Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Hani People, Yuanyang Rice Terraces
Hani People, Yuanyang Rice Terraces
 Yuanyang Rice Terraces Photos

Yuanyang Rice Terraces Facts

Location: On the southern slopes of Ailao Mountain in Yuanyang County (part of Honghe Hani Autonomous Prefecture) and in the south of Yunnan Province.
Area: Over 113 square kilometers (28,005.3 acres)
Number of steps: 3,000 steps

Yuanyang Rice Terraces has been a masterpiece of the ingenuity of the Hani people for generations. Southern Ailao Mountain, with this typical tiered landscape, is famed for its unique frontier scenery.

The Hani people's ancestors came to this steep mountain area 2,500 years ago. In their struggle against the difficult terrain they successfully established the terraces, where they grew rice in order to make a living. The technology of developing fertile land on rugged mountain slopes didn't spread all over China and Southeast Asia until 14th century. The creativity of the Hani people turned this mountain area into one of artistic beauty. In recognition, the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) emperor granted the title of 'Skillful Sculptor'  to Hani people and their good reputation was passed down from generation to generation. At present, known as 'land sculpture' the terraced fields have been being officially acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage site.
Yuanyang Rice Terraces, Honghe, Yunnan
Yuanyang Rice Terraces, Honghe, Yunnan

Hani terraced fields are magnificent and on a large-scale. They extend to many towns along the south bank of the Red River, such as Yuanyang, Lüchun and Jinping among others. With an area of more than 113 square kilometers (28,005.3 acres), the terrace in Yuanyang County is regarded as the core area of Hani terraces as the county is mountainous and the terraces built on the hillsides have a slope varying from 15 degrees to 75 degrees. The terraces rise by 3,000 steps forming a landscape that is rare both at home and abroad. In the main, the Yuanyang Hani terraces form three major scenic areas: Duoyishu scenic area, Bada scenic area and Laohuzui (the Tiger Mouth) scenic area. So many terraces set among vast forests, topped by an ocean of clouds create a magical, magnificent view.

Duoyishu Scenic Area

This is the most beautiful natural and cultural landscape of Yuanyang Terraces, and it is the best place to go if you wish to photograph the sunrise. The terraces in this scenic area, including Duoyishu, Aichun, and Dawazhe, are more than 6.7 square kilometers (1647.4 acres) in total. Sunrise provides the most beautiful sight in Duoyishu as the morning there highlights the superlative dynamic landscape. As a kind suggestion, we recommend that you can pay special attention to the changing color of the water during the early morning sunrise. As the reflections and shadows are constantly changing, the visual impact can be overwhelming.

Bada Scenic Area

Yuanyang Rice Terraces, Honghe, YunnanIt is the biggest attraction in terms of acreage of Yuanyang Terraces and the best of the sunset scenery can be seen here. The terraces here include the Qingkou, Quanfuzhuang, Malizhai, Zhulu and other contiguous areas extending over more than 9.3 square kilometers (2306.3 acres). The Bada terraces at sunset are truly amazing and the incessantly changing colors will make you feel that you are in a magical kingdom.

Laohuzui (the Tiger Mouth) Scenic Area

The third dimension and the colorific hierarchy of Laohuzui is the most intense. The colors are as though they have been painted by an artist, while the terraced slopes are more rugged. The lowest section of the terrace is the most attractive and the outline resembles a galloping horse.

Best Time to Visit Yuanyang Rice Terraces

The scenery of the terraced fields in Yuanyang is at its best from November to the following April. Taking a tour to Yuanyang Terraces in winter is amazing, since the fields are full of water, composing a colorful painting.

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Other view points in Yuanyang County

1. Jingkou: a Hani Ethnic Village, the only place to be charged in the country, and there are folk dancing performances and Hani showroom.
2. Village architecture: the mushroom-like houses are undoubtedly the most distinctive, and can be seen throughout the county.
3. Long Dragon Feast: Held on 12th December lunar calendar. The Feast in Habo is most famous.
4. Clouds in the Xinjie Town: Due to the high altitude it is often shrouded in cloud and offers great scope to photographers.
5. Folk: In addition to outside terrace, Hani costumes and folklore are also good film subjects. There are Hani, Yao, Miao, Dai, Zhuang, Yi and other nationalities so that the locality has a very strong ethnic flavor.

Yuanyang Hani Terraced Fields, Honghe, Yunnan 

Some Tips

1. Yuanyang lies on the Tropic of Cancer, so the climate is neither extremely hot nor cold. However, it is cooler in morning and evening, and the sun is very strong at noon. You should pay attention to sun protection. Moreover, T-shirts and shorts can be worn all year round, but you are advised to take a jacket.
2. It is very interesting to participate in a local country fair, during which the entire minority people dress in colorful ethnic costumes. It is very lively.

