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Yuanyang Attractions

Sightseeing Yuanyang


Hani Rice Terraces

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Hani Rice Terraces

The Hani ethnic group lives on a vast mountainous area of Ailao and Wuliang Mountains between Honghe River and Lancang River in southwest China's Yunnan Province. It has a population of 1.25 million according to the 1990 census, mainly distributed in the Honghe, Hani and Yi Nationalities Autonomous Prefecture and in Mojiang, Yuanjiang, Jiangcheng and Pu'er counties. The Hani people have applied for World Heritage Listing for their terraced fields. The application is based not only on the fields themselves but also on the rich heritage of the lifestyle that has grown there over the centuries.

Yuanyang Country is renowned for its rice terraces, 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. It is a self sustaining ecosystem and a perfect example of a symbiosis with nature.

Enjoy the spectacular sunrise and sunset over the irrigated rice terraces in winter, but it really depends on the weather condition. It's great to have fog in the morning and  cloud at dusk in a sunny day.

The ideal spots to view the terraces at different time are scattered as below:
Sunrise: Duoyishu, 1 hour ride from Xinjiezhen; Qingkou, 15 minutes
Sunset: Laohuzui (Tiger Mouth, 1 hour) / Bada (1 hour), Longshuba (only accessible by foot in around 40 minutes from Xinjiezhen)

Whether you can take great photos in Yuanyang really depends on the weather. A sunny day with fog in the morning and cloud in the dusk is perfect. The ideal spots for sunrise are Duoyishu and Qingkou,at least one morning for each place. Be prepared to get up early at around 5am to head for Duoyishu.  It takes around one hour to travel from Xinjie Zhen to Duoyishu. Qingkou is much closer and can be arrived within 15 minutes, more attractive in a foggy morning.

After the sunrise, spend your daytime to explore at least one local village. Qingkou is an enchanting Hani village with mushroom houses and local performance show. Admission fee is RMB50.

Yuanyang Rice Terraces are a perfect example of symbiosis in nature. The water evaporates from the rice terrace to form clouds; the clouds give rain, which is collected and trapped by the forests on the mountains. The water from the rain and from mountain springs flow down to the rice terraces and the whole cycle repeats itself perpetually. During the winter to early spring season, the entire field is irrigated with spring water from the forest above to rejuvenate and prepare for the next growing season. The Hani people have repeated this for more than a thousand years. There is only one harvest per year for the Yuanyang Rice Terrace; planting occurs from March to October/November every year.

The paddies, which are flooded from December to April, create a reflecting pool effect which is a photographer's dream. But be aware that the hills can be blanketed in fog for over half the year. In summer, the paddies are luxuriantly green with growing rice stalks. After the fall harvest, the paddies become bare earth, giving a completely different feeling.


Yuanyang + China Tours

Jianshui and Yuanyang Tour in Yunnan from $542.00
Jianshui County enjoys the fame "the Museum of Ancient Constructions", which highlights the ancient Chinese culture and art. Yuanyang County is renowned for its rice terraces, which claim as the world's largest and most spectacular one, crafted out by bare hands by the Hani people one thousand years ago and is still in use today.
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Yunnan Hani Minority Rice Terrace Tour from $1,401.00
After getting lost in Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian (Shangri-la), we will see the Ancient Constructions in Jianshui county, and Hani ethnic minority groups's rice terrace in Yuanyang. Yunnan minority and rice terrace tour welcomes you to join in...
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