We arrive at Kunming in the morning. And because our flight back to Beijing is in the evening, so our guide (Kunming Guide) bring us to explore Kunming.
She took us to Jinma Biji Square. But because it’s still morning, and it’s raining, so we just walk around and took some photos while waiting for Kunming World Horti-Expo Garden open.
The true uniqueness of Jinma Biji Archways lies in one particular magical moment known as “Jinbi Jiaohui”: Gold and turquoise intertwining. Just before the sunset, the golden rays of the sun illuminating the Biji Archway from the west, cast its shadow on the square to the east. And at the same time, the light of the moon, just risen from the east, casts the shadow of Jinma Archway on the paving stones to the west. With the movements of the sun and moon, the shadows of the two archways gradually draw closer to finally connect, a moment known as “Jinbi Jiaohui”.
Built in China’s Ming Dynasty, it has history of more than 400 years. Right on the central axis of old Kunming city, it is located in the center of downtown Kunming.
The Golden Horse Archway is in the east against the mountain with the same name as the archway; the Green Rooster Archway is in the west against the Green Chicken Mountain. Within a short distance of each other, the two archways are in the traditional archway styles. Together with another Loyalty Archway on the other side, these three archways shape a triangle of archway clusters. With their distinctive characteristics they present a spectacular view in the midst of surrounding downtown modern buildings.
No one exactly knows where comes the name for the Jinma Biji archways. Some say the names of Jinma and Biji are named after the two nearby mountains called Jinma and Biji. But some goes much further. They think the Golden Horse and the Jade Rooster are the gods of the Sunand the Moon. What’s their reason? The magic moment when the shades of the Jinma and Biji approach at sunset and the rise of the moon.
The World Horti-Expo Garden is a botanical garden center in Kunming, China. It played host to the October 1999 Kunming International Horticulture Exposition. As an international botanical garden, the Expo Garden has become a significant Kunming landmark.
The World Horti-Expo Garden covers an area of 218 hectares and consists of 5 indoor exhibition halls (China Hall, the Man and Nature Hall, the Green House, the Science and Technology Hall, and the International Hall), 6 theme gardens (the Tree Garden, the Tea Garden, the Bonsai Garden, the Medicinal Herb Garden, the Bamboo Garden, and the Vegetable and Fruit Garden) and 34 outdoor gardens of domestic participants, 34 outdoor gardens for foreign countries and international organizational and 9 outdoor exhibition area for the enterprise participants.
The World-expo Garden was designed to be in “perfect harmony” with the surrounding mountains, waters and forest, showing that it originates from and return to the nature. It has hosted a large collection of horticultural and gardening works from different Chinese provinces and municipalities, and also from all over the world.
In the evening, our guide pick us up to go to airport and back to Beijing.
Shangri-La or Xianggelila 香格里拉市, is a county-level city in Northwestern Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China and is the location of the seat of the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, bordering Sichuan to the northwest, north, and east.
Shangri-La 香格里拉市 was formerly called Zhongdian County中甸县Zhōngdiàn Xiàn but was renamed on 17 December 2001 and upgraded into a county-level city on 16 December 2014 as Shangri-La (other spellings: Semkyi’nyida, Xianggelila, or Xamgyi’nyilha after the fictional land of Shangri-La in the 1933 James Hilton novel Lost Horizon, in an effort to promote tourism in the area. Formerly, the Tibetan population referred to the city by its traditional name Gyalthang or Gyaitang, meaning “Royal plains“. This ancient name is reflected in the Tibetan Pinyin name within the town of Jiantang 建塘Jiàntáng, the city seat.
Tiger Leaping Gorge虎跳峡Hǔ tiào xiá is a scenic canyon on the Jinsha River, a primary tributary of the upper Yangtze River. It is located 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Lijiang City, Yunnan in southwestern China. It is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected AreasWorld Heritage Site.
Legend says the name comes from a hunted tiger escaping by jumping across the river at the narrowest point (still 25 metres (82 ft) wide), using the rock in the middle.
At a maximum depth of approximately 3,790 meters (12,434 feet) from river to mountain peak, Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world. The inhabitants of the gorge are primarily the indigenous Naxipeople, who live in a handful of small hamlets. Their primary subsistence comes from grain production and hikers.
Lijiang丽江 is a prefecture-level city in the northwest of Yunnan province, China. It has an area of 21,219 square kilometres (8,193 sq mi) and had a population of 1,244,769 at the 2010 census whom 211,151 lived in the built-up area (metro) made up of Gucheng District. Lijiang is famous for its UNESCO Heritage Site, the Old Town of Lijiang. Line 1 of Lijiang Tram started construction in October 2019
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain玉龙雪山Yùlóng Xuěshān is a mountain massif or small mountain range in Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, Lijiang, in Yunnan province, China. Its highest peak is named Shanzidou扇子陡 and is 5,596 m (18,360 ft) above sea level.
