights:

  • Visit famous tea plantations, tea factories and tea markets in Yunnan.
  • Start your tea culture tour with Kunming, Xishuangbannan, Pu’er, Lincang.
  • Visit Ancient Tea tree, Ancient tea village and tea horse road.
  • Walk and explore Dali Old Town between Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake, experience Bai ethnic culture.

Brief Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive in Kunming
  • Day 2: Kunming-Mojiang-Ninger
  • Day 3: Ninger-Kunlu mountain -Puer
  • Day 4: Puer-Jiangcheng-Yiwu
  • Day 5: Yiwu-Menglun-Jinghong
  • Day 6: Jinghong-Mount Nannuo-Menghai-Jingmai
  • Day 7: Jingmai
  • Day 8: Jingmai-Shuangjiang-Mengku
  • Day 9:Mengku-Lincang
  • Day 10: Lincang-Yunxian-Fengqing
  • Day 11: Fengqing-Xiaowan-Lushi
  • Day 12: Lushi-Bixi-Nanjian-Weishan-Dali
  • Day 13: Dali
  • Day 14: Dali-Shaxi-Lijiang
  • Day 15: Lijiang
  • Day 16: Departure from Lijiang

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Kunming

Sightseeing and Activities:  None
Accommodation: Kunming
Meals: None

Arrive in Kunming and go to your hotel with the tour guide and driver.

Day 2  Kunming-Mojiang-Ninger

Sightseeing and Activities: Mojiang River Tropic of Cancer Mark Park, Mojiang International Twin Culture Park, Ning’er Nakeli Tea-Horse Road Relay Station
Accommodation:Ninger
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, about 4 hours drive from Kunming to Mojiang. After arrive at Mojiang County, have lunch and then drive to visit Mojiang River Tropic of Cancer Mark Park and Mojiang International Twin Culture Park, experience the unique astronomy wonders on Tropic of Cancer, and explore the biology twin attributes on this land.

After that, drive to Ning’er to visit Ning’er Nakeli Tea-Horse Road Relay Station, to experience the custom of ancient tea-horse road.

Day 3   Ninger-Kunlu Mountain-Puer

Sightseeing and Activities: Imperial Family’s Tea Plantation, 
Accommodation:Puer
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

We will drive to Kunlu mountain in early morning to visit Imperial family’s tea plantation. Kunlu mountain is a branch of Wuliang Mountain,  It is located 31 kilometers north of Pu’er County, between 1410 meters and 2271 meters above sea level. The mountains are green with towering ancient trees, and the altitude of highest peak is 2271 meters. Kunlu mountain is located between Ninger county and Jinggu county with high mountains, cloud cover and abundant rainfall. Among the ancient tea trees, there are towering ancient trees that have been preserved for many years and they are also one of the only original forests in Pu’er City. The characteristics of Pu’er tea in Kunlu mountain are concerned by tea lovers. Because it has thousands of acres of ancient tea garden for thousands of years, it is called “Tea Museum” and it is said to be the royal tea garden of Qing Dynasty.

After Lunch, Head for the Puer Tea Expo Garden(中华普洱茶博览苑) for tea-leaf picking experience and learn how Puer tea is processed. This garden shows the origination, history, development, plantation, making process, and tasting of Puer tea.

Day 4 Puer-Jiangcheng-Yiwu

Sightseeing and Activities: Niuluohe Tea Platation
Accommodation:Yiwu
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Niuluohe Tea Plantation is located in the south of Jiangcheng County, Puer City, Yunnan Province. It borders Laos and covers an area of ​​more than 100,000 mu. It is surrounded by virgin forests and produces pollution-free tea. It is the ideal environment for organic tea. Niuluohe tea industry was established in September 1987. The existing ecological tea garden covers an area of ​​18,000 mu (including 5,000 mu of cloned tea gardens), 1,000 mu of coffee gardens, more than 8,000 mu of economic forests, more than 4,000 tea workers, and an annual output of 3,500 tons of tea. It is a professional tea enterprise integrating production, processing and sales. In the past 20 years, Niuluohe tea industry has carefully created the brand of “Niuluohe” and “Jiangcheng Yueyuan Tea”, which are jointly watched by the tea industry.

In the late afternoon, we will drive to Yiwu.

Day 5 Yiwu-Menglun-Jinghong

Sightseeing and Activities: Yiwu Old Town, local family, tea mountains and plantation
Accommodation:Jinghong
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Today, you will head for Yiwu Town, a small town once boomed due to tea trade in the history, see the old part of town and the stele erected in Qing Dynasty that recorded the trade situation at that time. It is a main planting area of traditional Puer Tea. Visit the Yiwu Old Town, then pay a visit to local families that are still producing Pu’er Tea the traditional way. Afterwards, visit the tea mountains and plantation.

