My girlfriend and I have about a week off work and want to travel somewhere in Yunnan/not too far from Yunnan.
We've been to most of the obvious places already (Lijiang, Dali, Shangri La, Xishuangbanna).
We considered the Yuan Yang rice terraces but thought it might not be the best time of year for that.
So I'm looking for other recommendations...
We enjoy hiking, cycling, nice scenery and places to sit about and relax.
*Our Chinese is, embarrassingly, pretty bad. So anything that requires lots of in depth communication with locals is risky.
Thanks in advance!
Just stay in and watch TV, eat rice noodles and sleep all day. Live like the locals. I can't believe you are tired of throwing bread at the sea gulls at Green Lake. That's the whole reason I moved to Kunming, just for the seagulls.
I spent a weekend in Jianshui a couple of years ago. Not touristy, but very relaxed. It is kind of old town like Dali but with new. Great pottery and the folks are very polite.
I recommend you visit any of these 3 Ols Salt Towns or you can use the entire week to visit all 3.
You can take the SLOW train from Kunming to Heijing, Chuxiong. The next day you can get back on the same train and go to Yuan Mou, Chuxiong and visit Tu Lin - Soil Forest. There are 2 hotels right inside the Soil Forest (1 expensive, 1 cheaper). Unlike the Stone Forest, the Soil Forest sees very few visitors which makes for some very beautiful pictures without any people standing around.
On your way back from the Yuan Mou, Soil Forest you can stop at the Lion Mountain in Wuding, Chuxiong. Then you can hop on a bus from Wuding back to Kunming.
Weishan is just 1 hour south of Dali and not many tourists go there. Just outside of the Old Town (11 km) is Wei Bao Shan which is a Historical and Cultural Landmark.
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The Salt Towns and Weishan are both out of the way and do not have many tourists. They are great places to walk around, relax, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.