Gastronomic Yunnan with Fuchsia Dunlop

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10 Days
Sept 11th - Sept 20th, 2024
Min Age : 16+
Max People: 12
About this Journey

Explore diverse flavors on a Yunnan tour with award-winning author Fuchsia Dunlop, renowned expert on Chinese cuisine. This journey is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be introduced to the best of Yunnan cuisine through lively market visits and sit-down meals prepared by locals.

Devour sweet pineapple rice along with tangy mushrooms delicately steamed in banana leaves. Try Yunnan’s famous fried goat cheese seasoned with salt and chili. Savor the wholesome taste of Tibetan homemade barley bread along with a cup of yak butter tea. Let the exotic and varied tastes of Yunnan guide your way around this ethnically diverse province.


Fuchsia Dunlop will take you on an epicurean odyssey through this far-flung region of idyllic villages and long-cultivated landscapes. Explore where China’s culinary traditions meet the citrus and spice of Southeast Asia, and where ethnically diverse peoples cook with flowers, tea, and rare herbs.

What we love
  • Using cuisine as a lens to understand Yunnan's different ethnic minorities
  • Stir-frying alongside Fuchsia in a local Dali family's home
  • Meditating in sync with a Taoist master atop Weibaoshan

Day 1Arrive in Kunming

As you arrive in Kunming, rest up and take the afternoon at your leisure • In the evening, enjoy a group dinner with Fuchsia Dunlop in one of Kunming’s best restaurants.

Day 2Kunming to Mengzi

Enjoy a taste of Yunnan breakfast with a plate of lu-ersi, a lightly fried rice noodle dish lathered in sweet and salty brown sauce • Head the small town of Mengzi, the home of Yunnan’s famous ‘Across the Bridge’ noodles • On the way, stop by a Yi minority village known for its hot pepper and enjoy the sour and spicy flavors of Yi cuisine for lunch • Continue your way along Yunnan’s picturesque roads to Mengzi • Dig into a spread of Mengzi classics, such as tubawan, an assortment of eight meat and vegetables dishes.


Day 3Mengzi to Jianshui

After a refreshing breakfast, visit South Lake, another important setting in the story of the ‘Across the Bridge’ noodles • Create and eat your very own ‘Across the Bridge’ noodles for lunch • Depart for Jianshui, a historical transportation hub with a history dating back some 1,200 years • After arriving in Jianshui, enjoy the herb-infused, delicately steamed ‘steam pot chicken’ for dinner.

Day 4Jianshui

Peruse the fresh morning produce of bustling Xinjie Market, where ethnic minority members hawk their wares • Visit the second-largest Confucian temple in China • After lunch at a local restaurant, wander through the Zhu Gardens, a masterpiece of Chinese horticulture and landscaping dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties • Get acquainted with Jianshui nightlife with a barbecue dinner and mounds of local snacks.

Day 5Jianshui to Kunming

Walk upon the majestic Double Dragon Bridge, an ancient structural masterpiece, on your journey back to Kunming • Explore Ming and Qing architecture in the ancient town of Tuanshan • Travel to Jiangchuan village for a lunch of copper-pot fish • Admire the lush scenery during a drive along Fuxian Lake • Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 6Kunming

Smell the scent of orchids, roses, and camellias as you listen to the song of cuckoos and chatter of parrots at the Bird and Flower Market • Stroll through Kunming’s city center for a fusion of modern malls and ancient city gates • Let the citrusy and spicy flavors of Dai cuisine tantalize your taste buds • Admire the intricate Buddhist décor of Yuantong Temple • Try a Kunming favorite, mushroom hotpot, a make-your-own mushroom stew adventure with a selection of fungi.

Day 7Kunming to Dali

Transfer to the railway station for a 2-hour ride on the high-speed train to Dali • Take off for a casual hike to a neighboring waterfall • Travel back in time by walking around Dali’s picturesque Old Town, a mixture of pagodas, red lanterns, and mountains • Tuck into Dali classics at a dinner in Dali Old Town.

Day 8Dali

Spend the morning immersing yourself in the traditional Bai architecture of Xizhou, characterized by ornate gateways and honeycomb patterns • Visit the lively market and learn the secrets of making rushan, a local cheese • Bike through lakeside Bai minority towns • Hone your cooking skills in a cooking lesson in a local family’s home in Zhoucheng Village.

Day 9Weibaoshan

Depart for a day trip to Taoist Weibaoshan, which literally means ‘Magnificent Treasure Mountain’ • Watch locals prepare a bowl of ‘one-noodle soup’ for you • Work off your past meals with a hike up the temple-strewn Weibaoshan • Learn about ‘the way’ from a Taoist master during lunch • Find your inner zen with a round of meditation or tai chi • Return to Xizhou and rest up for your farewell dinner • Attend a home-cooked farewell dinner with Fuchsia in Dali Old Town.

Day 10Depart from Dali

Your gastronomic journey across Yunnan has come to an end, but it will linger on in your photos and tales • Your WildChina team will transfer you to the airport for your next adventure.