How to get to Yuanyang Rice Terraces

From Kunming to Yuanyang Rice Terraces, you can take a bus from South Bus Station to Yuanyang Xinjie Town and then hire a local car to each scenic spot. The buses depart at 10:20, 12:30 and 18:00.

Entrance Fee Day Ticket: CNY 100, single entry for each scenic spot within a day; 
Seven-day Ticklet: CNY 180, unlimited entry for each scenic spot included within the 7-day validity.
1. The ticket covers Duoyishu, Bada, Laohuzui Scenic Areas and Jingkou Folk Village.
2. Half-price ticket for children between 1.2 and 1.4m (3.9-4.6ft); free for children under 1.2m.
Opening Hours All day

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- Last modified on Feb. 17, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Yuanyang Rice Terraces
Asked by Nathalie from NETHERLANDS ANTILLES | Feb. 17, 2019 11:48Reply
We are planning to visit the Yuanyang rice terrace in August. How is the weather like?
Asked by ana paula from BRASIL | Feb. 10, 2019 17:09Reply
Tour for Yuanyang rice terraces
Hi, what's the value of the two-person tour leaving Kunming for the rice terraces? the driver picks us up in kunming or do we have to go by bus to the city and then find the guide in Yuanyang? we would like to see the sunrise and sunset and then return to kunming.
Asked by KrissKdee from THAILAND | Jan. 16, 2019 01:07Reply
Hi I will visit to yuanyang and luoping in first week of march.
May i ask some question that i worry about this trip :
Is it still hv watery in rice terrace in that period?
Any direct bus from yuanyang to luoping ? (which station xinjie/nansha?)
If I plant to stay in douyishu area , how i can get to there from yuanyang xinjie station?)
Thanks ,
Answers (2)
Answered by Mosley from DENMARK | Jan. 24, 2019 18:29

1. Yes, you can see the watery in rice terrace during that period of time.
2. There is no direct coach that operates between these two places. For your convenience, you can hire a private car directly.
3. Sorry, I cannot find Douyishu Area on the Map. Do you have its location?
Answered by Edgar from NY | Feb. 03, 2019 12:40

First week of March is probably the best week to see the rice terrace.
There is no direct bus, but you can transfer at Nansha, about 50 minutes down at the base of Yuan Yang mountain. There are 2 other spots along the route you can transfer also, ask the drivers at Xinjie station. Besides, there are a lot of photographers going that way because the yellow flowers in Luping is the best around the second week of March, depending on rainfall and temperature.
There are minivans traveling between these places, for a small fare.
Asked by Lili from POLAND | Jan. 07, 2019 06:22Reply
Is it good idea to visit Yuanyang Rice Terraces in the end of January
Hi,I have around one week from 20 to 26 January,so I would like to visit Yunnan .I have been already in some places (Lijiang,Dali,Stone Forest,Tiger Leaping George) there,but I don't know is it good idea to go to see terraces for few days?they will be still with water?I was thinking about Deqin but maybe it is too cold that time....?
Answers (2)
Answered by Jocelyn from USA | Jan. 09, 2019 23:57

Hi, Lili, it is still worth to visit Rice Terraces in late January. As I know, you can still see the water during that period of time.
The weather in Deqin may range from -5C to 5C. It won't to chill cold.
Answered by Lili from POLAND | Jan. 10, 2019 03:24

Thank you! I was worry, that terraces will be without water.and because I have been to see rice terraces near Guilin and in Sapa in Wietnam, I was thinking about Deqin, well... I am about leaving China and have only soft winter clothes and trecking shoes are also more for light winter...that's why I was asking...hard choice where to go :)thanks!!!
Asked by Corinna Bröcker from DEUTSCHLAND | Nov. 25, 2018 04:18Reply
Is there any sleeping bus from Kunming to Yuanyang?
I read something about a bus leaving at 8pm and arriving around 5am but I cannot find any information about this route.
I want to save as much as possible travel time as I only have Limited days in Kunming.
Answers (2)
Answered by Benson from USA | Nov. 26, 2018 00:47

You can take the direct bus at South Bus Station to Yuanyang Xinjie, departing at 10:30, 12:30 and 18:00. The duration is about 6 hours. The ticket fare is CNY140/ 147.
Answered by Edgar from NY | Feb. 03, 2019 12:48

The 6pm night bus is a sleeper bus, but, you may not like the smell and the damp feeling of the blanket.
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