We arrive at Dali 大理 in the morning. And the new guide will pick us in the arrival and bring our name. And it turns out the other four that sleep in 1 room with us is other travel partner XD.
So we have 6 people for this trip, it still called private tour. We even use small van for touring. Our guide is very pretty too and very kind.
Dali City, formerly known as Tali, is the county-levelseat of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in northwestern Yunnan. Dali City is administered through 12 township-level districts, two of which are also commonly referred to as Dali.
Xiaguan (下关镇) is the modern city centre and usually conflated with Dali City by virtue of being its seat. This town is the destination of most long-distance transportation heading to Dali and is sometimes referred to as Dali New Town (大理新镇) to avoid confusion.
Dali Town (大理镇) is another division of Dali City, located 10 km (6.2 mi) to the north of Xiaguan. This town, commonly referred to as Dali Old Town (大理古城) to distinguish it from the city seat in Xiaguan, is usually the Dali referred to in tourist publications. The old town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Yunnan, known for its natural scenery, historical and cultural heritage, and vibrant nightlife.
Tian Long Ba Bu Studios is located in Dali Chinascenic spot scenic Cang er center of the beautiful foothills of Dali provincial tourism resort Area. Beautiful back the Mountain, overlooking the boundless expanse of blue water of Erhai Lake, Dali, one east. .5 Km south of Dali March Street Street Field 0. .5 Km from the national cultural heritage 2 km Three Pagodas, Dali provincial tourism resort is to “Tian Long Ba Bu” Film shot to construct a large base of film.
The Showbiz City covers an area of 700 acres, with a total construction area of 2. .5 million square meters, total consists of 146 single building components.
The Three Pagodasof the Chongsheng Temple (崇圣寺三塔; Chóngshèng Sì Sāntǎ) are an ensemble of three independent pagodas arranged on the corners of an equilateral triangle, near the old town of Dali, Yunnan province, China, dating from the time of the Kingdom of Nanzhao and Kingdom of Dali in the 9th and 10th centuries.
The Three Pagodas are located about 1.5 km (0.93 mi) north of Dali old town. They are at the east foot of the tenth peak of the massive Cangshan Mountains and face the west shore of the Erhai Lake of ancient Dali.
The Three Pagodas are made of brick and covered with white mud. As its name implies, the Three Pagodas comprise three independent pagodas forming a symmetric triangle. The elegant, balanced and stately style is unique in China’s ancient Buddhist architectures, which makes it a must-see in the tour of Dali. The Three Pagodas, visible from miles away, has been a landmark of Dali City and selected as a national treasure meriting preservation in China.
The main pagoda, known as Qianxun Pagoda (千寻塔; Qiānxún Tǎ), reportedly built during 823-840 CE by king Quan Fengyou (劝丰佑) of the Kingdom of Nanzhao, is 69.6 meters (227 feet) high and is one of the tallest pagodas in China’s history. The central pagoda is square shaped and composed of sixteen stories; each story has multiple tiers of upturned eaves. There is a carved shrine containing a white marble sitting Buddha statue at the center of each façade of every story. The body of the pagoda is hollow from the first to the eighth story, surrounded with 3.3 meters (10 feet) thick walls. In 1978, more than 700 Buddhist antiques, including sculptures made of gold, silver, wood or crystal and documents, were found in the body during a major repairing work. The designers of the pagoda are supposed to have come from Chang’an (present-day Xi’an), the capital of Tang Dynasty at that time and the location of another pagoda, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, which shares the similar style but is one hundred years older.
The other two sibling pagodas, built about one hundred years later, stand to the northwest and southwest of Qianxun Pagoda. They are 42.19 meters (140 feet) high. Different from Qianxun Pagoda, they are solid and octagonal with ten stories. The center of each side of every story is decorated with a shrine containing a Buddha statue.
From Three Pagodas, we go to Butterfly Spring Park.
Butterfly Spring Park
Butterfly Spring where thousands of butterflies flutter among the branches and blossoms and over the spring forming an amazing ‘ Kingdom of Butterflies’.
Located 27km south of Dali Ancient Town, the Butterfly Spring was named as the spring rises to form a pool which was shaped by the dense leaves. Above the pool there is an ancient tree known as the Butterfly Tree, because its fragrant blossom attracts thousands of butterflies in the short interval of spring turns to summer. These colorful creatures fly around the pool and settle on the tree in great clusters as they sip the nectar from the blossoms. This spectacular sight has given rise to a local festival when Bai people gather around the tree on 15 April for the Butterfly Meet. Then the youth will seek to engage with their loves.
There are Three Wonders in Butterfly Spring.
【Spring】 The first wonder is “spring“. Butterfly Spring is soaked from the sand bed, the water quality is especially clear filtered by the thick sand layers without any pollution. The springs come from Butterfly Spring, in recent years the waters have been stored up in three pools by park managers for people to watch, the largest pool is about 10 mu. The park of Butterfly Spring contains a Butterfly Museum which keeps lots of species of butterflies.
