Visit Yunnan: China’s Top Natural & Cultural Gems in Yunnan

The colorful land of Yunnan offers rich natural landscapes, such as the famed Stone Forest and Tiger Leaping Gorge, as well as various exotic cultures of over 50 ethnic groups like Naxi peole created Dongba pictographs and Mosuo people with mysterious walking marriage. This article brings you some interesting facts of Yunnan’s scenic spots that rank the tops in China.

The Largest Earth Forest Group in the World

Yuanmou County of Yunnan not only discovered the fossil teeth of Yuanmou man lived estimated 1.7 million years ago, but also has World’s largest group of earth forests developed in the past 1.5 million years. This spectacular geological wonder is caused by earth movement and erosion.

Among all Yuanmou Earth Forests with an area of about 50 square kilometers, Wumao Earth Forest (former named Hutiaotan Earth Forest and Zhima Earth Forest), Langbapu Earth Forest (former named Xinhua Earth Forest) and Banguo Earth Forest rank as the top 3 for their various shapes and rich colors.

Yuanmou Earth Forest, a magnificent artwork by Mother Nature, is a one place not to be missed in Yunnan for photography lovers. When sunshine falls upon, the clay rocks and pillars gleam like gold. Feel free to contact us to tailor your unique Yunnan photo tour.

The Only Grottoes in China Exhibiting Bai Azhaliism

Shizhongshan Grottoes, also known as Jianchuan Grottoes and Shibaoshan Grottoes, are not only the earliest and largest grottoes in Yunnan, but also the only grottoes in China reflecting Azhaliism, a Vajrayana Buddhist religion practiced among the Bai minority of Yunnan.

Shizhongshan rock caves are mainly scattered in 3 districts: Stone Bell Temple (Shizhongsi), Lion Pass (Shizi Guan) and Shadeng Village on the Shizhong Mountain, a peak of Shibao Mountain in Jianchuan County, Dali. There are 139 sculptures in 17 grottos with a history of more than 1,000 years built during Nanzhao (738-902/937) and Dali Kingdom (937-1094, 10961253) periods.

Most of the sculptures are lifelike Buddhist figures, such as Bodhisattva Guan Yin, Aahnan, Manjusri and Samantabhadra. There are also delicate rock carvings of monks, lay Buddhists, Kings of Nanzhao and their officials, etc., all of which are telling historical stories of the ancient kingdoms.

These outstanding cave carvings created by Bai people showcase some of the most original and unique Chinese Buddhist art. They are also historical treasures with vital archaeological significance for studying the history and culture of ancient Yunnan kingdoms.

If you are looking for a hidden discovery of Dali, rather than typical sightseeing, it would be a great choice to hike up the uncrowded Shibao Mountain, enjoy great Danxia Landform mountain view, and discover the well-preserved cave art of Shizhongshan Grottoes.

The Largest Bronze Temple in China

Kunming Golden Temple (Jin Dian) is the largest and best-preserved bronze-made temple in China, with a weight of 250 tons. It got the name for its shining golden appearance. As part of famous Taoist Taihe Palace, Golden Temple is located on the Fengming Mountain, about 10 km from Kunming City. It is better preserved than the golden temple on the Wanshou Mountain in Beijing Summer Palace and larger than the one on Wudang Mountain.

The Oldest Tea Tree in the World

You may know Pu’er tea which is grown exclusively in Yunnan Province. However, did you know that world’s oldest living tea tree is also in Yunnan? This ancient pu-erh tea tree named “Jinxiu Tea King” (锦绣茶祖) is estimated over 3,200 years old, located in Xiangzhuqing, Jinxiu Village, Xiaowan Town, Fengqing County, Lincang City in Yunnan Province. More incredibly, it’s not a wild tea tree, but a cultivated tree. Contact us to customize your own Yunnan tea tour to discover tea’s origins in Yunnan.

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