Yuanyang Rice Terraces Breaking Tour

YN-2: 6-Day Jianshui and Yuanyang Tour
From: $1189
Photography NatureCulture

Admire the classic ancient buildings in Jianshui and recharge your spirit with the most spectacular sights of the Yuanyang Rice Terraces. There are no shopping stops, just you and the beautiful view.


  • Lose your way in the maze-like karst landscape of the Stone Forest
  • Gain an insight into ancient wisdom in the large Confucian Temple of Jianshui
  • Find the soul of Chinese architectures in the Zhu Family Garden
  • Gaze at the sunset at the Tiger Mouth Pass in the Yuanyang Rice Terraces
  • Capture the dance of sunrise in Duoyishu
  • Integrate with the locals in the most original Hani minority market

What's Included

  • Entrance to the attractions listed in the itinerary
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private transfers between the airport, attractions, and hotels
  • Private local English-speaking tour guide and driver service (except for voluntary tips)
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast and service fee

Price Per Person in US Dollars

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 Kunming Arrival

Your private tour guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. After completing the check-in process with the help of your guide, you can have a rest or explore Kunming by yourself.

Good to know:
If you arrive early in the morning and have some time to kill, you may consider enriching your day by visiting Yunnan Minority Village, which gives a very quick view of the various minorities in Yunnan and their cultures, costumes, and customs. If you are interested in the history of the American Flying Tigers during World War II, Kunming Museum is recommended.

Kunming New Era Hotel

Day 2Stone Forest and Transfer to Jianshui

After a 1½-hour drive, visit the magical karst landform of the Stone Forest. You will see that nature is the most powerful artist. This area used to be a vast sea, and the Stone Forest was formed over millions of years, created by the movement of the Earth. The peculiar-shaped gray stones tower there and show you the changes. The folk customs of the Yi minority in this area make the Stone Forest even more attractive. Enjoy a Chinese-style lunch.

In the afternoon, your guide and driver will transfer you directly to Jianshui Town, taking approximately 3 hours. Jianshui is not big, but you will find classic ancient architecture surrounding you everywhere. Have a relaxing walk in the historical town and enjoy a quaint evening.

Jianshui Hotel

Stone Forest and Jianshui
Day 3Jianshui Confucian Temple, Zhu Family Garden, and Transfer to Yuanyang

Built over 700 hundred years ago, the Jianshui Confucius Temple is one of the biggest Confucian temples in China. It was built to commemorate Confucius, a great Chinese philosopher who lived from 551 to 479 BC. Grand ceremonies are held twice a year, at Chinese New Year and on September 28th, Confucius’s birthday. Have lunch and take a break.

The Zhang Family Garden is a fascinating collection of traditional Chinese folk dwellings and temples. Located in Jianxin Street, the private garden of the Zhu family has a total area of 20,000 square meters. The planned yards, gardens, and well, combined with the furnished rooms, halls, and the structure of the architecture, make this a very special place.

After the tour, take the 2-hour private transfer to Yuanyang for an overnight stay.

Yuanyang Yunti Hotel

Day 4Yuanyang Rice Terraces

The Yuanyang Rice Terraces are located in Honghe County. The first tribe to settle in this area and construct terraces for farming purposes was the Hani ethnic group. This incredible piece of engineering was not discovered until the 1980s and became the 45th Chinese World Heritage Site from 2013. Enjoy a spectacular view from the scenic mountain terraces at Duoyishu Village. Climb to the Tiger Mouth Pass that overlooks an extensive view of the terraces. Experience the folk culture at Qingkou Hani Ethnic Village. The highlight is visiting at sunrise and sunset when the light reflects off of the pools of water, creating a magnificent color show. Your guide will arrange lunch flexibly according to your needs. Stay one more night in Yuanyang after you capture the photo of a sunset over the rice terraces.

Day 5Local Market and Transfer Back to Kunming

The local market in Yuanyang attracts minorities from all around the villages. Minority people with unique customs gather in the market both to buy and sell all sorts of products. Local bazaars are usually held once a week. It is a fun way to experience the local people’s normal lifestyle.

