Tag Archives: Yunnan

Yunnan Tour – Kunming to Singapore Day 11 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

The morning that greeted us was quite different from the sunny day before. It was cold and a little foggy outdoor. It was already 7.30 am and it was still dark outside. We then went up to the restaurant on the 28th floor for breakfast.

The restaurant was quiet and we were the few quests up here for breakfast. Perhaps it was still early and most hotel guests were still sleeping. During China packaged tours, we would be having breakfast much earlier at 7 am to avoid the crowd. Anyway the buffet spread was ready. It was quite impressive with the variety of food available. There was an egg counter and we ordered omelets. Another counter nearby served noodle soup.

We took our food and went to a table by the window and enjoyed our last breakfast here in Yunnan. My wife loved the porridge and we went for a few rounds to fill up our stomach to begin our day. There were pastries and fruits as well. It was a very good breakfast indeed.

Back in our room, my wife continued to pack and get ready. From our room window we could see it was getting brighter outdoor and it was already 8.30 am. So I left the hotel to walk over to Xiao Xi Men to purchase bus tickets to get to the airport after lunch. It was a little cold this morning as I stepped outside the hotel.

Continue reading Yunnan Tour – Kunming to Singapore Day 11 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

Yunnan Tour – Dali to Kunming Day 10 ( 11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

This would be the day we returned to Kunming from where we began our Yunnan tour. So we woke up early in anticipation of returning to the capital city of Yunnan and would be looking forward to some shopping. Yinfeng Hotel had already helped us bought our bus tickets back to Kunming so we needed not worry over transportation. Breakfast was bread and bakery items bought in town the night before and coffee and tea were available with the kettle provided by the hotel.

Slightly after 8 am, we went to the lobby to check out. We then waited for the arranged pick up from Yinfeng Hotel to the bus station in Dali. Not long after, a blue vehicle showed up and we loaded up our bags and boarded the car and left Yinfeng Hotel.

Yinfeng Hotel may not be luxurious accommodation but the location was strategic right inside the Ancient Town. The staff were friendly and helpful and could speak and write in English as well. They had helped with pick up from the new city as well as outside the Ancient Town and this made transfer a lot easier. They also helped to contact our hotels in Lijiang and Shangrila to arrange for pickups to their hotels as well. So customer service was great.


We arrived at Dali bus station before 9 am. It was a great day here in Dali where the sun was shinning brightly. It was busy outside the bus station. The distant mountains in the background looked inviting and pretty. We didn’t have the opportunity to explore the mountains around Dali during our stay. Surprisingly, the bus station wasn’t crowded inside. We already had our tickets so we simply waited for our bus to Kunming. There were many buses outside the station heading out to various destinations.

Soon we were called to board our bus and we headed out and stored our luggage in the storage compartment of this very nice and new big bus. We had a very bad experience taking a medium bus from Kunming to Dali a week ago where our bags were wet when we arrived. The medium bus took much longer travel time than expected picking up passengers at other locations along the way as well. So we made it a point to avoid those medium buses and our experience with the big buses travelling between different cities in Yunnan was great. Continue reading Yunnan Tour – Dali to Kunming Day 10 ( 11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

Yunnan Tour – Lijiang to Dali Day 9 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

We woke up to another wonderful morning to witness the magnificent sunrise at our balcony. The changing colours of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain was equally mesmerizing and magical like the previous morning. It was such a delight to catch sunrise moments here in Lijiang, especially at Pullman Lijiang Resort where we could just step out to the balcony for such an experience. How often could we watch a snow capped mountain illuminated during first light with the myriads of colours dispersing from the mountain to the surrounding area.

Next was to indulge in a nice cup of coffee from the coffee maker and together with bread and pastries we bought from England Time the day before at Shuhe Ancient Town. Looking out to the fabulous garden like setting in Pullman Lijiang Resort with Jade Dragon Snow Mountain providing this majestic presence, our simple breakfast was such an enjoyable experience. The air was fresh and cool as we watched Lijiang becoming fully awakened from its break through the night.

