The new high-speed rail line to Yunnan makes one of our favorite China destinations that much more accessible. From June 30th 2016, you’ll be able to travel from Shanghai all the way across the country to Kunming, China’s launchpad for outdoor adventure, in just 10 hours.
The journey from Shanghai to Kunming, Yunnan is now only 10 hours. Photo by Enzo Jiang via flikr
The journey from the port megacity of Shanghai to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, China’s year-round hub for adventure travel and cultural immersion, was once an 18 hour ride by train. This new line shaves off almost half the time, getting you there in 10 hours flat. For travelers from Beijing, the trip will take only 30 minutes more.
Trains can be one of the best ways to get around China. Check in is much less of a hassle and the new CRH high-speed trains are very comfortable, with more spacious seating than you’ll find on most domestic flights in China. And the best thing of all, you get to enjoy beautiful views of the Chinese countryside that you would completely miss flying overhead.
Where to Go from Kunming
Kunming is the launchpad for all kinds of adventures in Yunnan province. Here are few places to head next when you hop off the platform in Kunming:
Head northwest to the spectacular Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world’s deepest river canyons with popular hiking routes and gorgeous views. Photo by Jeremy Foster via Flikr
Visit the quaint old town of Dali to explore the local Bai architecture, visit local artisans, and taste some scrumptious locally grown Yunnan specialties. Photo by Jeremy Foster via Flikr
Stay at the Aman Hotel right in the heart of Lijiang Old Town. The Amandayan boasts a beautiful garden of local plants and flowers. It’s a lovely setting to spend an afternoon, sitting in a courtyard, drinking tea, and watching the blossom petals fall with the wind. Photo by Amandayan Lijiang
Visit Shangri-la, which remains an important center for Yunnan’s Tibetan community. The charming town is located in a broad valley on the Tibetan Plateau at an altitude of 10,500 feet, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, primeval forests, and lakes.
See all the Yunnan highlights on our classic Yunnan tour.