Zhongwei Green Lake Hotel Kunming
5 star

A fusion of Chinese and European styles, Kunming’s Zhongwei Green Lake Hotel takes its name from nearby Green Lake Park, a popular meeting point for locals.

Guanfang Hotel Mengzi

The best hotel in town, with picturesque views over the lake as well as maintained gardens, Mengzi’s Guanfang Hotel is a welcome respite after a day filled with exploring.

Zhu Jia Garden Jianshui

Oozing century-old culture, the architecture within Zhu Jia Gardens dates from the Qing Dynasty. At night time, when the tourists have gone and lights come on, linger in the truly magical atmosphere.

Linden Centre, Dali
Local Boutique

Housed in a restored traditional courtyard mansion originally built by a powerful warlord in the years before the Communist Revolution, the center offers a range of activities in a peaceful setting.


Travel expert

A chef and award-winning author from England, Fuchsia Dunlop became an expert in Sichuanese food after living in Chengdu and becoming the first foreigner to graduate from the prestigious Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine.

The Cambridge graduate has written for numerous publications and has published a number of books about her specialization in Chinese cuisine. Fuchsia’s latest book ‘The Food of Sichuan‘ is out now.

Dates for this journey

September 11th – 20th, 2024



This journey starts in Kunming, Yunnan’s provincial capital and largest city.

The primary airport in the region, Kunming Changshui International Airport (KMG), has daily flights from all major Chinese cities, as well as flights from Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

Kunming also has a well-connected network of high-speed trains. Trains regularly feed into Kunming from Guangxi and Guizhou province, as well as from a majority of the cities in Yunnan.


This journey ends in Dali, in central Yunnan. The airport, Dali Airport (DLU), serves only domestic airports.

Flights to the US, Europe, Australia, and other international destinations are best served by airports such as Beijing (PEK or PKX) and Chengdu (CTU), which can be reached daily by flights from Dali. There are typically two direct flights per day to Beijing and Chengdu.

Dali also has many trains to Kunming. Kunming Changshui International Airport (KMG) flies significantly more domestic routes than Dali, as well as international routes to Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

What’s Included

  • All accommodations based on double-occupancy including breakfasts, as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary, and drinking water
  • All admission fees and activity expenses, as indicated in the itinerar
  • Ground transportation, including airport transfers
  • Services of an English-speaking WildChina guide

What’s Excluded

  • International and domestic flights, domestic trains, plus relevant taxes
  • Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Meals, apart from those included in the itinerary, and alcohol
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Discretionary gratuities for guides and drivers

Domestic High-Speed Train (Kunming – Dali)


The land costs above do not include domestic high-speed train travel.

First Class Seat: From USD $48 per person

What to expect

Trip Difficulty: Easy Adventure

This journey is considered an easy adventure. Easy adventure includes half to full days outside the hotel with possible visits to sites no more than 2 hours away. We drive on paved city roads and stay in 5-star or boutique hotels and may spend up to 2 hours walking per day.

Your Guides & Expert

Your guide will arrange the logistics of your trip, including meals, hotel reservations, sites, and activities, as well as providing you with information about the local region. You will also be traveling with a WildChina expert, who will serve as an in-depth source of knowledge covering your trip as a whole. Your WildChina guide is specific to each local region, but your WildChina expert will accompany you throughout your journey, escorting you to all locations. Your WildChina guides will be confirmed during booking.

Meals and Water

Meals are included, as listed in your itinerary. We strive to arrange meals that highlight authentic local cuisine in clean, local establishments.

It is safe to drink bottled mineral water, but tap water, even in 5-star hotels, is not safe for drinking. We will provide bottled water, tea, and snacks throughout your journey.

We request guests with severe allergies to consult their physicians prior to traveling and to bring all necessary medicines with them. Inform us ahead of time of specific allergies, such as peanuts or shellfish, or sensitivities to MSG, so that we can do our best to ensure these items are not used in your meals.

Next Steps

How do I secure my spot on this tour?

We will continue to work with you until your trip is perfect.

For international bookings: Once you are ready to book, a USD$500 planning fee, per booking, is required to begin reserving your arrangements. This will go towards your trip costs and will be taken off your final balance amount.

For bookings made in China: Once you are ready to book, a RMB1,000 deposit, per person, is required. This will go towards your trip costs and will be taken off your final balance amount.

What is the payment schedule?

1. Deposit:
A deposit is required to secure your reservation. Once your deposit has been received, we will send your confirmation along with a detailed itinerary and all the information you’ll need to prepare for your journey.

2. Full payment:
Full trip payment should be made 20 days prior to departure. If you’re booking within 20 days of your departure, you may be asked to pay make the full payment straight away.

Payments can be made via credit card, bank transfer, WeChat or Alipay

Is this trip guaranteed to run?

This trip will be scheduled to run once we receive bookings from six (6) passengers. Should the journey be cancelled due to lack of sign-ups or government restrictions, WildChina will fully refund any deposits or fees paid.

What is your cancelation policy?

See our full cancellation policy and our  terms and conditions for more information.

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