Since our bus ride to Dali was late morning and we had already purchased our tickets, we still had some time before checking out and going to the bus station. As such, we did another quick round to roam the beautiful property in Pullman Lijiang Resort. The beautiful landscaped villas with the many lovely lavenders were too seductive to give it a miss. Without hesitation, we went down to walk around the premise on this beautiful autumn morning.

So we took pictures again at different nice spots and have another good look around. We won’t know when we would be returning to visit again. The lovely lavenders were simply too nice to miss in addition to the changing colours of the trees during autumn. Those colourful tall trees along the pretty nice cold stream was such a delight and no doubt a great place for meditation. It was so relaxing to walk around to enjoy this property in Pullman Lijiang Resort.

After this we returned to our room. A quick shower was in order. Having packed the night before, we were soon ready to head out to front desk to check out. The professional and friendly staff were a delight to interact with. We requested one of them to help us contact our hotel, Yinfeng Hotel in Dali to arrange a pick up outside the Ancient Town.


Continue reading Yunnan Tour – Lijiang to Dali Day 9 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

Yunnan Tour – Lijiang Day 8 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

Pullman Lijiang Resort was really a great place for a good night rest. We slept like a log, especially after coming down from Shangrila where freezing cold and altitude sickness were our constant companions during our stay over there. Our sleep here in Lijiang was indeed sweet. Our tired bodies were rejuvenated and it would be a great day to kick start our activity in Lijiang.

When we pulled away the curtains and went out to the balcony, the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain was awakening in diverse colours under the gentle autumn sun. The small stretch of snow on the mountain top was remarkably white with the surrounding rocky edges of the mount standing out in bright golden hues. The skies were also getting brighter turning from a tint of blue to bright white under the glare of the morning sun.

The distant mountains were coated with a grand coat of reddish brown. Soon, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain was back to its original greyish rock colour closer to silver with the unmistakable tiny shiny snow cap that adorned this awesome mountain during this autumn morning. The trees were glowing in bright reddish brown as well. What a joy to behold such wonder where we recalled our similar experience during sunrise at Mount Cook in South New Zealand from our hotel room window years ago.

Looking down below the balcony, hotel staff were up and about their work walking around the property. The resort buggies were out on the pavement with hotel staff busying themselves with work for the day. The villas were awaking as well with the few guests leaving for breakfast at the restaurant near the pond.

As for us, we needed not head out for breakfast. We bought bakery items from England Time at Shuhe Ancient Town the previous day and with the nice coffee maker provided by the hotel, we had a simple but satisfying breakfast. The coffee was heavenly so were the pastries from England Time. Having breakfast out on the balcony with the view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain was a great feeling indeed. The air was fresh and cool this morning.


It was still very early and we had nothing planned in particular so we lingered in our room and enjoyed this spacious luxury hotel room watching TV. We were also able to keep in touch with the children back home. We had already left home for more than a week so it was also about time to keep up to date with events outside of China.

After 10 am, we decided to head to front desk to rent bicycles to cycle around the resort property. Bicycle rental was free and we were given a map of the surrounding. We were given one bicycle each and these bicycles were in good conditions. The compound in the resort was pretty big but we were the only guests cycling here with the occasional buggies sharing the track with us.




So we began our ride on this gorgeous property in Pullman Lijiang Resort. In front of our hotel building was the many villas very beautifully landscaped with plants, shrubs and trees, especially the lovely lavenders all over the resort. We didn’t cycle too far and we stopped to take pictures each time.

Continue reading Yunnan Tour – Lijiang Day 8 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

Yunnan Tour – Shangrila to Lijiang Day 7 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

We woke up to another freezing morning in Shangrila. After a quick breakfast, we got ourselves ready to check out. We had already packed the night before so it was trouble free as we went down to our familiar lobby to process our check out. We also returned the oxygen canister the hotel loaned us for standby and we didn’t use. Xiao Long, the hotel manager was already waiting to give us a ride to the bus station. Having settled our outstanding bills, we left with Xiao Long who helped us with our luggage.

Once outside Bodhi Inn, it was still the same dilapidated streets under going reconstruction work and we had to watch our steps not to step into mud along the way to the main road. While walking out, the hotel van was no where to be seen. But as we continued walking out, the van appeared and Tashi, the owner of Bodhi Inn was reversing the van nearer for us to get in. So we had less walking to do and we got into the van after exchanging greetings with Tashi.

