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Yunnan Bird Watching Tour
HomeChina Tours Beijing Bird Watching Tour Kunming-Dali-Baihualing-Lijiang-Zhongdian-Kunming ( BW-004 )
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Kunming-Dali-Baihualing-Lijiang-Zhongdian-Kunming ( 17 Days ) GW-BW-004

Yunnan, meaning “South of the Clouds”, is located in the far southwest of China. With the terrain ranging from tropical rainforest to snow-capped
peaks and peoples from Dai to Tibetan, Yunnan is the most varied of China’s provinces and is one of the most alluring destinations in the entire
country. 25 minorities of 55 in China live in Yunnan and the province also boasts half of China’s plant and animal species. It is also well known for
its year-round mild climate, and there are numerous excellent areas for bird watching in Yunnan.

Itinerary :

Yunnan Birding

Day 1/Arrive in Kunming
Arrive in Kunming, known as “The City of Eternal Spring”. Pick up from airport and transfer to the
hotel. If time permits, visit the Flower and Bird Market at Jingming Street, where is an
interesting places either for a leisurely stroll or to purchase some lovely things. (D)

Day 2/Kunming-Dali
Transfer to the shuttle bus station and take bus to Dali (4.5 hours, without guide service). Dali is
a historically and culturally famous city of China, which is renowned for her historical interests.
Dali City stands against Cangshan Mountain in the west and adjoins Erhai Lake in the east, and
is embraced by undulating hills around. Meet your guide at the airport. Then, take cable car to
Cangshan Mountian, the stunningly beautiful mountain boasts its high peaks, uncertain clouds,
susurrating streams and capping snow. Birding along the Jade Belt Road with soft trekking for the whole afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 3/Dali-Baihualing (Gaoligong Mountain)
Drive about 5 hours to Baihualing Nature Reserve in Gaoligong Mountain. Stay overnight in the reserve guest house. (B,L,D)

Baihualing is on the eastern slop of the Gaoligong Mountains which is located in Baoshan District of Yunnan Province. Baihualing is famous for its
many varieties of plants and birds.

Birds at Baihualing: Sclater’s Monal (high elevations only), Silver and Mrs. Hume’s Pheasants, Stripe-breasted Woodpecker, Ward’s Trogon (rare),
Brown Wood Owl, Hodgson’s Frogmouth, White-bellied Green Pigeon, Long-tailed Broadbill, White-winged Magpie (rare), three species of
shortwing including Gould’s, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Spotted, Grey-sided, Blue-winged, Scaly and Red-tailed Laughingthrushes, Coral and
Slender-billed Scimitar Babblers, Grey-bellied Wren Babbler, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Yellow-throated Fulvetta and Beautiful Sibia. Arguably
Baihualing’s greatest avian attraction however s Cachar Wedge-billed Wren, a species that’s not uncommon here. Dark-rumped Swift has even
been reported here.

Day 4/Baihualing
Bird watching under the guide of nature reserves. Stay overnight in local guest house. (B) 

Day 5/Baihualing
Bird watching under the guide of nature reserves. Stay overnight in local guest house. (B) 

Day 6/Baihualing-Dali
Drive back to Dali, and visit Xizhou Village, located 18 kilometers north of Dali, faces Erhai on the east. It grew and flourished in the Ming Dynasty
(1368-1644) along with the fortunes of Dali renowned tea merchants that traded to Tibet. It is not only a historically famous city but also a typical
commercial center of Bai Ethnic Nationality. (B,L,D)

Day 7/Dali-Lijiang
Drive to Lijiang (about 3.5 hours), a beautiful town with narrow cobblestones streets that crisscross small canals; Lijiang is home to the Naxi ethnic
people, resplendent in their royal blue tunics. Visit Baisha Murals in Baisha Naxi village, an artistic Crystallization combining the Naxi, Tibetan, Bai
and Han styles. Birding in Baisha Village and Wenhai region in the half of Jade Dragon Mountain depends on time. Stay overnight in Lijiang. (B,L,D) 

Wenhai Lake, a sub-alpine lake within the Lashihai Nature Reserve (Situated along the southeastern slopes of the towering Jade Dragon Snow
Mountain (5500 meters) and surrounded by mountains on all sides, the diamond-shaped basin of Lashihai Watershed is a spectacular setting for
exploring the intricate relationship between the abundant natural resources of this land and the people who live off it.), is a habitat for migrating
birds, most notably the endangered black stork. Each year, for reasons not yet completely known, Wenhai undergoes a transformation from sub-
alpine lake to grazing grasslands. Beginning in early spring, the lake gradually disappears, believed to drain through underground limestone
formations to Lashi Lake, about 500 meters below. Then, with the return of the summer rainy season, Wenhai Lake begins to fill again. By fall it
reaches its full size, ready for the arrival of migratory birds in late December. The watershed’s highland forests support a wide variation of plant and
animal species, including protected raptors, forest wildlife, traditional medicinal plants and treasured fungi. In spring, the region’s famous
rhododendrons – over 15 species -- burst into bloom, creating mountains of colorful flowers.

