Home China Guide Kunming Attractions Dongchuan Red Land near Kunming

Dongchuan Red Land near Kunming

Dongchuan Red Land is a new rising tourist destination near Kunming, loved by photographers and backpackers, and praised as "God's. These red lands, extending for nearly 50 kilometers (30 miles), are the most striking and distinctive in the world.

Photography Highlights: 

  • Afternoon 'Sunset Valley' shoot
  • Sunrise in 'Hit Horse Hole'
  • Sunset/sunset glow in 'Tiled House Bridge'
  • The vast red fields of 'Embroidery Garden'
  • Seize the moment — optional photo stops on the way
  • Flexibility — you're the boss — reshoot any locations you want

Suggested Photography Tours

Classic Dongchuan Red Fields Photography Tour (3–4 days)

Day 1: Private airport transfer, visit Dragon Gate on West Hill, and stay in Kunming.

Day 2: Car to Dongchuan; afternoon shoot in 'Sunset Valley', 'Music Hollow', and 'River Snail Bay'; sunset shoot in 'Tiled House Bridge'.

Day 3: Sunrise in 'Hit Horse Hole', visit 'Embroidery Garden' in the morning, then back to Kunming; or take the optional extension to reshoot attractions for better photos, and return to Kunming on day 4.

Good to Know:

  • Jiaozi Snow Mountain only takes about 2 hours from the red fields. It is covered with snow from October to mid-April.
  • For professional photographers, we can secure the services of a local professional photographer and tour guide, who has photographed Dongchuan Red Land for more than 20 years. The fee is an extra 500 RMB per day.
  • If you want to extend your tour to other parts of Yunnan Province, such as Dali and Lijiang, please feel free to ask your trip advisor to arrange it for you.

Dongchuan Red Fields & Yuanyang Terraced Fields Photography Tour (8–10 days)

Days 1–4: Private airport transfer, visit Dragon Gate on West Hill in Kunming, 2–3-day Classic Dongchuan Red Fields Photography Tour (see above)

Days 4–6: Stone Forest shoot; Jianshui ancient buildings, including Confucian Temple and Zhu Family Garden

Days 7–10: Sunset and sunrise at the Yuanyang Terrace Fields, daytime discovery of local Hani ethnic culture, return to Kunming and airport transfer

You can ask your driver to stop anywhere you want during your trip for photos. Your private driver and guide will deal with any hassles during the journey, so you can feel free to focus on your photography.

Attractions

'Sunset Valley' (Luoxiagou 落霞沟 /lwor-sshya-go/)

Surrounded by mountains, Luoxiagou looks like a sunken depression from a distance. Traditional local villages adorn the colorful fields. A great place for photography blockbusters that you should not miss, a telephoto lens is recommended to shoot villages in the distance. Photographers should arrive at Luoxiagou around 4:30pm. Late afternoon is the best time.

The 'Hit Horse Hole' Sunrise (Damakan 打马坎 /daa-maa-can/)

A large spread of red fields are in the arms of continuous mountains at the skyline. Due to its local topographical advantage, Damakan is the best site to see a sunrise. In order to get a favorable position for perfect pictures, travelers should get up at 5:00. Leave the hotel at 5:30 and arrive at Damakan within 30 minutes.  

The 'Tiled House Bridge' Sunset (Wafang Liangzi 瓦房梁子 /waa-fung lyang-dzuh/)

A higher location to see 'Music Hollow' and 'River Snail Bay', Wafang Liangzi is the best place to see a sunset with Dongchuan's red fields.

'River Snail Bay' (Luosiwan螺蛳湾/lwor-srr-wan/)

Photograph 'River Snail Bay' first before the sunset if you have time. Usually, is the first beautiful red field stop on the way to Dongchuan.

'Music Hollow' (Yuepuao乐谱凹/ywair-poo-aoww/)

'Music Hollow'is near 'Flower Stone' (Huashitou 花石头 /hwaa-shrr-toe/) village, known as "the best place for photography". Get some sunset and sunset glow photos in Wafang Liangzi, or catch the sunset glow in 'Music Hollow' after the sunset.

'Embroidery Garden' (Jinxiuyuan 锦绣园 /jin-sshyoh-ywen/)

Jinxiuyuan has a vast expanse of many rolling hills with red fields. A great location for shots of the colorful fields, a traditional village and some trees also offer a vivid countryside picture.

'Seven-Color Slope' (Qicaipo 七彩坡 /chee-tseye-por/)

Near 'Embroidery Garden', 'Seven-Color Slope'gets its name from seven fields with seven different colors (when the right crops are planted and growing). However, usually travelers are not lucky enough to see the seven colors, so we don't suggest visiting it.

'North River Village' (Beihecun 北河村 /bay-her-tswnn/)

Have a chance to photograph a quiet and peaceful traditional village — Beihecun, a place generally not visited by travelers. Not listed as a Dongchuan destination,it is an untouched village set with a background of a red field hill. There are well-preserved ancient houses at the foot of the hill. Ancient buildings, local original life, and the red field hill are a beautiful picture.

You can reshoot the classic attractions above or ask your guide to take you to Beihecun for something original.

Scenery on the Way

On the way to Dongchuan Red Land from Kunming, you can come across flocks of goats, oxen, and original horse-drawn carts. Local minorities are friendly and pleased to take photos with you. Let your driver know any time you want to stop.

The Best Times to visit

May to June

Photographers can capture strongly red fields just after ploughing and before the crops grow, and farming photos. Potato flowers opens in the summer and golden wheat decorates the red fields. With various crop colors, red earth, and blue sky, it's one of the best times to get blood red field photos.

September to November

Autumn is another wonderful season to photo the red fields. Some fields will be turned over for new crops, and there are large expanses of highland barley and wheat. Yunnan's unique white cole flowers make the fields more colorful. This is another good time you should not miss.

Tour Essentials

Accommodation

There are about 30 hotels in the area, but hotel facilities are limited. If you book a tour with us, you will stay in Hongtudi Impression Hotel — the best hotel in the area. However, Wi-Fi is only available in the hotel lobby, and breakfast is a traditional Chinese breakfast of rice porridge or noodles, eggs, and pickles.

Food

Only Chinese meals are available in the Red Land. Our guide will prepare some instant coffee for you. Even shops selling bottled water are limited.

Transport

Dongchuan Red Land is about 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of Kunming, with an altitude of 1,800–2,600 meters (5,900–8,500 feet).

There are no shuttle buses to the area. Private transport needs to be used in the Red Land because it's big. Luoxiagou and Damakan are around 40 minutes from the hotel. Other attractions are around 10 minutes' drive away.

Language

Dongchuan Red Land is still undeveloped for foreign travelers. Local people can't speak English at all. It's a minority area, where their Mandarin is not so good either. To hire an English-speaking driver is extremely difficult. We arrange an experienced local driver and an English-speaking guide for your tour.

Clothes

Dongchuan has a big difference in temperature (around 10°C/18°F) at night. Strong winds make it worse. Travelers need to prepare warm clothes for sunrise trips.

Photography Tips

  • Changeable weather plays an important role in the appearance of the colorful fields in Dongchuan. If you are a professional photographer, we suggest you stay three days in Dongchuan for better photo opportunities.
  • You shouldn't step into the fields, as you might be asked for money by the locals. If you want to take some photos in the fields, ask your guide to discuss permission and a price with the locals first.