It was a pleasure staying at Bodhi Inn. The staff were really friendly, helpful and with English speaking staff, it made our stay a lot more pleasant and enjoyable. The hotel was playing Tibetan chants but when they realized we were English speaking, they switched to English music to make us feel at home. The reconstruction work outside and around Bodhi Inn wasn’t their fault. They had made everything possible to make our stay a great one. The day trip arranged by Bodhi Inn was value for money where we had the opportunity to head up to Shika Snow Mountain at over 4500 m elevation.

Xiao Long took over the wheel and soon we were on our way out of the Old Town. It was a cold morning even though the sun was out. But once inside the van, we were rather comfortable. In about 15 minutes, we arrived at the bus station. We alighted, took our bags and thanked Xiao Long for his excellent service. Bodhi Inn provides free shuttle between the airport and bus station to the hotel. Xiao Long could be reached at 13187481010 for shuttle transfer for those staying at Bodhi Inn.


The bus station was already very busy though it was just near 8 am. Food vendors were selling hot food outside the bus station. We entered the bus station and it was a busy place. It was a good idea we bought our bus tickets when we arrived Shangrila 2 days ago otherwise we would have to stress ourselves over this matter first thing in the morning. Since we had our tickets with us, we simply waited for our time to head out to board the bus.

Not long after, our departure for Lijiang was called and we went out of the bus station and boarded a big bus that looked rather new. Inside the bus was clean and very spacious. The seats were comfy and seemed to be rather new too. Once on board we settled down to wait for the bus to leave Shangrila. The front panel of the bus showed a negative 4 degree Celsius inside the bus and of course we were wearing winter clothes to keep warm. The engine wasn’t turned on yet so there was no heating inside the bus.

Continue reading Yunnan Tour – Shangrila to Lijiang Day 7 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

Yunnan Tour – Shangrila Day 6 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

It was freezing cold when we got up in the morning after we left the comfort of the electric blanket in bed. So we put on our cold wear and went to the lobby café for breakfast. We pick our table near the fireplace that was heating up the place nicely with kettles placed on top to keep the water hot. We ordered western meals for breakfast consisting of eggs and toasts plus French fries. Coffee was good. We were really grateful for the hot meal on a cold day.

We had already booked a visit to the Shika Snow Mountain with Bodhi Inn the day before. We would be setting off slightly after 9 am. We were told it would be best to be up on the mountain late morning where the sun would be up and it wouldn’t so cold and the wind not too strong. As such, we returned to our room after breakfast to get ready for our day trip. We notified our children about our hike and then wished them a great day ahead.

With the reconstruction work of the Old Town on going, the hotel was informed that power would be cut off during most of the day and would only be turned on again in the late afternoon. So it would be a great time to get out of Bodhi Inn to avoid the freezing cold with no power supply available other than the standby power supply from the generator to power up essential services.



We headed back to the lobby and the hotel manager, Xiao Long was already waiting. He led us out of the hotel and we walked carefully through the dug out trenches and streets outside the hotel towards the entrance of the Old Town where the van was parked. We also brought along with us the oxygen canister the hotel loaned us just in case we needed it up on the mountain above 4500 m. Of course we were well prepared with water and with adequate cold wear.

The air was cool outdoor but with the sun up in the morning, it wasn’t as cold as our room. It was a bright and sunny day which would be great for our outing up on the mountain. The hotel charged us 220 CNY per person for tickets and transport to the base of the mountain and would pick us up after our visit. The cost for this tour would be much cheaper than going up Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang.

Xiao Long started the van and soon we were leaving Old Town and headed towards our destination. After about 45 minutes, we arrived at the base of the mountain. He told us to request the staff at the office to call the hotel to arrange a pick up and he would drive over to get us. Having given us instruction and shown us the way to the cable car station, he left us to enjoy ourselves.

Surprisingly, there were few visitors going up the mountain on the day of our visit. The building of the cable car station was practically empty with the staff sitting around having nothing to do. All those chairs there meant for waiting passengers were empty. We got through the office and went to the cable car station launch site and not long after we were ushered into a cable car. My wife and I had the whole cable car to ourselves which was fantastic.