After that, visit Menglun Botanical GardenMenglun Botanical Garden is in Menglun town of Menglai county around 80km away from Jinghong city, Menglun tropical botanical garden is the largest tropical botanical garden in China. It was established in 1959 by Chinese famous botanists including Prof. Cai Xitao, who devoted all his life to related scientific research with remarkable achievements. The garden boasts more than 4000 species of tropical plants covering an area of 900 hectares, quite a few of which are rare elsewhere, forming a colorful botanical landscape.

Day 6 Jinghong-Mount Nannuo-Menghai-Jingmai

Sightseeing and Activities: Mount Nannuo, tea workshop, Aini People
Accommodation:Jingmai
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the early morning, we will drive to Mount Nannuo, see ancient tea plantation aged over 800 years of Aini people, who have been engaged in tea-planting here for centuries. Visit their village and taste roasted tea they prepared in unique way. Through chat we may discover how much Aini people rely on tea. Move on to Menghai, pay a visit to small tea workshopin the village to learn about how fresh tea leaves are processed. Further transfer into mountainous area to Bada, do some hiking across forest to worship the King of Wild Tea Tree aged over 1700 years.

Then move to Menghai, pay a visit to small tea workshop to learn about how fresh tea leaves are processed.

Continue driving to Jingmai for overnight.

Day 7 Jingmai

Sightseeing and Activities: Jingmai Tea Mountain, Aileng Mountain Hiking, Wengji Ancient Village
Accommodation:Jingmai
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In morning, enjoy a hike in the ancient tea plantation of Aileng Mountain (艾冷山) to know the old story about the platation and the relationship between Bulang people and Puer Tea. The Aileng Mountain is named by the leader of Bulang People and you can get a better understanding of the origination of Puer Tea by this hiking tour.

And then drive to a local family of Jingmai, enjoy the specialty of Jingmai Mountain–the tea meal.

In afternoon, drive to a Lahu village–Laodabao Village (老达保拉祜族村寨). It is the only believer of Christian among Lahu villages in China owing to the industrious preacher. The preacher also brought latin letters, music and church to them. Laodabao village is also the only Lahu village which owns their own writing language. You can appreciate their primitive wooden houses and solemn church in the village.

Day 8 Jingmai-Shuangjiang-Mengku

Sightseeing and Activities: Bingdao Village, Daxueshan Virgin Forest
Accommodation:Mengku
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

This early morning, drive to Mengku Township first, then drive to Bingdao village(冰岛), which is Luhu tribal village surrounded by green mountains and is the origin of the tea plantation in China. You will see several huge ancient tea trees over 2000 years old! You will have a chance to see this rare, unique village of the Lahu people. They are known to wear colorful, traditional clothes.

In the afternoon we will make it to the Mengku Daxueshan Virgin Forest, home to the 10, 000 Acre Wild Ancient Tea Tree Garden. The forest has a total area of 12,000 acres and a history of more than 2,500 years. It is home to over 80, 000 ancient, wild tea trees. It has the largest, oldest and highest tea trees in the world.

Day 9 Mengku-Lincang

Sightseeing and Activities: Lincang Tea Culture and Customs Garden, Lincang tea factory
Accommodation:Lincang
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, drive to Lincang and visit Lincang Tea Culture and Customs Garden and Lincang tea factories. Lying in the suburb of the Linxiang District, the 110 hectare scenic spot is one of the 25 most popular attractions of Yunnan Province. Here you will get to wander through this giant tea garden as well as learn deeper Chinese Yunnan tea culture.

Then you will visit the Lincang tea factory for learning Lincang’s Pu’er. What makes Lincang Pu’er different and unique to the other regions of Yunnan.

Day 10 Lincang-Yunxian-Fengqing

Sightseeing and Activities: Dazhai Township, Chafang Township
Accommodation:Fengqing
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

This morning, drive to visit ancient tea trees and tea plantation at Dazhai Township(大寨乡). Both Chafang Township and Dazhai Township are known as the lands of tea in Yunnan Province. Then drive to Chafang Township(茶房乡) in Yunxian County to visit ancient tea trees and tea plantation.

After that, drive to Fengqing in the late afternoon.

Day 11 Fengqing-Xiaowan-Lushi

Sightseeing and Activities: Tea ceremony  performance, tea garden scenery,Ancient tea horse road, unique stone houses and traditional village view
Accommodation:Lushi
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Fengqing County located in the southwest of Yunnan Province, is the largest tea producing county in Yunnan Province. Almost all the counties are suitable for tea planting. Fengqing County has a long history of tea planting and tea making.In its territory, there are more than 20000 acre of ancient tea garden and more than 30000 acre of wild ancient tea cultivated before the Republic of China. Visit Dianhong black tea factory , Xiashan ecological tea garden and see the tea ceremony performance.

