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With 26 ethnic minorities, Yunnan has the largest number of ethnic groups of any province in all of China, earning it the title of “The Colorful Yunnan - a Tourism Paradise in China”.

Yunnan is located at the border area of the southwest of China, with Guizhou and Guangxi Provinces to the east, Sichuan Province to the north, Tibet at the northwest border, and Laos, Vietnam and Burma countries at the south and western borders. Boasting comfortable weather, stunning natural splendors and amazing cultural charm among its many ethnic minorities, “Colorful Yunnan” offers a rich combination of unique experiences that create an irresistible attraction to world travelers.

So, how do you get to Yunnan and travel within this fabulous land? You’ve got a lot options to choose from! Frequent direct flights, high-speed trains and traditional trains and coaches, make travel throughout Yunnan a hassle-free experience for travelers from all over the world.

Here’s a quick summary of travel in Yunnan by Car.

Rental cars are available in Yunnan, and they enable you to explore further afield in Yunnan with ease, comfort and personal independence. Using a rental car eliminates many of the problems of travel that come up with taxis and train travel.

It’s also possible to hire a car with an English-speaking driver to take you on a safe and comfortable private car tour.

The roads in Yunnan have undergone rapid development in recent years and there is now a comprehensive network of highways that cover all townships and 98 percent of the villages in the province. With Kunming as the nerve center the intra-provincial highways connect to an inter-provincial network of highways that connect to the rest of China.

National Roads (National Road 108, 213, 214, 320, 321, 323 and 326) and provincial roads radiate from Kunming to major cities in Yunnan and other provinces and to trans–Asia roads stretching to neighboring countries, such as Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.

It’s easy to travel in Yunnan by car. The Kunming-Dali-Lijiang-Shangri-La route is the staple of any trip to Yunnan. The long stretches of uncomplicated expressway driving make it perfect for a road trip, particularly for a visitor who is new to driving in China. You could create an ideal itinerary for exploration of Yunnan following route.

1) Kunming to Dali:

Distance: 360 kilometers (224 miles)

Hours of Driving: 4 hours 40 minutes

Toll Fee: RMB165 (19 GBP/24 USD)

2) Dali-Lijiang

Distance: 157 kilometers (98 miles)

Hours of Driving: 2 hours 15 minutes

Toll Fee: RMB70 (8 GBP/10 USD)

3) Lijiang-Shangri-La

Distance: 177 kilometers (110 miles)

Hours of Driving: 3 hours 20 minutes

Toll: RMB20 (2.25 GBP/2.90 USD)


1. Remember to always bring your driver’s license, valid credit card and a passport.

2. Or you can book a car and driver.

3. Expect to pay CNY15,000 to 20,000 as a deposit.