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4 Days Yuanyang Rice Terrace Awesome Photography Tour

Shoot the Most Beautiful Rice Terrace in China


“For a traveler, if you don’t go to Yuanyang and Yuanyang will be sad for you; for a photographer, if you don’t go to Yuanyang and God will be sad for you.” Every traveler come to Yuanyang for the Hani Rice Terraces and come to Laohuzui Rice Terrace/Bada Rice Terrace for magnificent SUNSET, Duoyishu Rice Terrace for the beautiful SUNRISE. In this 4-day photo tour, you’ll have enough time to shoot peculiar Stone Forest and spectacular rice-paddy terracing.

Best Time & Weather Condition: Travelers can come all the year round and for professional photographers, the best time is from November to the next March. The weather changes a lot in Yuanyang Rice Terrace even in one day. Please be patient to wait for the best landscape appearing.

Please note: the photography sites will do some adjustments according to the season, weather condition, sunrise and sunset time, etc. We are here providing you the professional photography itinerary and tips.

Recent news: Due to the collapse caused by the sudden mud-rock flow and heavy rain in Yuanyang, the Tiger Mouth Rice Terraces is temporarily closed. At present, Duoyishu scenic area and Bada scenic area are still opening to the public. We will update the news once we get the official notice of the reopening of the Tiger Mouth Rice Terraces.

Basic Trip Information

from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Kunming / Yuanyang / Kunming
Travel Length:
4 Days & 3 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day (Can Be Customized)

Day 1 Kunming - Stone Forest - Shilin

Welcome to Kunming, the Spring City of China! Upon arrival in Kunming, your tour guide and driver will meet you and escort you to Stone Forest. Or, if you arrive in advance, you’ll be picked up at your hotel.

Later, drive 85 km to the typical Karst landform - Stone Forest. Walk into the Greater Stone Forest, marvel at groups of gray-black stone peaks and climb up a pavilion to shoot a panoramic view of the intricate stone forest. Visit the Lesser Stone Forest and listen to the legendary story of “Ashima” and take many awesome photos. It will be a real treat to visit the extraordinary natural stone forest.

If time permits, drive about 40 minutes to visit Nuohei Village which is a typical Yi minority village with more than 600 years history in Shilin County and reputed as “the most famous stony village with Karst landscape”. You’ll totally indulge in this featured village of stone - stone houses, stone walls, stone paved roads, stone squares and stone mills…and have a wonderful time to explore local customs.

Stay overnight in Shilin County.

Photography Tips: 1. Travelers should wear comfortable shoes for you need to walk a lot in Stone Forest which is a very large scenic spot. 2. When shooting in Nuohei Yi Village, you’d better ask for permission when taking photographs about the Yi ethnic minority.

Stone ForestKunming Nuohei Village
Day 2 Shilin - Yuanyang - Laohuzui Rice Terrace Sunset (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 6 hours to Yuanyang. On the way, you have chance to stop to take photos of some ethnic minority villages.

After arriving in Yuanyang, you’ll catch the perfect time to shoot sunset at Laohuzui Rice Terrace. Laohuzui, also called Tiger Mouth Rice Terraces after its shape, is the steepest, the grandest, the most magnificent Rice Terrace among all the rice terraces of Yuanyang. You can stand at the higher viewing deck to shoot a panoramic view of the whole Laohuzui Rice Terrace, also by getting down to the lower viewing deck to shoot many amazing photos - sometimes like two horses galloping quickly, sometimes like millions of snakes wriggling, sometimes like a white flower blooming…

Stay overnight in Yuanyang.

Photography Tips: The sun goes down during 18:00~20:00 in Laohuzui Rice Terraces. In the spring time (March to May), it is usually during 19:10~19:50, in summer (June to August) at 19:25~19:57, in autumn (September to November) at 18:20~19:26 and in winter (December to February) at 18:20~19:11. If you are professional photographers, you’d better go before 16:00 to find a good location (lower viewing deck is recommended) for some great pictures with rice terraces, sea of clouds and sunset.

Laohuzui Rice TerraceLaohuzui Rice Terrace Spectacular View
Day 3 Duoyishu Rice Terrace Sunrise - Bada Rice Terrace (B, L)

In early morning, you'll get up early and be driven to Duoyishu Village and shoot the beautiful view of Duoyishu Rice Terrace Fields, especially when the sun appears above the eastern horizon and rice terraces change its color into golden, shining brilliantly. If the weather permits, you will see the scenery of the terraced fields from the top of the mountains to the bottom. They are all farmlands under the sunshine and cloud and mist. The landscape is spectacular and harmonious.

Later, you'll attend the Ethnic Market & Bazaar in Yuanyang, a place for local people trading daily supplies, including fresh vegetable, fruits, meats, and many kinds of food and daily necessities. It is a great opportunity for getting close to Hani people’s living conditions.

And then, you will pay a visit Qingkou Hani Ethnic Village shrouded in luxuriant forest and rice terraces and the local Hani people for generations inhabit with Mushroom-shaped Houses. Setting foot on Qingkou, you will impressed by the featured houses and have a great understanding about Hani culture which is showcased in Hani Culture Museum. Lastly, have a nice shoot in the spectacular Bada Hani Rice Terrace. At dusk, when the sun shines on the 950 hectares rice paddies rising from 800 meters to 2000 meters, the magnificent scene forms, like the latters toward heaven. Hold your breath when sunset glow shining upon the paddies and you'll see the 3700 level terraces first turns pink, then rosy and later dark red, pink, golden and white…

Stay overnight in Yuanyang.

Photography Tips:

1. Sun rises up during 06:00~07:30 and usually around 07:00 in the spring time. If you are professional photographers, you’d better get up at 05:00 and arrive at the viewing decks around 05:30 to find a good location. Otherwise, travelers can come around 06:30.

2. To capture the magnificent Duoyishu Rice Terrace, it is good to use wide angle (14mm~24mm, 17mm~35mm) and telephoto lenses (70mm~200mm or above). A tripod and lens hood will make your pictures perfect when shooting sunrise over the rice paddies. Also, polarizer and gradual change grey color lenses will help you get better terrace pictures. The weather of Duoyishu changes a lot and it is good to take waterproofing and damp proofing measure.

Bada Rice TerraceDuoyishu Rice TerraceMushroom HousesEthnic Market & Bazaar in Yuanyang
Day 4 Yuanyang - Kunming Departure (B)

Say goodbye to this magic and mysterious land, and you’ll be driven back to Kunming City. After arriving in Kunming, transfer to airport or train station to catch your flight/train (after 18:00) to next destination or back home.

Note: If your time is flexible, you can add one more day to pay a visit to Jianshui Ancient Town which is on the way between Yuanyang and Kunming. All the attractions and itinerary can be customized based on your like and time. Please feel free to contact us.

Local Hani Children in Yuanyang County

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