Located northwest of Kunming and bordered Tibet, Lijiang has the wonderfully picturesque old town and great and beautiful surroundings. It boasts
Naxi, Tibetan, Mosu, Lisu and Pumi nationalities, breathtaking mountain and lake scenery, Tibetan monasteries, deep gorges and the backpacker
comforts of Lijiang’s lovely old town.
There are several good areas to go birding around Lijiang:
a. Black Dragon Pool Park is right on the northeastern edge of Lijiang town This is the best site in China for Giant Nuthatch - search the “relict
pines” near the second pavilion/pagoda near the stepped track around Elephant Mountain.

b. Lashihai (Lashihai Lake or previously more commonly known as Lashiba Hai) – a sizeable lake 20 kilometers almost directly west of Lijiang
that holds large numbers of wintering waterfowl (often including small numbers of Falcated Duck), Common Cranes and occasional birds of prey
such as White-tailed Eagle.

c. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain: About 35 kilometers (50 minutes drive) north of Lijiang is this spectacular mountain. In winter it’s largely
inaccessible but spring visits can produce Buff-throated Partridge, White Eared & Lady Amherst's Pheasants, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, White-
throated Redstart, Giant Laughingthrush, Rufous-tailed Babbler & both Alpine & Maroon-backed Accentors here. There are several chairlifts up the
mountain – the one at Yun Shan Ping Suo Dao starts at 09:00 & goes up to Yun Shan Ping (4700 meters) and is the best for birding.

Yunnan BirdingDay 8/Lijiang
Take a cable car to visit Yak Meadow situated at the middle of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
, at an altitude of 3,800 meters. The beautiful natural scenery there is an important part of the
mountain, and you will not only see many yaks on the plateau, but also horses and donkeys.
Birding on the plateau region. Stay overnight in Lijiang. (B,L,D)

Day 9/Lijiang
Extra day for birding at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, take a cable car to Yak Meadow. Stay
overnight in Lijiang. (B,L,D)

Drive to Lashihai (Lashi Lake) for birding. Stay overnight in Lijiang. (B,L,D) 

Lashihai (Lashi Lake): At an elevation of 2500 meters, Lashihai (Lashi Lake) is the largest highland lake in Lijiang County, and an important habitat
for over 57 species of migratory birds, the highest waterbird species diversity of any lake in Northwest Yunnan. During the winter months, the lake is
home to tens of thousands of migratory birds, including protected species such as the black-necked crane, whooper swan and black stork. The
birds come to Lashihai to feed on its abundance of local crops, aquatic plant species and 7 different species of fish. The Class III protected water
lily is one of the 47 aquatic plant species found in the lake.

Day11/Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Haba Village
Drive to Tiger Leaping Gorge, located on the upstream of the Yangtze River in Yunnan, honored as the deepest and most marvelous gorges in the
world. From the top of the gorge you look down the steeply angled (70-90 degrees) mountain sides to the rushing Jinsha River with its 18 frothing
rapids more than 200 meters below. Take soft trekking till middle gorge, and birding on the way. Then, drive to Haba Village. Stay overnight in local
farmer’s home. (B,L,D)

Day12/Haba Village-Zhongdian
Drive to Zhongdian, is known as Shangri-La which was described as a heaven away from the turbulent mundane world in James Hilton’s novel
“The lost Horizon” in 1993. Shangri-La, a Tibetan word, means “land of sacredness and peace”. Birding on the way. (B,L,D)

Birding in around Zhongdian at Hanmugu Village, Napahai Lake and Big Valley for highland pasture and swamp, maybe have chance to watch
black-necked crane and other birds. Maybe visit Bitahai Lake nature Reserve. Stay overnight in Zhongdian. (B,L,D)
Napahai Lake: Napahai Lake is located 8km to the northwest of Zhongdian County. It is the ideal habitation for black-necked cranes. From
September to March of the next year, these rare birds have been staying here for about half a year.
Shangri-la Big Valley: Shangri-la Valley locates in the northwest of Shangri-la County. It is 76km (42 miles) away from the county, 81 kilometers (50
miles) away from Shangri-la airport. With the total area of 176 square kilometers, it connects the Birang Valley in the east, the Shangqiaotou Village
in the south, the Derong County in Sichuang Province in the west and the Dongwang Village in the north. The highest peak in the Shangri-la Valley
is the Balagengzong Snow Mountain with the altitude of 5,545 meters (18,192 feet), and the lowest point is the Shuizhuang Village with the altitude
of 2,000 meters (6,561 feet). The main sight in this scenic area is the valley with its abundant topographic features and plants. And the Tibetan
custom and culture based on the Tibetan Buddhism and Holy Mountains infuse the spirit to the scenic area.

Bitahai Lake: Bitahai Lake, a huge alpine lake, lies in the east of Zhongdian County seat, and is the highest lake in Yunnan Province. Bitahai Lake
is famous for its intact natural attraction with outstanding flora and fauna and picturesque landscape.

Take a morning flight to Kunming. Today’s highlight is to visit the Stone Forest (Shilin). The Stone Forest is in Lunan Yi Nationality, which is about
120km from Kunming. This area offers visitors a unique landscape of stark limestone pillars twisted and sculpted by wind and water erosion some
270 million year ago. From a distance, these stone pillars look indeed like a dense forest; hence the name of Stone Forest. It covers an area of 350
square kilometers, yet only about 11.92 square kilometers have been developed as scenic landscape open to the public. Then, drive back to
Kunming. (B,L,D)

Day17/Depart from Kunming
Transfer to the airport, and fly out. (B)

Note: B-Breakfast  L-Lunch  D-Dinner

Best Season: From late Apr to late Octo

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