Yuanyang, Jianshui and Luoping lie in the relatively underdeveloped southeast part of Yunnan, Honghe Hani and Yi People's Autonomous Region, Yunnan, southwest of China. Because of relatively inaccessible part of Yunnan, the subtropical area escaped heavy development for tourism, and have so far been overlooked to a certain extent. It is not included in the Lonely Planet nor any other leading travel guide books.
Yuanyang is renowned for its rice terraces crafted out, no sculpted by bare hands by the Hani people one thousand years ago, transforming a barren valley into a humid Eden; perfect for rice crops. The 1000m of mountain slopes of terraces is still in use today, claiming to be the world's most spectacular and extensive terraces. An optional gateway to Yuanyang, Jianshui is a little town with interesting historical architectures and relics, including a mini Tiananmen Gateway.
Close to the border of Myanmar and Thailand, this subtropical region is home to the Dai ethnic people. Lowland rice fields along the banks of a broad Mekong River are divided by rolling hills covered in virgin rainforest and interspersed with isolated communities of Dai, Hani, Jino and Bulang minority peoples.
It is an ideal retreat for the winter when most of China is cold. Visit authentic villages of three minorities and their homes and stroll around the local market. Distinctive ethnic people in colourful costumes, various local food and products and a tea plantation will make your trip truly memorable.
Yunnan's Yuanyang (Hani Rice Terrace) & Tropical Xishuangbanna
* Enjoy the spectacular sunrise and sunset over the irrigated rice terraces in winter. It's great to have fog in the morning and cloud at dusk in a sunny day.
* Visit Hani people (ethnic minority) villages and markets where locals wear their colorful traditional costumes.
* Hike along the steep and slippery rice terrace paths
* Enjoy Xishuangbanna's tropical scenery and admire the costumes and customs of the ethnic minority people.
* Jianshui Ancient Town & out of town ancient Villages retain remarkable architectural legacy.
The peak time to visit Yuanyang area is between December to March/April when the terraces have been flooded in preparation for the rice planting. The flooded paddies creates reflecting pool effect, which is a photographer's dream.
Xishuangbanna can be visited anytime except the summer is very hot.
Day 1 Arrive into Kunming / Jianshui
Beijing--Kunming by air 07:50--11:15. Shanghai--Kunming by air 07:35--10:50
Other locales: if you depart from other locale, let us know and we arrange this trip for you.
- Fly to Kunming in the morning and have lunch (local specialty - Cross Bridge Rice Noodle).
- Drive about 4 hours (220 km) to Jianshui. On the way, we will pass Yuxi, where at right season (February and early spring) rapeseeds flowers are in full blossom.
- Check into the Hotel.
- In the evening, we stroll in the city and mount on the Chaoyang Men Gate.
Day 2 Jianshui / Yuanyang
- Tour the ancient township of Jianshui and drive to see Family Zhang' s Garden and the ancient Tuancheng Village.
- After lunch, we drive 3 hours to Yuanyang.
- Check in the hotel in Yuanyang.
Day 3 Yuanyang – Hani Rice Terrace
- The best views are at the sunrise and sunset.
- Explore, if not so foggy, the best views of terraced rice paddies on foot (slippery).
- Visit a Hani village and mushroom shaped hut houses.
- After lunch, the whole afternoon will be dedicated to the Hani Rice Terrace - one of the largest one in the world. We will visit Laohuzui (literally Tiger’s mouth), one stunning section of the rice terrace.
Day 4 Yuanyang / Kunming / Xishuangbanna
- Take the last view of the rice paddies before breakfast and then drive 7 hours (370km) to Kunming. On route, you will also see fully blossomed rapeseeds flowers.
- if the traffic is smooth and we will arrive in Kunming before 3pm, then we will stop by the Stone Forest (which ticket office is closed at 4:30pm).
(The admission fee will be additionally charged if the Stone Forest visit takes place).
- Hang out around the town of Kunming for one to two hours before we drive to the Kunming airport.
- Fly into Xishuangbanna (50 minutes flight) and stay the night in Xishuangbanna.
Day 5. Xishuangbanna
- We will catch up the local market in Menghun, where various ethnic peoples don their colourful costumes and gather together to sell and barter all different local vegetables, fruits, goods and crafts.
- Then we will head to a Bulang People's village and check out a tea plantation by way of riding tractors.
- After lunch, we explore a Dai people's paper-manufacturing village, and then a Hinayana Buddhist Temple (Thai and Burmese style).
- Stay overnight in Xishuangbanna
Day 6 Xishuangbanna
- Join the local ladies in the local market.
- Drop by some villages of Dai People in the area.
- In the afternoon take a walk in the serene and soothing botanic garden.
Note: we don't visit the "Wild Elephant Valley" as it becomes quite touristy and no any single wild elephant can be seen there.
- Stay overnight in Xishuangbanna.
Day 7 Xishuangbanna / Fly out
- After breakfast, transfer to the Xishuangbanna airport and fly to Kunming, then connect flight to Beijing or Shanghai.
Kunming - Beijing 16:00-19:00
Kunming - Shanghai Hongqiao 16:00-19:00
- Please note that the flights or timing of flights mentioned in the above itinerary may change subject to ticket availability and airline scheduling. Alternative hotels of similar standards will be used if any of the hotels mentioned in the itinerary is unable to provide enough accommodation.
CCC Travel does not offer regular set packages for this tour. However we are happy to help you plan a private custom-made one. Please scroll this web page down to check non-negotiable fixed prices and propose a date for your own group. Please note that we do not create a private tour and then make it available for individual people to join. We also do not contact other people to add to a group tour. Similarly, we can create custom-made private journeys for you and your family or friends or co-workers at set-prices.
- Off-the-beaten rural Dali of Yunnan
- Off-the-Beaten Path Dali, Lijiang & Shangri-La of Yunnan
- Shangri-La, Deqin & Meili Snow Mt.& Lakes
- Yunnan's Yuanyang (Hani Rice Terrace) & Tropical Xishuangbanna
- Western Yunnan's Tengchong - Volcanoes & Hot Springs
- Nujiang Gorge in Northwest Yunnan
- Yunnan's Lugu Lake & Mosuo People
- Wintercamp: Nature & minority Immersion in Yunnan's Xishuangbanna