Shangri-La has one airport, and has no rail line. Buses are the most common transport means in and around this area. Apart from buses, taxis, chartered cars and horse rides are widely used by local people and visitors.
Diqing Airport locates at the south-west part of Shangri-La, which is approximately 5.4 km from the city center. As it is close to the downtown area, passengers usually take a taxi to the airport at the cost of around CNY 30.
Coach is the most widely used and important vehicle in Shangri-La. Visitors can travel by coach between Shangri-La Long-distance Bus Station and Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and other destinations.
Passengers can take the bus at Kunming West Bus Station and it takes about 10 hours. The duration of the Lijiang - Shangri-La trip is around 4 hours. Passengers can take the bus at Dali North Bus Station. It takes about 7-8 hours from Dali to Shangri-La.
Since the town is not large, many taxi drivers don’t charge by meter. Usually the fare is no more than CNY10 if shuttling within the town. If you insist in paying according to the taximeter, the starting rate is CNY5 for the first 3km (2mi), and it costs CNY1.8 for each subsequent kilometer (0.6mi). CNY2 fuel fee is required for each ride.
The scenic cities in Yunnan are usually far from one to another. To avoid tiring bus travel, many people prefer to charter a car or van. By doing this, they can not only have a good rest, but also freely appreciate the nice scenery on the way.
In many places of Shangri-La, the most beautiful scenery cannot be admired without horses. For instance, the way to the Bitahai Lake is much easier by horse than car. After getting to Shuangqiao by car or bus, most tourists choose to hire a horse to the scenic spot at a cost of around CNY50. The horses are provided by local Tibetans. They will tell you how to ride as well as any dos and don'ts.