After the visit, hop in the private vehicle and enjoy the transfer back to Kunming. It takes approximately 6 hours and your guide will arrange lunch for you to take a break.

Kunming New Era Hotel

Day 6Kunming Departure

After breakfast in your hotel, you will be transferred to the airport in good time. Your guide will help you with all the formalities. China Highlights hopes to be of service to you again.

Trip Notes

1. Tour Map (click to enlarge)

Map of yunnan

2. Tailoring Your Tour

This tour is very flexible. You can alter the itinerary, and extend or shorten it to suit your price, interest, and schedule. Feel free to tell us your requirements, and we will be happy to help you arrange a tour using our professional knowledge and experience. We promise a "No Shopping Policy".

3. Optional Extension

Hekou to Vietnam
From Yuanyang, taking a 4-hour drive, we can escort you to Hekou Port, which is adjacent to Laojie Port in Vietnam. You can cross the border here and arrive at the Laojie city of Vietnam. Please feel free to inform your preference and we are happy to extend the tour in the southeast part Aisa for you.

Show and Entertainment
Dynamic Yunnan in Kunming is a large-scale song and dance performance featuring the remarkable and diverse local ethnic culture. It is another masterpiece from the famous Chinese dancer Yangliping who directs and heads the cast.
It is recommended to book with your guide a day before, or on the day, to allow flexibility.

4. Best Times to Visit

1) Spring sowing season (January to March): Before planting, the water-filled rice terraces are like thousands of mirrors reflecting the blue sky, clouds, green hills, and mountains. The sunrise and sunset are reflected beautifully, presenting a marvelous view.
2) Autumn harvest season (July to September): During this time, the bottom of the Ailao Mountains turns golden yellow with rice. The rice terraces with different harvest times show different colors, either deep or light.

Compared with the autumn harvest season, pictures taken in the spring sowing season may be better because the lines between the water in the terraces and the ridges of the fields are clear and beautiful.

Besides the seasons, weather is also a crucial factor for taking pictures. The Yuanyang Rice Terraces are located at the southern part of the Ailao Mountains, the valley of the Red River, and the Tengtiao River. There are about 180 days with foggy conditions each year because of the wet climate. With a subtropical climate, a visit to Yuanyang Rice Terraces anytime during the year is possible.

5. Hotel

As remote counties in the southwest of China, Jianshui and Yuanyang offer limited hotel choices. We have chosen standard hotels for you in the itinerary and their facilities are very basic. Despite the lack of choice, the hotels we use in the tour are carefully selected based on criteria like hotel environment, location, service, and previous customer feedback. Your guide will accompany you to check the room.
There are also some local hostels offering a different accommodation experience, but the room number is limited. If you would like to try a local hostel, please inform your trip advisor about your preference:
Jianshui: Tingziyun Resort
Yuanyang: Sunny Guesthouse

6. Booking Procedure:

Step 1: Submit your name, email address and traveling dates for the tour. The price may vary according to the location of your hotel.
Step 2: Choose to make payment via PayPal and your request will be listed as our top priority. We guarantee a 100% refund if you are not satisfied.
Step 3: Receive a reply within 24 hours. The tour will be tailor-made to meet your requirements and the booking confirmed.
Step 4: Enjoy the tour!

7. Payment Methods:

We now offer three payment methods: PayPal, credit card authorization via fax, and wire transfer. PayPal is recommended for its safety and efficiency. You can pay with USA dollars, Australian dollars, European dollars, and British pounds directly with your credit card or debit card if you do not have a PayPal account.

8. Cancellation Policy:

In the event of cancellation, we will refund any payment made to China Highlights (unless any cancellation fee is applicable) within 14 days of our receipt of your written cancellation request. Visit here for more details.

9. Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance is not included. We carefully selected some insurance providers from your region that give you the best value for money. Click here to go to the travel insurance page.