The rice terraces of Yuanyang are without a doubt the most beautiful and spectacular that you will visit during your trip to China. Located around the old town of Yuanyang, these rice fields have been carved in the mountains by the Hani minority living in the area for several centuries. A sunrise and sunset on the terraces is a real magical moment and is a real motivation to reach this remote and recently opened to travelers. The best time to visit the region is in our opinion from November to April. Located in the mountains, the weather is sometimes foggy, so you have to wait patiently for the weather to clear, and why not visit one of the local villages or one of the many Yi or Hani minority markets in the surrounding area, based on the lunar calendar. The opportunity to admire the beautiful traditional costumes still worn by Yuanyang women.
When to see the rice fields of Yuanyang?
The rice fields around Yuanyang are filled with water from December to February each year. From early March, the land is prepared for plantations that will last the entire month of April. The rice starts to grow in May. From June, the rice fields take green colors, then yellow for the months of July to September. The harvests last all the month of October, then the rice fields are cleaned then put back in water in November / beginning of December. Know that the rhythms are always a little different between each rice field, farmer and village, also some months of the year, you can see paddy fields in water next to rice fields not yet harvested, and some in the course of harvest with buffaloes and farmers in the fields. Amazing contrasts and pretty rural scenes to photograph! ? You can find more detailed information on the weather in Yuanyang on the Yuanyang Weather page.
Access to Yuanyang
The main problem of the Yuanyang region remains its access. There is no airport in the area, and the nearest train link is Mengzi and Jianshui, but it does not save much time compared to the road. It takes 7h drive from Kunming to access Yuanyang Xinjie, and at least another 30min drive to access the first views of rice fields. It’s been a long day’s drive from Kunming, which you can take off from visiting the Shilin Stone Forest. You will be able to stop at Jianshui, another very rich region of South Yunnan, to spend the night there and to discover during 2 half days its old city, the surrounding villages like Tuanshan. Note a paid entry ticket to the area, 70RMB per person.
Video discovery of Yuanyang with a drone
Where to sleep in Yuanyang?
Many hostels have emerged in recent years, well located in front of rice terraces, especially on the side of Shengcun and especially Duoyishu. It was time, because 5 years ago, all the accommodations in the area were in Yuanyang Xinjie Town, which was not very interesting. We advise you to stay in the village of Duoyishu where there are now nice guest rooms located in front of the rice fields, include our friends at the Jacky’s Guest House, or the Timeless Inn or the Flower Residence. The welcome is always warm in this remote but beautiful part of South Yunnan.