The ride up the mountain was great with trees on both sides of the mountain. The ground below the cable car was covered with some snow. As we looked down below, the hills were still green and the open grazing area was a little brown. Animals could be seen in the open having their leisure activity eating and enjoying the warn sunshine.

Continue reading Yunnan Tour – Shangrila Day 6 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

Yunnan Tour – Lijiang to Shangrila Day 5 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

This was the day we were looking forward to travelling up to Shangrila 3100 m above sea level. We wondered how it would be like to stay at that altitude and the scenery around town up near the top of the world. So with much excitement we got up from bed and prepared to head out for the day.

Our simple breakfast was the pastries we bought from Joy Bakery the night before at Qixing Street in town. Coffee and tea were nice and great with the bakery food. It was still early before 7 am and we had some time to chill out before heading out to the bus station not far from Hilton Garden Inn. Our bus ride would be slightly after 9 am and we were expected to arrive Shangrila around 2 pm.

Around 8.45 am, we checked out and were greeted by the friendly and helpful staff again. The Guest Service Manager was in a meeting so early in the morning. We were told by one of the staff he would be meeting us shortly to give us a ride to the bus station. That was good news indeed.


Not long after, he emerged from the meeting and greeted us heartily and he led us to the carpark and got into a very nice car from the hotel. Soon we were on our way to the bus station and we arrived in about 5 minutes. Having parked his car at the bus station, he helped us contact Bodhi Inn to inform the hotel we were taking a bus to Shangrila shortly and would arrive at 2 pm. He then told us one of the staff from Bodhi Inn would be meeting us at the bus station in Shangrila to bring us to the hotel.

All was well and we thanked this friendly manager from Hilton Garden Inn who made our stay in Lijiang so amazing. All the hotel’s staff were really approachable and their service impeccable. The reason we chose to stay in Hilton Garden Inn was the location along the main road to facilitate our onward journey to Shangrila. The friendliness and helpfulness of the staff here was an added bonus indeed.




So we checked out the surrounding at the bus station after the manager from Hilton Garden Inn left having wished us a great stay in Yunnan. The air was crisp and fresh in Lijiang. At the main road, we could see the unmistakable Jade Dragon Snow Mountain at the distant far end of the road. It was a majestic and lovely sight.

Continue reading Yunnan Tour – Lijiang to Shangrila Day 5 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

Yunnan Tour – Dali to Lijiang Day 4 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)

After a good night sleep, we were ready for more excitement heading up to Lijiang this morning. Our breakfast was the bread and cake we bought from Joy Bakery in Kunming the day before. Coffee and tea weren’t a problem with the kettle provided in our room. Yinfeng Hotel doesn’t operate a restaurant so no meals served in the hotel. Our simple breakfast was satisfying nevertheless.

It was still very early, so we went to the main street of the ancient town for a quick look around. It was quiet but there were street vendors selling hot food to those who were up and about their business in the morning. Most shops were still closed but the shop selling meat was already open for business.

We went over to the church at the corner for a proper visit. The door was open but the church was empty. We didn’t see any caretaker there. This was just a typical church building but should be quite historical in this UNESCO site. We didn’t venture any further after visiting the church and we headed back to Yinfeng Hotel.

Having packed, we went to the lobby to check out to wait for our transfer to the bus station to take a bus to Lijiang, 180 km away. Our pick up time was 8.30 am but the guys who were supposed to be at the hotel seemingly were not sure about the location of Yinfeng Hotel. The hotel staff received a call from one of the staff and direction was given. Not long after, a small little van showed up and we left with them.

We were glad we had stayed at Yinfeng Hotel right inside Dali ancient town. The staff here were extremely helpful and were conversant in English. They also made onward calls to our hotels in Lijiang and Shangrila to get direction and made arrangements for our transfer to their hotel. Anyway, we would be coming back to stay in Yinfeng Hotel during our return leg from Lijiang after visiting Shangrila.


Continue reading Yunnan Tour – Dali to Lijiang Day 4 (11 Days 10 Nights November 2015)