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Yuanyang China Travel

Yuanyang Travel Guide

Yuanyang County, famous for Yuanyang Rice Terraces, is located in Honghe Prefecture in southeastern Yunnan Province. It lies at altitude ranging from 140 meters along the Red River up to nearly 3000 meters above sea level in the Ailao Mountain.

Travelers who get to Yuanyang should understand two locations – Yuanyang New Town and Yuanyang Old Town. Yuanyang New Town is called Nansha and Yuanyang Old Town is called Xinjie Town. To visit Yuanyang Rice Terraces, travelers should head to the old Town - Xinjie.

Why Visit this City:

  • 45th World Heritage Site of China - In 2013, the UNESCO announced the Yuanyang Rice Terraces became the 45th world heritage site of China, given “Cultural Landscape of Honghe Rice Terraces”. It is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Red River. It shows extraordinary harmony between people and nature.
  • Hani Ethnic Festivals and Traditions - The Hani ethnic group has been living in Yuanyang and carved out of dense forest for over 1300 years. They celebrate the traditional festivals in unique way and travelers can enjoy October New Year and attend the Long Table Banquet and visit the local market and observe their primitive life and taste some Hani local food…
  • A Heaven for Photographers – It is remote, but it appeals numerous travelers and photographers come to this heaven-like destination with several hours. The amazing rice terraces like the ladder towards heaven are worth your time waiting and shooting. Everything here is your subjects – sunset, sunrise, sea of clouds, Hani folk houses, rice paddies, cattle, ox…

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.

Top Attractions

Yuanyang Rice Terraces is the masterpiece handmade by Hani people with the most beautiful curved lines in the world. Travelers can appreciate the beautiful rice paddies everywhere once reach in Yuanyang County and the famous scenic areas include Duoyishu Rice Terraces (for sunrise), Bada Rice Terraces (for sea of clouds and sunset), Laohuzui Rice Terraces (for sunset) and Jingkou Folk Village (for mush-room buildings), etc. For more attractions info, please see all Attractions in Yuanyang.

Duoyishu Rice Terraces
Duoyishu Rice Terraces

Duoyishu Rice Terraces is the best site to watch SUNRISE shine down over the 400-hectare rice paddies, shoot sea of clouds and enjoy harmonious Hani folk life.

Bada Rice Terraces
Bada Rice Terraces

The 950-hectare rice terraces is like the ladders to the heaven with over 3700 levels, rising up from 800 meters to 2000 meters. It’s the best spot for spectacular sunset.

Laohuzui Rice Terraces
Laohuzui Rice Terraces

Also called Mengpin Rice Terraces. The 460-hectare terraces is the steepest, the grandest and the most magnificent rice terraces for shooting sunset.

Weather & When to Go

Yuanyang Weather Yuanyang Rice Terraces

The weather in Yuanyang belongs to subtropical monsoon season with an average annual temperature of 24.4 °C. The whole Yuanyang County is ranging from 144 meters along Red River to 2939.6 meters above sea level in the Ailao Mountain. The weather and temperature may change according to the altitude.

Different season shows different scenery in Yuanyang Rice Terraces. After the autumn harvest, the rice paddies will be filled with water. During this period, the morning glow and sunset glow reflect on the water and the rice terraces turn into golden. In the winter time, the rice paddies sometimes put on colorful dress and sometimes put on white coat. In the spring time, the cattle is working in the rice fields, the local Hani people is transplanting rice seedlings and after several days, the whole rice terraces turn into green which looks so lively together with green mountains. In the summer time, the sea of clouds over the rice paddies change a lot, making it a beautiful Chinese painting.

Travelers can come all the year round and for photographers, the best time is from November to the next March. >>see details about Yuanyang climate, weather & season to go


Yuanyang Xinjie Town Yuanyang Nansha Town

Yuanyang lies at an altitude ranging from 140 meters along the Red River up to nearly 3000 meters above sea level in the Ailao Mountains. The road to Yuanyang is very steep and winding. At present, the only way to get to Yuanyang is by road (private car or long distance bus).

