Chuxiong Travel Guide
Chinese Name: 楚雄彝族自治州 (chǔ xióng yí zú zì zhì zhōu)
Area: 28,400 square kilometers (10,965 square miles)
Location: in the north-central of Yunnan, southwest China
Administrative Division: 9 counties (Changbai, Muding, Nanhua, Yao'an, Dayao, Yongren, Yuanmou, Wuding, Lufeng); 1 county-level city (Chuxiong)
Area Code: 0878
Zip Code: 675000
GDP (2019): CNY 125.19 billion (USD 18.15 billion)
Nationalities: Han, Yi, Lisu, Miao, Dai, Bai
Famed for Yuanmou Man Fossils and Yi Culture
Situated in the north-central of Yunnan Province, Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture neighbors Kunming to the east and Dali Bai Autonomous Region to the west. It is separated from Lijiang by the Jinsha River to the northwest and bordered by Sichuan Province to the north. Chuxiong is the transportation, water conservancy, energy, big data and logistics hub of Yunnan. But what makes Chuxiong well-known are dinosaur fossils, footprints and Yuanmou Man fossils dated to 1.7 million years ago.
In Chuxiong, the ethnic festivals, costumes, songs and dances represented by Yi culture are colorful and unique. The Ancient Town of Yi People showcases the traditional architecture and culture of Yi. Restaurants, handicraft workshops, snack streets and bars are scattered among them. Every night, the Yi people sing and dance in their costumes. Every year on June 24 of the lunar calendar, a great number of people gather here to celebrate the biggest festival of the Yi people, Torch Festival.
Attractions - Things to Do
Yuanmou Clay (Earth) Forest: The Clay Forest is a natural landform shaped by the erosion of rocks over the centuries by water. In the main, the clay forests in Yuanmou County are made up of three scenic spots: Hutiaotan, Banguo and Xinhua among which the Banguo Clay Forest is the largest, boasting the grandest clay landscape.
Exhibition Hall of Yuanmou Man: Following the discovery of Yuanmou Man, the earliest human in Asia, Chuxiong is regarded as the cradle of Asia. The Exhibition Hall of Yuanmou Man is located in the Longchuan Jie in Yuanmou County seat.
Other Scenic Spots: Ten Month Calendar Garden of Chinese Yi Nationality, Zixishan Forest Park, Wutai Mountain
How to Get to Chuxiong
1. June to September is the rainy season of Yuanmou Clay Forest. Neither the road nor the landscape in the scenic area is in good condition at this time. October to March is the best months in which to visit Yuanmou. Located halfway along the highway from Kunming to Dali, one can arrange their journey to Chuxiong together with the visit to Kunming, Dali and Lijiang.
2. 160 kilometers (99 miles) highway between Chuxiong and Kunming makes it possible to get from one city to the other within two hours.
3. The city has four principal bus stations: Chuxiong Passenger Transport Bus Station (the West Station) in West Lucheng Road, the North Station in Zixi Dadao, the South Station in Houfu Jie and the East Station in Xiongbao Road.
This area enjoys a subtropical monsoon climate with neither extreme heat nor cold. It has defined dry and wet seasons. May to October is the rainy season. The average annual temperature falls to around 15-21℃ (59-69.8℉). Like most cities in Yunnan, the temperature varies greatly during the day but only slightly during the course of the year. The Yi Torch Festival is held during the sixth lunar month (August) every year. When traveling in the prefecture during the rainy season, warm clothing and rainwear are vital for comfort.
Chuxiong Travel Tips
History: The fossilized remains of Yuanmou Man who lived 1.7 million years ago were discovered in Yuanmou County in 1965. Before the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), three main ethnic groups were recorded as active in this region. After hundreds of years of multiethnic fusion, Chuxiong became a residential area with Yi ethnic minority as its largest group. However, this was to change during the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when the Han became the largest group in this area due to the large number of migrants from Central China.
Physical Features: The terrain of the prefecture inclines from the northwest to the southeast. This is a mountainous region with more than ninety percent of its territory made up by hills and mountains. The Jinsha Jiang and Yuan Jiang are two of the many rivers that flow from the central Chuxiong area and go their separate ways.
Local Highlights: Nabeng Village of Yuanmou County is well known for the discovery of Yuanmou Man, the earliest human to have lived in Asia. Yi is the largest ethnic minority dwelling in this region. Black is the predominant color for Yi costumes in this area. While different tribes of Yi have their own styles. Axi Dance under the Moon is the popular dance of the Axi Tribe. The 'three courses of wine' is the most courteous reception the Yi minority offers to their guests.
Special Local Products: Mountain delicacies including edible fungus, ornaments and traditional Yi garments, totem masks, and silk products.
2. How much is the entrance fee for the three scenic spot? Is it far from the main road?
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