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.

 6 Days Kunming to Yuanyang Tour from $969
 9 Days Tour to Kunming – Jianshui – Yuanyang – Hekou – Sapa – Hanoi from $1629

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

 Top 10 Things to Do in Yunnan
- Last modified on Dec. 12, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Yuanyang Rice Terraces
Asked by Gabriel yiu from CANADA | Oct. 31, 2019 10:11Reply
Do we need walking boots for Yuanyang
I am visiting Yuanyang in November, how is the terrain situation ?? is it very muddy or watery ?? Do we need hiking boots ?? Let me know and thank you

Gabriel Yiu / Vancouver BC Canada
Answers (1)
Answered by Gabby from NEW ZEALAND | Nov. 04, 2019 00:29

It is one of the best months to go there. Comfortable sneakers will be good.
Asked by Kay from CHINA | Oct. 15, 2019 01:09Reply
Getting to Yuanyang
Hi, I have a couple of questions:

1) How can I hire a car after taking the bus from Kunming to Yuanyang?
2) How many days are recommended to stay here?
3) is it possible to walk or take a bus between all the scenic spots at Yuanyang?

Answers (1)
Answered by Emily from NEW ZEALAND | Oct. 17, 2019 19:40

1. There are many taxies or private cars around the Coach station. You can negotiate the price with driver.
2. 3-4 days will be fine, or you can stay longer.
3. Yes, the scenic area is so large that you can walk or take the car in it.
Asked by GOMATHY ALAGESWARA from MALAYSIA | Oct. 02, 2019 05:55Reply
What is the best way to get to Yuanyang Rice Terraces from Dali?
Answers (1)
Answered by Corona from MALAYSIA | Oct. 10, 2019 00:37

You need to go to Kunming first. So you can take high speed train from Dali Railway station to Kunming Railway station, then still take train to Jianshui Railway station, after you can take bus from Jianshui Coach station to Yuanyang New Street Town. Finally, you need to hire a car to scenic area.
Asked by Wartono from INDONESIA | Sep. 24, 2019 09:23Reply
Best time to visit Yuanyang and get clear sky
When is the best month we can get a mostly clear sky, between Nov to Feb?
In Nov, is there a low season or peak season ...
Answers (3)
Answered by Sasha from FRANCE | Sep. 26, 2019 20:01

The best visit time is from November to April next year. November is peak season.
Answered by Wartono from INDONESIA | Sep. 27, 2019 04:45

When will be off season during Nov to Apr?
Answered by Liz from SINGAPORE | Sep. 28, 2019 20:56

Different month has different great views, especially in December to April.
Asked by FabGreg from FRANCE | Jul. 22, 2019 10:05Reply
Booking bus Kunming South to Yuanyang Xinjie
Arriving very early morning at Main Railway Station, I intend to visit Shilin (bus from East Bus Station), then coming back to KM and taking sleeper bus (18:00?) at South Bus Station to Yuanyang Xinjie.

How can I book my sleeper berth to Yuanyang Xinjie in the morning (or earlier in Guizhou)?

Is it possible around the Kunming Railway Station (travel agency?) or at the Kunming East Bus Station? Being time constraint, I would prefer avoiding booking at the Kunming South Bus Station.

Thank you in advance

Fabrice, French citizen, therefore not able to buy online
Answers (8)
Answered by Samuel from USA | Jul. 28, 2019 17:56

You need to buy the bus ticket on the spot. Or you can just ask help for the local travel agency.
Answered by FabGreg from FRANCE | Jul. 29, 2019 02:20

Is it possible to book at the Eastern Bus Station a seat on a bus leaving that night from the Southern Bus Station in Kunming?

Answered by Samuel from USA | Jul. 29, 2019 20:44

There are several booking pages that only have Chinese version. Thus I am afraid not that you cannot book in advance.
Answered by FabGreg from FRANCE | Jul. 30, 2019 04:24

Thanks, but the question is no more if I can book in advance. My question is:

Is it possible to book a seat in the morning at the Eastern Bus Station (Kunming) for a bus leaving evening time from the Southern Bus Station?

Because I will be early morning time at the Eastern Bus Station for travelling to Shilin.

Answered by Samuel from USA | Jul. 30, 2019 19:52

Yes, you can purchase the ticket of evening bus in the early morning.
Answered by FabGreg from FRANCE | Jul. 31, 2019 02:30

My main concern is not that much a question of time.

Is it possible to book a seat at the Eastern Bus Station (Kunming) for a bus which will leave from the Southern Bus Station? (bus Kunming South -> Xinjie)

Answered by Samuel | Jul. 31, 2019 02:42

Oh, I understand. No, I am afraid not.
Answered by FabGreg from FRANCE | Jul. 31, 2019 03:53

Thank you. I will have to adapt my planning.

May be, after booking the Xinjie bus at the South Bus Station, I will take a bus direct to the East Bus Station... if quicker than the metro ;-)

Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)