Private Car

To reach the final destination in Yuanyang – Yuanyang Rice Terraces, China Discovery suggests you use our private car service which can make everything easy for you. No matter you come from Kunming to Yuanyang or have a stop in Jianshui first and then get to Yuanyang, you’ll enjoy worry free transfer service with your own car. If you want to arrange the private service with private car or local travel guide, please feel free to contact our professional travel consultants.

Long Distance Bus

If you are independent travelers, you usually travel from Kunming to Yuanyang directly, or travel from Jianshui to Yuanyang. Both buses arrive at Yuanyang Nansha County and Yuanyang Xinjie County. The distance between Kunming and Yuanyang is about 375 kilometers. Travelers can take long distance buses from Kunming South Bus Station to Xinjie Town at 10:20, 13:30, 19:30 and 20:00. It takes about 7 hours. The distance between Jianshui and Yuanyang is about 141 kilometers. Travelers can take long distance buses from Jianshui Bus Station to Yuanyang Nansha Station during 07:15~18:40. It takes about 3~3.5 hours. To check more transfer info, please see how to get to and around Yuanyang.


Yuanyang Hotels

Since Yuanyang is a remote county located far away from Kunming, the accommodation in Yuanyang in basic. There is only one 3 star hotel called Yuanyang Yunti Hotel in Xinjie Town. The rooms are clean. It is about 20 minutes to Bada Rice Terraces and 30~40 minutes to Duoyishu Rice Terraces.

There are many hostels in Duoyishu Rice Terraces and Shengcun. The hostels are decorated in Hani ethnic style and offer great chance to view the beautiful rice terraces through windows. For travelers who eager to watch sunrise over the rice paddies of Duoyishu, it is recommended to spend one night in Duoyishu Rice Terraces.

Useful Yuanyang Travel Maps

We have collected some very useful Dali maps including Yuanyang Location Map, Yuanyang County Map and Yuanyang Rice Terraces Map to help you have a better understanding about Yuanyang and its attractions. For more maps, please check Overall and Detailed Yuanyang Maps.

Yuanyang Location Map

Yuanyang Yunnan Map

Yuanyang County Map

Yuanyang County Map

Dali Tourist Map

Yuanyang Rice Terraces Map

Other Hot Destinations in Yunnan

Besides Lijiang, there are some other hot destinations in Yunnan, like Lijiang, Shangri-la, Kunming and Dali, etc. Check the travel guide of each destination and discover now!

Other Popular Destinations in China

China is vast and diverse. You can choose your favorite destination among more than 70 tourist destination and regions. Following are 4 popular destinations you may get interested in. Check all destinations in China

Yunnan Yuanyang Map

Chinese Name: 元阳

Chinese Pinyin: yuán yáng

Population: 0.42 million and 0.23 million Hani People

Language: Mandarin & Hani Language

Tel Code: 0873

Zip Code: 662400

Time Zone: (UTC+8)

Plan your Yuanyang Tour

The weather in Yuanyang changes a lot even during one day. It is better to spend 3 days taking great pictures of Yuanyang Rice Terraces and Hani ethnic villages and their markets, festivals. In the short stays, you won’t miss Duoyishu Rice Terraces Sunrise, Bada Rice Terraces Sea of Clouds and Sunset, Laohuzui Rice Terraces Sunset and mushroom-like houses in Jingkou Folk Villages, etc. Attend Hani ethnic market in Shengcun for more understanding about the local Hani people life.

As a connection between Yuanyang and Kunming, Jianshui is a little town with interesting historical architectures and relics. Travelers can spend 1 to 2 days here exploring Zhu Family’s Garden, Confucius Temple and Tuanshan, etc.

Remember, no matter you want photography tours or hiking tours in Yuanyang, you’ll be satisfied for our professional travel consultants are here ready to help you built your customizable Yuanyang tours. Contact Us now!

Recommended Tours

Bada Rice Terrace
5 Days Kunming, Jianshui & Yuanyang Rice Terraces Tour

Kunming / Yuanyang / Jianshui / Kunming

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
11 Days Amazing Yunnan Tour

Kunming / Yuanyang / Jianshui / Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La


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