Dongchuan Red Land

Dongchuan Red Land, centered on Huashitou Village in Dongchuan District, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of Kunming, has the most typical and special red soil on the Yunnan highlands. At an altitude of 1,800-2,000 meters (5,900-6,500 feet), the red soil is rich in iron and aluminum, giving it an amazing crimson color. The soils are interspersed with colored fields and crops, forming all kinds of patterns. Viewed from afar, the beautiful layered patterns, framed by blue sky and white clouds, look like a watercolor. Many photographers are strongly attracted by Dongchuan Red Land and come here to capture the beautiful scenery on film.

Top Sightseeing Sites along Three Visiting Routes

The best sightseeing sites of the Dongchuan Red Land are scattered, and far away from each other. Centering on Huashitou Village, they are mainly distributed around three highway lines.
Map of Dongchuan Red Land
Map of Dongchuan Red Land

Northwest Line (from south to north): Langdadi - Jinxiuyuan - Qicaipo - Damakan

Langdadi is famous for the layers of terraced fields resembling rolling waves. Jinxiuyuan and Qicaipo provide different views of the one sightseeing site. Damakan is the best place for photographers to take pictures of a wonderful sunrise. Standing on the top of the slope, you can see the red land shrouded in floating fog and a sea of clouds.

Northeast line (from south to north): Laolongshu - Luoxiagou - Yueliangtian

Laolongshu is a fir tree with an age of over 1,000 years. It withered for three years, but then sprouted again with strong vitality. Because of this, it is regarded as a patron saint of the red land by local people. Luoxiagou means Sunset Valley and is one of the best places to appreciate sunset in Dongchuan Red Land. The scenery of Luoxiagou changes from time to time according to winds, clouds, sunshine and plants. No matter where you stand, you can always view the valley from a new perspective. However, the wonderful beauty of the valley is difficult to capture by camera. Yueliangtian, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Huashitou Village, combines layers of terraced fields and valleys. Yueliangtian, literally Moon Fields, has fields irrigated in April and May. When the sun is setting, you can view Yueliangtian from afar and find it is like the shining moon, with light reflecting from the water.
Dongchuan Red Land
Dongchuan Red Land

South line leading to Kunming: Yuepu'ao - Dayakou

Yuepu’ao, one km (0.6 mile) from Huashitou Village, has layers of almost vertical terrace fields like colorful musical scores. The notes are the famers working hard in the fields. Close to Yuepu’ao, Dayakou experiences beautiful sunsets with clouds bathed in red, purple and orange. Here, you can also appreciate the nearby Yuepu’ao from a different angle.

Best Time of Dongchuan Red Land Tour

Late April to early May: During this period, potato flowers blossom and wheat is ripe. The red fields are blended with green and golden yellow, like a wonderful painting.

Late August to early September: You can see rape flowers in Dongchuan blossoming everywhere. The white flowers interweave with the red soil; the mixing of colors provides a special beauty.
Dongchuan Red Land
Dongchuan Red Land
Dongchuan Red Land
Dongchuan Red Land
Middle November to December: The land is ploughed and the newly exposed soil is redder. Parts of the red land are planted with green highland barleys and wheat. When you view the lands from afar, the combination of colors is very impressive and attractive.

It is said that Dongchuan Red Land becomes most beautiful the third day after rain. The land, nourished by rain, presents the brightest colors. There is sunshine, blue sky and different-shaped clouds. The light and shade on the red land change from time to time, forming different images.

The best time to visit Luoxiagou is around 17:30. You can go to Jinxiuyuan around 18:20. Yuepu’ao faces west which makes it suitable to take pictures with front lighting around 8:00 am; the sunset here is also attractive.

Dongchuan Red Land Hotels

If you need accommodation, it is convenient to choose hotels near Huashitou Village. There are many rural inns around the village, having favorable prices of around CNY 60 - 80. Alternatively, there is the 4-star Hongtu Yingxiang Hotel which is the best one in the village. The price of one standard room is about CNY 200 - 300. The photographic studios in Huashitou Village also offer accommodation for visitors.

Note: There are a lot of tourists during Golden Week, from 1st to 7th of October, and other Chinese holidays. Please book a hotel in advance.


