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Top Things to Do in Yunnan Province

Yunnan Province, covering an area of 394,000 square kilometers, is a place combining unique ethnic cultures, magnificent scenery of the highlands, graceful natural landscapes, authentic ancient towns, and delicious foods.

China Highlights would like to introduce you to the seven top things to do in this vast land.

1. Hiking and Mountaineering

tiger leaping gorgeTiger Leaping Gorge, Lijiang

Yunnan has several great destinations for hiking and mountaineering. Most of these destinations have lofty snow mountains, and the sunrises and sunsets there are quite magnificent, especially in Meili Snow Mountain, one of China's most beautiful snow mountains.

Recommended tours: Five-Day Tiger Leaping Gorge Hike Tour

Seven-Day Tiger Leaping Gorge Hike and Shangri-La Tour

2. Visiting Ancient Towns and Ancient Villages

yun nan Baoshan Stone Village, Lijiang

Yunnan’s Lijiang Ancient Town is the most popular ancient town among domestic and foreign travelers. Different from the prosperous and glorious in Lijiang Ancient Town, other small ancient towns and villages can allow you experience the simple local life and appreciate the unique buildings. Almost all the ancient towns and villages are built by rivers or mountains, so the scenery of the towns and villages is quite graceful

3. Photographing Picturesque Lands

yuanyang terrace fieldYuanyang Rice Terraces

Many Yunnan’s attractions have picturesque landscapes. The following attractions are the most popular ones among photographers, who may be so persistent that they might wait for several days to catch their ideal scenery. When these attractions are in their best-visited times, the splendid and magnificent landscapes will show you how they are worthy of a visit.

4. Visiting Historical Sites

three pagodasThe Three Pagodas, Dali

Yunnan used to be a respectively independent kingdom in many dynasties of China, so the culture in the province is a little different from that of central Chinese civilization. Its profound historic culture gives the province with numerous historical sites. At these sites you can retrace the splendid civilization of Yunnan's past.

5. Experiencing Minority Cultures

There are many minorities in Yunnan Province, such as Bai, Yi, Dai, and Naxi. Yunnan is the main place of residence of Naxi and Bai people. All these minorities have quite splendid cultures, especially the Naxi minority. In Dongba Museum you can learn about the characters, paintings, religion, music, dancing, and sacrificial culture of the Naxi minority.

6. Visiting Tibetan Monasteries

Shangri-La has scenery similar to that in Tibet, and Tibetan Buddhism prevails in the area. Feilai Monastery is a nice position for taking photos of Meili Snow Mountain. Gedan Eastern Grove Monastery has the most profound Tibetan Buddhist Culture. Singzanlin Lamasery is known as "a scaled-down-version Potala Palace".

7. Watching Live-Action Show

Impression Lijiang, a magnificent outdoor singing and dancing performance given by more than 500 performers, demonstrates the lifestyle and the tradition of local ethnic people. The show is performed at the theater on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The snow mountain is used as a backdrop of the show.