Highlights

In the southwestern mountainous area of Yunnan, a group of hardworking and talented minorities have been living a reclusive life over the generations. After hundreds of thousands of years of cultivation on the hilly area, they created a magical land – an endless expanse of terraced fields.

This private South Yunnan tour in 5 days takes you from Kunming to Yuanyang Rice Terraces and Jianshui Ancient Town. Indulge yourself in colorful minority cultures and marvel at the majestic beauty of the rice terraced fields. Always get your camera ready to take incredibly beautiful photos.

Top Things to Do:

  • Stroll around Jianshui Ancient Town, full of history and charm.
  • Take a photo tour of Yuanyang Rice Terraces at the best times and best places.
  • Enjoy minority travel in Yunnan: insight into China's diverse ethnic groups.
  • Travel Style: original, private tour, culture, photography

    Best Time to Travel: November to next April

    Destinations: Kunming, Jianshui, Yuanyang Rice Terraces

    Gallery

    Day

    Meals Included: Lunch

    Hello, welcome to Yunnan, China! After a smooth and safe air journey, you have arrived at Kunming Changshui International Airport. Take your time for plane landing and luggage claiming, and finally meet your private guide of Yunnan Discovery at the arrival hall.

    Drive about 3 hours and head directly to Jianshui, an ancient town in south of Yunnan with a history of 800 years. It boasts dozens of well-preserved ancient architecture complex such as aged-old private gardens, stone bridges, dwellings, courtyards, towers, temples and city walls.

    After a break at hotel, you begin to fit in this old town and get ready for a relaxed Jianshui afternoon tour. Visit the second biggest Confucius Temple in China built in Qing Dynasty. Then go to the Family Zhu's Garden, in an elegant layout. This classical Chinese garden features exquisite design, beautiful wood carvings, and fits perfectly into the tranquil surroundings. Later come to the Changyang City Gate, established in 1389. It is one of the iconic landmarks of Jianshui and witness to the city's brilliant history.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    In the morning, transfer to visit the Family Zhang's Garden at Tuanshan Village, the second largest classical garden in Jianshui 20km from the ancient town, but with even better construction and of higher artistic value. The whole complex suggests a gracious style of living.

    Proceed to Double Dragon Bridge built 300 years ago. It is commonly known as the Seventeen Arch Bridge, 148.26 meters long. Its peculiar modeling and outlandish design make it one of the most famous historical sites in Yunnan and one of the most beautiful ancient bridges in China. Never miss the great photo opportunities of Double Dragon Bridge. Jianshui is also with a number of Hui people. They still live a traditional pattern of life (farming, raising pigs and purple pottery making) that survives for centuries.

    Then we continue to hit the road and get to Yuanyang. After check-in to hotel, we take an off-beaten-track trip the surrounding ethnic minority villages hidden in the mountainous area. Yi and Hani are the largest ethnic groups around Yuanyang. You will see many primitive tools and life utensils (e.g. tobacco smoked in a long-stemmed Chinese pipe) that you may have never seen before and taste special, delicious local foods. Then we continue to hit the road and get to Yuanyang. After check-in to hotel, we take an off-beaten-track trip the surrounding ethnic minority villages hidden in the mountainous area. Yi and Hani are the largest ethnic groups around Yuanyang. You will see many primitive tools and life utensils (e.g. tobacco smoked in a long-stemmed Chinese pipe) that you may have never seen before and taste special, delicious local foods. For your photography tour, the traditional ethnic costumes and simple life stories are worth to be recorded.

    Afterwards, drive for 3 hours and get to Yuanyang Rice Terrace, a paradise for photographers. We go to Tiger Mouth Terrace of over 200 hectares, the best spot for Yuanyang Rice Terrace at sunset. So we must pray that the weather is good, and you can catch the perfect reflection of light in the water mirror of the terraces.

    Afterwards, drive for 3 hours and get to Yuanyang Rice Terrace, a paradise for photographers. We go to Tiger Mouth Terrace of over 200 hectares, the best spot for Yuanyang Rice Terrace at sunset. So we must pray that the weather is good, and you can catch the perfect reflection of light in the water mirror of the terraces.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    All photographers know that if we waste the early morning time, we probably miss the most beautiful moments. So get up early and get to the Duoyishu Terrace of over 650 hectares and Bada Terrace of 933 hectares, the best spots for Yuanyang Rice Terraces at sunrise (if weather permits). When looking down at the endless terraces and all the surroundings, we do not only appreciate the beautiful scenery, but also marvel at an agricultural wonder. Here we also make an effort to take photos at many different times and capture the differences present.

    Then, we continue a minority tour. Visit Sheng Cun Village and Qing Kou Village inhabited by the Hani ethnic people. Embraced by lush forests and waters, you will find primitivity and tranquility. Apart from the terraced fields, Hani people’s mushroom dwelling houses also deserve photo opportunities.

    If your travel date by coincidence meets a market date, your guide will take you to a busy local market. Food materials and articles of daily use are on sale.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

    Bid farewell to Yuanyang Rice Terrace, be transferred back to Kunming and en route stop by another Hani village and the Red River Valley in Nansha Town (at 240m). The valley features Dai ethnic culture and tropic scenery of tropical orchard and tropical botanical garden. You may compare the cultural differences and costume differences among Dai and Yi, Hani, Hui.

    Keep driving, then we come to the Stone Forest, a natural wonder of typical karst formation. About 200 million years ago, due to the earth movement, numerous stone peaks, pillars, and stalagmites rose abruptly from the ground and towered into the sky, extending as far as you can see now and looking like a vast forest of stones, hence the name "the Stone Forest".

    After visit the Stone Forest national Geo park, you will be transfer back to the hotel in Kunming city, you have chance to have a good rest. Overnight in Kunming.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

    Enjoy a real rest and wake up naturally. Free time at leisure until your guide pick you up and transfer you to the airport of Kunming (about 1.5 hours driving). Wish you a pleasant journey to the next destination. Yunnan Discovery service ends.

    What's included

    • One-on-one travel counseling service with fully tailor-made itinerary
    • Private English-speaking guide, native-born or with years of local life experience
    • Reservations of domestic flights and trains as listed on your itinerary
    • Private driver, with comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle
    • Entry tickets to all attractions on your itinerary
    • Private transfers to airport/hotels/attractions
    • Handpicked accommodations to meet your needs, with daily breakfast
    • Lunch and dinner arranged at local restaurants, for taste of Yunnan
    • International flight tickets or train tickets
    • China Visa (but we can send you the invitation letter to help you apply China visa)
    • Tips for guides, escort, drives, bellman
    • Personal expenses

    Leave Your Comment

    Can't find what you're looking for? Customize Your Own Tour or call +86 871 6310 1600