1. If you want to capture more wonderful pictures, it is suggested you stay here for two days; the landscape varies with weather.
2. The temperature of Dongchuan Red Land is lower than surrounding areas and sometimes there may be winds blowing. Please bring a long sleeve coat between July and October, and some thicker clothes in other months.
3. The red land is in the highlands and experiences strong ultraviolet light. You should apply sunscreen to prevent skin damage.
Admission Fee Free of charge
Opening Hours All day
Recommended Time for a Visit  One to three days

How to Get to Dongchuan Red Land from Kunming

Take bus no.23 in Kunming Railway Station and get off at the terminal station, North Bus Station. Take a bus to Fazhe Village which departs at 7:50 and 8:30. Get off at Huashitou Village.

After arriving at Huashitou Village, you need charter a car to those attractions. It costs CNY 150 – 200 one day.

Further Reading: Top 10 Things to Do in Kunming
- Last updated on Apr. 12, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Dongchuan Red Land
Asked by Manon C. from BELGIUM | Oct. 17, 2019 00:04Reply
How to come back from Huashitou village to Kunming ?
How can we come back from the village to Kunming ? Is there any bus ? If yes what are their frequency / timetable please ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Peter from AUSTRALIA | Oct. 20, 2019 19:26

Sorry, I didn't find any public transport. Maybe you need to hire or share a car with other people.
Asked by helen goh from SINGAPORE | Sep. 15, 2019 21:06Reply
Kindly appreciate if December a good time to visit dongchuan red land.
I contemplate to visit Kunming end December and from there to visit Dongchuan red land.Any advice and recommended hotel in Dongchuan is much appreciated.thanks
Answers (3)
Answered by Vicky from INDIA | Sep. 18, 2019 20:38

You can live in Luoxiagou Tianmei Photography Hotel, which is located at Xinyang road, Shuidonggua Bay, Xintian county, Dongchuan district. The fare is around CNY150/night.
Answered by helen goh from SINGAPORE | Sep. 19, 2019 08:24

Thks for the speedy response. May i check if december a gd time to visit dongchuan?
Answered by Vicky from INDIA | Sep. 19, 2019 23:47

It is one of the greatest months.
Asked by tan from SINGAPORE | Jun. 25, 2019 22:05Reply
If we charter a car, how long will it take approximately to cover Dongchuan red land?
Answers (1)
Answered by Hailey from USA | Jun. 26, 2019 02:19

1-2 days are needed.
Asked by Debbie Leong from MALAYSIA | Apr. 19, 2019 01:24Reply
Best time to visit DongChuan Red Soil
Would it be early May or Mid May or end May to be the best time to visit there to have the best view? Kindly advise recommended lodging at Huoshitau Village. Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Betsy from CANADA | Apr. 23, 2019 01:08

Debbie, yes, it is a nice time to tour around the scenic area. And the weather condition will also be good. As I know, there are several nice guest houses in that village. You just need to choose one when you arriving there. :)
Have a nice journey!
Asked by debbie leong from MALAYSIA | Apr. 09, 2019 03:53Reply
I wish to visit kunming, dong chuan red land, dali, lijiang and shangrila from May 9 till May 20.
How many days is needed in Kunming if i need to visit stone forest, kunming city, red land.
How do i travel from Kunming to Red land?
How do i travel from Kunming to Dali? Any night express train from Kuming to Dali? How many days is needed in Dali?
How do i travel from Dali to Lijiang? How many days is needed in Lijiang?
Best transportation from Lijiang to Shangrila? How many days is needed in Shangrila?
Any train from Shangrila to Kunming?
Kindly advise. Thanks.
Answers (1)
Answered by Cathy from ITALY | Apr. 15, 2019 00:48

1. You are suggested to prepare 2-3 days to stay in Kunming.
2. To Red Land: Take a coach from North Bus Station to Fazhe Village, get off at Huashitou Village. After arriving, hire a private car to the scenic area.
3. There are only bullet trains. Thus for your convenience, you can take it to Dali directly. The suggested sightseeing time is 1-2 days.
4. You can also take the train to Lijiang from Dali. You can stay 1-3 days there.
5. It is suggested to take a coach from Lijiang Coach Station to Shangri-la Coach Station. The duration is around 4 hours. Besides, 2-3 days are suitable.
6. There is no train from Shangrila to Kunming. You need to transfer at Lijiang.
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