The spectacular and vast Yuanyang terraced fields, located in the southern part of Ailao Mountain in Yunnan Province, stretch across the four counties of Yuanyang, Honghe, Jinping, and Lvchun in Honghe Prefecture. They cover around around 666 millions square meter.
Come here and you will stunned by this landscape painting "carved" by Hani people over 1,300 years, from generation to generation. It is also an important source of survival for the Hani people, who have created this feat of nature with wisdom and hard work. It is an excellent example of how us humans can coexist and transform the natural environment.
The organic cycle of "forests, villages, terraces, and water " is the secret of the Hani people, with the terraces standing the test of time.
The terraced fields are stacked on top of each other as the terrain changes. The unpredictable sky is reflected in the surfaces of water, creating a reflection that resembles a gorgeous and colourful oil painting.
During the autumn harvest season, you can also get a glimpse of golden rice fields in the mountains, enjoying the visual thrill of a bumper harvest.
Link to the page of Yuanyang Hani Rice Terraces.
Late December to the end of April; and the autumn harvest in October.
A two-day visit is best to capture the best features of this wonder.
1）Duoyishu Scenic Area
Duoyishu Scenic Area is regarded as the best place to photograph the sunrise from the terraces. The terraces in this scenic area, including Duoyishu, Aichun, and Dawazhe, total more than 6.7 square kilometres (1647.4 acres).
As the sun rises, it casts changing colours on to the water surfaces, a real mind-blowing experience. With the villages coming to life too, the whole Duoyishu Scenic Area becomes a wonderland.
The villages, terraces and trees that are part-hidden in the mist, just like a Chinese inn painting, create a wonderful sight for photographers.
Duoyishu is the best place to shoot the sunrise and misty Hani village, surrounded by high mountains on three sides and stretching to the valley on another. There are many mushroom-like houses dotted alongside the rice paddies, just like a sailboat gliding across the sea. The sun rays appear splendidly over the high mountains at first light and when the sun finds its place high in the sky, the rice terraces change from a shade of pale blue (created by the sky) to a golden wonder, shining brilliantly.
Aichun is the perfect place to photograph the blue terraces. You will find it around five km away from Duoyishu, the best place to see the rice terrace.
Position yourself on a high observation deck and you can feast your eyes on this awe-inspiring landscape. Dawazhe is the best place to capture images of clouds and mist.
- Laoyingzui Rice Terrace
Laoyingzui Rice Terrace is the best place to photograph the beautiful sunset. This terrace is the steepest, positioned at the top of a cliff with an incline of 90° - giving you a birds-eye view of the terraces.
What attracts travellers the most are the amazing rainbow of colours, just like a palette of paints being scattered across the land by a magic hand. In the twilight, as the sun sets, it is a captivating view.
3) Bada Scenic Area
Bada Rice Terrace is a great place to capture the sunset and terrace panorama, sunset and seas of clouds. The terraces start from the Malizhai River at an altitude of 800 metres, and stretch right up to the top of a mountain at an altitude of 2,000 metres.
More than 3,700 terraces resemble a ladder, reaching for the sky. Hold your breath as the sunset glows, shining upon the paddies. You'll see the 3700-level terraces first turns pink, then rosy and later dark red, pink, golden and white.
Hiring a car from Kunming is a great way to explore. Or you can take a public bus.
You can take a bus from Kunming South Bus Station to Yuanyang and get off at Yuanyang Xinjie town. The bus starts from Kunming at 10:20 am and arrives in Xinjie town at 5:00 pm. From there, the terrace scenic areas are still around 10 kilometres away, so it is recommended to stay overnight in Xinjie then catch a local bus or mini-van the next day to reach the scenic areas.
You have a choice of hotels and homestays near the Duoyishu Scenic Area.
There are plenty of local, traditional foods on offer for you to try.
They also make a good picture!