Yunnan Province has the largest number of ethnic minorities in China. It has 52 ethnic minorities among them 25 minorities with more than 5000 people. The ethnic minorities scatter around Yunnan and mix with the majority of Han people. Some ethnic groups lives in hilly areas, some lives in bustling city, and travelers could see them in the tourist destinations - Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La, Yuanyang and more places.
Below are the introductions of some selected ethnic minorities in Yunnan helping you understand better about their language, religion, festival, costumes and even find the right places to meet them.
Place to See: Chuxiong, Honghe, Kunming
Festival: Torch Festival, Chahua Festival, Yi New Year
Stone Forest, located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County 90 km from Kunming, is a notable set of limestone formation which listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore Great & Lesser Stone Forest, Naigu Stone Forest in the scenic area. Enjoy the legend of Ashima, a beautiful girl of the Yi people. Visit Sani Village near Stone Forest and know more about Sani people, one of the branches of Yi minority.
>> 3 Days Kunming Spring City Tour (Kunming / Stone Forest / Kunming)
Yi Minority in Stone Forest, Kunming
Place to See: Dali, Yunnan
Festival: March Fair, Torch Festival
About 34 km from Dali Old Town, Xizhou Ancient Town is honored as “The Museum of Bai Architecture” with more than 100 old Bai traditional buildings. It has kept the buildings from Ming, Qing and Modern China. Explore Seven Inch Book Mansion, Yang’s Family Courtyard and Yan’s Family Courtyard. In Yang’s Family Courtyard, visitors could enjoy the Three-courses Tea of Bai Ethnic Minority.
Dali Old Town is situated at the foot of Cangshan Mountain and west of Erhai Lake. Explore leisurely in the old town by visiting temples, old courtyards, cafes, shops and bars. Enjoy some local snack while walking along the streets. Some important Bai Ethnic festivals like March Festival, Torch Festival, Bai Raosanling Festival take place in Dali Old Town.
Bai Minority in Dali
Place to See: Lijiang, Yunnan
Religion: Dongba Religion
Festival:Bangbang Festival, Sanduo Festival, Dongba Festival, Torch Festival, July Festival
Show:Naxi Ancient Orchestral Music
Lijiang Old Town, listed in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, is the place to explore Naxi culture like the architecture, lifestyle, music, art and more. If you are lucky, you could see and join the old Naxi people dance at Sifang Square. The folk dance by Naxi people is performed everyday.
Dongba Culture Museum, close to Black Dragon Pool Park, shows the Dongba culture of the Naxi people. It has more than 2500 Dongba cultural relics and various other historical relics which makes the museum with the most abundant Dongba relics.
Visitors could see Baisha Mural Paintings in Baisha Village, 10 km from Lijiang Old Town. The mural painting is the reflection of different religious culture and artistic forms of Buddhism, Taoism and Naxi Dongba religion. There are 44 Baisha Frescoes.
Naxi Old Women in Sifang Square, Lijiang Old Town
Place to See: Yuanyang, Honghe
Festival: October New Year Festival, June Festival, Fresh Rice Festival
Yuanyang Rice Terrace is the masterpiece of Hani people. Yuanyang Rice Terrace is composed of several scenic areas, including Duoyishu Rice Terrace (especially for sunrise), Bada Rice Terrace, (for sunset) Laohuzui Rice Terrace (especially for sunset) etc. The mushroom-like houses can be seen throughout the villages. The vast majority of Hani women still wear traditional clothes as their daily attire. You could see the local Hani people working in the fields, attend the local markets and and other daily activities.
>> 5 Days Kunming, Jianshui & Yuanyang Rice Terrace Tour (Kunming / Yuanyang / Jianhsui / Kunming)
Yuanyang Rice Terrace and Hani Ethnic Minority
Place to See: Shangri-La, Yunnan
Festival:Gedong Festival, Tibetan New Year
Located 5 km from Shangri-La town, Songzanlin Monastery, also Garden Sumtseling Monastery, is the largest Tibetan Buddhism monastery in Yunnan. It is reputed as “Little Potala Palace”. It has six main structures including eight colleges. The Gedong Festival is held in the monastery annually on 29 November.
Dukezong Old Town is the largest and best-preserved town kept Tibetan-style dwellings with a 1300-year-old history. Visitors could see authentic Tibetan dwellings, majestic prayer halls and pagodas, prayer flags and Buddhist sutras. Enjoy folk dance with local Tibetans in Sifang Square of the old Town.
>> 4 Days Best Shangri-La Tour (Shangri-La)
Tibetan in Songzanlin Monastery
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