Chinese Name: 元阳 (yuán yáng)
Area: 2,212.32 square kilometers (854.18 square miles)
Location: in the south of Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, southwest China
Area Code: 0873
Zip Code: 662400
GDP (2018): CNY 5.336 billion (USD 0.806 billion)
Nationalities: Hani, Yi, Han, Dai, Miao, Yao and Zhuang
China’s Most Beautiful Rice Terraces
Yuanyang County is located in the south of Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, 284 kilometers (176 miles) away from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Yuanyang Rice Terraces is the core area of Honghe Hani Terraces which was approved to be listed in the world heritage list in 2013. The terraces in Yuanyang Yunnan is distributed in 14 towns covering 44 square miles. Yuanyang is also one of the important producing areas of tropical fruits, Yunwu Tea and gold in Yunnan Province. Yuanyang Yunnan is mainly inhabited by Hani Nationality and other six ethnic groups including Yi, Han, Dai, Miao, Yao and Zhuang. The Hani culture features terraces, long street banquet, mushroom-shaped houses and embroidery clothing.
Best Places to Visit & Top Things to Do in Yuanyang
Yuanyang Terrace Scenic Area
Yuanyang Terrace Scenic Area mainly includes Bada, Laohuzui and Duoyishu scenic spots and Jingkou Folk Village. The ticket costs CNY70 for an adult. Children under 7 years old or under 1.2m (3.9 feet) are free of charge. The best shooting time of terraces is from November to April. Because the terraces will be filled with water after the autumn harvest until transplanting next year. At this time, the terraces will flash silver light, which highlights the winding outline of the terraces.
The Bada Terrace is the best place for viewing sunset with the most beautiful cloud sea. As the sun sets, the terraces turn pink, red and then white.
The Laohuzui Terrace is the most precipitous, magnificent and largest. It is characterized by a strong sense of three-dimensional, colorful, looking like a painting. The spectacular sunset at the Laohuzui Terrace is also worth seeing.
One of the favorite places for photographers and the best place to enjoy the sunrise is the Duoyishu Terrace. Because the terraces are often shrouded by fog, brilliant sunlight and colorful clouds will be reflected on the terraces when the sun rises, which can definitely dazzle your eyes.
Jingkou Folk Village
Jingkou Folk Village is an original Hani village which is full of local ethnic charms. Visitors can appreciate traditional mushroom-shaped houses and remarkable terraces. It is also a good place to learn the folk culture, customs and lifestyle as well as enjoy the Hani singing and dancing performance.
Best Time to Visit Yuanyang
The best time to visit Yuanyang Yunan is from November to April when the foggy-shrouded Yuanyang terraces sparkling in the sun look most beautiful. Because Yuanyang is mostly mountainous terrain, the higher the altitude is, and the lower the temperature is. But the general feature of the climate is hot in summer, from June to August, with an average temperature of 30℃ (86℉) and cold in winter, from December to February, with an average temperature of 20℃ (68℉). In spring, from March to May, and autumn, from September to November, the weather is relatively mild and dry. It's rainy from May to October every year.
Yuanyang Weather Forecast
Visitors can fly to Kunming Changshui International Airport and then take a coach at Kunming South Bus Station to Yuanyang Yunnan, taking about 7-8 hours. It is also very convenient to take a bullet train to Kunming South Railway Station and then get to Yuanyang Yunnan by coach.
The inner-city transportation methods in Yuanyang are buses and taxis. It is suggested to rent a car to visit terraces as they are scattered in different places. It takes about CNY360-600/ day in different seasons.
Best Yuanyang Food to Try
Roasted Tofu, Stewed Chicken with Dipping Sauce (Zhanshui Chicken), Deep-fried Bamboo Bee, Insect Feast, Red Rice are very famous foods being fond of by local people.
Stewed Chicken with Dipping Sauce (Zhanshui Chicken)
Stew the chicken until done and then spark with salt and cut into pieces. The cooked chicken is fresh, tender and delicious. Zhanshui literally means sauce. It is made of more than ten kinds of seasonings, such as millet pepper, coriander, cilantro, Sichuan peppercorns, ginger, garlic, scallions. The chicken tastes appetizing with sauce.
The ingredients of the Insect Feast include more than ten types of wild edible larvae such as hornet pupae, bee pupae and bamboo bee. The cooking method is boiling or deep-frying.