7 days Yunnan Yuanyang Rice Terraces Tour
The Yuanyang Rice Terraces, carved into the steep slopes of the Ailao Mountains by the skilled Hani people in Yunnan, have thrived for over a millennium. These terraces, a testament to sustainable farming, offer breathtaking views during planting and harvest seasons when they're filled with water or covered in lush green rice. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, they're a magnet for photographers and cultural explorers. Visit between November and April for the most photogenic experience, as the paddies transform into a golden, shimmering landscape under the morning and sunset light, showcasing a vivid array of colors for stunning photographs.
Embark on a photography tour to the captivating Yuanyang Rice Terraces, an area known for its breathtaking landscapes and the rich cultural heritage of the Hani ethnic group in Yunnan province. Your journey commences in Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan, often referred to as "the City of Eternal Spring" due to its delightful climate and year-round floral beauty.
Upon your arrival at Kunming's airport or railway station, your local guide and driver will be there to welcome you. They will accompany you to your downtown hotel. You have the rest of the day at your leisure to explore the city. Your knowledgeable local guide will be more than happy to offer suggestions for places to visit and activities to enjoy during your free time.
After breakfast, embark on a 5-hour drive to Jianshui, a renowned historical and cultural city with 1200 year history in China. Along the way, make a stop to marvel at the Stone Forest in Lunan, it is a vast natural wonder spanning 400 square kilometers (about 98,842 acres). It features towering stone pillars that resemble trees, creating a stone forest-like landscape. The Stone Forest consists of several distinct scenic spots, including the Greater Stone Forest, Lesser Stone Forest, Naigu Stone Forest, Qifeng Cave, Zhiyun Cave, Long Lake, and Dadieshui Waterfall. Spend some time to explore and take photos.
In Jianshui, you'll be arranged to visit the third largest Confucius Temple in China. This temple, boasting a traditional Chinese architectural style, has a history spanning over 700 years. What sets it apart is its unique representation of the cultural blend between the Han people and other ethnic groups from South Yunnan.
Afterward, explore Jianshui old town, where you can admire well-preserved ancient buildings and gain insight into the daily lives of the local residents. Don't miss the Chaoyang Gateway Arch, a distinctive landmark that graces the city of Jianshui.
Begin your morning with a visit to Zhu's Family Garden, a prime example of opulent residential homes from ancient China. Explore a labyrinth of courtyards adorned with exquisitely designed pavilions featuring steep ridges, painted crossbeams, and intricately decorated ceilings.
Following your visit, journey to Tuanshan Village, the sole intact cultural village from the Qing Dynasty in Yunnan. This village offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of the Yi ethnic minority, who have called this village home for centuries.
In the afternoon, have a 3 to 4-hour drive to Yuanyang, renowned for its breathtaking rice terraces. It's important to note that the best time to see the terraces in their full glory is from January to March. Today you will stop at Tiger Mouth Village to capture the mesmerizing sunset. Be sure to have your camera at the ready to capture the terraces, which appear as if they were painted by an artist.
This morning, enjoy the splendid sunrise at Duoyishu, where the ever-changing reflections and shadows on the colorful water create a visually stunning experience. Afterwards, proceed to a local market in Shengcun, where you can observe local ethnic people dressed in their traditional clothing and experience their way of life.
Following lunch, drive to the Jingkou Hani Ethnic Village, known for its distinctive mushroom-like houses. Take a leisurely stroll in the village and learn about the culture and history of the Hani Minority by visiting a Hani Showroom within the village. If you're up for it, you can consider a 1-3 hour walk through the rice terraces.
End the day with a visit to the Bada Scenic Area, where the sunset is truly breathtaking as the ever-changing colors make you feel like you're in a magical kingdom.
Continue your journey today with a trek to some local villages, allowing you to capture more spectacular views of the Hani terraced fields, which are renowned for their magnificent and extensive landscapes. Explore areas like old Hani village Azheke and Huangcaoling market to witness the grandeur of these terraced fields.
After returning to Kunming, the rest of the day is yours to freely explore and enjoy the city at your leisure.
Today, you have a full day to explore Kunming. After breakfast, start by strolling through the Flowers and Birds Market in downtown Kunming. It's a popular local market where you can find a variety of items, including flowers, birds, fish, and other small animals. This lively market provides a glimpse into daily life and culture of Kunming.
Following, proceed to the renowned Taoist temple, the Golden Temple. The temple is known for its exquisite Heavenly Gates, adorned with intricately painted pillars and beautifully carved beams and rafters.
In the afternoon, dedicate the remaining day to exploring West Hill and the Dragon Gate. These hills run along the western shore of Dianchi Lake, stretching about 40 kilometers from north to south. The hills' landscape resembles a reclining maiden with her long hair flowing into the lake, creating a picturesque scene.
In the evening, you have the option to return to your hotel for rest or enjoy the Dynamic Yunnan Show (admission fee at your own expense).
Bid farewell to your guide this morning as they pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the airport or train station for your departure. If you have any specific requirements for your tour, please don't hesitate to inform us. We are experienced in creating customized trips and are prepared to help you should you wish to extend your stay in China.