After lunch, set off for Fengqing for Lushi ancient town, passing through the long lake and crossing the bridge in Mang street, you can taste the special river fish, also take the yacht to admire the scenery of lake and the mountain, and enjoy the plateau lake “xiaowan”; then visit Lushi ancient town to experience the route of the ancient tea horse road and taste the authentic farmhouse food!

Day 12 Lushi-Bixi-Nanjian-Weishan-Dali

Sightseeing and Activities: Ancient tea trees, dam and Yi minority ancient culture
Accommodation:Dali
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

After breakfast, driving to Bixi township. The forest coverage rate of Bixi township is 51% with good ecological and there is a beautiful and magical sunrise of Phoenix Mountain. And then go to Longshan village, There have 300-500 ancient tea trees here . Ancient tea trees grow on the ridge of the field and scattered. A few ancient tea trees are distributed in front of the house and behind the house. The plants of ancient tea trees grow moderately and all have many ages. And then drive to Nanjian , stop to visit Nanjian Tulin Tea Factory for few hours.

After lunch, continue to drive to visit Weishan Old TownWeishan old town was the cradle of Nanzhao kingdom(a kindom established by Yi Minority), the history can be traced back to 7th century. Its a very nice old town and not touristic. It was a important town on the ancient tea and horse road. You will also enjoy the traditional Bai people’s building design.

Day 13 Dali

Sightseeing and Activities: Xiaguantoucha Tea Company
Accommodation:Dali
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

After breakfast, we drive into the mountains towards a Buddhist temple where we will hike up to. We will spend some time exploring the grounds of the temple, wandering through a dense forest.

Next stop is the famous Xiaguantoucha tea company.  Xiaguantoucha produces 70,000 tons of Pu’er a year, with only 3000 of this being exported. The largest portion of these exported Pu’er cakes are sold to French pharmacies where they are used to reduce high blood pressure.

In the evening, walk along the bustling streets of Dali.

Day 14 Dali-Shaxi-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Shibaoshan Mountain, Shaxi Old Town, Lijiang Old Town
Accommodation:Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In the morning, drive to Jianchuan County. Visit Shibaoshan Mountain .The most prominent sight at ShibaoShan is the Stone Bell Temple with its 139, well preserved stone carvings. These magnificent stone carvings date as far back as 1300 years to the once powerful Nanzhao Kingdom during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Explore the ancient temple complex including Baoxiang Temple, Haiyun Temple, Shizhong Temple and the Ancient Grottoes. If you are lucky enough, you also can see a lot of wild monkey group around Baoxiang Temple.

Then visit Shaxi Old Town. Shaxi is the last remaining ancient market town of its kind on the Tea & Horse Caravan Trail. This trail is a trading route that connected Tibet, Sichuan, and Yunnan to countries in southeast Asia, also called the Southern Silk Road.The World Monuments Fund (WMF) has listed Shaxi as one of the 100 most endangered sites in the world in 2001.

In the late afternoon, drive to Lijiang.

Day 15 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Old Town
Accommodation:Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Enjoy the sunrise of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lijiang Ancient Town in the morning, drive about 30KM to Ganhaizi Meadow(3100M), you will take the sightseeig bus for a short visiting through the Baishuihe River in Blue Moon Valey, take the chairlift up to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The cableway will be arranged according to the condition of the mountain. You will hike around 1 hours in the original forest in Spruce Meadow (3200M).

After lunch, enjoy Impression Lijiang Show which is A Spectacular Show with Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as the Backdrop, directed by the famous director Zhang Yimou.
Impression Lijiang is a magnificent outdoor singing and dancing performance demonstrating the tradition and lifestyle of the local ethnic people. It is another creation of famous Chinese director Zhang Yimou.The show is innovatively staged in the morning and afternoon, at 3,100 meters (10,100 feet) above sea level with Jade Snow Mountain as the breathtaking backdrop.

Stroll through Baisha Old Town, which is an enchanting traditional Naxi style old town. Visit the Baisha Murals about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Pay a visit to Baisha Holiday Resort(丽江白沙别院 in Chinese),which is featured with the traditional Naxi style architecture as well as the nice view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from the balcony.If time permits,enjoy a cup of Puer tea in the courtyard.

Transfer back to hotel in the later afternoon.

Day 16 Departure from Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: None
Accommodation:None
Meals: Breakfast

We will drive you to Lijiang airport and service end.

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • Domestic train tickets of soft sleeper.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs

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