【Butterfly】 The second wonder is the “Butterfly“. In Butterfly Spring, there are many different kinds of butterflies, every year in March to May, some butterfly is as big as a palm, and some is as small as bee. April 15 became Butterfly Party by the Bai people. Xu xiake described it in his travel notes: “There are thousands of butterflies, many of them may even connect with each other by head and tail and hang from the Silktree Albizzia to the water’s surface. The sight is so magnificent and wonderful.”
【Tree】 The last wonder is the “tree“. In the Butterfly Spring Park, there is “the beauty of the Butterfly Spring is green, please take good care of flowers and trees” environmental sign, this sentence show the beauty of the Butterfly Spring is green. The fernleaf hedge bamboos, the Christmas trees are seen along the passageway, and after the spring there are the pine forest, palm grove, tea grove, rhododendron forest, and some local unique aromatic incense tree species like albizzia. The acacia tree in Butterfly Spring, when the flowering season in early April, its petals just look like the hidden butterfly during the day, and its petals fold and smell fragrance at night. The poet praise the butterfly is the “flying flowers“, and this albizzia is “still butterfly“. All kinds of flowers bloom in the third and fourth month of every lunar year on Yunnong Peak. The big Silktree Albizzia gives off a faint fragrant scent. The scent attracts the butterflies, so thousands of them congregate around the Butterfly Spring.
Erhai or Er Lake (洱海; Ěrhǎi), is an alpine fault lake in Yunnan province, China. Its name means “Ear-shaped Sea“, due to its shape as seen by locals and travellers. Erhai was also known as Yeyuze or Kunming Lake in ancient times.
Tian Long Cave Scenic Area 天龙洞
Dali Tianlong Cave天龙洞 is an ancient cave at Yunnong Peak of Cangshan Mountain. With the altitude of 2400 meters, Tianlong Cave is about 2400 meters far away from Dali Butterfly Spring. The tourism bus can reach from Boluopang Village to the foot of the mountain where there is a parking lot. After getting off the bus, you can just climb up the mountain along the stone steps and the paths in the mountain.
The famous Tianlong Cave天龙洞 is facing the east with wide cave entrance. With the path of zigzagging shape, the whole length is about one hundred meters. According to the introduction of those foreign students who learn in Chinese learning programs in Yunnan, you can see an arched hall as soon as you step into the scenic spot Tianlong Cave天龙洞. The stalactites and stalagmites are formed vertically and horizontally.
Then we go back to the city and watch Dali Performance.
I think Dali is a beautiful city and there’s so many culture and history in there. Seems like I come to a movie set. When you have a chance, you have to come here at least one and explore the history and culture.
The Stone Forest or Shilin石林 is a notable set of limestone formations about 500 km2 located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, People’s Republic of China, near Shilin approximately 90 km (56 mi) from the provincial capital Kunming.
The tall rocks seem to arise from the ground in a manner somewhat reminiscent of stalagmites, or with many looking like petrified trees, thereby creating the illusion of a forest made of stone. Since 2007, two parts of the site, the Naigu Stone Forest (乃古石林) and Suogeyi Village (所各邑村), have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of the South China Karst. The site is classified as a AAAAA-class tourist site.
This place is beautiful and from upstairs, you can see the stone spread everywhere just like forest.
The place is quiet large and you need to walk for sometime. There’s a local dance show after you finish the touring on the way to go out.
From Stone Forest, we go to Colorful Yunnan 七彩云南. This is where we can see culture and all about Yunnan.
Then after dinner, our guide send us to train station. I heard that we will ride sleeper train and this is my first time to ride sleeper train. And we fill awkward and don’t know what to do.
We have other 4 guests with us so we are 6 people in one room. There’s a small sink in front of the room.
Because the other 4 thinks that we are foreigner and feel awkward, they let us to use the lower bunkbed. Actually, I can’t sleep. Because feels strange to be in one room with foreigner. This is the first time I use bunk bed.
I didn’t go back home this summer holiday, and my friend, VV ask me if we want to take some tour to other province. We decided to go to to Beijing Tour BTG office, located near Guomao. My friend “A” take his parents to tour using this agent, and he said it’s good.
Actually, I forgot where is the office located because I heard that it’s moved. That time when I visit the office, they are in renovation.
After looking for some tour package, we decided to go to Yunnan 云南 because the date is suitable for us and I heard Yunnan 云南 is very beautiful. We take Kunming 昆明– Dali 大理– Li Jiang 丽江 – Shangrila 香格里拉 Tour for 9 days tour with price RMB 5.500/person.
We depart from our dorm at evening, to take flight to Kunming 昆明at night. If I’m not wrong, our flight is at 21:00, China Eastern and will arrive at Kunming 昆明 at 00:50 the next day. Arrive at the airport, there’s staff from BTG agent that waiting for us at the airport and help us to check-in.
Arrive in Kunming昆明, our guide has already waiting for us at the arrival. Then we go to hotel to rest.
This tour agent has very good service. We stay at 4* hotel.