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 $929
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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 Jul. 31, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Yuanyang Rice Terraces
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 ;-)

Asked by Chok Seng Chu | Jun. 29, 2019 06:37Reply
visiting Kunming, lijang and yuan yang.
We are three Malaysia Chines senior citizens above 65 years old. We wish to fly in to kunming stay for 2 days. We plan the visit lijang and yuan yang. Can we charter a car and a driver to drive us around. We would like to stay in 4 stars hotels. What are the hotels you would recommend? Is it the best time to visit Yuan Yang during September.

Would appreciate greatly for your reply.

Thank you.

My warm regarts.
Chok Seng(Ms)
Answers (1)
Answered by Billy from USA | Jul. 01, 2019 18:32

1. Hi, you can hire a car and a driver.
2. There are many great four-star hotels you can book, like Seyearn Boutique Hotel (Beijing Road Tangzi Lane Metro Station), which is at No.68, Wujing Rd, Guandu District. The fare is CNY300 to 400/night. Or Atour Hotel (Kunming Dian Lake), which is at West Qianwei Rd, Xishan District. The fare is CNY450 to 550/night.
3. The best time is from November to April, while September is also good.
Asked by Cindy from CANADA | May. 27, 2019 11:51Reply
What is the accommodation like in Yuanyang? Are there hotels close to the rice terraces?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nick from AUSTRALIA | May. 27, 2019 19:42

The accommodation here is not bad. There are many hotels for your choice. It will be easy for you to pick one when you arriving there.
Asked by cindy from CANADA | May. 24, 2019 08:23Reply
when is the best time to see the water reflection of the rice terraces?
How is the accommodation in Yuangyang? I'd like to see sunrise and sunset.
When is a good time to visit Dongchuan Red Land? I'd like to see all the different colours, red, yellow and green. Is one day in Dongchuan Red Land enough or do I need to spend one night there?

I'd like to visit the following places:

Kumming - Stone forest
Lijiang, Shuhe Old Town, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Jade Snow Mountain, Blue Moon Valley the move on to Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou.
How long do you suggest I take?
Answers (1)
Answered by Leo from FRANCE | May. 27, 2019 01:50

The best time to see water reflection is from late November to late February and the best time to visit Red Land is May. One day is a little tight and it is suggested to spend overnight there.

In general, you need to spend about 2 weeks. However, the Jiuzhaigou hasn't opened yet.
Asked by Jessica from UNITED KINGDOM | Apr. 12, 2019 17:11Reply
I'm planning to stay in dali as its cheaper than kunming.
Does anybody know if there is a bus directly from dali or if I have to travel to kunming to then get the bus.

Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Logan from FRANCE | Apr. 16, 2019 01:11

Do you want to know the transportation from Dali to Yuanyang Rice Terraces?
If yes, there is no direct bus or train. Thus you are suggested to go to Kunming first.
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