Yuanyang Rice Terraces - Yunnan Province
Yuanyang County, and its legendary terraced rice fields, is located around 250km south of provincial capital Kunming, and 50km north of the China-Vietnam border. The main attraction here is obvious - steep hills layered with ribbons of ingeniously carved rice terraces, stretching out and around the valleys as far as the eye can see. The terraces were first sculpted by the Hani minority many centuries ago, and have been farmed year round ever since. Spectacular any time of year, the fields can either be viewed when lush and green in the summer, or during the winter months when they are constantly filled with water by local tribes. Due to their location they see far fewer tourists than the busier Longji Rice Terraces in Guangxi.
The rice fields have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and they are a popular destination for both amateur and professional photographers. We recommend a stay of at least a couple of nights to ensure a prized shot, and also to give you enough time to explore the dramatic surrounding scenery, minority villages, and busy local markets.